The first week in August will see a formidable delegation of cycling’s key role-players arrive in Africa’s Bike City, Pietermaritzburg, for the Confederation of African (CAC) Forum. For the City of Pietermaritzburg and the region in KwaZulu-Natal, the magnitude of the event once again cements the potential that the city has to offer cycling, and shows the commitment of local government to the development of this sport in KwaZulu-Natal.
Pietermaritzburg, Africa’s Bike City as local cyclists prefer to call it, has been elevated on the world cycling map as the perfect venue for international cycling events.
Apart from numerous World Cup events in a number of different cycling disciplines, Africa’s Bike City has also been host to a sizeable list of World Championships, including for BMX in 2010, the 2012 Masters Road World Champs, the 2013 Masters and Elite MTB Worlds, the 2014 MTB Marathon Worlds.
Again within the next two months we will see local and international Para-cycling athletes head for the Bike City to compete in Para-cycling World Cup event in 2015 (September) and again in 2016. These two events are the frontrunners for the ever-important Para-cycling World Champs also destined for Pietermaritzburg in 2017.
Amongst the prestigious delegates, UCI President Brian Cookson will be arriving direct from Kuala Lumpur to Durban on Monday. Three Vice Presidents will be in attendance – Dr Wagih Azzam (Vice President of the UCI); David Lappartient (Vice President of the UCI); Julius Mwange (Vice President of CAC) – as well as the CAC Commission Presidents and the various National Federation representatives from no less than 34 countries.
President of SASCOC, Mr Gideon Sam, has confirmed his attendance of the CAC Congress, which is part of the CAC Forum, that will be held with representatives of the City of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation, Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, the UCI Senior Management, CAC Board and senior Cycling SA representatives. Mr Sam’s representation of SASCOC shows support and recognition of the role of Pietermaritzburg as Africa’s Bike City.
Primarily held for the African nations to share ideas, best practices and success stories thereby strengthening ties with their African neighbours, the CAC Forum programme of events will also include a UCI Level 2 Coaching Course, with 26 attendees from 30 July to 5 August and a UCI National Elite Commissaires Course, with 20 attendees from 1-5 August.
The UCI will drive the UCI African Sharing Platform, which was successfully initiated two years ago and provided an opportunity for African nations to share vital knowledge amongst each other and to network.