2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Pietermaritzburg event organiser, Alec Lenferna, welcomed UCI Para-cycling Technical Delegate Roberto Rancilio to Pietermaritzburg last week in order to inspect the proposed routes for the Time Trial and Road Races for the prestigious event, which will take place from 11-13 September.
Not only will Pietermaritzburg host the 2015 World Cup, but also the 2016 World Cup and 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship event, further entrenching Pietermaritzburg as Africa’s Bike City. This follows an impressive repertoire of high-status cycling events hosted by the city over the past six years. The continued support of the KZN Government, partnering with Cycling South Africa, has been instrumental in hosting these top-notch events.
The proposed routes will see the Time Trial taking place within the Midmar Dam complex and the Road Race through the streets of Pietermaritzburg.
Approving suitable World Cup cycling routes is technically complex and presented Rancilio with a considerable challenge as he assessed a variety of elements including road surface, road width and severity of climbs and descents in the process of confirming the optimal routes. “The Para-cycling medallists need to be worthy winners, so the route cannot be too easy,” said Rancilio. “But we also need to consider that riders of varying functional ability are taking part – handcyclists, amputees, riders with challenges when it comes to hand-eye coordination. So the solution needs to be technical but not too difficult.”
The 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Pietermaritzburg is a very significant event for nations aiming to maximise their rider slot allocations for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Cycling SA Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr Mike Burns, explains: “Para-cyclists derive maximum UCI points during 2015 from two World Cups each hosted in different regions (Europe-Africa). Nations will have few opportunities to accrue qualifying points for Rio 2016 beyond the Pietermaritzburg World Cup; we will, therefore, be expecting a large entry field.”
“We’re breaking new ground,” said Lenferna. “While we’ve hosted a string of World Cup and World Championship events in various cycling disciplines, this is our first Para-cycling Road event. From a city and an event perspective, we must gain from our experience each time, to be acknowledged ultimately as an excellent host for Para-cycling events. Hosting another World Cup next year gives us a chance to adapt from learning gained in 2015 and to fine-tune things for the 2017 World Champs.”
The 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Pietermaritzburg takes place in Pietermaritzburg from 11-13 September. More info can be found here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-uci-para-road-world-cup