The city of Pietermaritzburg has become synonymous with hosting spectacular and renowned sporting events and each year, thousands of runners, paddlers and cyclists (amongst others) descend upon the city for the prestigious sporting competitions.
Since 2009, Pietermaritzburg has been recognised as Africa’s Bike City and is one of only three UCI Bike City’s around the world – a status it shares with Copenhagen for Europe and Melbourne for Australasia. In this time, two Continental Championships as well as 10 UCI World Cup events and five UCI World Championships have been staged in different disciplines. In fact, Pietermaritzburg is now recognised as the venue that has staged the most different cycling World Cups and World Championships anywhere in the world – a great status for the city to have.
To add another accolade to their repertoire, Pietermaritzburg will play host to the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, which heads to South Africa and with it, an expected 300-plus elite disabled athlete from all over the world from 31 August to 3 September.
During 2016, the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship was not held due it being a Paralympic year. This in turn means that there will be an even greater entry field of athletes and much more at stake as the previous champions were crowned in 2015.
Pietermaritzburg has featured as a venue on the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup calendar for the past two years, when the 2015 and 2016 editions made a stop in South Africa as part of the series each year.
Presenting the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships further entrenches the City of Choice as Africa’s Bike City. The continued support of KwaZulu-Natal Sport and Recreation and Msunduzi Municipality, partnering with Cycling South Africa, has been fundamental in hosting these top-notch events. 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 the sport of cycling in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Championships will be staged from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September, starting with the Time Trial competition for two days at the picturesque Midmar Dam on the 31st August and 1st September and then there will be two days of road racing, taking place in the city itself with Alexandra Park as the focal point.
For more information about the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, go to: https://www.cyclingsa.com/2017-uci-para-road-world-champs/