The Mpumalanga Cycle Tour is set to bring an exciting week of racing to the Lowveld when South Africa’s acclaimed cyclists will take to the six-stage, 752km event from 18-23 January 2016. The scenic and challenging route will run from Loskopdam to Badplaas, Mbombela, Graskop and Blyde River Canyon with riders battling it out for a stake of the R200 000 total prize purse.
Cyclists will face a total climb of 11 500m, with Robber’s Pass and Kowyn’s Pass being the most famous and gruelling mountain climbs. Tackling the Kranspoort Pass on the first stage will set the pace and provide an ideal warm-up for the rest of the ’Tour. Race Organisers have effectively created an equal ground for cyclists of all skill levels and age to experience the fierce mountain climbs and steep downhills in a safe environment.
The Mpumalanga Cycle Tour is reminiscent of the Hanson and Rapport Tours of yesteryear where participants travelled from town to town, and is the first of its kind to offer the ultimate challenge to open category cyclists to compete with professional cyclists of South Africa. Even though some stages will be a shorter distance, the route for the open category riders will be the same as that for the Elite group.
Race organisers are working hard to introduce this competition as an international UCI-rated event by 2017. The main sponsors of the event are Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation Mpumalanga, Forever Resorts South Africa and Europcar South Africa. The timing of the ’Tour is ideal for cyclists who are training for other big cycling races like the South African Road Championships in February 2016 and the ABSA Cape Epic in March 2016.
Transport assistance will be provided to all cyclists who are not part of organised teams, and Europcar SA will make vehicles available to carry luggage daily between the stages, and back to Loskopdam.
There will also be a challenge for business groups to enter corporate teams, with R20 000 as the prize ticket attached. A number of high profile teams have already committed to entering the event.
The ’Tour ends with a Criterium (Kermesse) for the professional riders around the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday 24 January. This will coincide with a family cycle day at the stadium that will be suitable for all members of the family.
The following categories of riders will participate:
· Elite, U/23 Men
· Elite Ladies
· Open Vets
· Corporate Open Category
· Individual Open Category
· Junior Men
For more information about the Mpumalanga Tour, click here: http://www.hatoere.co.za/index.php/events/2016-events/8-mpumalanga-tour-2015
To enter, click here: http://www.cycleevents.co.za/category/road-events/