UCI rated Women’s racing comes back to Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa

As the lead up to the Telkom 947 UCI 1.1 women’s race on 20th November 2016, two other UCI rated women’s races will be added to the calendar to be run in the Kwa Zulu Natal region of South Africa close to Pietermaritzburg.

The UCI 1.2 events will be held on the Wednesday and Thursday (16th/17th November) prior to the Telkom 947 event on the following Sunday.

Both races will give both international and local riders the opportunity to earn valuable UCI points and these races will be now even more popular considering the European season will have effectively concluded.

The two events will run with proposed routes approximately 113km – 118km long.  It is planned that the first event on Wednesday will be a 29 kilometer lap of the area which will include 8.5 kilometers of dirt road per lap.  South Africa’s very own Strade Bianche.

Presented by Cycling South Africa and with very experienced Alec Lenferna serving as Event Director for the series, he and his experienced team will ensure the standard of the events is as high as possible and will showcase how South Africa can run great events in fantastic locations.

Whilst Pietermaritzburg has been the venue for a large number of successful events and programmes, this Series of races will be the first races that will be staged exclusively for women. There have been women’s races in the past, but they have always been linked to other men’s races, and this departure from this norm is a huge step forward for cycling in South Africa and the continent as a whole.

The 2016 edition of the races will allow for 15 teams only to take part, with each team having a minimum of four riders and a maximum of six riders starting each race. It is expected that at least eight of the teams will be international.

Mike Bradley (Cycling South Africa) commented “The development of women’s cycling is a high priority on our agenda, and something that we will continually invest in. Hosting UCI category races contributes significantly to our nations’ ranking, which in turn increases our quota of women that we can send to the World Championships next year, and it also gives South African women a chance to race against top international teams thereby gaining valuable experience. The Telkom 947 is a UCI 1.1 race, and we will be inviting the top 10 ranked teams on the world circuit, as well as the top five nations’ teams. In addition, the KwaZulu-Natal Summer Series will see two UCI 1.2 races take place in Pietermaritzburg in the week preceding the 947. Great opportunities for our South African women”

Source: Cycling Direct Press Release