Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Daryl Impey are among South Africa’s top cyclists to descend upon the City of Tshwane when they arrive to register on Wednesday 6 February in preparation of the 2019 edition of the South African ROAD National Championships. The blue-ribbon event kicks off with two days of Individual Time Trials on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 February, followed by the Road Races on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 February.
Cycling SA President Yster Xatasi welcomes all participants to the City of Tshwane. “This year’s Road Championships form an integral part of our Agenda 2020 vision, particularly as this is the qualifying period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Cycling South Africa will embark on a new course in 2019,” he said.
For 2019, the categories have been split and the championships will be held as two separate events, with the Elite, U23, Masters and Para-cyclists competing in Pretoria this week, and the Junior, Youth and younger categories competing in a separate event in KwaZulu-Natal in May.
Fresh off his historic back-to-back titles at the Tour Down Under, Mitchelton-Scott’s Daryl Impey (35) is ready to defend his titles in the Elite Men’s ITT and Road Race. He will face some stiff competition from the likes of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s World Tour team riders Ryan Gibbons (4th in the Cadel Evans Classic), Louis Meintjes, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Nic Dlamini, whilst resident pros like Chris Jooste, Steven van Heerden, Calvin Beneke will give the internationals a run for their money.
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (34), currently ranked fifth in the UCI Individual Rankings for Elite Women, will be ready to tackle the Time Trial and Road Races after missing last year’s event. You can spot Ashleigh in her new team colours of CCC-Liv. Like Daryl, Ashleigh will be without her teammates. Defending Women’s champion Carla Oberholzer will no doubt keep the pressure on throughout the race, while 2017 National Champion Heidi Dalton as well as the likes of Maroesjka Matthee, Juanita Venter, Joanna van de Winkel, Cashandra Slingerland, Catherine Colyn and Liezel Jordaan amongst others will ensure that the women’s race provides top-notch entertainment along the 136-kilometre route.
Paralympian, multiple World Champion and defending champion hand cyclist Pieter du Preez will be looking to add another National Championship title to his decorated achievements in handcycling racing. Fellow Paralympian Gold Fuchs on the tricycle, as well as some repeat National Champs’ contenders like Palesa Manaleng, Juan Odendaal, Phillo Verlaat, Gary Coetsee, Andries Scheepers, Reuben van Niekerk, and Gerhard Viljoen amongst others will be sure to bring their A-game!
The 2019 SA ROAD National Championships will also see the likes of Arthur Duncan competing once again – Arthur will be the oldest contender at a competitive age of 84-years-old! He only started competing seriously in cycling races at the age of 65, and really shows his peers that age is just a number and relishes the opportunity to be on his bicycle and competing. Michael Andries Smith is another octogenarian that will be competing in the Grand Master Men 70+ class at 80 years of age.
The schedule and routes
Time Trial specialists will begin their campaign at the Rooiwal Church on the Old Warmbaths Road (R101) at Mont Lorraine AH. The popular cycling circuit challenges many of the local riders on any given weekend and will serve as the route for the ITT come Thursday and Friday. Racing starts from 09:00 on Thursday with the Master Women 60+ and 50-59 categories taking to the route, followed by the Vet Women 40-49, Grand Master Men 70+, Vet Men 60-69 and Para-cycling Men and Women categories. The Vet Women 30-39 depart at 13:00 followed by the Elite/U23 Women at 13:05.
Friday’s races also begin at 09:00 with the Master Men 50-59 kicking off the day’s action, followed by Vet Men 40-49 and Vet Men 30-39. The U23 Men begin at 12:30 followed by the Elite Men at 13:00.
The historical Union Buildings will provide the perfect backdrop to the road racing action, which kicks off at Rietondale Park in Soutpansberg Road on Saturday with the Para-cycling categories from 07:00. From 09:00, the Grand Master Men 70+, Master Women 50-59 and 60+ will be out on the road, while the Elite/U23 Women start at 11:00, followed by Vet Women 40-49 and 30-39.
Sunday begins with the Master Men 60-69 at 07:00, followed by Master Men 50-59. The Elite/U23 Men start at 10:30, followed by the Vet Men 40-49 and then the 30-39 categories.
President of Gauteng Cycling and Chairman Gauteng North Cycling, Chris Prinsloo, says that the routes are challenging yet fast and with the road race on the 10km circuit around the Union Buildings, riders will experience a mix of flat and fast sections, some dreadful drags and a challenging but short climb. “All this to guarantee an unforgettable Championship event,” says Chris.
Support the race along the route
Families, friends and local residents are most welcome at the Championships and the routes offer excellent spectator value for those that want to cheer the participants on along the way. “Whether spectators stand in the shade of the majestic Union Buildings, or along the steep climb up Tom Jenkins, the sight of an approaching bunch of riders with a view of the city in the background will be long remembered!” said Chris.
Cycling South Africa acknowledges and thanks the City of Tshwane for their assistance in hosting this prestigious event in 2019. Without municipal support, an event of this nature would not take place; Gauteng North Cycling for their role in organising the National Championships in conjunction with our national office. The Local Organising Committee is made up largely of volunteers and we thank them for their time and dedication given to the sport.
Please note that these routes will be closed during the racing times on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 February 2019, from 05:00 to approximately 16:00.
Start at Rietondale Park in Soutpansberg Road
Ride west towards Hamilton Street
Turn left into Hamilton Street
Turn left into Edmond Street
Follow Government Avenue to pass in front of Union Buildings, road makes a right-hand turn becomes Dumbarton Road
Turn left into Stanza Bopape Street
Turn left into Jan Shoba Street that becomes Gordon Road
Turn left into Soutpansberg Road, finish opposite Rietondale Park.
Timing will be done by mobii timing. The results pages will list daily at http://www.mobiielite.com/results/. E.g.: ITT Day 1 - http://www.mobiielite.com/results/results.php?RaceID=e2fe6862-0dc2-4e52-9343-6ddb1f22fc32
The Elite Women’s Road Race will be live streamed on Saturday 9 February from 11:00. View it here: http://www.streamit360.tv/#856-1185
The Elite Men’s Road Race will be live streamed on Sunday 10 February from 10:30. View it here: http://www.streamit360.tv/#856-1186
Live streaming will also be embedded and viewed on www.cyclingsa.com home web page.