With less than two weeks to go, Africa’s Bike City is ready for action when the nation and the world’s best Para-cyclists arrive in KwaZulu-Natal to tackle the fourth round of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Pietermaritzburg from 11-13 September. Pietermaritzburg is the leader in hosting prestigious internationally acclaimed events. Over the past six years in particular, Pietermaritzburg has hosted the 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014 UCI MTB World Cups, 2009 and 2011 UCI BMX Supercross World Cups, 2011 and 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge (UWCT qualifier event), 2010 UCI BMX World Championships, 2012 UWCT Final (Masters Road World Championships), 2013 UCI MTB Masters World Championships, 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships and the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships.
Pietermaritzburg will also host the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup and 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship event, further entrenching the City of Choice as Africa’s Bike City. The continued support of the KZN Government 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 this sport in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mayor of Msunduzi Municipality, Councillor Chris Ndlela, explained the importance of the cycling events to the City of Choice: ‘We reiterate that indeed the City of Choice, Pietermaritzburg, is ready and able to host events of international standards and re-affirms our Vision 2030 which states: “A safe, vibrant city in which to live, learn, raise a family, work, play and do business.” Our City is being marketed as an ideal destination to host local and international tournaments and the hospitality and tourism industry hugely benefits from such events particularly from the number of visitors that come to our City.’ Not only does Pietermaritzburg benefit from the visitors to the city while an event is underway, but the long-term benefit is felt when these visitors return time and again for business or for holidays.
The city of Pietermaritzburg’s support of cycling is huge, as they have recently entered into a three-year partnership agreement with Cycling South Africa for events that will be staged in the city until 2018. The 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup – Pietermaritzburg (11-13 September 2015) will have two competition venues with the time trial competition being staged in the Midmar Dam complex on Friday 11 September and the road races in the city of Pietermaritzburg using Alexandra Park as the official competition venue on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September. For more information, visit: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-uci-para-road-world-cup/
Photo credit: Illse du Preez