Two Continental Championship Cycling Events For Pietermaritzburg In 2015

Cycling South Africa has secured the 2015 African Continental Road Cycling Championships and the 2015 African Continental Track Cycling Championships in the City of Pietermaritzburg, further cementing the on going plans in place with KwaZulu-Natal Government and the Department of Sport and Recreation in support of the city as the African UCI Bike City.  At a site meeting held at the Sax Young cycle track in Alexander Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Monday, UCI Event Coordinator for Track Cycling, Tiziana Lardieri, evaluated the track and surrounds that will be used for the 2015 African Continental Track Cycling Championships (2125 January) and the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, and the LOC’s plans to upgrade this facility.  Lardieri is also the technical delegate for the UCI World Cycling Tour Series, of which the Amashova Classic is now a part of with the support of KZN Department of Sport and recreation, and was present to oversee the event at the weekend.

KwaZulu-Natal will also be hosting the 2014 BMX African Continental Championships on the purpose-built Supercross track at Giba Gorge on Sunday, 26 October.  This is a major step forward for the sport in South Africa and Africa as a whole as this is the first time that the BMX Commission has held a Continental Championship-status event.  UCI technical delegate for road cycling events, Laurent Bezault, has been in Pietermaritzburg since Monday 6 October, doing evaluations of the various technical elements allied to the upcoming 2015 African Continental Road Championships, scheduled for the early part of next year.

Bezault is extremely happy with all arrangements in place thus far and expects the event to be one of the best yet staged predominantly due to the experience of the local organisers as well as the facilities for the event.  The event will be staged in and around Wartburg over six days, from 9-14 February 2015, and is expected to attract participation from 25-30 African nations.  There will be three days of Time Trial competition, starting with a Team Time Trial on the first day, and Individual Time Trials on the following two days, with three days of road racing thereafter.

The race routes will be similar to those used previously for the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour Final and the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge, with the start and finish venue being adjacent to the Wartburger Hof Hotel in Wartburg.  Local Organising Committee member, Alec Lenferna, said, “We have found that Wartburg and the surrounding areas are great for the staging of the major road events due to the superb terrain and challenging courses that can be put in place to fully test the athletes, quieter roads and the fact that the local community are accommodating and welcoming.  We are working closely with the community leaders to put a plan in place that will work for everyone with the minimum of disruption and so far the level of interaction has been excellent and we look forward to staging another great event.”

Photo caption: Brett Berriman (PMB Cycling), David Vigar (PMB Cycling), Tiziana Lardieri (UCI Event Coordinator for Track Cycling) and Judith Lawrence (Ward Councillor for Ward 27) at a site meeting held at the Sax Young cycle track in Alexander Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Monday to evaluate the track and surrounds that will be used for the 2015 African Continental Track Cycling Championships and the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, and the LOC’s plans to upgrade this facility.