Racing showpiece ready to roll

Competitors gear up for The Herald Continental Cycle Tour

Primed to take on The Herald Continental Cycle Tour challenge are NMBM employees. From Left Shady Louis, Baden Gericke, Angelique Minnie, Sithembele Tsie, Godfrey Gelderblom and Kevin Benade.
Primed to take on The Herald Continental Cycle Tour challenge are NMBM employees. From Left Shady Louis, Baden Gericke, Angelique Minnie, Sithembele Tsie, Godfrey Gelderblom and Kevin Benade.
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

As an official host partner of the upcoming The Herald Continental Cycle Tour, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will be involved in several aspects of the popular cycling event.

The most critical of these will be ensuring the safety of riders, pedestrians and motorists on the various roads in Nelson Mandela Bay during the road races on February 23 and 24.

The municipality will deploy traffic officials to regulate rolling road-closure procedures during the races, and conduct general traffic management and control along the route.

In addition, the Metro Police will regularly patrol the Race Village at Pollok Beach, and the Metro’s Security Services will provide security services along the route and defined areas.

Nelson Mandela Bay Sport and Recreation director Charmaine Williams said these measures formed part of maintaining the city’s reputation of being a safe destination to host big sporting events.

“The cyclists need to know that they will be safe and that the control of motorists is taken care of through proper traffic management procedures.

“As a host city, together with the event organisers, we comply with the Safety at Sport and Recreation Events Act of 2010,” Williams said.

Because The Herald Continental Cycle Tour attracts a huge number of entries from across SA, it serves as a great marketing tool to attract domestic tourists to the city and the province, Williams said.

“We look forward to an even bigger number of entries and good media coverage, which will showcase Nelson Mandela Bay as a preferred destination to host major sporting events.

“The total media value from the 2018 Cycle Tour amounted to R12m,” Williams said.

With more than 3,000 riders participating in the 2018 event, out-of-town cyclists in particular are expected to use local accommodation establishments.

“The organisers will make use of various service providers for the services they require [catering, EMS, tents, mobile toilets, etc].

“Local traders along the beachfront and restaurants will also see an increase in patrons,” Williams said.

“Major sport events contribute towards tourism and local economic development.

“It also promotes employment through infrastructure development projects,” Williams said.

But, it is not all work and no play for the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

A total of 10 municipal employees will also be taking up the challenge of participating in The Herald Continental Cycle Tour.

The municipality’s cyclists have been training on a regular basis, and Williams encouraged municipal staff to support their teams on the race weekend.

Spectators and fans are invited to come out in their numbers to support The Herald Continental Cycle Tour cyclists.

Pollok Beach Race Village will be a hive of activity for young and old during the cycling weekend.

The Herald Continental Cycle Tour road races are preceded by Mountain Bike (MTB) Races taking place in Addo on Sunday (February 17).

Registered cyclists will be able to collect their race packs on the following dates:

MTB Race: Friday February15 from 09:00-19:00 at Pollok Beach, Summerstrand; Saturday February 16 from 09:00-13:00 at Pollok Beach; Saturday February 16 from 18:00-19:00 at Addo Polo Club, Addo and Sunday February 17 from 04:30- 05:30 at Addo Polo Club, Addo

● Road Races: Friday February 22 from 09:00-19:00 and Saturday February 23 from 09:0013:00 at Race Village, Pollok Beach.

For more information on the races, visit The Herald Continental Cycle Tour’s website at: Herald Cycle tour.