New format for 2021 edition of event
The Herald Cycle Tour MTB entries open
The Herald Cycle Tour is turning 36 and the event organisers are confident the 2021 edition of the event will live up to expectations, despite a changed format this time around.
The MTB component of the tour is set to go ahead in Addo, as planned, on February 14 but a date has yet to be set for the other half of the tour, the road race, because of uncertainties over Covid-19, The Herald’s marketing manager, Berna Ulay-Walters, said.
The road race is usually held in the Bay on the weekend after the MTB event but that won’t be the case in 2021.
Featuring three race distances — the 80km extreme, 60km adventure and 30km leisure — as well as 5km and 500m junior and toddler categories, the MTB race will live up to its billing as a family-orientated event.
Open for the seriously competitive riders as well as the weekend warriors, the race will suit riders of all ages and skill levels.
Set to get under way from the Addo Polo Club, the MTB race will take riders along picturesque trails nestled in the mountains of the region, giving riders extra motivation to lay it all on the line but also have fun in whichever distance they choose.
The MTB event is officially listed as part of the SA Marathon Series, in which riders can earn points in their quest for the SA Marathon Championship title.
“As with many outdoor sporting events, 2021’s Herald Cycle Tour planning has taken on a much more intensive approach as we micro-manage every aspect of the event, to ensure rider safety takes precedence,” The Herald and Weekend Post marketing manager Berna Ulay-Walters said on Thursday.
“While the government has eased restrictions with the transition to level 1, we as organisers have the sole responsibility of ensuring every facet of the race is regulated under the Covid-19 regulations to ensure that rider safety is first and foremost our main priority.
“With the complexities of road race safety operational measures, we have made the decision to host the MTB only in February, as the venue and surrounding environment allows for the flexibility to manage controlled group rides without prolonged road closures and extreme safety measures.
“Albeit the arduous circumstances, we are pleased that we are be able to afford riders the opportunity to get back onto their bikes again.
“The Eastern Cape is home to a resilient cycling culture and community, and we are excited to have everyone return onto their saddles — a great start to 2021 and new year ‘refresher’.”
The Herald Cycle Tour will afford cyclists the chance to get back onto their bikes again, making a great start to 2021.
The Herald editor Rochelle de Kock said the tour had become synonymous with Nelson Mandela Bay — an event that brings families together, celebrates athletes and promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.
“We also use the platform to nurture and develop cycling in some of our underprivileged areas in the city, and that is something we are especially proud of.
“We would like to encourage families to come out and ride with us,” De Kock said.
Eastern Cape Motors North End Ford is the official vehicle partner for the 2021 event.
Other event partners include Addo Wildlife, K & W Amusements, Talisman Hire, Relay EMS, Cadar, Wayne Pheiffer Cycles, Radisson Blu and Thule.
Online entries for the MTB event will be accepted until February 3 2021, with race pack collection to take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on February 12 and 13.
For more information on the event and how to enter, visit www.heraldcycletour.co.za
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