New route for Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge

2014-11-09 06:00

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A total of 32?000 cyclists will be confronted with a new route when they tackle this year’s Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge on Sunday.

The famous race will take a new route as it has been tweaked here and there.

Many cyclists will be relieved to know that the N14 freeway has been taken off the route. This part of the race had been regarded by many participants as “the beast”, with some cyclists vowing never to take part again if the “windy, hot, dry, dirty and ugly” part of the course remained.

The race – a partnership between Momentum, the City of Johannesburg and 947 FM – will still wind its way through the most historic parts of Johannesburg.

It will still incorporate four events – the main Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge, the Kiddies Ride, the Mountain Bike Challenge and the Expo.

The Mountain Bike Challenge has also moved to a new venue, the Riversands Commercial Park.

The Expo takes place over two and a half days. All entrants to the race will collect their race packs during the Expo.

A total of 50?000 visitors are expected to go through the Expo and 150 exhibitors will showcase their products.

Despite removing the tough N14 freeway part of the event, race director Tanya Harford warned cyclists not to expect to have it easy as the city “is a lot hillier than people may think”.

She said: “The uphill part of the last few kilometres will remind riders why this was once called Joburg’s toughest race, as it’s quite a climb.

“We have 450m of extra climbing overall, so that’s the sting in the tail.

“It’s going to make the men’s and women’s professional races very interesting and will give them more to think about.”

»?Another race that will also have a new route is the 2015 Absa Cape Epic, with the Prologue returning to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Table Mountain.

There is also a new grand finale venue at the Meerendal Wine Estate.

The new route shows that the 1?200 riders from about 45 countries will be faced with a total distance of 739km, with 16km of climbing. The riders who will take part in next year’s event have four months to put in the recommended 20 hours per week of training to prepare for this famous race.

Day five will involve a monster 117km stage and 2.5km of climbing.

»?Meanwhile, the KZN Cycling Development Series will continue with the leg in uMgungundlovu (Pietermaritzburg) on Saturday, while the dates for the Msunduzi and Majuba legs have yet to be confirmed.

The series – involving pupils from different schools – have been successfully held in the Ugu District, Lahee Park, Mandeni, Ladysmith, eThekwini (Durban) and in Ixopo.

The Uthukela District Development Race Day Series, which was hosted by the Ladysmith Development Cycling Club, saw 145 pupils representing 10 different schools taking part in the event.

The series is a partnership between the KwaZulu-Natal department of sports and recreation, Cycling SA and Cycling KZN.

Cycle Challenge map

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