Alexandra Park velodrome receives a boost before Track Champs

2015-01-14 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S status as Africa’s “Bike City” has been further entrenched by the significant upgrade to the velodrome situated at Alexandra Park in the build-up to its hosting of the 2015 African Track Championships from January 21 to January 25.

Having hosted a number of world-class events in the recent past — which included both the UCI MTB and Trials World Championships, as well as the UCI MTB Marathon World Championships — the city has now taken on a number of African Championship events over the next two months with the Track Championships, followed by the African Road Championships in February.

Event organiser Alec Lenferna has spearheaded a push to make the venue suitable to host the continental championships later this month, but was also quick to point out the far reaching implications of upgrading such an important facility.

“The velodrome is an important venue in terms of the growing of cycling in the province, and upgrading and maintaining it is important,” Lenferna said.

“Although we will be hosting the ­African Track Championships there later in the month it can be used for so much more and it is a great place for youngsters to learn how to ride.

“The situation of the velodrome makes it an ideal venue for children to go and ride there safely, and gain the confidence that they need to become the next generation of riders.”

The venue was in need of a revamp and the organisers have been able to upgrade a number of the facilities that will turn the velodrome into a track that can host top-class events.

“We had to put in new lights so we could use the venue in the evenings, we cleaned up the track and repaired cracks, as well as repainted all the lines and are in the process of clearing all the weeds from the track,” Lenferna said. “As much as the upgrade allows for the development of riders, the revamping of the infrastructure means that the velodrome is now ready to be used more often.”

Entrance for spectators is free of charge. More information can be found at www.cyclingsa.com/2015-african-conti-track-champs

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