Cycling: it’s all go for world tour final next month

2012-07-25 00:00

WITH a month to go before the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour final in and around Pietermaritzburg, organisers are confident that all systems are in place for the time trial and road races that will decide the amateur age group road cycling world titles.

Previously known as the Masters World Championships, the finals of the UCI World Cycling Tour — from August 23 to 26 — will feature riders who have earned the right to be on the start line in Pietermaritzburg by virtue of a top 25% finish in one of 13 qualification events held worldwide over the past year.

Last year 218 local riders qualified through the Msunduzi Road Challenge time trial and roads races to take part in the world age group title deciders. In addition to them, 31 local riders earned wildcards in the event to take part in either the 26 km time trial in Wartburg or their respective age group road races.

They will square up to the best riders from the qualifying events in Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Crete, Slovenia, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Spain and Canada to decide the holders of the coveted UCI world champion rainbow jersey in each of the masters age groups.

The time trial has been moved to a picturesque fast layout based around the town of Wartburg on Thursday, August 23.

The 60 km, 96 km and 112 km road races will be held on a testing hilly course that starts and finishes at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg and runs along the road towards Albert Falls dam, towards Wartburg, Dalton, Noodsberg and New Hanover, on August 25 and 26.

The races will be staged on full road closure administered by the Road Traffic Inspectorate and city police officials. They successfully managed the operation for the Msunduzi Road Challenge last year and kept disruption of local traffic to a minimum.

In a combined campaign involving the regional government road agencies and local businesses, the sections of road that will be used for the race are being upgraded and cleaned to ensure they are in top condition for the time trial and road races.

With many riders arriving from far-flung parts of the world, the organisers have arranged two social rides to help them shake of their jet lag and acclimatise to local conditions: a hill climb time trial up Old Howick Road on Monday, August 20, and a 54 km multi-lap road race on the Mount Verde estate outside Hilton on the Tuesday,

Programme of events

UCI World Cycling Tour Final 2012

Monday 20th August 2012 - Social Hill Dash Time Trial

Tuesday 21st August 2012 - Social Mt Verde Road Race – 54km

Thursday 23rd August 2012 - UWCT Time Trial Competition

Saturday 25th August 2012 - UWCT Final 61km Race and UWCT Final 96km Race

Sunday 26th August 2012 - UWCT 112km Race.

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