Cycling race: Mozambicans add international flavour

2011-10-26 00:00

THE field for this weekend’s Msunduzi Road Challenge, the only African leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour, will have a distinctly international flavour after entries from a group of Mozambican cycling enthusiasts passed across organisers’ desks.

Mario Traversi, Partick Verissimo, Carlos Sales and Lars Norén of Clube de Ciclismo de Moçambique in Maputo are raring to go as they look to qualify for next year’s UWCT Final, which is to be staged over the same course around Pietermaritzburg.

Said group ringleader Traversi, “I really just want to stay with the bunch and hopefully qualify for the 2012 UWTC Final …

“If I manage to qualify I will then start an intensive training specifically for the final. The fact that the final is in South Africa, our southern African neighbour, is really great for us from the Maputo Club, if we qualify.” he added.

The organisers of the Msunduzi Road Challenge on October 29 and 30 have struck a compromise on their road closure plans to ensure residents in the New Hanover, Dalton and Wartburg areas are not affected on Sunday.

The race, which offers options of 90 km, 111 km and 126 km, starts at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg, passes Albert Falls dam and passes through the Midlands via New Hanover, Dalton, Harburg and Wartburg before returning to the start venue.

Full road closures were initially planned for the duration of the race, but after entering into discussion with residents in the area and businesses that operate on Sundays, race organisers Cycling South Africa and the Road Traffic Inspectorate have revised plans and opted for sections of “directional road closure”.

Said race director Alec Lenferna, “Certain sections where the peleton will be tightly bunched will remain full road closure, but we have implemented a directional road closure for large parts of the route that will close the left hand lane … while allowing traffic to move in the opposite lane in a controlled manner.

“Our primary concern is the safety of the cyclists who will be taking part, and ensuring that we comply fully with the standards set down by the International Cycling Federation, as this race is Africa’s leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour,” Lenferna added.

From the start in Alexandra Park out along Durban Road, New England Road, Boshoff Street, Bulwer Street, Echo Street, Ohrtmann Road and Manning Avenue to Baynes Drift Road the route will be fully closed for the duration of the race.

Directional road closure will then take effect with the closure of the cyclists’ left lane, but contra-flowing traffic will still move.

“The R614 and R33 will be open to traffic contra-flow to the cyclists, with points people directing traffic at intersections where traffic will cross. People can travel along R33 from Pietermaritzburg and turn right onto the R614 when the road is cleared of cyclists.”

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