Rush of entries for aQuellé Tour Durban

2014-04-23 00:00

AS the flow of entries for the 2014 aQuellé Tour Durban turned into a flood ahead of the closing of normal entries at midnight last night, the event’s three races on Monday, April 28 look set to continue their meteoric growth.

Almost 24 hours before the closing of normal entries the race entry was heading towards the total participation levels experienced last year, which also enjoyed significant growth year-on-year from 2012.

Organisers of the races confirmed that entry levels were “substantially larger than they were this time last year”.

The race, which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, started as a KwaZulu-Natal equivalent of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour but, after a promising start, numbers started to drop when the race changed hands during the late 1990s.

The race was however resurrected by the enthusiastic cyclists in Club Cappuccino and in less than three years, the race entry started to swell appreciably thanks to a return to the popular route for the 105 km road race and the introduction of the cyclo-cross race for mountain bikers.

The fun 45 km ride, the third of the Tour Durban’s three features, from the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium to Umdloti and back, offers popular sea views along the M4 highway and road cycling that is comfortably manageable for social riders.

The Tour Durban is now also an official qualifying event for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour, which has also contributed to the snowballing participation numbers of late.

The names of defending champion Nolan Hoffman and his rival in recent years, Herman Fouche, both feature prominently on the entry list that was edging ever closer to the 4 000-rider mark as entry deadline loomed.

Last year, eThekwini’s mayor James Nxumalo rode the 45 km race, riding one of the prototype bicycles in support of the municipality’s plans to make the city more cycle-friendly.

The races will once again enjoy full road closure, with the race committee assuring local residents that roads will be re-opened as soon as the last cyclists have cleared that section of the race route and the race safety officer and Durban Metro Police officers are satisfied that the road can be safely re-opened to vehicular traffic.

Durban looks set to enjoy ideal autumn weather conditions for three races, with cool partly cloudy weather on the morning of Monday, April 28, giving way to clear skies in the afternoon and moderate temperatures.

Late entries will be taken at a R100 penalty.

Road Closures (April 28)

Masabalala Yengwa (NMR) 5.30 am - 2.30 pm

Margaret Mncadi Avenue 5.30 am - 8 am

M4 South 5.30 am - 8.30 am

M7 Edwin Swales & M19 to Pinetown 6 am - 9.30 am

M19 Pinetown to Umgeni Road 6.15 am - 10 am

Inanda Road (Springfield Park) 6.30 am - 10.15 am

Riverside Road 6.30 am - 10.30 am

M4 North both sides 5.30 am - 2.30 pm.

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