Popular Amashova Classic attracts young and old alike

2014-10-10 00:00

THE 28th Amashova Classic already had 12 000 riders signed up before late registration began yesterday, proving that the race has a huge following in KZN.

According to KZN Cycling president Greg Stedman, the race is the pinnacle of cycling on the annual racing calendar in the province.

“It’s one the most popular cycling events in the country, I’d say, second only to the Cape Argus,” Stedman told The Witness.

There are a number of factors that make the event hugely successful and Stedman believes it is also driving the development of the sport in the province.

“If you look at the Shova, they have a number of affiliated development initiatives that have had a big impact in driving the sport forward. I think one of the main concerns is safety when it comes to cycling,” Stedman said.

“Having a properly closed road race allows kids from as young as six years old to 70-year-old adults racing in the same event on the same day — that is something the Amashova has gotten right,” he said.

Considering that the Amashova is the oldest Classic cycling race in South Africa, Stedman says the province is doing a lot to become the cycling destination of the country.

“We have the most mountain biking races sanctioned by the UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale] and we recently hosted the World Marathon Champs as well as the Cross Country World Champs. We are definitely leading the way in terms of variety and the Amashova is a big part of that,” he said.

Many cyclists, including defending Amashova champion Nolan Hoffman, have said that the Shova offers riders a different experience from other Classic races, and Stedman agrees.

“There is something nice about starting at one point and finishing at another. Going from Pietermaritzburg and finishing in Durban, there is a real sense of accomplishment,” he said.

“There is also some nice scenery, but the race is technical, has some difficult climbs and is definitely not a walk in the park.”

That statement may be true for the 106 km race, but riders can also take on the 65 km half challenge as well as the 45 km family fun ride.

“The 45 km seems like a long way but it is one of the easier 45 km races in terms of its route, is accessible to most riders, and achievable with little training.

“But I think the addition of the 65 km race was the best thing for the event. It’s a distance that is challenging for social and younger riders who can’t do the full distance, but can still participate in a hard event,” he said.

On a parting note, Stedman is confident cycling in the province is in a healthy state and mountain biking has been especially popular. “Our biggest challenge is road cycling. Hosting events is difficult because without road closures and safety, people don’t want to put their children or themselves at risk.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.