Cape Town – With entries for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour opening next week, both Cycling SA and the Pedal Power Association are looking towards a swift resolution to the licensing fee row which has been hanging over the world’s largest timed cycling event.
The organisations confirmed last week that the worst-case scenario would see them wrapping up the protracted legal battle by the end of October at the latest.
Earlier this year, the Cape Argus reported that Pedal Power had taken the national cycling body to court over changes to its constitution.
These changes require, among other things, that every cyclist taking part in local events, including fun rides, must be registered with Cycling SA.
Pedal Power lashed out at what it called the “illegal” changes, accusing the national cycling body of imposing a tax on riders to fill their own coffers. Cycling SA said that if the association failed to come into the fold, events such as the Cycle Tour, facilitated by Pedal Power, would not be sanctioned, effectively barring the country’s top riders.
Cycling SA chairman William Newman said a response to the association’s initial court application had been filed last week.
“We want to find a common ground, and we want to do it quickly. This issue is having an adverse effect on the sport and working against what both our organisations are striving towards.”
But Pedal Power chairman Steve Hayward said he was not concerned if the court proceedings ran over into next year.
In April, the global cycling body Union Cycliste Internationale, announced that it had suspended the clause which banned licensed cyclists from taking part in unsanctioned events.
“Nothing has gone wrong yet, so I feel confident that the rule won’t be around next year,” said Hayward.
Continued suspension of the rule, or its complete removal, would mean that even if events such as the Cycle Tour were not sanctioned by either the national or international body, licensed riders would still be able to take part.