South Africa’s oldest classic cycle race, the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic, has been reinvented with the inclusion of a 150km route for the first time in its history. This year also marks its recognition as a race of international significance, through its inclusion in the Gran Fondo World Tour.
In an announcement made yesterday at the Joburg VIP launch of this year’s Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic, Race Director, Annie Batchelder commented, “We are really excited about adding the very challenging 150km route to our already popular 106km, 65km and 35km race distances. Not only will the Tsogo Sun Amashova be one of the very few races in South Africa to offer this kind of extreme distance, but the hills and overall profile of the Richmond area will, in its own right, push the limits of the brave cyclists prepared to take on the challenge.”
The new 150km route will have the same starting point as the 106km route in front of Pietermaritzburg’s City Hall but cyclists will do an additional 44km loop via Richmond before re-joining the famous Comrades Marathon route from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.
The announcement that this popular annual Durban-based race will form part of the Gran Fondo World Tour was met with much excitement. According to organisers of the Gran Fondo World Tour, the Tsogo Sun Amashova race will close off the 10-event tour, which takes place over eight months on four continents.
The Gran Fondo World Tour offers a substantial prize purse of $25 000. The Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic will also be the first and only race in the prestigious ten race line-up to be hosted in Africa.
“As the title sponsors, we are committed to ensuring that the Tsogo Sun Amashova remains one of the most attractive cycle races, both for South Africans and for avid cyclists beyond our borders. We believe the new 150km route and the Gran Fondo World Tour announcements provide even more reasons for cyclists to enter this challenging and scenic race," said Ravi Nadasen, COO of Tsogo Sun hotels. "These developments are extremely exciting for the City of Durban and the KZN region from a tourism perspective, with the potential to have a positive economic impact on the region.”
Batchelder added that apart from these two main announcements, there are several other new developments cyclists and spectators can expect this year. This includes a healthy living and cycling Expo that will see a number of top brands, products and services showcasing their goods to the public prior to race day.
The venue for this year’s race number pick up and late entries has also been changed to the conveniently located Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Hotel on Durban’s beach front.
One of the much-loved aspects of the race that hasn’t changed is the full road closure on one of the most picturesque and challenging routes from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. The day will also still lend itself to the overall enjoyment of cyclists and spectators alike with fantastic food and festivities to be had on the route as well as live music and an array of food stalls offered post-race on the Suncoast Casino Hotels & Entertainment lawns.
For more information or to enter the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic, go to www.shova.co.za.