International road cycling stage race set for SA
Cycling South Africa on Friday announced that they’ve signed an accord with SweetSpot to create an Elite International Road Cycling Stage Race to be held in South Africa in the first quarter of 2018.
The event will attract the world’s top professional teams to what is initially planned to be a six-day multi-stage race.
One of the intentions of the event is to create investment into cycling through an overriding Non-Profit Organisation that will govern the event, and oversee the distribution of benefits generated by it.
William Newman, President of Cycling South Africa, said: “This is a significant milestone for Cycling South Africa as it fills a huge void on our racing calendar. Having this event will allow our very own Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and our other International riders to participate on home soil, allowing the South African public to really see how good they are.
“The event will also allow our local riders the opportunity to participate against the best riders in the world. This will further encourage and motivate the youth to take up cycling as a sport, which is one of the key objectives of Cycling South Africa – to grow our sport and create opportunities for all.
“With Cycling South Africa’s commitment to the development of women’s cycling, work will happen simultaneously on the presentation of a women’s event in the future.
Commenting on the announcement, Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of SweetSpot Group said: “The team at SweetSpot are thrilled to have been invited to work with Cycling South Africa to create this potentially iconic road race. We have already taken soundings with several of the world’s top professional teams who are very keen to be involved, as many of them already come down to train in the off season.
“A blue ribbon event in South Africa has been conspicuously absent for some time now and with their strong cycling heritage allied to an almost fanatical appetite for all things cycling they surely deserve a first-class race.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka Team Principal Douglas Ryder, Team Principal said: “An official cycle tour in South Africa is long overdue. SweetSpot is known as an organisation that always goes out of its way to look after the teams and deliver in terms of quality and professionalism. We are proud to support them and Cycling South Africa to ensure that the race is sustainable for years to come. This cycle tour will undoubtedly showcase to the world what South Africa has to offer with our beautiful landscapes, talented local riders and cycling fans who love and support the sport of cycling.”