The Takealot Jock Classic cycle road race aims to be one of the most inclusive events in the country when it takes place in Mpumalanga on July 13.
Among the longest-running races in South Africa, the Jock Classic offers the unique format of three legs in one day, starting and ending at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
It will cover stages of 48.5km, 45km and 62km, with a specific starting time for each leg. The route will take cyclists on roads through iconic Lowveld towns such as Sabie and White River.
While the nature of the race does offer its particular challenges, ASG Events chief executive Erick Oosthuizen said they encouraged cyclists of all disciplines to take part.
“Of course there will be your elite competitors, but this is a race that offers an opportunity for riders of all levels to become involved,” he said.
“In fact, the nature of the course means that even those with mountain-bikes would be able to manage the route.
“We really want this race to be as inclusive as possible and we encourage the local clubs to become involved by setting up gazebos at the Mbombela Stadium and enjoying the vibe of the occasion.”
Adding to the inclusivity of the event is that this year cyclists have the option to do just one or two of the stages.
The three-stage race remained the preferred choice among the competitors, said Oosthuizen, but he felt the shorter options would open up the event to those somewhat daunted by the prospect of riding the full distance.
“Already I have had an inquiry from Australia about someone who just wants to do two of the stages,” he added.
“So I am sure that will be an option for many to consider, although it is important to note that entering two or three stages means you will have meals included in your package.”
Oosthuizen felt the race was perfectly placed on the calendar to keep cyclists in shape during the winter months.
“It takes place in a region which can be fresh early in the morning but then warms up to perfect weather for cycling, so it promises to be a memorable day out on the bike.”
Entries for the race close on July 3.
CAPTION: The Takealot Jock Classic three-stage, one-day cycle road race starting and ending in Nelspruit on July 13, has various options on offer to be as inclusive as possible. Photo: Memories 4 U Photography