Second Mpumalanga Cycle Tour kicks-off end August

SABC News cycle tour ycleTour - Second Mpumalanga Cycle Tour kicks-off end August

A second Mpumalanga Cycle Tour for 2019 takes place at the end of August.

The first event in 2019 was held in January. It is one of the major cycle tours in South Africa.

The annual Mpumalanga Cycle Tour takes cyclists across the north-eastern part of the province.

They ride from one town to the other, with the hope of encouraging community members to fall in love with the sport.

The seven day event had to be shortened to a four day race tour, but it remains a tough one.

Cycle Tour director Hendrik Wagener says: “It will last over four stages; we will start at the Blyde Canyon Forever resort, going through the Abel Erasmus pass to Swadini, it’s 94 kilometres.”

“Stage two will be from Swadini to Orpen Gate at the Kruger National Park, back to Swadini. Stage three, that’s from Swadini to Forever Resort Blyde Canyon. Our last stage will be 150 kilometres. It will go through God’s Window, Graskop, Sabie, the finish will be at Mbombela Stadium.”

The tour has been the breeding ground for elite professionals over the years.

Lydenburg-born Willie Smit, who won the event three years in a row, is one of the success stories.

He now plies his trade in Europe for Swiss cycling team, Katusha-Alpecin, on the UCI World Tour.

And just like at the UCI event, the safety of the cyclists is of paramount importance during the Mpumalanga Cycle Tour.

Director-General for Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bhutini Ngoma says: “The department is working closely with the South African Police Services, the Department of Community Safety and Security, to ensure that there is protection for our riders. There will be road closures where they will be travelling, the roads will be monitored.”

The tour will start on the 30th of August at the Blyde Canyon in Matibiti.

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