Local star Anriëtte Schoeman, who made history when she notched up her fourth consecutive win in South Africa’s second biggest race recently, has confirmed that she and her team will be at next year’s The Herald Volkswagen Cycle Tour.
The former South African champion has dominated the event in recent years and will be aiming for her 12th title in 13 years in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, February 1.
Speaking from Glentana in the Southern Cape, where she is holidaying, the 31-year-old said her end of season victory in the Pick n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg was the perfect result after a taxing season. “It was the cherry on top of a great year.”
The diminutive rider, who has a reputation for being the top sprinter in the country, said she would be taking a shorter break than usual. “There are some important races early on in the new season and I want to be ready from the outset.”
She said The Herald VW Cycle Tour, which doubles as the opening leg of the new Alpha Pharm series, is her team’s first major objective of the new season. “We’ll be taking part in several smaller events before then to make sure we’re in peak condition.”
The Herald VW Cycle Tour, now in its 24th year, is the first of 15 major events that form part of the series, which rewards the top elite and u.23 riders with a prize purse of R200 000.
Schoeman said the series should lure more professional teams to the race, which would be excellent for its profile. According to her, it also exposes local riders to the best in the country.
“A series of this nature is remarkable for cycling in general and the inclusion of the The Herald VW Cycle Tour could prove a catalyst to put the Eastern Cape solidly on the cycling map,” she said.
The leader of the Proline professional team said her record-breaking success at the 94.7 was truly a team effort. She praised her team, which was whittled down to just three members due to injury, as well as her sponsor.
Schoeman said Proline was instrumental in her success over the past four years as they had stood by her through all her ups and downs.
“I broke my collarbone and my wrist in two separate incidents and each time Proline supported me all the way – even when they were not contractually obliged to do so. It says a lot about their integrity as a company.”
Proline’s affair with cycling goes beyond the sponsorship of this well-oiled team. They are the official computer suppliers of The Herald VW Cycle Tour’s race office and registration area and will also sponsor a prize at the lucky draw.
Johan Herselman, branch manager of Proline in Port Elizabeth, said they were pleased to be involved again as an official sponsor. He said an established event like this added immeasurable value to the local economy.
“The race draws thousands of cyclists and spectators every year and is therefore the perfect marketing platform for us.”
The Herald VW Cycle Tour weekend starts with mountain bike action at the Addo Elephant National Park on Saturday, January 31. Events include the 85km Feature Race, the 65km Vodacom Challenge, the 42km Family Fun Ride and the CHOC Kiddies’ Challenge.
On the same day, Hobie Beach will be the backdrop to the MTR Smit 30km Family Fun Ride and the Reach for a Dream Kiddies Challenge.
The grand finale – the 105km The Herald VW Cycle Tour – and the 75km Schools and Open Challenge will take place on the Sunday.
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of:
Avusa (The Herald)