The 2009 edition of The Herald Volkswagen Cycle Tour could boast one of the best fields of its 24-year history after House of Paint became the third professional team to confirm its participation this week.

MTN Energade and Neotel, who made a clean sweep at last year’s race, are the other pro outfits that will be under starter’s orders in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, February 1.

House of Paint team owner and captain, Dean Edwards, said they regarded the Eastern Cape event as an important step towards their goal of winning the new Alpha Pharm Seeding Series, of which The Herald VW Cycle Tour is the opening event.

This series consists of 15 top national events, with an overall prize purse of R200 000.

Edwards said they would be using the Tour de Gabon in Central Africa in January as final preparation for the 105-kilometre race in PE, which starts and finishes at The Boardwalk.

This relatively young squad, which will be one of only three Continental teams in South Africa next year, has made a huge impact on the national cycling scene this season. They placed fifth overall in the Pick n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg and second in the Pick n Pay Amashovashova National Classic in Durban.

The team also rode to an impressive fourth in the general and fifth in the team classification at the international Giro del Capo in Cape Town in March, which is regarded as South Africa’s premier multistage event.

Edwards said they earmarked the upcoming series – which includes races like the 94.7, Amashovashova, Jock and Cape Argus – as one of their main priorities for the upcoming season.

“It’s a great addition to local cycling,” said Edwards. “It motivates top professional teams to take part in races around the country, which is equally beneficial to the sport and sponsors.”
Schwinn’s regional manager, Stephen Craddock, said they were extremely impressed with the talented riders on the team and that they (the team) provided the perfect vehicle to showcase their product. House of Paint are contracted to race on Schwinn bicycles.

Craddock said their alignment with the team was particularly rewarding due to the team’s high profile.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from Schwinn,” said Edwards. “It is the tool of our trade and we’ve been extremely happy.”

Schwinn, who are the official bicycle sponsors to The Herald VW Cycle Tour, will be giving away two bicycles to the value of R23 000 in a lucky draw that will take place at  the prize giving at The Boardwalk after the main event.

The Herald VW Cycle Tour weekend starts with four mountain biking events at the Addo Elephant National Park on Saturday, January 31. These are the 85km Feature Race, the 65km Vodacom Challenge, the 42km Family Fun Ride and the CHOC Kiddies’ Challenge.

On the same day, The Boardwalk will host the MTR Smit 30km Family Fun Ride and the Reach for a Dream Kiddies’ Challenge.

The 105km The Herald VW Cycle Tour and the 75km Schools and Open Challenge will take place on the Sunday from the same venue.

Entry forms are available from cycle shops, or For more information, phone Shane Bradfield on 074 114 4811.

Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
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041 368 4992

On behalf of:

Avusa (The Herald)