Visitors to this weekend’s The Herald Volkswagen Cycle Tour will probably get acquainted with the Friendly City rather than the Windy City.
According to Garth Sampson, from the South African Weather Service, perfect cycling conditions are forecast for Port Elizabeth and Addo – the road and mountain bike venues – this weekend.
Sampson said partly cloudy conditions with moderate temperatures (in the mid-twenties) could be expected in both centres on Saturday and Sunday. “A gentle south-westerly wind of not more than 20 kilometres per hour should make for perfect cycling weather.”
He said PE was usually quite sticky this time of the year, but that the westerly flow was expected to kerb the humidity.
Defending women’s champion, Anriëtte Schoeman (Nashua Telecoms), was pleased to learn that no rain was forecast as she said this could make conditions “dangerous”. She said over the years the wind had proved the single most challenging factor of the 105km race.
“The route itself is not too technical or difficult, which is one of the reasons why people love it. If the wind blows, it becomes truly testing.”
Race director Shane Bradfield said The Herald VW Cycle Tour was scheduled during this time of the year to fit in with the national racing calendar. “If we had to choose a date to capitalise on the best possible weather, we would probably have had it during April or May.”
Bradfield said social riders would be particularly pleased with this weekend’s forecast, although many of the professional riders preferred windy conditions as it toughened up the racing.
Sampson said the forecast for the Addo area was similar to the PE prediction, but even less windy.
Four mountain bike events are scheduled for Saturday, starting at the Addo Polo Club. These include the 85km Extreme Challenge, the 65km Vodacom Challenge, the 42km Family Fun Ride and the Choc Kiddies’ Challenge.
At the same time, The Boardwalk hosts the MTR Smit 30km Family Fun Ride and the Reach for a Dream Kiddies’ Challenge.
The 105km road race and the 75km Schools and Open Challenge take place on Sunday from The Boardwalk.
For more information, phone Shane Bradfield on 074 114 4811.
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of:
Avusa (The Herald)