The Boardwalk Race Village at Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth will become the temporary home of cycling while construction of the new five-star hotel and conference centre is underway at the complex.
The Herald VW Cycle Tour will host its pre-race expo and registration in a giant marquee on the grassed area opposite The Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment World from Friday to Sunday (February 3 to 5).
The expo features cycling industry exhibitors such as Cyclo Pro-GT, Velotex and Wayne Pheiffer Cycles, as well as stands by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, The Boardwalk and Tony’s Appliances.
Participants in both the road and mountain bike events can register and collect their goodie bags from 9am to 7pm on Friday. Road entrants will also be able to register between 8am and 5pm on Saturday.
Late registration for mountain bikers will be from 4.30am to 5.30am on Saturday at the Addo Polo Club.
Based on the number of entries already received, event coordinator Linda Harwood said organisers were again expecting a bumper turnout. She added that finishers in all events would receive a medal and Powerade sports drink.
Children who complete Saturday morning’s Powerade Kiddies’ Challenge and Toddlers’ Dash can have their photos taken free of charge at the sponsor’s photo booth in the race village. Reach for a Dream is the beneficiary of these events.
Apart from the festival of cycling, Harwood said there would be other entertainment for the whole family at the race venue.
“The new race village was established to accommodate The Boardwalk’s renovations and will create a fantastic spectator vibe right at the start/finish line.”
With the R1-billion expansion project now at the halfway mark, The Boardwalk general manager Clifford Ngakane said the complex would continue to be the home of The Herald VW Cycle Tour.
“The Boardwalk has been a proud sponsor since 2007 and we have every intention of supporting this event, which has been a great success for our city. Once our development is complete, visitors can expect even more exciting entertainment and leisure offerings.”
Himself a cycling enthusiast, Ngakane said he would be competing in the 40km Challenge. “The expansion has unfortunately kept me extremely busy, so my training has had to take a back seat.”
Ngakane said restaurants like Dulcé Café, Wimpy, Leonardo’s, El Greco, News Café, Squires and Yi Pin would be offering specials throughout the weekend. The News Café stage will feature a line-up of local entertainers.
The Addo Polo Club will cater for hungry mountain bikers, who can also enjoy a post-race recovery drink in the beer tent. The Coca-Cola Waya Waya truck will provide musical entertainment, with a jumping castle for the kids.
To combat the heat out on the course, various sponsored water points – including one with a splash pool – will provide respite, while riders can make use of the PE Windscreens spray tunnel at the finish.
Harwood said there would be plenty of shade available in the tent and under various gazebos and umbrellas.
Although the deadline for entries has passed, she said latecomers would be accepted at registration at an additional penalty fee.
Harwood said the penalty was R90 for the 105km Classic and 80km Extreme and R60 for the 70km Pursuit and 60km Adventure. There is no additional charge for the family and children’s events.
She reminded cyclists to produce their identity documents and CSA licence cards at registration. “Otherwise, you will be required to take out a day licence costing R35.”
Harwood also urged riders to check that they had entered in the correct category in order to be eligible for prizes.
According to her, the race’s official bike and technical support partner Cyclo Pro-GT would have a workshop trailer at both the road and mountain bike events for last-minute service needs. “RaceTec will also be onsite to test timing chips and sell new ones.”
Details of the rolling road closures are available on www.heraldcycletour.co.za. These will also be advertised on lamp-pole posters and in tomorrow’s (Wednesday) The Herald.
For more updates, follow In_the_Bunch on Twitter and The Herald Cycle Tour on Facebook.
The Boardwalk general manager Clifford Ngakane looks forward to welcoming participants in The Herald VW Cycle Tour to the home of cycling this weekend. Photo: Judy de Vega/The Herald
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