The 17th annual Lost City Cycle 4 Cansa will once again take to the roads and offroad trails around Sun City on August 16 and 17.
This weekend festival of cycling is all about pedalling for a purpose as proceeds from the event go to the North-West Province branch of the Cancer Association of South Africa, which runs various screening and prevention campaigns in the area.
Since its inception in 1998, the event has raised well over R3 million for the fight against the disease and more than 5 000 participants are expected to do their bit this year.
The festival kicks off with the 115km Powerade Lost City Classic and shorter road races on the Saturday, while the Bestmed Lost City MTB events bring the weekend to a close on the Sunday.
One of the premier seeding events for the Cape Argus Momentum Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, the road Classic follows an undulating course on quiet roads well policed by the local traffic authorities.
As the first Spring classic, the race draws all of the country’s top pro teams and last year it was Argus champion Nolan Hoffman who scooped the laurels for Team Abantu in a thrilling bunch sprint.
Riders truly get a taste of the local Bafokeng culture, as they pass the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, traditional village and the king’s palace.
For those riders just emerging from their winter hibernation, there is a less taxing 66km alternative, with 12km and 1km options for tiny tar riders.
According to Wynand de Villiers, the big news on the mountain bike side is that the 50km feature race will return to the 25km circuit-based route that was first introduced four years ago.
“This means that feature race participants will now complete two circuits of the short course but with some additional technical challenges thrown in on the second loop.”
De Villiers says organisers decided to go back to the loop-based option due to rider demand.
“The general consensus was that this course offered an amazing experience both from a route and scenic point of view.”
Participants traverse large sections of the casino resort’s grounds, including a palm plantation and the world-renowned Gary Player and Lost City golf courses. They also go through the neighbouring Letsatsing Game Reserve.
“The route is absolutely stunning,” says De Villiers. “The game rangers actually keep the elephants and rhinos to one side to allow our riders to pass through the heart of the reserve.”
He says it is not all game viewing and leisurely pedalling however.
“This route delivers a nice sting in the tail, ending with a good technical section on the Sun City motocross track before riders hit the tar for the finish at the Sun City parking lot.”
He says the route change means that the half-distance or single-circuit race is now also suitable for children over the age of 12 who want to enjoy a family ride with their parents.
For the really little ones, the Sparletta 4×4 Kiddies’ Experience offers a tricycle, fun run and walk over 1km with medals to all finishers.
All participants and their families will receive free entrance to Sun City and the Valley of Waves on race day, with special accommodation packages available at the resort.
Registration takes place from 9am to 4pm on the Wednesday before the event at Cycle Lab Centurion, from 9am to 4pm on the Thursday at Cycle Lab Fourways and from 11am to 7.30pm on the Friday at the Sun City Sport Village. Entries for the kiddies’ events will be accepted on race day.
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