Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is continuing its drive to become a sporting destination of choice by partnering with the iconic The Herald Cycle Tour in Gqeberha.
This 36th edition, taglined Live to Ride, starts with the mountain bike races at the Addo Polo Club on February 13 followed by the road programme at Pollok Beach on February 19 and 20.
Having showcased the region for more than three decades and believed to be the second oldest cycling event in the country, metro spokeswoman Rebecca Nyangaresi-Gatang’i said it made sense to come on board as title sponsors.
“We have taken a deliberate decision to strategically position ourselves as a sporting destination and this is reflected in our integrated development plan and events policy,” she said.
“On this basis, it made sense for us to enter into a partnership with The Herald to work towards achieving that objective.”
Nyangaresi-Gatang’i felt there would be multiple spin-offs for the city.
“An event of this nature will definitely assist with sports tourism in our region as it has a big following and profiles the city to a broader national audience.
“It also makes a much-needed contribution to local business and provides the metro with the perfect platform to demonstrate its hosting ability, venues in the city and services it provides.
She said the tour also helped to cultivate a culture of cycling in the city and had a major impact on development projects.
“It is the perfect chance for Nelson Mandela Bay residents to participate in a prestigious event on their doorstep.
“We would also like to encourage out-of-town athletes to bring their families and friends to enjoy our city and experience what the region has to offer.”
The Herald Cycle Tour, which traditionally attracts around 3 000 participants across the two disciplines, is positioned as a festival of cycling with options for the whole family.
The 80km Extreme is the feature event on the off-road programme. It is supported by the 60km Adventure, 30km Leisure, 30km Tandem, 5km Kiddies’ Ride and 500m Toddlers’ Dash.
Sunday’s road programme is anchored by the 106km Classic for various racing categories, with the 55km Adventure for age groups and tandems completing the action-packed day.
The 2km Kiddies’ Ride and 500m Toddlers’ Dash is scheduled for the Saturday.
Those with designs on racing the feature events in both disciplines can target the Ultimate Quest title, which aims to identify the top allrounders.
The Herald Cycle Tour, hosted by NMBM, has again drawn support from a wide range of businesses.
Corporates included in the sponsorship family are: Eastern Cape Motors-Ford North End (vehicle sponsors), Radisson Blu Hotel (accommodation), Powerade (hydration), Cadar (print), Relay EMS (medical) and K&W Events and Amusements (infrastructure).
The event also generates funds for the Smile Foundation, Reach for a Dream, The Herald Christmas Cheer Fund and Uthando Youth Cycling Academy.
Entrants can also support the Helmet Heroes initiative, which has been introduced this year.
Aimed at educating and providing protection for those who commute by bicycle, organisers set themselves the target of distributing 100 helmets to people on the race route.
Participants can make a token donation when entering or drop of pre-loved helmets at registration.
Entries for The Herald Cycle Tour, hosted by NMBM, open on Friday (October 1) and close at midnight on February 6.
To enter and for other news and information, go to www.heraldcycletour.co.za.