The Eastern Cape Motor Group’s vehicles are set to fly around the streets of Gqeberha and trails around Addo as it continues a proud legacy of giving The Herald Cycle Tour ‘wheeels’.
North End Sales Manager Dale Cuthbert, the group’s tour coordinator, said the partnership fell in line with the company’s drive to support local events while allowing it to showcase its cars to the perfect target audience.
With its Ford range providing class-leading on and off-road options, he said the vehicles were well suited to the logistical requirements of 37th edition of The Herald Cycle Tour, which is hosted by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality for the second year running.
All in all, the ECMG has pledged 26 vehicles – including the Ranger, Everest and EcoSport – to be used by event organisers and officials for the mountain bike races and road events.
“We will supply the lead vehicle and many support vehicles,” confirmed Cuthbert. “Some well before the event to assist with preparation and logistics and many just prior to and on the day of the events.”
He said their vehicle line-up fits exceptionally well with the adventure and sporting lifestyles of participants.
The Group started its lengthy partnership with the event in 1986 – the very first edition of the race. After a short break, the association was renewed in 2017.
“We are looking to take this well into the future because we appreciate the significance of investing in the region,” said Cuthbert.
“As a largely Eastern Cape-based company, we are very proud and privileged to have the region as our foundation and base.
“It’s important for us to back our colleagues across the board, especially when The Herald Cycle Tour is a world-class event in every respect.”
Exceptional organisation, participants from all walks of life and across a range of ages were elements that made it stand out, according to Cuthbert.
“This premier sporting event showcases our wonderful city and environs so well, it’s always a privilege for us to be involved.”
The mountain bike races – consisting of 80km, 60km, 30km, 5km and 500m options across the age spectrum – take place on February 12 from the Addo Polo Cub.
The road programme at Pollok Beach in Gqeberha follows on February 18 and 19 with the 2km and 500m kids’ events on the Saturday and the 106km and 55km races on the Sunday.
Those who compete in the feature races across both disciplines will qualify for the Ultimate Quest competition.
At the heart of the iconic event is its association with various charitable initiatives such as the Smile Foundation, Reach for a Dream, The Herald Christmas Cheer Fund and Uthando Youth Cycling Academy.
Last year, the organisers also introduced the Helmet Heroes initiative aimed at safer cycling for commuters who live on the race route. The aim is to distribute 100 helmets after the 2023 event.
Entries close at midnight on February 5. Enter or find more info at www.heraldcycletour.co.za.