In just a few days, thousands of cyclists will take to the stretch of road between Pietermaritzburg and Durban to participate in the iconic Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic. Cycling has grown immensely in South Africa for competitive and social riders and the Amashova is a true reflection of the camaraderie that has grown along with the sport.
Race organiser Annie Batchelder says, “We have three distances, the 106km, the 65km and 35km race, to cater to all riding abilities. Over the past few years we have seen a sense of community build within the race that reflects the wonderful social aspects that come with the sport.”
While there is a set of riders who will be gunning for the win or their personal best, the Tsogo Sun Amashova also attracts the type of rider who is looking for a different sort of challenge.
Grant Oosthuyzen will be the first wheelchair entrant to participate in the race and will be driving a custom-designed wheelchair with nothing but his toe. He will participate in the 35km race in a bid to raise the necessary funds for Boccia, a precision ball sport played by wheelchair bound athletes with severe physical disabilities. He will be supported by his physiotherapist and accompanied by family and volunteers to assist him during the race.
Father and son, Anthony and Ian McFarlane from Pietermaritzburg, have been riding for many years but this year they will be competing in a different way. They will ride the 106km race on a tandem with one of Ian’s sons (four-year-old Jayden or three-year-old Jordan) in a kid’s seat attached to the back. They will be three generations on a bike and all of them are looking forward to spending some quality time together.
Batchelder says, “The Amashova encourages people to spend time together and be active in one of South Africa’s best locations. While we truly value our competitive cyclists we also appreciate the sense of family and fun brought to the race by our social cyclists. The spectators and communities through which our routes run also play an important role in underpinning the event’s social nature. It’ a great day out for everyone!”
Race online entries are closed but it’s not too late to sign up for late entry at registration which takes place on the 19th, 20th and 21st October at the Garden Court Marine Parade during the following times:
Thursday 19th October – 13h00 to 18h00
Friday 20th October – 09h00 to 18h00
Saturday 21st October – 09h00 to 16h00
The route for the 106km, 65km and 35km road races is completely closed to traffic. The 2017 road closure times are as follows: