Take up team cycling challenge
 Showcasing a competitive edge at this year’s Team Relay Challenge were Continental Tyre SA team riders from left Anton Verwey; Ian Langlands; Austin Brett; Trevor Gascoyne; Clint Henderson. Continental Tyre SA look forward battling it out at the 3rd edition of the Team Relay race next year.

Showcasing a competitive edge at this year’s Team Relay Challenge were Continental Tyre SA team riders from left Anton Verwey; Ian Langlands; Austin Brett; Trevor Gascoyne; Clint Henderson. Continental Tyre SA look forward battling it out at the 3rd edition of the Team Relay race next year.

GRAB a team mate and register now for the 2019 The Herald Continental Cycle Tour Team Relay Challenge. 

The popular cycling event offers beginners and expert cyclists the opportunity to challenge themselves, their friends, family or workmates, to compete in the 2-leg scenic race along Nelson Mandela Bay’s beachfront.  

Registration has opened for the third annual Team Relay Challenge, which will take place on Saturday, 23 February, from Pollok Beach, Summerstrand. The Team Relay Challenge involves a 23km road race along Marine Drive and a 15km mountain bike relay through Nelson Mandela University’s Nature Reserve. 

The participating teams will comprise of two riders – one competing in the mountain bike race and another in the road race. All riders can look forward to a fun-filled day of camaraderie and friendly rivalry between friends and colleagues. 

The Herald Chief Marketing Officer Justin Peel said teams of all ages and fitness levels are invited to enter the Team Relay Challenge, to enjoy a cycling event that is purely focused on having a good time on the bicycle.  

“The phenomenal atmosphere created is something to experience first-hand, the on-route camaraderie and fun is unique to this event. So, whether you’re entering to be competitive or to simply soak up the fun atmosphere, there’s something for every rider,” said Peel. 

The defending 2018 Corporate Challenge winners, Steven Shirley and Ronnie Scheffer from Coimbra Cycles, will once again enter in the 2019 event. 

“This is a great event because the distances are short. You race flat-out from the get-go, over a relatively short period of time. The race is as hard as you make it. It really is great to work and compete as a team,” said Shirley.  

A portion of the proceeds generated from the Team Relay Challenge will be allocated towards one of The Herald Continental Cycle Tour’s beneficiaries. 

And in what has become a The Herald tradition, the company will also be entering a few teams in the Corporate category.  

“The inter-departmental challenges have already begun with everyone looking forward to a fun day with colleagues and their families,” said Peel. 

The race village at Pollok Beach will offer great entertainment for children and adults alike with a dedicated Kiddies Play Park, live entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden and coffee bar. 

Cash prizes are up for grabs for the top 3 Team Relay finishers which includes R5000 for first position, R3000 for second position and R1000 for third position. 

Riders can save 25% on their entries if they sign up for the early bird tickets, which have opened and will run until 30 November 2018. 

For more information and to register visit www.heraldcycletour.co.za

Berna Walters
It's pedal to the metal for The Herald Continental Cycle Tour
 PARK & RIDE: Cyclists can once again look forward to first-class rider and spectator experience at next year’s Herald Continental MTB race, to be hosed at the Addo Polo Club.

PARK & RIDE: Cyclists can once again look forward to first-class rider and spectator experience at next year’s Herald Continental MTB race, to be hosed at the Addo Polo Club.

The Eastern Cape’s most anticipated mountain bike race is once again around the corner, riders of all abilities can expect a fun-filled day at The Herald Continental Cycle Tour mountain bike race taking place on February 17, 2019 at the Addo Polo Club, says race director Brad Jackson. 

Besides enjoying the well-maintained purpose-built trails, riders will also be exposed to some of the most breath-taking scenery the region has to offer.  

The purpose-built mountain bike routes wind their way through the picturesque  Karoo bushveld and ensure that riders get to experience some of South Africa’s finest single track trails topped off with stunning views over the vast Addo region. 

“The routes once again incorporate some of the famous Hayterdale single track trails for the 60 km Adventure and the 80km Extreme races,” Jackson said. 

“The 30km route remains unchanged from previous years taking in the area around the Sundays River Valley through the vast citrus orchards the area is well known for”. 

“The 80km is designed to be a challenging ride with technical single track and plenty of climbing.”  

“The 60km Adventure ride is the perfect balance between challenging and fun with a mixture of open gravel roads, single track and moderate climbing the 30km Leisure ride is an easy one which is purpose built for families and friends wanting to enjoy a morning out on the bike”  

There are plenty of water points on all the routes fully-stocked and equipped to keep riders hydrated and fuelled,” he said. “Once again riders can expect a festive atmosphere at the various water points”.  

The race director also suggested that riders of all distances take a little time to check that their mountain bikes are in top condition before race day. 

“For all riders it’s important to make sure that your bike is ready for the race. Get your bikes serviced and ready for the race. You don’t want to arrive unprepared. 

Riders must collect their race packs on Friday, February 15 between 9am-7pm and also on Saturday, February 16 between 9am-1pm at Pollok Beach and on Sunday. 

The Race Village will be fully loaded with plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained before, during and after the race. 

The mountain bike race village will offer true farmers hospitality from the Addo community with a traditional farmers market, food prepared by the locals, tractor rides for children and horse rides.

 If you plan to spend the night, various camping options are available for riders and spectators. 

Riders are permitted to erect their own tent within the dedicated area at the Addo Polo Club at R100 per adult and R50 per child under 12-years per night. 

Luxury tents are also available from R450 per tent, with two beds and mattresses included, for an extra R150 linen will be included with the offering. 

For those wanting to save 25% on their entry fees, Early bird entries are available until November 30, 2018. 

Visit The Herald Continental Cycle Tour website for additional camping and race information: www.heraldcycletour.co.za  

Berna Walters
Safety first in cycle tour
 Route checks are under way for the 2019 Herald Continental Cycle Tour. Race directors Brad Jackson and Julie Briggs ensure all roads are inspected and in good condition.

Route checks are under way for the 2019 Herald Continental Cycle Tour. Race directors Brad Jackson and Julie Briggs ensure all roads are inspected and in good condition.

In its 34th year of existence, The Herald Continental Cycle Tour is still one of the few races in SA that offers road closures on race days, on Saturday and Sunday February 23-24 2019.

“Road safety is and always has been our number one priority,” road race director Julie Briggs said.

“Detailed meetings take place months before the time with all parties, including the traffic department, our medical team, our safety officer, marshals and our road closure team.”

“Our JOC (joint operation centre) is a central team of experts that manages all safety and security aspects on race day,” she said.

“On the day we have over 80 traffic officials on duty, as well as 105 marshals along the route.”

Once again The Herald Continental Cycle Tour is expected to attract entries from all over the country as riders compete for the prestigious mountain and road bike titles.

The traditional, scenic road races (106km Coastal Classic and 55km Pursuit) take place on February 24, starting at Pollok Beach.

And for those adrenaline junkies who prefer the freeflowing trails in Addo, the mountain bike races (80km Extreme, 60km Adventure, 30km Leisure) will take place from the Addo Polo Club on Sunday February 17.

The Team Relay Challenge (23km road and 15km MTB relay) and the 500m/2km Junior race will be contested on Saturday February 23 at Pollok Beach.

“The Herald Continental Cycle Tour is a race very close to my heart as my father was one of the founders 34 years ago,” Briggs said. “It’s great to see so many out-of-town riders come down to support this race, an area which we hope to see grow each year.” Riders and spectators can enjoy themselves inside the vibey race village at Pollok Beach for the Relay Challenge and road race.

The village will again showcase the ever-popular Cycle Tour Lounge, which includes VIP parking, lunch and refreshments, a dedicated bar and comfortable seating. Other race village attractions include kiddies activation zones with jumping castles, face painting and balloon art, popular food trucks, a beer garden and live entertainment. Race pack collection will take place from the Pollok Beach grass area. Visit The Herald Cycle Tour website at www.heraldcycletour.co.za for collection dates and times. Early bird tickets will be available until November 30 where riders can save 25% on their entries.

Last year’s race was won by Clint Hendricks in the men’s race and in the women’s section it was Maroesjka Matthee who grabbed the title. This year, fans can expect to watch the likes of Reynard Butler and James Fourie of Team Pro Touch, Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill of Team Galileo-Risk, Team 13 (previously known as Leadout Aspire), Absolute Motion, and Port Elizabeth superstar Anriette Schoeman.

BY VUYOKAZI NKANJENI

Time to get wheels rolling on entries for Cycle Tour
 Gearing up are Continental’s head of marketing and sales Southern Africa Ian Langlands and The Herald editor Nwabisa Makunga.  Image: Eugene Coetzee

Gearing up are Continental’s head of marketing and sales Southern Africa Ian Langlands and The Herald editor Nwabisa Makunga. 
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Entries have opened for the popular Herald Continental Cycle Tour and the 2019 edition is once again expected to attract some of the country’s leading cyclists.

The race has featured some big names in recent years and this time around will prove no different with the likes of Reynard Butler and James Fourie of Team Pro Touch, Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill of Team Galileo-Risk, Team 13 (previously known as Leadout Aspire) Absolute Motion, and Port Elizabeth superstar  Anriette Schoeman expected to be in the starting line-up.  

But the event is not only for the elite riders but also caters for thousands of casual and aspiring cyclists. 

The 106km Coastal Classic and 55km Pursuit on February 24 will take cyclists from Pollok Beach along some of the most scenic routes the metro has to offer. 

For those adrenalin junkies out there  who prefer the challenging trails in Addo, the mountain bike races (80km Extreme, 60km Adventure, 30km Leisure) will be hosted from the Addo Polo Club on Sunday, February 17. 

The event also features the Corporate Relay Challenge  (23km road and 15km MTB relay) and the 500m/2km Junior race   on Saturday, February 23 at Pollok Beach. 

“Over the last two years we have seen up close and in the field the passion and joy of participants in the Herald Continental Cycle Tour,”

Continental Tyre SA  managing director Shaun Uys said. 

“While the enjoyment of cycling can be a personal thing in the way you challenge yourself, it is also an opportunity to make new friends. The camaraderie and good-natured competitiveness will once more be seen in the corporate relay as we aim to put forth a few Continental teams for the challenge. 

“The event traverses some of the most breath taking coastline scenery on offer in our bay. As the racers glide along our roads they can’t help but experience a timeless freedom.  We wish them a safe and memorable ride”.

“Taking new and different roads and getting to see different aspects of a place need not only be done from the seat of a car, but can be equally fully experienced form the saddle of a bicycle,” Uys said.  

“At Continental we understand this synergy well as we produce top leading tyres for both the passenger car and bicycle market.  

“The Herald Continental Cycle tour is therefore a great opportunity to put the engineering in these cycling products to the test.  

“Continental  Tyre has been a part of the Port Elizabeth landscape for over 70 years and we are proud to be associated with an iconic event  that promotes not only the sport, but the beauty of our bay, Uys added. 

The additional sponsors on board again for next year’s event   East Cape Motors (Ford), Powerade,  Radisson Blu Hotel and Bukani Print. 

The Herald editor Nwabisa Makunga echoed Uys’ sentiments.

“We are confident this year’s races over both weekends will be even more successful than previous editions of the event. 

“We have the same sponsors on board   and together with our headline partner, Continental Tyre SA, we are planning some exciting additions. 

“We are still very much committed to staging the most well-organised race in the country and we believe  competitors will enjoy a great experience on both race days,” Makunga said. 

Early bird tickets are available  until  November 30 where  riders can save 25% on their entry fees. 

Event, entry information and registration is available on www.heraldcycletour.co.za.  The official closing  of entries is at midnight on Sunday, January 27.

Berna Walters
Hendricks bags title
 WOMAN POWER: The Herald Continental Cycle Tour women’s winner Maroesjka Matthee, of Cape Town, salutes the crowd as she crosses the finish line ahead of Port Elizabeth’s racing queen Anriette Schoeman close behind Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

WOMAN POWER: The Herald Continental Cycle Tour women’s winner Maroesjka Matthee, of Cape Town, salutes the crowd as she crosses the finish line ahead of Port Elizabeth’s racing queen Anriette Schoeman close behind Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

TEAM BCX riders Clint Hendricks and Steven van Heerden were a cut above the rest as the pair claimed a one-two finish in the 106km classic at The Herald Continental Cycle Tour yesterday. In the women’s section, Cape Town Team Ciovita rider Maroesjka Matthee won the 106km title ahead of last year’s winner and Bay cycling ace, Anriette Schoeman, of Team Africa Silks Bestmed.

Another Port Elizabeth racer, Kelsey van Schoor, of African Pride, claimed third place.

Hendricks and Van Heerden, of Johannesburg, had big smiles as they crossed the line almost side by side to loud cheers from the crowd.

Hendricks led the way across the line in a time of two hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds, while Van Heerden stopped the clock at of 2:35.59sec.

Greg de Vink, of Team Mad Macs, rounded out the podium places in 2:36.00.

Hendricks, 26, was elated to pick up his first Herald Cycle Tour victory on a warm Sunday morning.

“The team rode brilliantly today, we had about four or five riders in the lead group,” he said after the race.

“Steven attacked after Maitlands and we opened a big gap.

“We had a few attacks and managed to work well together in the last 40km.

“Steve said I should take the win, even though I asked him a number of times if he was sure, because I would have liked him to win as well,” Hendricks said.

“He works tirelessly every day, and it just shows how unselfish he is. So, it’s just nice to reward the team with the win.”

Hendricks bettered his result of last year, where he finished second behind Nolan Hoffman, also from Team BCX.

Van Heerden said it was a tough race, but hailed the performance of all his teammates for their help in bringing home the title.

Asked why he had decided to give Hendricks the win, he said: “That’s camaraderie. We are friends.

“We ride together. He’s a sprinter, so that is his job,” Van Heerden said.

“My ride was just a training race for the Commonwealth Games later this year.”

Matthee, 29, claimed the women’s win in a nailbiting final few metres, to pip Schoeman to the post.

Matthee finished in a time of 3:12.51 ahead of Schoeman, who clocked in 3:12.52.

Van Schoor’s third place was in a time of 3:12.53

Matthee said despite the tough field, she knew she would need to stay in touch with the lead group – and in particular Schoeman – if there was any chance of her gaining a decent result.

“I always enjoy racing in Port Elizabeth,” she said.

“Anriette attacked non-stop but I managed to stick to her until the Maitlands climb.”

Matthee caught up with Schoeman about 5km after the ascent – and said it was then a drag race to the line.

“I was a bit nervous as I didn’t want to be boxed in, but I knew Anriette’s was the best wheel to stick to,” she said.

Schoeman said: “Conditions were quite tough and I didn’t feel great, so I just tried my best on the climbs.

“I was coming down with a bit of a tummy bug so, considering how I was feeling, I’m happy with the result.”

Schoeman said Matthee’s teammates made it difficult for her to pull away.

The king and queen of the mountain titles went to David Maree and Schoeman respectively.

In the 55km pursuit race, Imveli Cycling club’s Archie Zakhe, 15, took the honours in 1:38.05secs, ahead of second placed Reinhard Strumpfer (1:38.09) and Benjamin Brown in third (1:40.25).

On the women’s side, Team Bestmed’s Ashleigh Mayhead, 16, The Herald Continental Cycle Tour MTB winner a week ago, crossed in 1:44.18.

Mayhead finished a second ahead of Gemma Meaton (1:45.08) as Mischka Strydom came in two seconds later (1:47.59).

Top Five results:

Men 106km: Clint Hendricks (2:35.58secs), Steven Van Heerden (2:35.59), Greg de Vink (2:36.00); Brandon Downes (2:37.11); Nolan Hoffman (2.37:12)

Women’s 106km: Maroesjka Matthee (3:12.51); Anriette Schoeman (3:12:52); Kelsey van Schoor (3:12.53); Elne Owen (3.12.54); Liezel Jordaan (3:12.54).

Amir Chetty chettyam@tisoblackstar.co.za

Crowds turn out to cheer on competitors
 TIME TO CELEBRATE: Enjoying the moment is The Herald Continental Cycle Tour winner Clint Hendricks, centre, with Steven van Heerden, right, who finished second, and Greg de Vink, who came third Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

TIME TO CELEBRATE: Enjoying the moment is The Herald Continental Cycle Tour winner Clint Hendricks, centre, with Steven van Heerden, right, who finished second, and Greg de Vink, who came third Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

HUNDREDS of cycling fans filled the seats at the Race Village as The Herald Continental Cycle Tour rolled through Nelson Mandela Bay at the weekend.

Under sunny skies, spectators helped push their favourite riders to the finish as they lined the streets off Marine Drive.

The Cycle Tour Race Village had everything from jumping castles to a beer tent, food trucks, live music and some displays by SA trial mountain biker Dylan Victor to keep fans entertained.

Now in its 33rd year, one of the Eastern Cape’s iconic road races saw more than 1000 riders take to the course for both races. Team BCX showed their class by bagging three of the top five finishing spots.

Women’s 106km winner Maroesjka Matthee said racing in the Bay was always enjoyable and the crowd was always there to motivate racers.

“It’s amazing – wherever you went, every left and right turn, there were so many people out on the course cheering us on.

“The crowd really comes together as a community and it’s great for us as racers,” she said.

Friends Helder Silva and Armin Brandle, who participated in the veterans’ category, said they had enjoyed the day out on the course.

Both men used the race as part of their training for the Ironman Africa Championship in April.

The Herald and Weekend Post editor Brett Horner commended the organisers for another successful race.

“We are not trying to be the biggest race in the country and we know the race calendar is getting quite choc-a- block.

“So we try to create a unique experience – our Race Village is central to that both here and in Addo for the mountain bike leg.”

Horner said it was a family race with a lot of Bay riders participating. “The numbers looked pretty good again this year and we would like to keep them ticking up.”

He also thanked sponsors Continental South Africa for their continued support in making the race a success again this year.

Sales and marketing director Ian Langlands, who was also part of the race, said the partnership with The Herald Cycle Tour was now in the second of a three-year partnership and had been fantastic so far.

“Conti has been involved in cycling all around the world, like the Tour de France and the cycle tour here in the Eastern Cape – it’s been a really awesome experience,” he said.

Amir Chetty chettyam@tisoblackstar.co.za