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