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

Heyns and De Villiers first home
POWER PAIR: Yolande de Villiers and Gert Heyns celebrate on the podium after winning the women’s and men’s sections at The Herald Continental Cycle Tour 80km MTB race yesterday which started and ended at the Addo Polo Club Picture: EUGENE COETZE

POWER PAIR: Yolande de Villiers and Gert Heyns celebrate on the podium after winning the women’s and men’s sections at The Herald Continental Cycle Tour 80km MTB race yesterday which started and ended at the Addo Polo Club Picture: EUGENE COETZE

GERT Heyns and Yolande de Villiers were a cut above the rest as the pair powered to victory in The Herald Continental Cycle Tour 80km mountain bike race with a field of more than 1200 riders yesterday.

An upbeat Heyns, 24, riding for Team DSV, was just too strong for his competitors, crossing the line in 2 hr 53 min and 10 sec.

He claimed the chequered flag ahead of Durban’s Andrew Hill (2.53:46) and Nicol Carstens (2.53:48) from Worcester.

“I went quite hard in the beginning to try and get away on the single track. The route was really fun, I managed to open up a gap going up through the pass, but towards the end they were chasing me all the way. But, I managed to hold out [for the win],” Heyns said.

Coming off the back of a win at the 99er Road Race in Cape Town last week, Heyns said although the field was strong, he managed to get away fairly easily in the beginning but trying to open up a considerable gap later was tough.

In the women’s section, Oudtshoorn’s De Villiers, 45, riding for Team Silverback Volvo Racing, put up a commanding performance on the course, racing to victory in a time of 3:10:27.

De Villiers finished almost 20 minutes ahead of her nearest competitor, Bay rider Anriette Schoeman, who finished in a time of 3.29:40.

Another PE rider, Siska van der Bijl, was a further three minutes behind in 3.32:12 in third.

De Villiers said: “The guys went off quite early, so I just tried to stick with them, and the ladies field was quite tough with competitors like Anriette and Ciska, but I’m happy I managed to pull through.”

De Villiers and Heyns were named king and queen of the mountain for being the first riders to make their way up the Zuurberg Pass.

Covered in cuts due to some encounters with trees along the route, Schoeman said it was a fantastic race and she hoped to be back next year.

“It was always going to be a tough race. I participated in three races before this one, so the body is a bit tired, but I’m glad about the result.”

Referring to De Villiers, Schoeman said: “She is proper class. She has an excellent CV and lining up against her. I always knew it was going to be tough.”

In the 60km race, Gerrit Rautenbach took first place ahead of Raye Moolman and Matthew Spanjaard in second and third respectively. On the women’s side, Gail Willimott was first home, with Michelle Scowby and Beth Marais claiming the final podium spots.

Continental Tyres South Africa managing director Shaun Uys said they were proud to be associated with an event of this nature.

“Cycling is one of our communication mechanisms, trying to link our Conti car tyres to our Conti bike tyres. We live in Port Elizabeth, so why not support Port Elizabeth events,” Uys said.

The Herald and Weekend Post editor Brett Horner said: “I’m grateful the public continues to support the race, especially after all the mud and rain last year, it’s very encouraging for the event and for cycling in the Bay.”

He also thanked Continental for their support and said attention now shifted to the road race on Sunday.

Amir Chetty

POWER PAIR: Yolande de Villiers and Gert Heyns celebrate on the podium after winning the women’s and men’s sections at The Herald Continental Cycle Tour 80km MTB race yesterday which started and ended at the Addo Polo Club Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

Radisson Photo [19Jan].jpg

As the official accommodation partner to The Herald Continental Cycle Tour, The Radisson Blu Hotel is looking forward to welcoming riders and visitors to Nelson Mandela Bay in celebrating the 33rd edition of this iconic race.

The internationally renowned hotel, which is perfectly situated right across the start and finish line of the race offers an ideal stay for all cyclists and travelling supporters. The Radisson Blu is once again offering preferential accommodation rates to all participants, who will be able to experience the energy and excitement of the weekend festival of cycling, as the hotel becomes a hive of activity with all professional cycling teams and race officials staying at the hotel enjoying exceptional staff hospitality and excellent facilities, which include free unlimited wifi, an in-house fitness centre, a pre/post race massage at their Amani Spa and access to the steam room on a complimentary basis as an added value. The Radisson Blu’s chef will be offering all riders and their families a special carbo-loading buffet at the Tabu restaurant inside the hotel. 

Team Alphabodyworks/Giant manager Hannes van der Walt said staying at the Radisson Blu was one of the best experiences he and his team have had – from the friendly staff to the comfortable rooms, great food and free wifi. 

He said they were looking forward to staying there again because, besides the five-star service, it made the logistics easier to handle as the race starts across the road and manager meetings are in the hotel. 

“We can just basically book in and relax and get ready for our race,” Van der Walt said. 
“It’s by far the most well organised race I have taken part in. We can’t wait to be back.”

“It is a great honour to be associated with one of Port Elizabeth’s most prestigious sporting events, especially being an international brand welcoming travellers from out of town locally and abroad,” Port Elizabeth’s Radisson Blu general manager Yashvir Jithoo said.

“Serving and taking care of guests is our core business. This is achieved by adhering to international standards to ensure that we create memorable moments.

“In true Radisson Blu style, cyclists are also able to download the Radisson One Touch App for any requests they might have prior, or during their stay, to ensure all guests are as comfortable as possible,” Jithoo said. 

Following last year’s event, he said the hotel had received incredibly positive feedback from The Herald Continental Cycle Tour athletes, so the Radisson Blu is really looking forward to welcoming them back, as well as meeting some new faces. 

“Our team is all set and ready to make every moment matter for our guests taking part in this year’s event. 

“We are privileged to be involved in an event of this magnitude again and would like to thank The Herald and Continental South Africa for once again partnering with us,” Jithoo said. 



FOLLOWING a successful Herald Continental Cycle Tour this year, Eastern Cape Motors is looking forward to assisting again as the event’s official vehicle partner.

With Eastern Cape Motors providing transport for The Herald Continental Cycle Tour the organising crew and officials will be driven around in style.

The company will be assisting with the lead and sweep vehicles, and transporting registration and sweep staff, the course co-ordinator, course marking, technical and media crew. They will be driving around in some of Ford’s finest cars, which include Fiestas, the rugged Ranger, Everest, the trendy Tourneau Bus and probably some Figos, too.

As second-time partners, Eastern Cape Motors has a long history of supporting key sporting events in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Port Elizabeth has been Ford Country since 1924, with the first assembly line in Africa opening to produce the famous Model T Ford. 

The Ford Engine Plant opened in Port Elizabeth in 1964 and currently produces engines for 148 countries, globally.

“Both Ford and Eastern Cape Motors are extremely proud of our beautiful city, Port Elizabeth,” ECM Dealer director Stephen Theodosiou said.

“We believe Port Elizabeth is the Jewell of Southern Africa, which has so much to offer, both to its citizens and tourists who visit the Eastern Cape.

“The Herald [Continental] Cycle Tour is a world class event, which is available to all levels of cyclists across South Africa and beyond – from the pros to weekenders, on road to mountain bike and recently, the corporate teams. So being a part of the HCT [Herald Continental Cycle Tour] as vehicle sponsors is not only a privilege, but our teams also have fun in assisting and participating,” he said.

Ford has a fantastic range of really impressive vehicles across all segments of the market.

Vehicles like the hugely successful Ford Ranger and the new Everest are ideally suited to cater for all people with outdoor aspirations. “Eastern Cape Motors is really looking forward to a ‘funtastic’ 2018 Herald Continental Cycle Tour. Come and feel the energy!” Theodosiou said.

The MTB [Mountain Bike] races take place on February 18 at the Addo Polo Club -- the 80km Extreme starting at 6am, and the 60km Adventure at 6.15am.

Riders for the Corporate Team Challenge will need to be at the start line at 7am on February 24 at Pollok Beach.


CALLING all cyclists, it is time to start getting pumped up! The ever-popular Herald Continental Cycle Tour is back on track and ready to hit the road again in February.

For those who prefer the magnificent free flowing trails in Addo, the mountain bike races (80km Extreme, 60km Adventure, 30km Leisure and 500m/5km Powerade Kiddies Ride) will take place on February 18 at the Addo Polo Club.

The competitive corporate teams can settle their score by entering the Corporate Team Challenge (23km road and 15km MTB relay) on February 24. For the little ones, there are the fun 2km and 500m Powerade Kiddies Rides.

The traditional, scenic road races (106km Classic and 55km Pursuit) take place on February 25 at Pollok Beach.

"It is hard to believe that it has been a year since Continental Tyre started its partnership with The Herald, supporting the Herald Continental Cycle Tour" said Shaun Uys, Managing Director of CTSA

"We hope to grow this event even further next year, and have some exciting new plans in store for the cycling community come February 2018. You can also expect to see a challenge to all the local Corporates to join the Corporate Relay Challenge on the 24th Feb - CTSA will be a strong force in the upcoming event" he said

"Not only is The Herald Continental Cycle Tour a great platform to showcase our leading technology in passenger car and bicycle tyres, but is also a way for us to encourage a healthy lifestyle using the example that the cycling community sets". says Uys

"Continental Tyre has been a part of the Port Elizabeth landscape for 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." he concluded.

The event will once again present a family race village for riders and spectators to enjoy, which includes popular food trucks, a beer garden, live entertainment, a Cycle Tour hospitality lounge and a bigger and better kiddies play park.

The event will host South Africa’s top riders and teams in the country, such as Port Elizabeth star Anriette Schoeman, team BCX, which includes defending champion Nolan Hoffman, Team Giant and Bestmed ASG Ladies.

The Herald and Weekend Post editor Brett Horner said: “This year’s event promises to raise the bar even higher after last year’s highly successful races, which saw an enlarged race village, the highest number of professional teams ever to take part and the biggest field across both weekends.

“All our sponsors are back on board and together with our headline partner, Continental Tyre SA, we are planning some unique and exciting launch events as we get closer to race day.

“Our commitment to stage the best cycle race in the country is stronger than ever and all indications at this stage are that the 2018 Cycle Tour will deliver on that promise. Get your entries in early, it’s one you won’t want to miss,” he said.

The sponsors, who are back on board once again for next year, are Continental Tyre SA, Powerade, Eastern Cape Motors, Thule, Scott Sports, Bukani and the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Race packs can be collected at Pollok Beach from 9am until 7pm on February 16, and on February 17 from 9am until 1pm. And then on February 23 from 9am until 7pm and from 9am until 1pm on February 24.

Entries close on the January 28 at midnight. Online entries only. No manual entries will be accepted.