The last time South Africa hosted an international road cycling tour was in 2011. The local riders were outsmarted by Kristian House and his Rapha Condor JLT teammates.

Rapha Condor JLT is one of seven international teams who accepted the invitation to compete in the Mzansi Tour. It will also be the second time round for Team Nippo-De Rosa. They were also in action at the Cell C Tour.

La Pomme Marseille, Velo Club Sovac, Rwanda National Team, Eritrea National Team and the World Cycling Centre Africa are the international cycling teams that will be in action. Rapha Condor JLT still has to finalize their six man team for the Mzansi Tour but it will be a surprise if House is not selected. He is without doubt one of the teams star riders and has become the longest standing member of the team, having been with the Rapha Condor JLT set up since 2008.

After he was born in Kent, House moved to Austin Texas as a child. Riding for the Violet Crown cycling team he discovered his love for cycling. His ambition soon brought him back to Europe to race and he has never looked back since.

House has taken wins at the Lincoln Grand Prix, the Tour de Bretange, the Tour of Japan, the Premier Calendar and overall victory at the Ras in Ireland. His biggest moment though came in 2009, when riding for Rapha Condor JLT , he beat off possibly the strongest field ever assembled to take out the National Road Race Championships in Abergavenny.

It would also be interesting to see whether Ed Clancy will be selected for the Rapha Condor JLT team.

He was undoubtedly one of Great Britain's stars during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, winning his second team pursuit gold, as well as taking a brilliant individual bronze medal in the Omnium. In total, Clancy is a four-time world champion (in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2012) and twice European champion (in 2010 and 2011) in team pursuit; he has also won World (2010) and European (2011) titles at Omnium. On the road, he won the first stage of the 2005 Tour of Berlin.

Due to his focus on the build-up to the London Games, Clancy could rarely ride for Rapha Condor JLT last year but he is now eager to compete in road events.He recently took his first road win of the season with a brilliant victory in the Eddie Soens handicap at Aintree.

Clancy’s dual with Nolan Hoffman (Tasol-GT) in the sprints of the Mzansi Tour could be a highlight especially since Hoffman is South Africa’s top track rider and known for his awesome acceleration in the sprint to the line.

Clancy received a MBE in 2009.

STAGES

Stage one, April 17: 163km. Hazyview to Nelspruit

Stage two, April 18. 184km. Lydenburg to Middelburg

Stage three, April 19: 144km. Witbank to Mamelodi

Stage four, April 20: 163km. Hartebeespoort to Pretoria Union Buildings, via Tom Jenkins Drive.

Stage five April 21: 117km. Monte Casino to Monte Casino

For more information on the Mzansi Tour, visit www.mzansitour.co.za or contact Jenni Green on jenni@echelonevents.co.za

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