Pietermaritzburg – South Africa’s top track cyclists have descended upon KwaZulu-Natal’s capital ahead of the SA National Track & Para Cycling Championships which get underway at the recently revamped Alexandra Park track on Thursday 26 April and signal the start of the new CSA KZN All Africa Challenge.

Despite a rich track cycling history the event marks Pietermaritzburg’s first hosting of the champs in over a century with many within the track fraternity hoping it will help bring renewed interest in the sport in the region and kick start the growth of track cycling in KZN.

Having hosted numerous cycling events across the various cycling disciplines in recent years PMB has is now affectionately known as ‘Cycle City’ and organisers are confident that these numerous previous high profile events will see the hosting of the track champs, along with the remainder of the CSA KZN All Africa Challenge, be of the highest level.

Having been somewhat neglected in recent years Alexandra Park’s track facility recently received a complete facelift which now places it in the top three track facilities in the country and provides participants in the province a sound platform upon which to train.

Some of the renovations to have been completed in recent weeks were the building of an inner run-off area on the inside of the track, installation of an inner railing, upgrade of the venue’s lights, building of permanent stands, remarking the track as well as filling and repairing the track surface.

2012DanielGoodallSmile.jpg

Daniel Goodall gets a closer look at some of the recent repairs and developments to the Alexandra Park track ahead of Thursday's commencement of the SA National Track & Para Cycling Championships which form part of the CSA KZN All Africa Challenge.

Dave Macleod/ Gameplan Media

Just days before the commencement of the champs organisers received the unfortunate news that one of the country’s leading track athletes, Bernard Esterhuizen’s, hopes of attending the event had fallen through as he enters his final preparation phase in Europe ahead of this year’s London Olympic Games.

One of the riders who will however benefit from the recent refurbishment of the track will be Tasol GT rider Nolan Hoffmann who recently returned from Melbourne, Australia where he claimed silver in the 15km Scratch event at the World Track Championships.

Hoffmann will be defending his national titles in the Omnium, Scratch, Madison and Points events and heads to Maritzburg full of confidence and enthusiasm after his recent achievement on a global stage.

The Tasol GT rider will however have his work cut out for him over the course of the next few days as he will also attempt to defend his title in at the aQuellé Tour Durban road race on Sunday 29 April as well.

2012NolanHoffman.jpg

Tasol GT rider Nolan Hoffmann will look to successfully defend his titles in the Omnium, Scratch, Madison and Points events at the SA National Track & Para Cycling Championships, which form part of the CSA KZN All Africa Challenge, which get underway at Alexandra Park park track in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday 26 April.

Gameplan Media

The event also doubles as the SA National Para Cycling Championships where some of the country’s top disabled cyclists will look to gain top honours and earn themselves the commendable title of national champion.

Racing gets underway at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg on Thursday 26 April. For a full schedule of events and more information visit www.cyclingsa.com