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Criterium racing’s style, fitness requirements, and tactics are very different than what’s required in road racing. They’re shorter, faster, more technical and often a lot more fun.

Stefan Ihlenfeldt, winner of last weekend's second round of the Lights by Linea #HeroChallenge Criterium Series, which was held in the streets of Stellenbosch. Photo: supplied

For the first time this Saturday, Para-cyclists will be able to compete head-to-head with their able-bodied counterparts. Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Commission director, Dr. Mike Burns, said that they would be using the Hero Challenge races as an experiment for the Para-cyclists and would more than likely formalise it to be a regular feature in future criterium-style racing events going forward.

Ernst van Dyk, equally known for his world-class wheelchair racing and Para-cycling prowess, has confirmed his entry, along with other top names such as Stuart McCreadie, Craig Ridgard, Roxy Burns and Yusthin Lintnaar.

22 February 2014: Stellenbosch Aerodrome, Stellenbosch

2 March 2014: Century City, Milnerton

Criterium racing is a fairly new concept to South African road racing. Criterium is a multi-lap race on a closed circuit generally less than 5km in length. These races are extremely fast as the cyclists jockey for position. This form of racing is great for spectators and more accessible for the media.

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Criterium racing is fast paced and is “go” from the gun as the strong rider’s force the pace. Quick acceleration and bike-handling ability are paramount – a successful criterium rider will be able to dive into a tight corner at high speed, leaning the bike over at a gravity-defying angle, then power out of the turn and instantly set up for the next. It is a challenge for all categories of road cycling enthusiasts.

Registration for the event held on 22 February will be at the Stellenbosch Airfield and opens at 12:00pm and will be closed to entrants 30 minutes prior to their category. Timing chips available at the Registration as per the League Timing chip - About2time.

The format for the event on 22 February will be as follows:

Cat 3 – start at 14:00 race for 40 minutes and 1 lap / R50.00 entry fee [Youth (U12, U14, u16)]

Cat 2 – start at 15:00 race for 60 minutes and 1 lap / R150.00 entry fee [Vets, Masters and Women]

Cat 1 – start at 16:15 race for 90 minutes and 1 lap / R150.00 entry fee [Elite Men]

Prizes:

For more information on the prizes available please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook...Lights-by-Linea

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Come and enjoy a day of fun in the sun on the lawns of the Stellenbosch Airfield, while being entertained by top local DJ Adam Spence and live band The Lucent. Witness the most spectator friendly road racing event on the South African road calendar. Top South African and local athletes will race their heart out to become the HERO!

These events are Cycling SA Sanctioned and will operate under the rules of the UCI.

Please note only participants with road bicycles will be able to enter. No mountain bikes.

This series will be followed by a series of long distance one-day races, forming a winter series with another group of criterium events in the spring of 2014.