This annual event on the national road cycling calendar has witnessed tremendous growth from the first year when 98 young road cyclists took part in the inaugural event. Last year’s edition saw 170 cyclists participate and gauging by the queries being received ahead of this year’s event, the tour seems to be growing in popularity.
Currently the only U16, junior and U23 national tour in South Africa, it provides young cycling talent the opportunity to showcase their stamina in a secure, multi-day event, and attracts the top young guns in cycling.
The likes of Christopher Jennings, Willie Smit and Louis Meintjes, to name a few, are just a small idea of the talent pool that exists in the U23 age category, and junior cyclists such as Ryan Felgate and Heidi Dalton have already secured their entries.
Teams from across our borders who have already entered include the UCI combined team from Africa, as well as teams from Namibia, Ireland and Mozambique, with Holland also expressing interest in the ’Tour.
Title sponsor TRAC N4 has been proactive with regards to the development of cycling over the past two years, and this year they will be donating most of the entry fee to the newly launched Burry Stander Foundation, a foundation created in the memory of the late Burry Stander after he was killed in a collision with a taxi whilst training on the roads. TRAC N4 is in favour of and supports the 1.5m safe cycling initiative.
Trans African Concessions (TRAC) is the national route 4 that stretches from Pretoria in Gauteng to Komatipoort in Mpumalanga, and beyond the South African border to the Mozambican capital of Maputo. The N4 toll route runs over a distance of almost 600km between Gauteng (east of Pretoria) and the Port of Maputo in Mozambique, and operates six toll plazas along the route.
Unfortunately due to road works, Schoemanskloof cannot be used this year, but TRAC N4 are assisting in sourcing alternative new routes, and the four-day tour will showcase the best scenery and landmarks the Mpumalanga region has to offer.
Thursday 21 March: Stage 1
- U/16 boys & girls start at Petena Pancakes in Sabie and finish at TRAC offices (63km)
- Juniors start at White River Spur and finish at TRAC N4 (107km)
- U/23s at TRAC N4, through White River, Sabie and finish at TRAC N4 (142km)
Friday 22 March: Stage 2
- All U/16s and the Juniors start at Petena Pancakes in Sabie, through White River and finish at TRAC offices (78km)
- U/23s at TRAC N4, through Sabie, then White River and finish at TRAC N4 (142km)
Saturday 23 March: Stage 3A
- Time trials, start at Karino (20km from Nelspruit) finish west of N4
Saturday 23 March: Stage 3B
- Criteriums at Mbombela Stadium
Sunday 24 March: Stage 4
- Junior & U/23 men at TRAC N4 in Nelspruit
- U/16s & all girls Kaapmuiden
Entries for the TRAC N4 U16, Junior and U23 Cycle Tour are open, click here to enter.
For any further information, route maps and stage profiles, please visit www.hatoere.co.za.