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  1. In what proved to be more favourable conditions for riding compared to the Time Trial on Saturday and the pace of the front runners was quick with a number of fractures occurring along the route which split the field into a number of smaller bunches. The pressure being applied from the riders was evident but with qualification for the 2014 UCI World Cycling Tour Finals up for grabs everyone was keeping their cards close to their chests and jostling for places in their age groups as opposed to overall positions. "There was a bit of negative riding early on," the 30-34 age category winner Geldenhuys said. "The guys that were specifically racing to qualify held us up a bit but when I managed to get free I felt a lot more comfortable. I have been doing a lot of mountain biking and I could feel that my training there really helped me today and gave me that extra bit of power that I needed. It was great to come all this way and take two wins from two, I'm really happy," he added. Geldenhuys claimed the fastest time of the day when he edged out 16-29 age category winner Adolf Krige by 47 seconds. Krige felt that he produced a great race and with the help of his team mate, Lionel Moolman, he managed to fend off a late attack from local man Kevin Benkenstein. "It was a really hard course but the race was great and I am happy with how it turned out for me," Krige said happily. "Myself and my riding partner made our move on the second lap and then at the sprint I managed to hold out for the win!" Johannesburg resident Bruce Diesel had enough in the tank to hold off a last gasp effort from Alan Henry and Martinus Scheepers to take the title as the men's 45-49 age category winner and add a first place to his second that he won in the Time Trial at the same venue on Saturday. "It was a pretty tough race with two pretty substantial climbs but we got away on the second climb when the group broke up into six riders. The sprint was pretty tough at the end because I was quite tired from yesterday so it was great that I had enough in the tank to win my age category," the 45-49 winner Diesel said. With a trip to Slovenia on the cards Diesel is also hoping that a shot at the MTB World Marathon Championships might also be a possibility. "It could be a really busy year for me next year and if all goes to plan I should get a lot of competitive riding done," he said. In the women's race, Junita Venter produced a dominant display to claim the fastest time when she came home in 03.09.49 which gave her the double after she was the fastest during the Time Trial yesterday. Former World Champion and future mother in law to Chris Froome, Pauline Cound, managed a second today in the combined women's 109km race and was pleased with her performance. "It was a really tough race today and I battled on the climbs but I was happy with how I went," she explained. In the men's 80km race Johan Spies produced the fastest time to take the 60-64 age group one second ahead of Bobby Nefdt. SUMMARY OF RESULTS - MSUNDUZI ROAD CHALLENGE ROAD RACE 109km 16-29 Male 1. Adolf Krige 03.01.49 2. Kevin Benkenstein 03.01.50 3. Lionel Moolman 03.01.55 30-34 Male 1. Francois Geldenhuys 03.01.02 2. Michael Viljoen 03.04.28 3. Martin Hillerman 03.04.31 35-39 Male 1. Trevor Rowe 03.04.21 2. Justin Short 03.13.29 3. Johan du Preez 03.16.39 40-44 Male 1. Austin Steyn 03.03.52 2. Martin van Wyk 03.03.53 3. Tat Brummer 03.03.55 45-49 Male 1. Bruce Diesel 03.03.55 2. Alan Henry 03.03.56 3. Martinus Scheepers 03.03.57 50-54 Male 1. Jackie van Eeden 03.04.55 2. Gary Beneke 03.04.55 3. Paul Kraus 03.04.56 55-59 Male 1. Mark Beneke 03.04.55 2. Peter Coombes 03.06.45 3. Willem van den Berg 03.06.47 Female 1. Junita Venter 03.09.49 2. Pauline Cound 03.32.17 3. Mira Spring 03.42.34 4. Elzaan Mathewson 03.44.03 5. Lauren Snell 03.45.12 80km 60-64 Male 1. Johan Spies 02.24.19 2. Bobby Nefdt 02.24.20 3. Noel Ziady 02.25.04 65-69 Male 1. Peter Allen Haupt 02.36.07 2. Dave Corrin 02.43.31 3. Brian Evans 02.43.32 70-75 Male 1. Jan van den Berg 02.30.10 2. Hal Mclaren 02.41.05 3. Karel Dolak 02.43.32 75+ Male 1. Michael Smith 03.08.17 2. Walter Bradford 03.16.42 3. Arthur Duncan 03.30.43 55+ Female 1. Dionne Birkett 02.56.57 2. Jennifer Rigby 03.29.06 3. Maria Collins 04.04.34 4. Charmaine Clarke 04.05.22 Image credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media
  2. Port Elizabeth resident Francois Geldenhuys produced the fastest overall time on Sunday in the Road Race which coupled with his Time Trial victory on Saturday meant that he completed a pair of victories in his age category on a gloomy day in Noodsberg at the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge. Click here to view the article
  3. Image credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media “There are thousands of registered road riders in this province,” Du Sart said. “All you have to do is go and look on the CSA website and you will see that road cycling in the province is as healthy as ever and with so many good races like the Amashova and the Tour Durban in the province there are always opportunities for guys to ride.” “If you look at all of the major events in the province, and around the country, they offer one thing that riders appreciate and want – a closed road,” Du Sart said. “Safety is a number one issue for all riders and at races like the Msunduzi Road Challenge riders will have this safety so a certain degree.” The logistical impact of closing a road to the public can often prove to be an issue and the Msunduzi Road Challenge has made a conscious effort to make sure that the roads could be closed as well as causing as little interference with the local people as possible. “Closing roads is always difficult and being able to get local role players on board is really important and making sure there is as little impact as possible on the running of the local community.” Another draw card to the province is the South African Championships that will be happening in the province next year and this coupled with the UCI World Cycling Tour final that was held in Pietermaritzburg and Wartburg last year means that the province is seen as a go-to place for a number of prestigious road racing events. “The South African Championships next year offer people the opportunity to come and ride without having to qualify and that should be a draw card for riders due to the fact that it is a national championship and based around Durban. The Msunduzi Road Challenge is another event that doesn’t require qualification and it is open to all types of riders and offers a challenge for everyone that is up for it,” Du Sart mentioned. A lot of riders require an incentive when they plan on riding in an event and the Msunduzi Road Challenge gives riders the opportunity to get an official time and that is something that riders enjoy. It is the really small things that draw riders to races and having the opportunity to get an official time and be able to compare your result with your mates makes it a lot more worth it. Guys are doing a lot of travelling and choosing to race in races all over the country and there is also an opportunity for people to take advantage of some great races in KZN,” explained Du Sart. The 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge takes place on 26 and 27 October 2013, based in Noodsberg outside Pietermaritzburg. To enter please visit www.cyclingsa.com and www.roag.co.za. More information can be found at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za
  4. Road cyclists are turning their attention to the Msunduzi Road Challenge on 26 and 27 October because it lays on full road closure, guaranteeing their safety during the time trial and road races. That’s the opinion of Westville Cycle Club head Kelvin du Sart, who says the sport is alive and well in KwaZulu-Natal but racers are seeking events that assure their safety. Click here to view the article
  5. Image credit: Anthony Grote - Gameplan Media The idea of introducing tandems to the race has added a slight spice to the event and gives the organisers the opportunity to advertise the event as a fun race and not just as a UCI World Cycling Tour Final qualifier, which is something that Mr. Price Sport Cycle Club Chairman of KZN Kelvin du Sart mentions will increase interest in the race. “I think it is great that the organisers have allowed tandems into the race this year,” du Sart said. “They add a lot of character to an event and last year at the SA Champs we had tandems and they do not influence the rest of the event. “Tandems also add to the speed of a race depending on conditions because they can be really quick on a flat course but the only downside is they a bit sluggish on a hilly course. But that is the only downside and if there not many then they won’t influence the race at all,” he explained. The introduction of the tandems is something that could boost the profile of the race and could draw in more riders that would not have considered taking part in the race initially. Although there might not be many in the race, having them there adds to the fun element of the event. “I am not sure how many bikes there will be at the race but tandem riding is really popular throughout the country with huge numbers turning up for the major races like the Argus and the 94.7. “There are a lot of local tandems so we could be surprised by the amount entered and they can only help the race,” added du Sart. The popularity of tandem racing is shown at the major cycle races in the country where there are a number of batches of tandems and the racing is taken very seriously in both the open and the mixed sections. “Open tandems are just men whereas mixed is a man and a woman and it is serious stuff! “At the Argus, for example, the first batch is the top 100 seeded tandems and then there are another couple of batches after that for the next best open, mixed and then the social batch. So tandem riding is taken pretty seriously and is a lot more popular than people think,” du Sart explained. The main draw for tandem bikes, according to Du Sart, is the fact that the 94.7 is after the Msunduzi Road Challenge and getting down to Pietermaritzburg and riding will be the ideal way to prepare for one of the biggest road classics in the country. “Having these bikes will be great for the race and it will also be great for the riders because it will offer them the perfect opportunity to train before the 94.7 as well as for the OFM Classic in Bloemfontein,” he added. Race organiser Alec Lenferna has embraced the idea of having the tandem bikes in the race but the rules are laid down fairly strictly in order to prevent any confusion amongst the riders. The major proviso is the fact that tandems cannot qualify for the UWCT Final and this is strictly a ‘fun ride’ for the tandem bikes. Along with this, there is not going to be an official tandem category which means that there will not be an official tandem result. The 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge takes place on 26 and 27 October 2013, based in Noodsburg outside Pietermaritzburg. More information can be found at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za
  6. The 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge will be introducing tandem bicycles for the first time after the organisers were asked about the possibility of having the two-person bicycles in the race and it has been suggested that tandem riders use this race as an opportunity to prepare for the big road classics coming up around the country in the few weeks after the race. Click here to view the article
  7. The UWCT event serves a dual purpose of offering the road cycling enthusiast a chance to cycle the scenic routes with road closure, as well as provide the seasoned competitor an opportunity to qualify for the once-off UWCT Final in 2014, previously known as the UCI Masters Road World Championships. This year’s event forms part of the 2014 season challenge, and is the only qualifying event in Africa for the 2014 UWCT Final, which will be held in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. The race distances for the various Masters’ age categories have been determined, and Masters’ Image credit: © Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media will once again be racing in the five-year category increments from 30 years of age.The different distance breakdowns per age category are as follows: Men – 109km 16-29 / 30-34 / 35-39 / 40-44 / 45-49 / 50-54 / 55-59 Men – 80km 60-64 / 65-69 / 70-74 / 75+ Women – 109km 16-29 / 30-34 / 35-39 / 40-44 / 45-49 / 50-54 Women – 80km 55-59 / 60-64 / 65-69 / 70-74 / 75+ According to the race organisers, the Msunduzi Road Challenge lap-format routes have been reshaped slightly with the start and finish area just outside of Wartburg to the nearby village of Noodsburg, to assist in alleviating congestion in Wartburg itself, particularly on Sunday. In the recent official press statement, race organiser Alec Lenferna said: “We have tried to create as little negative impact on Wartburg as possible. The people of the town were incredibly supportive but we decided that we needed to have a bare minimum of influence on the town as a whole.” The route has taken another turn as it no longer moves through Wartburg and there is a turn just before the town. Entries for the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge are open, click here to enter.For more information on the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge, please visit their official website
  8. With just under a month to go, road racing cyclists in the non-elite racing categories are preparing for the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge, which is the only leg of the global UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) on the African continent, in and around the Noodsberg / Wartburg area near Pietermaritzburg, on 26 and 27 October. Click here to view the article
  9. Image credit: Dave Macleod “The major pull for riders has got to be the fact that they can qualify for a world cycling final,” said Mclean. “Even if they aren’t going to compete in the final just knowing that you were able to qualify is an achievement in itself,” he mentioned. The decision to take part in the race came when Mclean realised that the trip would be beneficial for him in two ways. “I decided that I am going to race in the Msunduzi Road Challenge this year,” the UWCT silver medallist said. “Well, I am really hoping to qualify for the Finals next year which is the one reason but it also gives me a chance to come down and visit my son at Hilton College.” The race has been given a new route and will bypass Wartburg in order to keep the race away from traffic. The course this year is being used on a lap basis and Mclean believes that this will be beneficial from a spectator point of view as well as keeping the course constant. Image credit: Gameplan Media “The course -- from what I can remember -- is a fair course. It isn’t too hilly or too flat which means that there is something for all the riders.“Lap racing also works out perfectly for the riders and all the riders will be out there in Wartburg from the start. Having the race outside of Pietermaritzburg will also lessen the effects of traffic on the roads. The idea to use the lap format is a lot better from a spectators point of view because they have the chance of seeing riders on a couple of occasions,” added Mclean. It has been a busy year for Mclean after he claimed a bronze medal at the UCI MTB Masters World Championships in his age category and he has been away from riding for a while but is confident that he will be ready to go when the race comes around. “It has been quite a year for me with the World Champs and everything so I decided to take a little bit of time off from riding and will start getting myself together before the race next month,” he mentioned. The competitive streak runs strongly through Mclean and after claiming a silver medal in the 2012 UWCT final Time Trial as well as in the road race, he is planning to get himself in a position where he can qualify to go one better at the 2014 final. He lost out by two seconds in the Time Trial at the UWCT final in Pietermaritzburg last year to American, Cale Reeder and in the road race he was beaten in a sprint for the finish line by Italian rider, Gregoire Balland. “Whenever I get on a bike I want to do well and this race is no different for me. I have entered to do both the time trial and the road race, and want to qualify for both again,” Mclean said. The 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge takes place on 26 and 27 October 2013, based in Noodsburg, outside Pietermaritzburg. More information can be found at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za
  10. The forests and sugarcane plantations around Wartburg will host the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge, which will serve as the African continent's qualifier for the 2014 UWCT Final. Photo: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media The UWCT event serves a dual purpose of offering the road cycling enthusiast a chance to cycle the scenic routes with road closure, as well as provide the seasoned competitor an opportunity to qualify for the once-off UWCT Final in 2014, previously known as the UCI Masters Road World Championships. This year’s event forms part of the 2014 season challenge, and is the only qualifying event in Africa for the 2014 UWCT Final, which will be held in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. The new lap-race format offers something different and will be true to World Championship-style racing as opposed to the previous out-and-back course, and the event offers a road race and a time trial. The time trial course will be the same that was used in the UWCT Final in 2012, a 27km loop with start and finish in Wartburg. This year’s road race will also take place in Wartburg, and offers a 40km loop that was used during the 112km race in the UWCT Final in 2012. This loop has to be done twice for men above 50 and women above 40, and twice plus the 27km TT route for men below 50 and women below 40. Proposed Event Schedule: Friday 25th October 10am - 5pm Rider Registration Saturday 26th October 9am - 1pm Time Trial Competition 10am - 4pm Rider Registration (Road Race) Sunday 27th October 8am - 2pm Road Race Entry Info Online entries open today, Thursday 15 August. Click here to enter. Late entries will be charged a R75.00 surcharge. Entry fees for all distances will be as follows: Time Trial - R 120.00 incl VAT ($ 25.00 or € 20.00) Road Race - R 200.00 incl VAT ($ 35.00 or € 25.00) Click here for detailed information about the Msunduzi Road Challenge, including, route maps and profiles, and general information on Pietermaritzburg as the host city; and keep training to be part of another great Cycling SA event. For general enquiries, please email Alec Lenferna alec@realem.co.za, and for event enquiries please email events@cyclingsa.com.
  11. Entries open today, Thursday 15 August, for the 2013 edition of the Msunduzi Road Challenge), which takes place in Pietermaritzburg and surrounds from 26 to 27 October 2013 and is one of the events on the 2014 UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) calendar. Click here to view the article
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