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Masters rally call for entries for Msunduzi Road Challenge


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Masters rally call for entries for Msunduzi Road Challenge

Press Release: 12 October 2011

Pietermaritzburg - A group of Masters age group road cyclists are leading a call to rally local riders to qualify for next year’s finals by riding this month’s Msunduzi Road Challenge on 29 and 30 October.


With the race winning the rights to host the 2012 final of the UCI World Cycling Tour, which has replaced the old Masters World Road Championships, local riders have an opportunity to qualify at this year’s inaugural ride and secure a berth in the 2012 world title decider.



Photo: Gameplan Media

Capetonian Terry Burrell, who won a silver medal in the time trial at the Masters World Champs in 2009, is rallying the call for riders in the older age categories to race the Msunduzi Road Challenge on 29 and 30 October.


"So often we get lumped with the 50+ riders, which is tough," says Burrell. "The UCI World Cycling Tour races have separate classes for 60+, 65+ and 70+ which is great, and long overdue recognition."


"This year’s Msunduzi is a gilt-edged chance to qualify for the 2012 finals and I would encourage as many masters age group road riders to take advantage of this fact," he added.


"Judging from what I saw in the Belgium event we have two or three guys who are more than capable of being on the podium in the older age groups. I have no doubt about that at all. So those riders need to secure their qualification for the 2012 final at this year's Msunduzi race," he added.


Burrell urged riders in the older master classes to take part in the event, stressing that it was a mass participation event and not an elite pro team rider race. "Just because it is a UCI event people think it is out of their league. It's not, and I urge riders to be part of the Msunduzi Road Challenge."


Octogenarian Brian Deacon echoed the call, and urged local riders to qualify to strengthen the South African challenge in 2012.


"When I raced the Worlds in St Johann I found myself racing against groups of around ten Italians and Germans," says Deacon. "While it is very much an individual ride they were riding very much as a team and supporting each other."

"Sure there might be a handful of guys in the older age groups, but it is important that there is recognition for these riders in their own class. Just look at the Argus, where there are anywhere between twenty and fifty riders in the 80+ age group," he added.


"This event is such a big deal for the masters age group riders in South Africa," said Jan van den Berg, who has been competing at the annual finals since 1993. "We have always had to travel a long way to be part of the Masters World Champs. South Africa has done well over the years despite this. But now we have it on our doorstep and I hope we take full advantage of this fact."


The Msunduzi Road Challenge takes place in and around Pietermaritzburg on 30 October 2011, preceded by a time trial on Saturday 29 October. More information can be found at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za

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