The state of track cycling in South Africa will come under scrutiny when the SA Grand Prix (UCI Class 2) and National Series take place in Durban from August 7 to 9.
Martin van Wyk, a former national track champion and founder of the VWE Cycling Academy, is keen to see if there has been any progress since the national championships in Port Elizabeth in April.
“This is an ideal chance to assess where we are with track cycling in the country,” Van Wyk said.
Although entries have been affected, Van Wyk is looking forward to the event and is optimistic about the future of track cycling in the country.
“A number of riders were unable to attend because of matric commitments, as well as the event falling on the same weekend as the Clover Tour road cycling event,” he said.
“But there are quite a few juniors who took part in the Worlds who are heading to Durban for the Grand Prix, and it will be great to see how they do here.”
Benedict Moqumo and Sibonelo Mbele from Soweto, who are part of the VWE Academy, will compete in Durban and Van Wyk said they were keen to see an entire South African development team one day compete in the world championships.
He said it was important to host a UCI Class 2 event in the country as it allowed track cyclists to earn points to qualify for World Cup events without having to travel overseas.
“It’s a goal to host even more events such as the African Continental champs, and then, of course, the Commonwealth Games in our own backyard.”
The first two rounds of the SA Track Grand Prix and National Series will take place at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Track. The UCI CL2 classified event has Elite riders hungry for all-important UCI points on offer and a favourable prize purse of more than R60 000 is up for grabs.
Entry for spectators is free.
For more information, visit Durban Grand Prix.