The 102km Bestmed Berge en Dale road race on the West Rand will give the country’s top riders an ideal chance to fine-tune their preparations for next month’s national road championships.
The 15th edition of the national classic, presented by Optimum Financial Services, takes place on February 4, shortly before the national champs in Wellington from February 7-12.
Soon after the week in Wellington many top riders will be heading to the Cycling South Africa-sanctioned Bestmed Tour of Good Hope (March 6 to 10) in the Cape Winelands.
With Berge en Dale a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, ASG Events route director Darren Herbst said it had always attracted a big field and they were looking forward to hosting about 5 000 riders at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift.
“Being placed one week ahead of the nationals gives it extra importance in terms of helping riders to peak at the right time,” he said.
Last year’s Berge en Dale saw a podium lock-out by RoadCover when Gustav Basson won ahead of Clint Hendricks and Bradley Potgieter. Hendricks followed that with third spot in the elite men’s road race at the nationals.
Herbst said they had a winning recipe in terms of the route, which would remain unchanged.
In addition, the event, which includes a 55km road race, had been extended to cater for a mountain biking component on February 5.
“We have had a lot of requests over the years and feel this will broaden the appeal of the weekend,” he said.
“With areas such as the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens to work with, there are amazing trails with many features, so it was a no-brainer.”
Herbst said there would be 40km and 15km options, with the longer route aimed at intermediate riders, while the second option targeted families and social riders.
Entries close on January 26. For more info, visit www.asgevents.co.za/bergeendale.