The Takealot Tour of Good Hope will unveil a new team format when South Africa’s premier road cycle tour takes place in the Western Cape next year.
The five-stage, 490km tour in the Cape Winelands from March 4 to 8 will see a number of changes as race organisers ASG Events aim to deliver a high-quality experience.
Besides aiming to match other similar international events, the organisers want to provide amateur riders with an opportunity to experience an event of this nature.
“The amateur element remains as important as ever,” ASG Events chief executive Fritz Pienaar said, “and we want to make it a team-orientated event in 2019.
“Solo packages will only be available for the categories of elite, U23 and junior men, as well as the elite women.
“The amateur cyclists for next year must enter as teams in men’s, women’s and mixed categories, which can comprise four to eight riders.”
He added that the time of the fourth rider across the line would count as the time for the men’s and women’s categories.
“Mixed teams can consist of two men and two women, and the second woman over the line will count as the team’s time.”
Another change for the 2019 tour, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, is that the stages will start and finish at the Boland Landbou school just outside Paarl.
“We are aiming to make the logistics much easier next year for the cyclists,” said Pienaar. “This year they started in town and finished at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, so there was an issue getting back to their vehicles.
“Next year the venue is Boland Landbou for the whole week and we believe that will create a much better environment for all competitors.”