Cycling’s specialist sprinters will be fine-tuning their skills as they prepare to tackle one of the country’s fastest courses in the East Rand Classic road race on April 28.
Taking place in Kempton Park in Johannesburg, the event, formerly the Emperors Palace Classic, has a new race venue, but this has hardly affected the route.
It will remain a favourite for the speedsters, says Johannesburg cyclist Ryan Harris, who has been second on the podium in the last two years.
“It has always been contested on a flat route, which, of course, makes for a fast race and is very difficult for breakaways to get away,” said Harris.
“I wouldn’t describe it as a boring race, but it’s a fact that no attacks can really get away from the main bunch.”
In a race made for the sprinters, Harris said it generally came down to the final dash for the line.
“You have to make absolutely sure of your positioning going into the final two kilometres or so and it’s all about getting your tactics right with your teammates.
“It’s important to be near the pointy end of the race, rather than getting caught too far back with too many guys around you.
“The team plays a key role in creating favourable conditions for the designated sprinter.”
The East Rand Classic’s feature race will be contested over a distance of 98km, while there is also the option of doing a 48km route. Entries for the event close on Monday.
Besides the road races, it offers two mountain-bike events over 50km and 25km, which will take place on April 27.