Organisers of the Lorraine Cycle Tour will treat riders, spectators and other visitors to a true family festival when the 20th edition gets under way from the primary school in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, October 12.
Although the Africa Cup, which was initially scheduled to take in the same period, has been cancelled, race director Alex Cooper said it would have “absolutely no bearing on our tour”.
“It is one of the longest-running events in the city and definitely on and we are looking forward to another bumper edition,” he said of the road race, which is sponsored by Africa Bank, Mecer and Strada.
Rohan du Plooy, who rode for Alfa Bodyworks-Giant, and local cycling icon Anriette Schoeman (Africa Silks-Bestmed) took men’s and women’s honours respectively in last year’s feature races and Cooper said they were expecting another fiercely contested race.
“The Giant team from Cape Town have again entered and they are always a strong outfit,” he said.
He added that they would also have top riders from Southern Cape and Nelson Mandela Bay lining up.
With 18 titles to her name, Schoeman has made the event her own over the years and Cooper said she was a great ambassador for the race and local cycling.
Special edition medal
“One of the big incentives to make the podium this year is a once-off special edition medal we have created to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Lorraine Primary,” said Cooper.
“This is a really beautiful medal. It is bigger than the normal ones and will go to those who finish on the podium.”
While the focus will be on the cycling events, Cooper said they had planned a festival around the races at the venue, catering for spectators and children.
“There will be plenty of exciting activities such as face-painting, jumping castles and train and tractor rides,” he said.
“There will also be a strictly controlled kids’ zone where parents can leave their children in the care of teachers while they take part in the cycling events.”
There will be food and refreshment stalls, live entertainment and the Rugby World Cup will be shown on a big screen TV.
The feature race, over 80km, starts and finishes in Dijon Road at the back of Lorraine Primary School.
However, with 50km and 30km options on the menu, the event caters for riders of all levels.
Online entries close at midnight on Monday, October 7, and registration is at Lorraine Primary on Friday from 4pm to 7pm.
Late entries will only be accepted at registration.
The 80km race starts at 7am, the 50km at 7.15am and the 30km at 7.30am.
There will also be a fun walk, which is expected to attract around 500 people.
Go to: www.lorrainecycletour.co.za
This content is sponsored by Lorraine Cycle Tour.