Organisers of the joberg2c, scheduled to start towards the end of next month, have announced that the event will no longer go ahead due to restrictions imposed by the government on Sunday to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster and has banned public gatherings of more than 100 people until after the Easter weekend (April 14).
Starting 85km south of Johannesburg, the nine-day 900km mountain bike adventure was set to take place from April 24 to May 2.
Riders cross four provinces, pass through 220 private farms with more than 280km of single-track trails and finish at Pennington on the KwaZulu Natal south coast. Unfortunately, this great annual adventure has been cancelled in the interests of public health and safety.
“As we have seen in recent weeks and indeed over the past few days, events and sporting organisations need to make tough decisions to ensure that we play our part in containing the spread of the virus,” said joberg2c organiser Craig Wapnick.
“This is a tough time for everyone, but we are guided by President Ramaphosa’s national address on Sunday night.
“By placing a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people the president has essentially helped us towards our conclusion that joberg2c 2020 can’t go ahead as currently scheduled.”
Wapnick said they were “devastated” at having to cancel the event, but had to take into account the health and safety of the riders, sponsors and community members.
“We are a community-based event, meaning we work closely with local communities and pride ourselves on taking riders on a journey through communities they would otherwise never be exposed to.
“This has been a heartbreaking decision to make because so many people along the joberg2c route spend up to a year preparing for our arrival.
“The schools and groups along the joberg2c route use their participation in our event as their major fundraiser for the year, so they will be hardest hit by the cancellation.
“As an event that truly loves South Africa and that truly loves showing off South Africa to local and foreign riders, we are devastated to make this announcement.
“Our event shows off the very best of South Africa and in this tough time we know that the very best qualities of South Africans will shine through.
“Stay safe, remember the president’s good hygiene advice and we hope to see many past, present and future joberg2c riders soon.”