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Drama at Tour of South Africa

Drama at Tour of South Africa

“The suspension of the second stage of The Cell C Tour of SA has been a disappointment to the organisers, sponsors, participating teams and of course the public”, stated Cycling South Africa’s statement after the second stage was suspended on Sunday.
The organising committee took full responsibility for the unfortunate incidents leading to the suspension of racing today and apologised at a media conference in Sandton for what had happened.

“The race started off well, leaving Montecasino in the north of Johannesburg towards Dobsonville and Meadowland. Attacks were fast and furious and all the ingredients for a superb day of racing were there. It was however in the region of Rosebank, after approximately an hour and 30 minutes of the race, where the first traffic incident occurred where motorists were forcing themselves on to the route at the risk of riders, marshals and spectators. By the time the riders reached Rivonia Road and after two further similar incidents, the race had to be suspended for the safety of everyone concerned. We are not happy with the outcome, but we will not lay blame anywhere. We apologise unreservedly on behalf of Cycling South Africa and remain committed to ensuring the remaining stages are as successful as Stage 1” said Barry Mocke, CEO Cycling South Africa.

Summary of stages:

Stage 1
Saturday 19 February: 167km – Menlyn to Montecasino – The first race day will start in Menlyn, passing the Union Buildings before heading north and turning west behind the Magaliesberg ridges west of Pretoria. The race travels west through the tunnel at Hartebeespoort Dam to the Cradle of Humankind passing Maropeng before heading to the Fourways area for the finish on Witkoppen.

Stage 2
Sunday 20 February: 156km – Montecasino to Montecasino – a circuit route incorporating Soweto, Soccer City, Sandton and the Johannesburg CBD.

Stage 3
Tuesday 22 February: 173km – Nelson Mandela Bay to Summer Strand– Starting at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, stage 3 heads towards the Addo Elephant National Park where one is sure to catch a few glimpses of wildlife (it is home to the Big Seven). From there the race returns to Port Elizabeth, where the route takes an interesting turn, with a city circuit, before finishing in Summer Strand on the beach front.

Stage 4
Wednesday 23 February: 153km – Bloukrans Bridge to George – Stage 4 starts on the famous Bloukrans Bridge where many bungi jump enthusiasts are sure to be found. We head from there to Natures Valley and out on the climb towards the N2. Then on to Plettenberg Bay where we include a local loop before another climb out and back on the N2 passing through Knysna. At Wilderness the race leaves the N2 and heads over 3 passes of narrow twisty roads before finishing in George.

Stage 5
Thursday 24 February: 175km – Oudtshoorn to Barrydale – The stage starts in Oudtshoorn and heads on to the famous Route 62 passing Calitzdorp and Ladismith with the finish in, Barrydale. .

Stage 6
Friday 25 February: 140km – Hermanus to Helshoogte pass- The penultimate stage starts in Hermanus and winds its way through Gordens Bay over Sir Lowry’s Pass into Grabouw, to Threewaterskloof Dam and up Franschhoek pass. A speedy descent follows. After passing through Franschhoek the race will head over Helshoogte Pass. Temporary road closure will apply as the race moves towards Helshoogte. Old helshoogte pass will be closed to traffic from 08h00-14h30.

Stage 7
Saturday 26 February: 100km – Paarl to Paarl – Cycling through South Africa’s 3rd oldest town, cyclists will enjoy scenic views and historic buildings. A 10km circuit stage which will pass through the main streets of Paarl and Klein-Drakenstein finishing in Market Street. Market Street in Paarl, as well as Berg River Boulevard direction Paarl, will be closed from 06:00 – 14:30 for the final stage of the Tour of South Africa.

Television coverage is as follows:
Saturday 19th February – Stage 1: Menlyn Park Shopping Centre to Montecasino
Live SS5 from 11:00-16:30 / Highlights SS5 From 21:00-21:30

Sunday 20th February – Stage 2: Montecasino to Montecasino
Live SS5 from 11:00-16:30 / Highlights SS5 From 21:00-21:30
Viewing will also take place at Montecasino Piazza big screen on both days

Monday 21st February – Rest Day
No coverage

Tuesday 22nd February – Stage 3: Nelson Mandela Bay to Summer Strand
Highlights SS2 from 21:00 – 22:00

Wednesday 23nd February – Stage 4: Bloukrans Bridge to George
Highlights SS2 from 21:00 – 22:00

Thursday 24th February – Stage 5: Oudtshoorn to Barrydale
Highlights SS2 from 21:00 – 22:00

Friday 25th February – Stage 6: Hermanus to Stellenbosch
Highlights SS2 from 21:00 – 22:00

Saturday 26th February – Stage 7: Paarl to Paarl
Live SS5 from 11:00-16:30 / Highlights SS5 from 21:00 – 22:00

For more information, see www.tourofsa.co.za