If you’re an avid cyclist serious about the sport, then the Bestmed Berge en Dale may be just the race for you. Many of the country’s top cyclists will head down to the West Rand in the first weekend of Feb for the 102km national classic, said to be a dress rehearsal for the national road champs.
This will be the 15th anniversary of the race, expecting to see some 5000 riders taking part.
ASG Events route director, Darren Herbst, said the event was strategically positioned the week before the national champs. “Being placed one week ahead of the nationals gives it extra importance in terms of helping riders to peak at the right time. It also gives us an idea of who is doing well,” he said.
Last year’s Berge en Dale saw a podium lock-out by RoadCover when Gustav Basson won ahead of Clint Hendricks and Bradley Potgieter. Hendricks went on to place third in the elite men’s road race at the nationals.
Berge en Dale is a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The top riders will be heading to nationals in Wellington (7-12 February) straight afterwards and then to the Cycling South Africa-sanctioned Bestmed Tour of Good Hope (6-10 March) in the Cape Winelands, where they will compete in an international field.
Herbst said the route would remain unchanged, as they did not want to “mess with a winning recipe”.
There will also be an expo at the event.
An exciting new addition to the race is the mountain biking component, set to take place the following day. “We’ve had a lot of requests over the years and feel this will broaden the appeal of the weekend,” he said.
“We’re fortunate to be in an area where there are beautiful mountain bike trails, and we’ve joined hands with Hero Adventure Hobby Park in Krugersdorp to make this happen. With areas like the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens to work with, there are amazing trails with many features, so it was a no-brainer.”
There will be two options: a 40km and 15km trail. The former is an intermediate route with undulations and a bit of ‘kick’ to it, while the latter is more for social and family-style riding.
Entries close on 26 January. For more info, visit www.asgevents.co.za.