aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers Media Release

 No: td1709

21 April 2017

   Embargo: None

Written by: Tim Whitfield


Cyclocross gives riders a chance to mix it up


Durban – With elements of both a mountain bike as well as road cycling race to contend with, riders of the 55km cyclocross at 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge Fund Managers, are in for a treat on Sunday, 30 April.

For the purists, the 55km race on April 30, that starts and finishes at Moses Mabhida Stadium, is maybe not a genuine cyclocross event, but the KZN cycling public have taken to the unique nature of the combination ride.

The cyclocross race combines the best of mountain biking and road cycling and gives riders an interesting mix of tar and dirt as the route is similar to the aQuelle Tour Durban’s 45km road race but also includes three 5km offroad sections. The mountain bike sections take riders through the picturesque sugar cane fields and natural bush between the Umhlanga River and Umdloti.

“The cyclocross race is more of a hardtail mountain bike race than a true cyclocross event,” said previous race winner Andrew Hill from Team TIB. “The guys who try and race it on cyclocross bikes do tend to struggle too much on the mountain bike sections to be able to be competitive.

“But it does spice things up a bit and make for something a bit different.

“Not only your pure mountain bikers will do it. Most mountain bikers ride on the tar quite a bit for training and so they quite like an event that mixes it up a bit.

Hill, who has won the event in 2014, has missed the last two editions of the event due to other riding commitments, understands the uniqueness of the event.

“The tactics are also interesting. There are a lot more tactics as we go on and off the tar. It is quite difficult to know when to go hard and when to sit on a group and ride like a road race.

“I have found that what happens is that riders tend to stay in the group for the initial 15km tar section until the first dirt track.

“That means there is normally a bigger front group – there are usually about eight or nine guys who are not normally at the front of the mountain bike races.

“That makes things a bit different, but once we get on the dirt sections the mountain bike riders have enough of an advantage to be able to get away. Mountain bikers are often a bit stronger on the climbs on the dirt and can get a decent advantage from that.

“But the racing is still very tight with smaller gaps between riders, so there is quite a lot more pressure. If you have a small mechanical or puncture then the other riders behind will come through.

“It is different racing but is a lot of fun,” ended Hill.

The 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge Fund Managers, takes place on Sunday 30 April. More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za 

ENDS

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It is going to be an other exciting mix of mountain biking and road cycling when Andrew Hill (pictured) and other riders gear up for the 55km cyclocross race at the 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban on Sunday, 30 April.

Desmond Louw/
Gameplan Media

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