aQuellé Tour Durban
presented by Bridge Fund Managers
Gary Beneke set to toast Tour Durban 25th anniversary
Durban - 25 years after he won the first edition of the race,
cycling icon Gary Beneke will be toasting the milestone anniversary of
the aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers on Sunday 29
One of the best South African road racers, Beneke was a dominant force
as an elite rider and continues to race hard in his Masters age group,
and hardly ever missed as Tour Durban, with more than twenty under his
The 56 year old, who lives and rides out of the cycling hub of Glenvista
in Gauteng, recalls the buzz surrounding the launch of the race in 1993.
“It was the Tour D’Urban back then!” he recalls. “The event was launched
with big fanfare, and me being a keen professional racing cyclist, it
was another big national event with status.
“I was definitely excited and something to look forward to, not only the
appeal of the actual race but also an opportunity to go to Durban and
enjoy the sea!” he said.
Beneke says the appeal of the race amongst both elite and social riders
has always been its unique place in the national calendar.
“For us it was a race with a holiday feeling and chance to enjoy a
weekend down at the coast,” he said.
“The weather is usually fantastic at that time of year, but we have had
a few years when it has been ridden in tough conditions, with wind, rain
and cold,” said Beneke.
The route has changed a number of times over the quarter of a century of
racing, but Beneke said he always felt he had an advantage at the race.
“I was relatively familiar with the route,” he recalls. “The hills and
the roads were definitely challenging and undulating, taking in all the
hills of Umhlanga, Verulam, Tongaat, Umhlali, Salt Rock and Ballito.
“I was able to prepare my tactics,” the Dimension Data/Biogen/Transaction
Capital/Laurium Capital backed athlete explained. “Ii had to save my
energy for the steep two kilometre hill out of Ballito approximately 30
km from the finish when the critical race winning attacks would take
“It was critical to be in front of the bunch in the build up to this
hill. In the old days they were very narrow bumpy twisting roads from
Salt Rock to Chaka's Rock and Ballito,” he remembers.
He also recalls that the feared climb up from the M4 to the Sharks Board
offices on Umhlanga Ridge as a defining feature of the first race.
While the details are somewhat lost bin the mists of time, Beneke says
he probably raced his favourite bike of the time to the win, a Look KG
96 carbon bike with Shimano 8 speed equipment.
In his racing heyday, he had his brother Mark for company and
competition in most of the major races. “Mark relies on his powerful
sprint finish to win and so he is difficult to beat!” he said.
Beneke says the cycling community comes back year after year to enjoy
the unique appeal of the coastal race.
“The full road closure is great!” he stresses. “That, and the
opportunity to spend a few days at the sea.”
While Beneke is looking forward to celebrating the race’s 25th
anniversary at the end of April, he will do so from a distance, as he
will be missing the race – a rare blemish on his record at the Durban
classic - as he will be away in France attending a wedding.
The aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge Fund manager, takes place
on Sunday 29 April 2018. More information can
be found at www.tourdurban.co.za
Click to download the hi-res
aQuellé Tour Durban
presented by Bridge Fund Managers Logo
Beneke in action at the Cape Town Cycle Tour earlier this month. Beneke,
who won the inaugural aQuellé Tour Durban in 1993, has returned to
ride almost every subsequent edition of the race. “The full road closure is great!”
“That, and the opportunity to spend a few days at the sea.”
JetLine Action Photo/
Beneke winning the inaugural edition of the aQuellé Tour Durban
in 1993. “I was relatively familiar with the route,” he
recalls. “The hills and the roads were definitely challenging and
undulating, taking in all the hills of Umhlanga, Verulam, Tongaat,
Umhlali, Salt Rock and Ballito."
Conditions of usage of
All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of
charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The
photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be
cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The
photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and
may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on
any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or
promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements,
commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or
any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at
the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering
this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you,
advise us immediately
and we will be glad to remove your name from
this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us
which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you
cannot access the images, please contact:
(031) 764 3017