Worldwide support for virtual aQuellé Tour Durban this weekend
Durban – With the 2020
edition of the aQuellé Tour Durban cancelled under the COVID-19 lockdown
along with the swathe of other public gatherings,
cyclists around the world are rallying together to support the virtual
version of the race this weekend and in the process keeping the income
lifeline to The Domino Foundation alive.
The virtual aQuellé Tour Durban got under way on Wednesday night with
the first of two rides that use the online Zwift platform, with a second
scheduled for Wednesday 29th July at 9pm.
This weekend cyclists from all walks of life will be taking part in the
virtual mass rides, with Saturday being the focus for the mountain
bikers and Sunday the turn of the road racers. A donation of R50 is
asked from each participant, each of
whom will receive a personalised race number for the event.
For KZN North Coast cycling enthusiast Larry Cramer the virtual rides
will unite him with his family on the other side of the world.
"My son Matt lives outside Toronto in Canada while my other son Scott is
close to Houston in the USA," explained Cramer, a regular at the aQuellé
Tour Durban and a veteran of 22 Cape Town Cycle Tours.
"I will be out on my mountain bike riding with a friend, knowing that my
sons and their families will all be involved riding on trails or roads
or in a static peleton in the same virtual race," he said.
Riders will then choose how they want to get involved on the two days,
either by riding their own rides on roads or mountain bike trails or by
following the live stream show that will be shown on the event website
and Facebook pages.
“We are no longer under the sever lockdown regulations and we can go out
and ride on the roads and trails around us,” said event director Alec
Lenferna. “That means that riders can choose where they want to ride on
the days of the virtual mass rides.
“They will be issued with a race number, which can be printed out and
worn on the ride, and the idea is that they share their experiences on
the day on the Tour Durban Facebook page,” he added.
“The whole world has gone through trying times with the coronavirus
lockdowns, so we hope this can been used as a positive rallying call to
unify riders from all over the world.”
Lenferna said that entries for the virtual rides had been received from
many countries abroad, and participants had asked if they could enter
and get involved by doing alternative forms of exercise.
“Some riders have
opted to set up their trainers or static bikes in front of a TV and
follow the live stream show. Others are arranging yoga classes while
watching the stream, and some are running on treadmills.
He added that the
main reason for the virtual event was to keep alive the revenue stream
that flows to The Domino Foundation every year from the aQuellé Tour
“The essence of the
event is #Ride4Good. It is all geared up around raising money for a
non-profit organisation that, right now, is working overtime to help
families that have been left
destitute by the lockdown,” said Lenferna.
He added that participants in the virtual event would get preferential
places in the 2021 event in April next year, which may well be subject
to a strict limit on the number of participants.
Links to the online
entries can be found at the event website
www.tourdurban.co.za, where the live streaming ca also be followed
on Saturday and Sunday.
More information can
be found at www.tourdurban.co.za
The Domino Foundation Covid-19 Relief project: