The Takealot Tour of Good Hope's elevation to UCI status for 2019 will ensure that one of South Africa's premier road tours is a drawcard for local and international competitors. It is the first time that the five-day race, which takes place in the Cape Winelands from March 4 to 8, will have UCI points up for grabs and Cycling SA general manager Mike Bradley believed it would benefit riders across the board. He said it was the national body's aim to develop more UCI-classified races and they had, therefore, approached race organisers ASG Events to consider this option. With the documentation completed, the Tour of Good Hope has received UCI 2.2 status. It joins the only other event in South Africa with a similar ranking, the Tour de Limpopo. Bradley said their top priority was to create more opportunities for South African riders to earn UCI points. "Having these sorts of races is important, particularly at this time because from now until October it is Olympic qualification year," he said. "That means the higher our riders rank internationally, the more we will have to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. "Having UCI status helps from a strategic point of view, allowing our riders to earn points in events close to home. "And then, even when they do have to travel, at least they have collected UCI points and this makes them contenders to be considered for Continental or Pro Continental outfits. "The more SA cyclists we have in those teams, the better for the development of the sport in the country." Bradley said another benefit of having UCI status was the potential to attract strong foreign outfits. "International teams don't look at anything that's not UCI-rated," he said. "I have already had some interest from teams abroad for the Tour of Good Hope and have put them in touch with the race organisers. "It's important to attract international competition to local races as it provides stronger competition for our cyclists . . .
The annual Encounter Series, which includes three multi-stage races under the ASG Events banner, will retain its popular status among South African mountain-bikers after Liberty renewed their sponsorship for 2019. The series will begin with the seven-stage TransCape journey from George to Franschhoek in February and continues with the Winelands Encounter in April and the Waterberg Encounter in June. The three-day Winelands and Waterberg events have become firm favourites on the South African racing calendar and this year the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter, powered by Volvo, became part of the series for the first time. Taking riders on a 591km route, which incorporates some of the most iconic trails in the country, ASG Events' Fritz Pienaar said the TransCape combined "some hard-core mountain-biking with a luxurious experience off the bike". "The whole focus is on the high-end journey and we feel this is an incentive for those in the corporate world to go through a unique experience," he added. "We are focusing on an up-market product and an example of this is that we will host the riders in guest houses as we are doing away with tented accommodation." Killy Bacela, Liberty Group divisional director for brand & marketing, said they were delighted to be involved once more. "We are proud of the partnership with the Encounter series and view this as an investment that has a lasting impact on the communities in which we do business," said Bacela Alluding to the new starting venue of George, as opposed to Knysna, Pienaar said it was an attempt to create more diversity in the route for the riders. "By starting in George it allows us to take the stages through the Karoo region as well as incorporating sections along the coast and then ending up going through the Cape Winelands to the finish in Franschhoek." The five-star offering, he said, would be maintained through the three-day Winelands and Waterberg Encounters. "These are the . . .
National player Casey McLeavy will be an important part of the bid by the Madibaz women's water polo team to capture a medal at the University Sport South Africa tournament in East London this weekend. The Madibaz women's water polo team will be aiming to transform a series of competitive results into a medal-winning position at the University Sport South Africa tournament this weekend. The event takes place at the Joan Harrison Complex in East London from Saturday to Monday. Madibaz Sport water polo manager Melinda Goosen said there was a strong thread of commitment running through the squad and they were determined to prove a point on this national stage. "In recent years our women's side have consistently made the semifinals, but we have usually ended fourth overall," she said. "This year our goal is to medal. "There are a number of new faces in the squad, with half the team about to experience their first USSA tournament, but there is a very good work ethic among the players." She said the squad trained twice a day on a regular basis, before 6am and a second session often ending after 6pm. "Being a university side, the academic commitments of the student-athletes play a big role in the availability of our players, especially during the Currie Cup tournament. "But the players are fully committed and have been training up to three times a day in the build-up to the USSA event. "It's crucial for us to do well as we are looking for a major sponsor to come on board to back the water polo club. "We have the players and structures in place, but the team have to organise music trivia evenings and special events to help raise money to compete in the Currie Cup and USSA." Goosen said players such as Meghan Maartens, Casey McLeavy, Charne Keen, Hannah Werth, Kelsey Vaughan, Mirricke du Plessis and Nina Cressey would provide the experience, while their biggest challenge was a lack of tournament match practice. "For example, UCT and Maties . . .
Former University of Johannesburg star Aphiwe Dyantyi hopes his meteoric rise to stardom will provide inspiration for young rugby players coming through the ranks to follow in his footsteps. The 24-year-old wing shot to prominence this year with a series of stunning performances for the Springboks, culminating in him being named the Breakthrough Player of the Year at the World Rugby awards gala function in Monaco last Sunday. Remarkably, just a few years ago he practically gave up rugby altogether. After making his mark with UJ in the Varsity Cup last year, Dyantyi's career has blossomed. He made his international debut this year and has scored six tries in 13 Tests. The talented player, though, has kept his feet on the ground, knowing that he needs to be an example to others. "I just want to keep on challenging myself to keep on improving and hopefully make a difference for our country," he said following the award announcement at the weekend. "But equally, I want to make an impact on someone else's life, someone who will see my story as an inspiration to do something great out there. That is my ultimate goal." He described his year as "more than a roller-coaster", a scenario he has been accustomed to dealing with during his career. After starring in the age-group ranks during his schooldays at Dale College in King William's Town, Dyantyi failed to make the grade in the open division and his interest in the game waned somewhat. His focus turned to academics when he attended UJ in 2012, but thankfully he was spotted by the varsity coaches when helping out in a "koshuis", or residence, league match. Firm guidance from then UJ U19 coach Mac Masina and first team mentor Werner Janse van Rensburg saw Dyantyi's interest in the game revived, providing the catalyst for his success at the highest level. Dyantyi has not forgotten those who helped him. "I've been truly blessed in so many ways with the people around me who have helped me in . . .
Don those cycling shorts, show off your mettle and display all that time spent on the road bike. What is known as PE’s toughest cycle race is just around the corner! The Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race is set to take place on Saturday, 8 December. The mass start at 6 am is from the Grass Roof Farm Stall, corner of Seaview Road and Heron Road. The home-grown and respected motor dealership Williams Hunt Isuzu will have some of their toughest vehicles on display at the start: a fitting tribute to tough-minded athletes. Whether competing for a win or improving upon a personal best, all cyclists participating in the Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race deserve a champion's welcome home across the finish line. There is no prize money for this event. All the entry fees – at R120 per visitor’s entry – and donations will go towards a chosen charity. “We have decided to support an organisation known for alleviating the burden of those they support through counseling and other means, whether to individuals or to their families and loved ones,” said Trevor Villet, dealer principal at Williams Hunt Isuzu. Kenneth Bartle, programme manager at Isuzu said, “The Masters and Ladies Cycle Club has extended their thanks for the sponsorship of the Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race.” Check out the Masters’ and Ladies Cycle Club facebook page for details on entry fees and race rules. The Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race is described as 90 km of grueling hills to Van Stadens River Mouth and back. The very hilly route reaches an elevation of over 1500 metres. The first hill is Theescombe Hill (Welcome Road). From there it is an undulating route along Kragga Kamma Road with a small climb up to Cows Corner in Colleen Glen. Whether the wind is behind your back or the sun is shining on your face, the Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race will require mental stamina as much as pedal power. The 45km turning point is about 400 metres from the Van Stadens River mouth entrance on a gradual . . .
GYMKHANA GRID 2018 IS HERE! Carnival City, Johannesburg - The Gymkhana GRiD World Finals will be held in South Africa tomorrow 1st December 2018 and will serve as a celebration of Gymkhana GRiD’s seventh year of competition. This year will see a unique competition format, as GRiD returns to Carnival City, Johannesburg, for the second time, after the inaugural event in 2017. Fifty international drivers will go head-to-head in two classes, with everyone set to burn rubber on a custom designed track layout Making its international debut at X Games in Los Angeles in 2013, Gymkhana GRiD is all about speed and precision. Open to all those who dare to compete against other petrol heads in their own specially modified cars. Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. Car drifting is caused when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa, also known as opposite lock or counter-steering). A true motorsport without rival, Gymkhana GRiD’s blends drifting, drag racing, and physical driving skill with mental agility. How to get to the track GymkhanaGrid will take place at Carnival City resort's parking lot tomorrow 1 December 2018. Carnival City Casino & Hotel; Corner Century & Elsburg Road; Brakpan; 1540; Gauteng; South Africa. Keep tabs on all of the developments in the buildup to Gymkhana GRiD 2018 via https://www.facebook.com/gymkhanagrid/ and http://www.gymkhanagrid.com/ CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
University of Johannesburg coach Dumisa Makalima has called for a concerted team effort when they compete in the University Sport South Africa cricket tournament in the Western Cape next month. The week takes place in Stellenbosch from December 3 to 7 and UJ will be among eight teams contesting the title in pool A. The Johannesburg side have ended fifth in the last two tournaments, but there is a definite drive to improve their standing in varsity cricket this time round. "We are a fairly young team and we don't have any top provincial players, so it will be a case of working hard together," said Makalima. "We know each other well and have a good work ethic. I believe our biggest strength will be to operate as a cohesive unit as we strive to improve on last year's efforts." He added that making the most of their opportunities would be the key to success. "The big thing is to try to make sure you bat for the full 50 overs. "I am impressing on the guys that if you make a start, you need to capitalise on that and make the sort of scores that create pressure on the opposition. Scores of 50s and 60s don't win you games." He said that also applied to the bowlers, with their build-up to the week placing emphasis on converting good starts into match-winning performances. Although UJ are missing the experience of players such as Ryan Rickelton and Delano Potgieter, who are playing in the Mzansi Super League, Makalima is confident his team can rise to the occasion. "We have a number of players who were in the squad last year and, with that experience under their belts we will be looking to them to step up to the plate." The UJ mentor felt that the teams from Pretoria and Potchefstroom would start as the early favourites. "They have done well in recent years in varsity tournaments, while Stellenbosch have an astute coach in former Warriors player Ryan Bailey, so they will also be a team to watch. "But I don't believe we have to stand back . . .
A new format for the amateur categories will place the emphasis on teamwork when the Takealot Tour of Good Hope takes place in the Western Cape next year. South Africa's premier road cycle tour, which takes place in the Cape Winelands from March 4 to 8, will see several changes as race organisers ASG Events and new title sponsor Takealot.com join forces to ensure a high-quality event. While they wish to elevate the tour to match similar international events, the organisers also want to provide the opportunity for amateur riders to experience an event of this nature. "Inevitably there is a lot of focus on the elite riders, but we want the Tour of Good Hope to be inclusive and, therefore, the amateur element remains as important as ever," ASG Events chief executive Fritz Pienaar said. He added that they wanted to make it a team-orientated event, with solo packages only available for the categories of elite, U23 and junior men, as well as the elite women. "Amateur cyclists must enter as teams and these can comprise four to eight riders," said Pienaar. "We don't want individuals in the open categories and the way it will work is that the fourth rider's time will count for the team. "Mixed teams can consist of two men and two women with the second woman's time counting for the team." He added that although the emphasis was on the team aspect, they would still show who the leading category riders were. ASG Group chief executive Heinrich Dannhauser said they were keen to maintain the unique aspect of allowing amateurs to race in teams behind professionals. "We work hard to make sure the integration of professionals and amateurs works well because it gives them a taste of the excitement and world-class organisation that such a race brings," he said. "And there are some amazing prizes for them [the amateurs] as well." Another change for the 2019 tour, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, is that the stages, which cover a total . . .
The Madibaz cricket teams are determined to make an impact when they compete in the University Sport South Africa tournament in the Western Cape next week. The annual competition takes place in Stellenbosch from December 3 to 7 and Nelson Mandela University will be fielding two teams, Madibaz A competing in pool A (the top eight teams) and Madibaz B in pool B. Madibaz A will be looking to make up for the disappointment of losing to Pretoria University in last year's final. Captain David Masterson well remembers the narrow defeat on that occasion and said the squad were eager to set the record straight. "That was my first appearance at USSA and it was very disappointing to lose in the final by six runs," he said. "Madibaz have had a lot of success at USSA in past years and we are definitely targeting the title in Stellenbosch. The ambition among the players will not allow us to settle for anything less." He added, though, that they knew it would not be wise to look too far ahead. "We do not want to get carried away and so our focus at this stage is purely on our first game against UCT." Despite losing some key players from last year, Masterson said there was still a good spread of experience in the squad, "with more than half the guys playing last year". "I feel one of the biggest strengths is that we have all-round cricketers who offer more than just one skill. "Our spin department is looking promising, with good variety, and our batting lineup is very well balanced." The skipper identified allrounder Tian Koekemoer as one of the players who could be the key to their success. "He is one of four semi-pro cricketers in the squad and I am sure they will be challenging themselves to take responsibility and perform. Tian has been in excellent form for EP and will definitely play a major role with the bat and ball for us." The Madibaz B team, consisting of predominantly players from the George campus, will have a number of new faces . . .
South African cycling distribution company Positive Sports Solutions and the Demacon Ladies Cycling Team will next year continue their partnership, which proved highly successful in 2018. The Demacon Ladies Cycling Team had a remarkable year in SA road cycling with their team members winning 17 of the 18 races in which they participated. Leading the way was ace women's rider Carla Oberholzer, who won 10 of those races, including the SA national road title, the Amashova Durban Classic and the 947 Cycle Challenge. This has led to Positive Sports Solutions, who distribute a variety of top-end cycling brands in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), deciding to consolidate their association with the team for another year. Going forward, the outfit will be known as the Demacon-HEAD Women's Cycling Team, in recognition of the high-quality HEAD bicycles they have been supplied with by the company. Positive Sports Solutions product and technical manager David Pieterse said the profile of the brand had been raised to another level thanks to the team's success. "That most definitely created maximum exposure and as the team's technical sponsor we were able to provide them with the best possible equipment," he said. A big part of the company's focus is on raising the profile of women's cycling in the country. "I believe we have definitely done that," said Pieterse. "This is the first year we have been involved and we achieved more than we expected." "The HEAD brand has been established in South Africa and we are looking forward to raising more awareness for women's cycling in 2019. We would love to see more sponsors involved." Team captain Lynette Burger said the sponsorship had played a key role in their success and they looked forward to greater involvement in 2019. "It is very important to us as a team as they provide us with the best possible equipment," she said. "Thanks to our success, Positive Sports Solutions want to expand . . .