As the ongoing lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the organisers of the Tour Durban cycle races have confirmed that the 2020 event, which was initially postponed, has had to be cancelled, but will be replaced with a virtual aQuellé Tour Durban on 25 and 26 July.
The event is an important annual fundraiser for the Domino Foundation that helps poor communities in the greater Durban area, and the prospect of cancelling the event was a blow for the trailblazing NGO.
“The aQuellé Tour Durban is fundamentally about #Ride4Good and raising money for The Domino Foundation,” said event director Alec Lenferna. “They have stepped up their support for communities significantly that are really battling with the effects of the lockdown, so we felt that we had to find an alternative way to support them as the greater cycling community as we do by riding the this great event every year. It is a massive pity that we are not going to be able to stage the event in its traditional format this year, but circumstances are what they are at this time and we are already looking to the future and await the opportunity in 2021 and beyond”
On Saturday 25 July riders will be able to take part in a virtual ride on the new mountain bike courses, and on Sunday 26 July riders can take on the road race by following the online live streaming show that will offer them a rider’s view of the popular M4 course as it was raced last year.
Riders are encouraged to follow the live streaming on the event Facebook page while they take part on their rollers or static bikes, or simply to engage in any form of exercise like riding in their communities during the streaming show.
Lenferna confirmed that all entries already posted for the 2020 event will carry forward to the 2021 races at no extra charge, or should people wish to donate their 2020 entry fee to the cause, obviously this would be gratefully accepted too.
“We have an amazing relationship with the aQuellé Tour Durban as an event and with many of the cyclists as individuals,” said Shaun Tait of the Domino Foundation.
“This comes at a time when we are working hard with a number of community organisations to get desperately needed aid into the homes of Durban families that have been really hard hit by the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We know that the work that The Domino Foundation does resonate with the riders, so we are hoping that we can all rally together as one on the weekend, which will be exactly three months after the date we originally planned for the aQuellé Tour Durban, to share our passion for riding the races, and maintain the lifeline that the aQuellé Tour Durban provides to the foundation at a time when we need it the most,” said Tait.
Entries for the event, with a minimum of R50 but allowing for participants to make any larger donation, will be taken via the links provided on the Tour Durban website. Additional information on the activities of the 25th & 26th July and how to get involved will be communicated to all soon.
More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za