The streets of Johannesburg were awash with enthusiastic cyclists who rode à bloc in Joburg’s iconic and most-loved cycling event. Attracting over 20, 000 cyclists on a 94,7km thrilling trail and 20 000 eager supporters. The Discovery 947 Ride Joburg is the worlds second-largest timed cycling race and features cyclists ranging from beginner to elite every year.
In its 23rd year the event returns to the sporting calendar with a twist to the traditional route and an inclusive cycling roadmap ensuring the participation of novice cyclists. Some 20,000 intrepid athletes braved the 95km challenge, while around 2,700 tackled a brand new, shorter route. The introduction of a shorter 40km route aims to encourage and promote an ever-growing culture of physical activity amongst cycling enthusiasts to match their fitness level.
Cyclists included ex Springbok rugby player Breyton Paulse, John Smit former captain of the Springboks, Letshego Zulu, Bevan Cullinan and many more could be spotted through the crowds as they rode to chasing the acclaimed title in the race to beat their personal best.
Primedia’s Group Head of Events, Alexia Poulos. “The exponential growth of cycling in the past 10 years in South Africa bears testament to the importance of sporting activities such as these, by showcasing the diverse groups of cyclists we have and offering them a platform to compete amongst the best. We are thrilled to partner with Discovery and the City of Joburg on evolving this important cycling event. Our collective vision of getting more people to become healthier and more active is a great fit as we encourage cycling among people of all ages and walks of life.”
Amongst cyclists and charity organisations were popular South African media personalities Anele Mdoda and cycling star Daryl Impey who won a stage at the Tour dè France this year. Township cyclists showed out as more than five (5) groups from between Diepsloot, Soweto and Tembisa participated. Over one hundred and twenty (120) charity organsations partook in the annual “Ride for a Purpose” campaign which has historically having raised over R90 million for charity.
Effervescent vibes could be felt from across spectator points as people from start to finish excitedly cheered cyclists on. “Time and again, sports has proven that it unites people and it helps inculcate national pride and patriotism. As the City of Joburg, we are proud to support and partner with an event that provides a positive image of Johannesburg and contributes to health and the economy said, Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba.
Elite male champion Marc Pritzen said, “To be honest it hasn’t sunk in yet but it’s definitely a race I’ve always wanted to win. My first ever bicycle race was the 947 kiddies race so it’s definitely a very special race for me. I have participated in 9 Ride Joburg events and today was a really hard day out on the bike. I’m really happy that I managed to time my sprint perfectly on this really difficult finish, special thanks to my teammates from Officeguru for the support today, I could not have done this without them”
This year’s top 3 winners in the elite male and female categories include:
Race to Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Elite Men
- Marc Pritzen – 2:14:41:300
- Alexander Worsdale – 2:14:41:800
- David Maree – 2:14:42:300
Race to Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Elite Women
- Carla Oberholtzer – 2:41:00
- Jo Van De Winkel – 2:41:01:9
- Parys Edwards – 2:41:02:6
“We congratulate every participant who dedicated time and effort to getting fitter for this event and hopes it encourages friends, family and supporters to join them in moving more for better health. The new 947 Vitality Short Ride, in particular, has proved a great success in making cycling a more inclusive sport for novices – we trust that it serves to whet appetites for more active lifestyles in the year to come,” says Iona Maclean, Head of Experiential Marketing at Discovery.