What to expect at SA National Road & Time Trial Champs

SA National Road & Time Trial Champs
Photo Credit: Double ST

Western Cape Cycling will be hosting the 2018 SA National Road and Time Trial Championships in the heart of the Little Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, one of the ten most popular tourist venues in South Africa.  Oudtshoorn is well-known for the Safari and Highate Ostrich Farms, Cango Caves, Cango Wildlife Ranch, Game farms, Meerkat Magic tours and many more activities.

The event will be organized by Eden Cycling, on behalf of Western Cape Cycling and will take place from 6-11 February 2018. The South African National Road Championships is the blue ribbon event for each cycling discipline and is held each year.

The main attraction at the 2018 SA National Road and Time Trial Championships will be the Elite, U/23 and Junior men’s and woman’s races that will take place on Saturday, 10 February 2018.

Routes

The routes for the 2018 National Road and Time Trial Championships in Oudtshoorn might not be that unfamiliar as Oudtshoorn has been the host of this prestigious event in 2009 and 2013, as well as the Western Cape Road Championships a few times.

All the routes will start in the direction of Volmoed (depending on the distance), with a shorter loop entering the town in Rademeyer Street, onto Langenhoven Road with the start/finish-line in Voortrekker Road in front of the Recreational grounds opposite Pick & Pay.

Time Trial

The Time Trial will see participants race a 14.6km circuit, locally known as the Safari circuit, with an ascent of 88m. Don’t let this fool you as the route will kick up within the 1st 200m and then gradually climb up to 1.9km, where the riders will turn left into the Mossel Bay road towards Safari Ostrich Show farm where riders will head back to town. Heading into town will see riders take 3 sharp turns in the last 3km that may be a bit more challenging on the Time Trial bikes.

For the riders racing in the afternoon the wind may also come into play. Oudtshoorn is not known for strong winds, rather for wind that seems to be from the front – no matter where you go.

Road Races

All road races will take riders through the Volmoed ‘koppe’ with the exception of the 50-59 women and the 60-69 mens categories. These riders will take a shorter loop that is completely flat. What makes this route even more interesting is that all climbing will be done in the Volmoed ‘koppe’ which starts at the Volmoed shop in the direction of the Mossel Bay turnoff. The route is approximately 13.6km long with an  ascent of 289 meters with an average gradient of 2%.

This route does not look that difficult on paper, but is not completely a walk in the park either – it is the place where all the action will take place. The route is not a pure sprinter’s circuit, but it will see riders of both climbing and sprinting abilities do well on this route. The long downhill after the climb creates an opportunity for riders to claw back time on the riders that were able to get away on the climb, and is 24km to the finish-line on the last lap.

The heat of the Klein Karoo will probably play a big role in the outcome of the race. There will be two static feeding points on the route to make sure everyone keeps hydrated.  Some heat training would be advised as temperatures in the low 40 degrees are not uncommon in Oudtshoorn during February month.

For more information visit www.edencycling.co.za

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