The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the sports industry to a halt but, Road Cyclists – locally and internationally – have been maintaining their fitness on smart trainers and participating in virtual races on a variety of online platforms.
In the past week, three South Africans – Women’s World Tour rider and South African Road Champion, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, as well as World Tour riders’ Louis Meintjes and Stefan de Bod (NTT Pro Cycling) – finished on podiums in the Tour for All. Ashleigh won three of the five stages and Louis took the final stage, with team mate Stefan de Bod finishing in 3rd position.
Back home, local club and Continental Team riders have also been experimenting with the new normal – some having participated in the Tour de Suisse and finishing off with a number of podiums across the 5-stage tour, competing in the same event against the World Tour Pro’s and placing a few riders in the Top 15 and Top 20 positions on three of the stages.
Following the launch five weeks ago, of South Africa’s first virtual racing – The Ace Cycles Team Trial Series, which is broadcasted live every Tuesday by The Premier League. “The growth in numbers has been phenomenal, our first event started with just 4 teams and, approximately 30 riders to 66 Teams and more than 500 riders registered for Event 5 this week”, commented Chantel Rouhotas from @OnTrendStyleEvents, organiser of the Series. The development of the Team Time Trial Series came about as a result of combining two passions – bringing the cycling community together and keep training/ racing up during the tough economic situation – to bring the virtual races series to life.
In collaboration with Ace Cycles, Support SA Talent announced this week, the launch of its Virtual Road Cycling Series. The Series starts on Wednesday 13 May 2020 at 18h00 CET. The Series, also provides a platform to fundraise for the recently launched Phil Liggett Foundation to Support SA Talent.
The Series, presented by Doolhof Wines and Karan Beef, is planned to run for 10 weeks and is a new category in the Support SA Talent Road Cycling Series (on hold due to Covid-19 event cancellations and postponements). The events will be live streamed and commentary will be provided by Support SA Talent Brand Ambassador, Myles Van Musschenbroek. This week Jamie Taylor from Office Guru U23 Racing will join Myles in the commentary box.
South African road cyclists can enter a Team or as an Individual on Zwift, with two separate racing categories: “A” Category (4w/Kg or more); and, “B” Category (3,2w/Kg – 3,9w/Kg).
Points will be awarded for the Top 10 positions in both the Men (All Men – any age) and Women’s (All Women – any age), Mixed Teams (3 Men/ 3 Women), Men’s Team and Women’s Team categories and, points will also be awarded for the Most Aggressive Rider, which will be decided on by the commentary Team and cannot be a rider in a Top 3 position.
Participants need an indoor trainer (smart or power meter), Zwift Membership and a Zwift Power Registration, in order to qualify for official results, which will be published once the Zwift Power results are released. No “weight doping” or Tron Bikes allowed, but banter is welcomed.
Entry is free to participate but, we encourage riders to make a donation of R200 or more to the Phil Liggett Foundation, and help to South Africa’s talented athletes. The Foundation will provide R100 of each donation into a prize purse for the Series, as well as provide an entry to win a VIP Invitation to a special Doolhof Wines Tasting experience, that Phil will be hosting later in the year. Only winners that have made the donation prior to their first event, will be eligible for their share of the pool and feature on the leader boards.
Over 80 riders are registered already to take part in the first event on 13/05/2020 and over R 11 900 has been donated into the Foundations crowdfunding site. A Special Thank you voice note from Phil Liggett was sent out today, to the Founding Donors.
Each week a link will be sent out promoting the race for that week. This week’s entry link is HERE. We will keep entries open until 17:00 on each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks.
“We are inviting South African riders to get involved and help to build their fan base, while under lockdown and experience a new format of racing that can be fun as well as provide a new opportunity for sponsors and brands to invest back into our sport”, Kent Main, ProTouch Continental Rider responsible for driving the development of the Series with Support SA Talent.
WATCH THE LAUNCH VIDEO HERE:
FOR MORE INFORMATION: