South Africa’s oldest road cycling race will take place on Sunday 23 October, with full road closure on the famous Comrades route from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. The race which is in its 36th year is well-known as both a great family event as well as a key race on the cycling calendar for competitive riders. So, race organisers were elated when they received a record number of online entries in a 24hour period during the weekend that online entries closed.
“It’s been wonderful to see so many people wanting to venture out again post the pandemic and lockdown regulations being lifted. The Amashova Durban Classic appeals to all ages from ten years old and upwards, and riders can choose from a variety of route options offering different distances to suit beginners to advanced riders. We believe part of the reason we have received such a great response so far for entries is not only because of our reputation to offer cyclists a fun and safe experience on the roads, but because we also have more to offer this year,” explains Amashova Race Director, Annie Batchelder.
This year the Amashova is offering a special ‘charity batch’ where riders will have the opportunity to ride for a cause they are passionate about. Furthermore, the proceeds from the charity batch entry fees will go towards the building and refurbishment of more safety bike parks for disadvantaged schools positioned along the race route. Riders who enter the charity batch will be placed in an earlier batch giving them an earlier start time. Another opportunity for riders to get an earlier start time is by entering a corporate team.
According to Batchelder, as race organisers they take no shortcuts when it comes to riders’ safety and not only are the Metro Police, SAPS and RTI involved in the full road closure and monitoring of riders on race day – but an impressive number of marshals are also stationed at regular intervals along the point-to-point route to ensure cyclists don’t lose their way. Other key partners to this year’s race are Netstar who are providing 30 vehicles and tracking on race day to ensure the safety of cyclists and Emer-g-med who will be providing medical assistance on the routes when required.
“Another exciting addition to this year’s Amashova is that as part of the normal number collection and late registrations at the Suncoast Globe, we will be incorporating an exciting Lifestyle Expo that will see cyclists and the public enjoy local wares and catering from a variety of vendors on Friday 21 October and Saturday 22 October. We are excited about this new offering,” says Batchelder.
Late entries will be offered at the Amashova Lifestyle Exp. Exclusive race merchandise will be on sale, or riders that ordered it online can collect their merchandise from the stand at the expo. An added benefit for cyclists is that for those riders who have pre-booked their bike transportation for the race weekend, their bikes can be dropped off at the Lifestyle Expo which will then be carefully transported to the start of the 106km and 65km races.
With there still being the opportunity to enter the race via late registration, cyclists can choose from a number of category options including tandem, mountain bike, buddy batch and the newly introduced eBike category. “For the first time ever, we will be awarding prize money to the top finishers of the mountain bike category – so we look forward to seeing more of these riders participating in the Amashova in 2022 and going forward. We are also delighted to have reintroduced licensed categories for the 106km route where prize money will be awarded to the winners on Sunday 23 October at the Suncoast Globe,” adds Batchelder.
“We are very excited to welcome Tourism KwaZulu-Natal as an exclusive associate partner to the Amashova. KwaZulu-Natal is a traveler’s dream and with the seemingly perpetual summer of our subtropical climate, it is not surprising that we are famous for our outdoor activities, beaches, natural environment, sporting events and the variety of adventure activities. Tourism Kwa-Zulu Natal is a Destination Management Organisation responsible for promoting KwaZulu-Natal,” says Batchelder.
The public are encouraged to support this iconic South African event and for full road closure details, East Coast Radio as the official media partner to the Amashova Durban Classic will be airing regular traffic updates in the week leading up to the race. For more information and general updates visit www.shova.co.za or follow Shova on Facebook and Instagram.