The 102km Bestmed Berge en Dale national classic on the West Rand on February 4 will play a big role in preparing many of South Africa’s top riders for the national road championships.
The 15th edition of the road race, which also has a 55km route, is strategically positioned a week before the national champs in Wellington from February 7 to 12.
ASG Events route director Darren Herbst said the event, which is presented by Optimum Financial Services, always attracted a big entry and they expected around 5 000 riders at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift for the road classic.
“As it is one week ahead of the nationals it plays a big role in helping riders to peak at the right time. It also gives us an idea of who is going well,” he said.
Last year’s Berge en Dale saw RoadCover dominate the podium when Gustav Basson won ahead of team-mates Clint Hendricks and Bradley Potgieter. Hendricks then came third in the elite men’s road race at the nationals.
Besides being a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Berge en Dale will also help riders in their preparations for the Cycling South Africa-sanctioned Bestmed Tour of Good Hope (March 6 to 10) in the Cape Winelands, where they will come up against an international field.
Herbst said the route of Berge en Dale’s feature event would remain unchanged, while the racing had been extended to a second day this year to incorporate a mountain biking component.
“We have had a lot of requests over the years and feel this will broaden the appeal of the weekend,” he said.
The mountain bike options will cover 40km and 15km options, with Herbst describing the longer route as “intermediate with some undulations and a bit of a kick to it”.
The short option, he said, was aimed at families and social riders.
Entries close on January 26. For more info, visit www.asgevents.co.za/bergeendale.