From a low-key start over 30km, the Takealot Berge & Dale road race has grown into an event of stature on the South African cycling calendar.
This year’s offering, with the feature race over 108km, celebrates 20 years of existence and will take place at Krugersdorp on the West Rand on February 23.
Under new sponsors in Takealot.com and with a new venue in Silverstar Casino, race organisers ASG Events are anticipating a surge of interest before entries close on February 13.
ASG Events chief executive Erick Oosthuizen said the race held a good position on the calendar as cyclists returned to serious action after the festive break.
“The Berge & Dale is a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, but I believe it can stand on its own as one of the country’s road classics.
“Increasingly, many riders are seeing the Takealot Berge & Dale as their own pinnacle on the cycling calendar.
“Cost has become a factor because it’s no secret that the economy is not where we all want it to be.
“We believe cyclists are doing fewer events these days and are starting, more and more, to cherry-pick their races.
“The months of January and February in Johannesburg have produced many quality races in the past 20 years and we believe we are one of them.”
Even though there is a huge cycling community in the region, he added they were aware that, as event organisers, they needed to cater for what the cyclists wanted.
“In this regard we feel the new race venue at Silverstar Casino is much more safe and convenient and, overall, a better fit for the event.
“We want to invite cyclists to experience the thrill of doing this West Rand classic for the first time. And if they have done it before, come and see what we have to offer this year.”