Eastern Cape Motors will ensure that The Herald Cycle Tour stays on the proverbial straight and narrow when they continue a long association with the iconic cycling classic next month.
The event, hosted by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, caters for all types – whether their bicycles are of the fat or skinny wheel variety.
It starts with the mountain bike races at the Addo Polo Club on February 13, followed by the road programme at Pollok Beach in Gqeberha on February 19 and 20.
With an emphasis on supporting local events, Dale Cuthbert, North End general manager and Eastern Cape Motors coordinator for the tour, said they had come on board for the inaugural race in 1986, “helping the race to get on the road”.
“We were involved for many years before another sponsor took over from 2005 to 2016,” he said. “But we resumed our association with The Herald Cycle Tour in 2017 and hope to continue well into the future.”
He added that the company was massively invested in the region and that The Herald was a perfect fit for the brand.
“The Eastern Cape Motor Group are largely Eastern Cape-based, so we have for the last 37 years regarded ourselves as being very proud and privileged to have the region as our foundation and base,” said Cuthbert.
“Our slogan has for many years been ‘the Eastern Cape is Eastern Cape Motor Country’.
“And when you consider The Herald Cycle Tour, it is a world-class event in every respect.”
Exceptional organisation, participation across many age-groups and walks of life, the prestigious road race and a professional mountain bike event were all elements that made it stood out, said Cuthbert.
“This premier sporting event showcases our wonderful city and environs so well, so it’s always a privilege for us to be involved.
“Many of our staff participate in both the road and mountain bike races, while our enthusiastic North End team are king of the mountain aides, keenly and effectively assisting cyclists at this waterpoint.”
He said the company’s range of vehicles was well suited to the requirements of The Herald Cycle Tour.
“As a monetary and vehicle sponsor, we supply 26 vehicles – Rangers, Everests, EcoSports and Figos – to assist with both events.
“We will supply the lead vehicle and many support vehicles, some well before the event to assist with preparation and logistics and many just prior to and on the day of the events.
“The Ford brand line-up of Ranger, Everest and EcoSport fits exceptionally well with the adventure, sporting lifestyle of those who participate, be it off or on-road.
“We wish all those riding in the cycle events a wonderful day. It is an opportunity to enjoy the most scenic areas of our magnificent city.
“On top of that there is always such incredible comradeship, no matter how competitive the riders are, and this always makes it an occasion to remember.”
The 80km Extreme, on February 13, headlines the off-road programme. Other events include the 60km Adventure, 30km Leisure, 30km Tandem, 5km Kiddies’ Ride and 500m Toddlers’ Dash.
The 106km Classic is the mainstay of the road events on Sunday, February 20, with the 55km Adventure for age groups and tandems the alternative option.
On the previous day, the 2km Kiddies’ Ride and 500m Toddlers’ Dash will give youngsters an opportunity to be part of the festival of cycling.
The Ultimate Quest title is the carrot for those who opt to race the feature events in the mountain bike and road disciplines.
Online entries close at midnight on February 6. For more information or to enter, visit www.heraldcycletour.co.za – and remember to support the Helmet Heroes initiative while you’re at it.