The Takealot Tour of Good Hope will adopt a new team format for the amateurs when the five-day stage race takes place in the Western Cape next year.
South Africa’s premier road cycle tour in the Cape Winelands from March 4 to 8 will see amateurs entering in teams, which must comprise a minimum of four riders and a maximum of eight.
ASG Events chief executive Fritz Pienaar said the solo packages would apply only to the categories of elite, U23 and junior men, as well as the elite women.
“Inevitably there is a lot of focus on the elite riders, but we want the Tour of Good Hope to be inclusive and, therefore, the amateur element remains as important as ever,” said Pienaar.
“The way it will work is that the fourth rider over the line will count for the team’s time.
“Mixed teams can consist of two men and two women, and the second woman over the line will count as the team’s time.”
ASG Group chief executive Heinrich Dannhauser said they were keen to maintain the unique aspect of allowing amateurs to race in teams behind professionals.
“We work hard to make sure the integration of professionals and amateurs works well because it gives them a taste of the excitement and the world-class organisation that such a race brings,” he said.
“And there are some amazing prizes for them [the amateurs] as well.”
Another change for the 2019 tour, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, is that the stages will start and finish at the Boland Landbou school just outside Paarl.