NOW in its 30th year, the Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique to held in the beautiful Mpumalanga Lowveld on 20 July 2013 can be compared to the Comrades Marathon in that it is a true test of skill, strength and endurance.
The three stage, 151 km Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique is the biggest and toughest winter road event in the country and attracts over 1 300 riders annually.
According to Wynand de Villiers, the Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique organiser, the 43km first stage will start from the Mbombela Stadium near Nelspruit at 06.30 and involves 20km of hard pedalling on gradients of between two and six per cent.
“Riders pedal power will be tested at the extremely challenging Heidel Eggs climb, which is two kilometres long. It may be shorter than Hilltop but it’s more or less the same ascent,” says de Villiers.
De Villiers also states that, even though the route is different this year, the thrill of the race is still the same. “Any person who completes this race can be proud of their achievement. There will be no Boulders this year, but the nature of the riding terrain in the Lowveld is such that no cycling event is going to be easy, the road either goes up or down. So this year’s Jock will be as tough, if not tougher than previous years,” adds de Villiers.
Among the participants this year will be the Bestmed professional riders and its social teams.
Team Bestmed comprises riders that range in age from 20 to 68 from a variety of occupational backgrounds, proving that almost anyone can ride. The full team will be participating in this year’s Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique and each of the riders is looking forward to the challenges that the race has to offer.
“We are committed to promoting healthy living, which is why we sponsor events like the Bestmed Jock Cycle and other sports. In line with our strategic wellness pillars, at this year’s Bestmed Jock Cycle event, we will not only have our teams participating to encourage people to be active, but, in collaboration with Incolabs and CANSA, we will be promoting safety as well. Most people forget the impact that the sun has on their skin, so we will provide sunscreen lotion for the riders and the spectators alike,” says Alan Fritz, Executive Head: Marketing, Sales and Distribution at Bestmed.
“Bestmed’s professional team’s leader – An-Li Kachelhoffer, has done extremely well this year. She won the Bestmed Tour de Boland race earlier this year and we trust that she will give her all in this race to show women that this sport is for everyone. We wish all our riders luck and encourage the nation to be active, safe, nutri-wise and ultimately happy,” comments Fritz.
The 43km first stage starts from the Mbombela Stadium near Nelspruit at 6.30am and includes 20km of hard pedalling on gradients of between two and six per cent.
At 9am, the 45km second stage begins when the riders head out in the direction of Sabie, over the 7km Spitskop climb, which is the same length as Boulders. For those who make it over the top, a welcome lunch break awaits at Sabie Primary School.
After lunch, at around 12.30pm, the 63km final stage takes the riders back to Nelspruit via Long Tom Pass.
“The last stage begins with ten kilometres of tough climbing up the pass that will challenge riders right from the start.”