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As entries opened for the 2022 aQuellé Tour Durban road and MTB races, the event organisers reassured riders that the races are unlikely to be impacted by the recent flood damage suffered to the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
As online Early Bird entries opened on Wednesday 1 June for the 106km, 90km and 45km road races on Sunday 11 September and the 40km and 20km aQuellé MTB races powered by CycleLab the day before, race bosses stressed that there is every indication that the planned race routes would all be ready for the races.
“The good news is that we are working closely with the authorities that control the M4 north to uMdloti and beyond, and at the moment there aren’t any changes to the route for this year’s race,” said race director Alec Lenferna.
“Everyone involved is doing a fantastic job on the roads and the major damage to the M4 is not in the section that we are looking to utilise, so we are very confident that all will be ready by race time.”
The signature lap up the M4 and back to Durban is the anchor for the new 106km road race that traverses the greater Durban area, as well as the very popular 90km and 45km road races.
“It has been a very busy time for the race charity The Domino Foundation which has been very active in assisting affected communities.
“When we get to ride the M4 in September we look forward to it being a statement of recovery and renewal for all people in the region.” he added.
Covid regulations forced the aQuellé Tour Durban to stage the race inside a contained section of the M4 last year, and race organisers were pleased to get a route for the new date in September signed off that signalled a return to the traditional long road race route.
“This race has a core of very loyal supporters and we have been listening to their thoughts and suggestions,” said Lenferna. “It is encouraging to be able to organise what many have been asking for.”
The new aQuellé Tour Durban MTB races powered by CycleLab introduced last year around Cornubia Mall also saw an influx of entries when they opened online, and Lenferna says the same applies to the 20km and 40km route options.
“The MTB team has assessed the damage to the trails and bridges that are used on these routes and have plans to address these repairs,” said Lenferna.
“Fortunately we have time on our side as our races are in early September, and with the ongoing support and co-operation of all the parties involved and the local authorities, we can look forward to some great riding,” he said.
The aQuellé MTB races powered by CycleLab take place on Saturday 10 September and the aQuellé Tour Durban road races take place on Sunday 11 September.