Hoffman out to secure legendary Tour Durban status10/08/2022
Kimberley roadie eager for Tour Durban17/08/2022
The return of the long road race to some of its iconic sectors has triggered renewed interest in the road cycling community ahead of the aQuellé Tour Durban on Sunday 11 September.
During the hard Covid years the well-loved Durban classic had its wings clipped and raced in managed laps on the M4 freeway, offering the serious roadies three laps totalling 135km.
Now freed of the negotiated compromises that the organisers were forced to strike to come up with a compliant event, the event has quickly reverted to a traditional long Tour Durban road race, tweaked and adjusted to offer the serious cyclists the challenge that many have been asking for.
After the fast M4 lap from the start outside the Moses Mabhida Stadium to the Desainagar Circle at Mdloti and back to the city, the race heads into the city for the signature fast sector down Margaret Mncadi Street, formerly known as the Victoria Embankment, and onto the M4 Southern Freeway.
For the racers that sector is crucial as the racing groups that will be defined on that leg will start the key climb from Rossburgh to Pinetown, roughly seventy kilometres into the race.
For the serious road racers the climb up the M7 is a defining element of the aQuellé Tour Durban and always plays a key role in shaping the short-list of the potential race winners.
It is a brutal fourteen kilometre climb that ardent road enthusiasts have been factoring into their training for the big race, and cresting the top of that climb in Pinetown is one of the landmark moments in the legacy of the Tour Durban.
Building on that legacy, the race then embarks on its newest innovation, negotiated with the eThekwini Metro traffic authorities, that take the racers home along the M13 from the St Johns Avenue bridge.
Gains that have been won on the tough M7 climb will be banked and the fast descent into the finish in Masabalala Yengwa Avenue will decide the riders who will be called to the podium later in the day.
As part of days traffic management plan, the 106 kilometre ride has been limited to 1000 riders, and for the serious roadies, securing one of those entries has been a key priority.
For many of them, the winter weekends have been made up of familiar training rides along the M4, supplemented with key hill training and fast descents to prepare for the closing thirty kilometres to the finish line on Sunday 11 September.
Entries for the 2022 aQuellé Tour Durban are open.