Pretoria cycling race to highlight city’s historical significance

Tshwane Classic race spokesman Mauritz Meyer in front of the Voortrekker Monument, which will be the start and finish point for the 98km race. Photo: Supplied

A new and exciting cycling race will take place in Pretoria on Sunday 5 November.

The Tshwane Classic race aims to take participants on a route that explores Pretoria’s rich historical legacy and to become one of South Africa’s biggest races.

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The race will be a total of 98km and the organisers are working with the Tshwane metro to ensure rider safety by closing many roads on race day.

According to Mauritz Meyer, Tshwane Classic route race spokesperson, the race aims to expose people to Pretoria’s historical significance, while enjoying a magnificent race in the beautiful city.

“There are a number of famous landmarks like the Voortrekker Monument along the route and we are working with the municipality to create awareness of these among those who are riding. The race will however, start and finish at the monument,” he said.

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This was confirmed by Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, who said the metro had thrown its weight behind the race to make it one to remember.

In illustrating a significant connection between Pretoria and cycling, the mayor referenced the historical role of bicycles in the history of South Africa.

“During the South African war (1899-1902) (Anglo Boer War), commander Danie Theron asked permission from the ZAR (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek) to establish a bicycle corps to use for scouting instead of horses,” said Msimanga.

“The role of Pretoria in the history of South Africa is significant as it was the capital of the ZAR. Then it became the capital of the Union of South Africa (in 1910) and is presently capital of the new democratic Republic of South Africa.”

The riders will go past the Kgosi Mampuru ll Correctional Centre, which was the official site of punishment for political activists in the apartheid era.

Riders will pass the Paul Kruger statue in the centre of Church Square, and also the Union Buildings which house the executive arm of the government and which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1913.

Msimanga wants to welcome all cyclists to the historical city.

“As you can see, the city has many interesting attractions and places of historical value. This race will be unique on the South African cycle calendar as it will also be a tourist route,” he concluded.

While seasoned cyclists will be participating in the 60km and 98km routes respectively, the younger cyclists are welcome to partake in activities taking place at the Voortrekker Monument.

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Danielle Garrett
Digital Team

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