Emperors fills Cape Town Cycle Tour void
With less than a week to go before entries close, ASG Events race director Darren Herbst is anticipating another bumper entry for the Emperors Palace Classic cycle races in Johannesburg later this month.
The closing date for the two-day festival, which will feature two mountain bike events on April 22 and two road races on April 23, is on April 10.
Following the cancellation of the Cape Town Cycle Tour due to heavy winds last month, Herbst is expecting a big field as the event dubbed the “race of dreams” prepares to satisfy the racing community’s needs.
“Because of what happened in Cape Town last month, with the race being cancelled, we are finding that many riders who put in a lot of training for the event are now looking for an outlet,” he said.
“I believe many will take this opportunity to make up for losing out and therefore we are expecting another good turnout.”
In addition, Herbst is pleased that Emperors is again rated as a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which he believes will bring even more riders to the Kempton Park casino resort for the 98km feature race.
“That rating definitely adds something and it proves what a quality event it has become,” he said.
With the Emperors Palace Classic celebrating its 10th anniversary, Herbst said they felt they had a winning formula and would not be introducing any major changes.
“We feel the success of the previous events guides us in the way forward and we will carry on as usual.”
He said they have however beefed up their marshalling and would be working closely with the Road Rangers and metro officials to ensure everything ran smoothly.
“We have more entries every year and the roads also get a bit busier so we always need to make sure we have plans in place to manage that.”
The Emperors Palace Classic starts off with 25km and 50km mountain bike events on the Saturday and culminates with 48km and 98km road races on the Sunday.
Herbst said the mountain bike races played an important part in the overall package.
“There is a big emphasis on the mountain bike races,” he said. “The entries for these events are limited because of the loop structure that we have in place.
“They are very popular and the entries fill up quickly.”
The event also caters for children aged three to five and six to eight with the Emperors Palace Kids Classic on the Sunday.
Go to www.emperorsclassic.co.za for more information or to enter.
Caption: Following the cancellation of the Cape Town Cycle Tour last month, a big entry is expected for the Emperors Palace Classic to be held in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, on April 22 and 23. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep