The Takealot Tour of Good Hope is set to accommodate a wider range of cyclists after adding a solo option to its entry list.
The five-day road tour, which has UCI status for the first time, takes place in the Cape Winelands from March 4 to 8 and will now offer a pro-elite tour, an amateur tour with a team focus and the new solo race.
All three events will include a general classification for individual riders.
Following numerous requests from riders who had previously participated as individuals, Fritz Pienaar, of race organisers ASG Events, said they had decided to offer the solo option as well.
“Many riders were not so keen to ride in a team event and did not want to be forced to join one,” he said.
“We took cognizance of their calls for the solo race and that led to our decision to rethink the entry options.”
“We didn’t want anyone to be disadvantaged and this decision it means anyone can still be part of the stage race vibe.”
Pienaar said the pro-elite race would be run under the governing body’s regulations while the rules for the amateur team event would remain unchanged.
“The only new development in terms of the entries is that you can now enter as an individual.”
He added that the king of the mountains and sprint competitions would apply only to the pro-elite and amateur team events.
The amateur race for teams will comprise open men, women, junior, mixed and veteran sections while the solo event will cater for men, women and veterans (over-30).
Pienaar said amateur teams could be made up of four to eight riders with the fourth rider’s time counting towards the team standings.
“Mixed teams can consist of two men and two women with the second woman’s time counting for the team,” he added.
The solo entry option is open on the race website with a full package of R5 800 and a no-frills option of R4 200.
The tour will start with a team time-trial in the pro-elite and amateur races and an individual time-trial in the solo event.