The Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) has announced that the Tour de Limpopo will return to the province for 2019 and 2020, after hosting the successful inaugural event last year.
The inaugural Tour de Limpopo, which took place from April 22-26 last year, saw collaboration between the LTA and Cycling South Africa to showcase the diversity of the province as a premier cycling destination. The 2018 event attracted 18 professional international teams.
This year, the event will take place from May 14-18, with registrations and a welcome dinner on the first day.
The four-day race will start at Bela Bela and head north to the provincial capital, Polokwane. Teams will overnight before heading east to Tzaneen, where they will stay for two nights before heading back to Polokwane on May 18, finishing the race at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Teams will be made up of six riders and three support crew, and international, national and regional teams are invited to participate. The tour has garnered a lot of interest, with 24 teams from four continents, representing a total of 14 countries, wishing to take part.
Teams will race it out for General Classification, Sprinter’s jersey, King of the Mountain jersey, Best Young Rider and Most Aggressive Rider, as well as overall team classification.
LTA CEO, Nomasanto Ndlovu, said: “Adventure tourism is another fast-growing segment in Limpopo, and it attracts a high volume of cyclists in mountain biking as well as 4x4 off-road enthusiasts from all over SA and beyond.”
She said this resonated with LTA’s marketing strategy, particularly on the sport tourism front. “This is mainly due to the province’s scenic beauty provided by the topography. This event will help grow the province’s tourism profile.”
Race schedule is as follows:
- May 14: Registration, team managers’ meeting, welcome dinner at Bela Bela.
- May 15: Bela Bela to Polokwane (172km), with a function in the evening and daily prize-giving.
- May 16: Polokwane to Tzaneen (96km), with a function in the evening and daily prize-giving.
- May 17: Tzaneen to Modjajieskloof to Tarantaal to Coachmans Climb (Mt Agatha), with a function in the evening and daily prize-giving.
- May 18: Tzaneen to Polokwane (116km), with a gala dinner in the evening and overall prize-giving.