Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge

Date: 20 November 2016

Time: 05h30

Organisers: Harford Sports Promotions

Distance: 94.7; 

Province: Gauteng

Start: Riversands Commercial Park Fourways


Contact 1: Race Office 
(Work) 011-0172700
(Fax) 086-6840158
(Email) cyclechallenge@94.7.co.za
Website www.cyclechallenge.co.za

Entry Details:

Pre-entries: www.cyclechallenge.co.za. Entry forms are also available at leading cycling shops in Gauteng and at Virgin Active gyms. Entries open in July and close in September. Registration will take place at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge Expo. Number collection will take place at the Momentum 94.7 Challenge EXPO at Ticketpro Dome, car Northumberland Rd & Olievenhout Ave, North Riding, Johannesburg. 

Route Description: 

Difficulty Rating: 0. Route Type: Circular
Don’t get disheartened as you climb from the start to Summit Road. Yes it is a bit of a grind, but by the time you hit the turn onto the R55 all will be forgotten and you will be flying. There is some work to be done on this stretch to be sure, and once you have the first watering table and just over 12 kilometres at your back it is time to dig in. The ride through Kyalami and then Sunninghill is moderate by any standards, an opportunity to get your composure before tackling the highway. 

At Woodmead now with 20 kilometres to the good, the route takes you onto the M1 South on a pleasant roller-coaster ride towards the City. Marlboro Road, Corlett Drive, Glenhove and 11th Avenue all tick by before you leave the highway. The organisers want to show off the best of Johannesburg in the safest possible way and for the sake of interest the ‘Round the City Loop’ was included. Both the JMPD and the Taxi Association were helpful and now this part of the race embraces a route that is both exciting and safe. 

As you leave the M1 you head into the CBD along Joe Slovo Drive then down Eloff Street and through Ghandi Square. This is a tricky diversion, to be sure, and the short cobbled area will require all your concentration. Before long you will be back on the highway and heading east. Be cautious at the slow right turn-off at Carr Street. Watch out for unpredictable behaviour from cyclists who may not be quite so well prepared for the steep rise onto the Nelson Mandela Bridge, this could leave you chasing as the race heads up into Braamfontein on Bertha Street. 

Enjoy the long descent which starts next to Wits University and takes you onto Jan Smuts Avenue. It is cool as you race through the tree-lined suburbs of Westcliff, Saxonwold and onward to the fourth refreshment station in Parktown North. Unless you were in one of the very first start bunches, spectators often line this part of the route and cheer you on. Be careful of the bends in the road between the Zoo and Rosebank, these are not tight corners but it is easy to touch wheels during a moment of inattention. 

Once you have passed the Hyde Park shopping centre on your right you are on the last part of the descent and probably exceeding the speed limit. The road dips and rises through the intersections and there are a couple of awkward manhole covers to watch out for. You do not want to lose control of your bike here. 

Settle into a steady cadence as you tackle the rise into the Randburg CBD. If you are keen on exotic cars the merchandise of the motor dealers lining this section of the route might ease some of the discomfort but it is not too long before you turn left onto Homestead Road and the lower reaches of Bryanston. Do not panic, you do not have to climb all the way to the traffic light at the top of the hill. The route rather takes you on a fairly scenic twisting path along Cumberland Avenue, Moray Drive and Grosvenor Road to the N1 crossing into Douglas Drive. 

After the turn into Witkoppen Road a steep climb awaits. Beware the tar is quite pitted in places. You will need to harden your resolve against the beer and food on offer from the restaurants and guesthouses if you are hoping for a personal best. The stretch along Malibongwe Drive is a short climb to the Lion Park where you have just a bit more than 13 kilometres to ride. 

Although the tar is smooth at the 80-kilometre mark, the stretch on the N14 to the lowest point of the route at the Jukskei River can be tough. By now you have covered most of distance and the road undulates over a series of gentle but tedious hills. If the wind is blowing you will want to hold the wheel ahead and look for the shelter of the bunch. The last refreshment station will help to ease the discomfort; do not skip it if you are feeling a bit flat for there is still some climbing before your day is done.

94.7 Cycle Challenge

Prizes and Give-Aways:

R275,000 in prize money is on offer. Medals go to all riders who finish within the time limit.

Editor's Notes:

The Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge has been consistently ranked in a number of our surveys as a well organised and well-presented event. The race will be staged for the 20th time in 2016. It all began in 1997 when Highveld Stereo got together with Midrand Country Cyclists and decided to organise a cycle race in Gauteng. At that time the founders wanted to funnel the city’s hunger and its competitive spirit into a world-class, mass sporting event. 

‘Just’ 4,500 cyclists participated in the event in the first year. From its inception, the Cycle Challenge was the biggest cycling event in Gauteng – but it was not a real Cycle Tour yet. Johannesburg knew it could grow and do better. With major sponsors like Pick n Pay this became possible. 

The race has enjoyed sustained growth from the beginning. Yet, with growth comes the challenge of maintaining safety, both for individual cyclists and for spectators. Not everyone touched by the Challenge agreed. For cyclists, road closure means safety, for motorists it is an annoyance. Managing full road closure in a dense city and growing suburban areas will always be a challenge. In 2005 part of the N14 towards Pretoria was closed and cyclists revelled in the space and improved safety. 

Women compete on equal terms with men and make up more than 25% of the field. One reason is that the Cycle Challenge was the first major cycling event to have a separate Women’s Category. 

The 94.7 Cycle Challenge has received recognition from the International Governing Body of Cycling, the UCI, as a model to the cycling world. These achievements have led world-famous cycling commentator Phil Liggett and respected journalist Jeff Quenet to remark that the Cycle Challenge is one of the best-organised events in Africa and that leading cycling nations could learn from what is achieved in Johannesburg. To maintain international standards, the organisers established new Veteran’s Categories in line with UCI categories. 

Recognition! The 94.7 Cycle Challenge received the ‘Race of the Year’ award at the Cyclist of the Year Awards in both 2003 and 2005. ‘Joburg’s Toughest Race for the World’s Toughest People’ captures the spirit of the event and the time. For a city founded on gold still finding its ‘freedom legs’, the race demonstrates that all challenges can be overcome and conquered. 

There is a strong commitment to social responsibility. The Cycle Challenge supports the Homeless Talk Crèche in Joubert Park. Here the children of Homeless Talk vendors are cared for during the day. 

Time limit: 06:00 after the start of the last group.
Finishers: 27000

Race Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge
Website www.cyclechallenge.co.za