|South Africa to launch nine-day cycling tour|
Friday, 06 August 2010 09:30
Cycling South Africa has announced plans to hold an event to rival the Tour de France following the success of hosting this summer's Fifa World Cup.
The country's cycling governing body has said it has scheduled the first ever Tour of South Africa for February with the aim of making it a major event on the cycling calendar.
The Tour will be a nine-day race, and while details of where the stages will take place are yet to be decided, it is understood that a major sponsor has been secured.
Cycling South Africa chief executive, Barry Mocke, said: "We want to start at the bottom and and build this race into the best nine-day race in the world. We aim to get the ranking up every year, so we can attract the top teams.
"We'll be employing an international race director to guide us on the route of the race. Robbie Hunter [South African professional road cyclist] has offered to give us advice on the race as well, which we intend taking him up on."
Cycling South Africa general secretary, Ciska Austin, added: "The aim of the tour is to create a cycling culture in South Africa and to make professional cyclists around the world want to ride in South Africa."