Western Cape cyclists enjoying being back on track

It is almost all systems go again for Western Cape Cycling, with riders competing again on the track and mountains.

According to Corne Bence, president of Western Cape Cycling, race organisers and the cyclists adapted quickly and efficiently to the Covid-19 regulations imposed on cycling by the government.

We have started with track meetings again on September 1, the date government gave Cycling South Africa to resume with competitions, obviously with strict Covid-19 protocols in place. Everybody knows we need to be Covid-19 compliant and we are making sure we adhere strictly to the regulations.

We started with a few events at the racetrack in Killarney and now the league is in full swing on a Tuesday and Thursday evening. The organisers go out of their way to ensure we are compliant, and they explain the do’s and don’ts religiously to the riders and even to the parents who bring their kids.

We do not allow any spectators, as prescribed by government and the riders know they should arrive with their masks on. When a race starts, they take the mask off and put it on immediately after the completion of the race. There is no socialising after the meeting and no price-giving ceremony.

The parents are allowed only in a demarcated area and not in the race bubble. It is a new thing for all of us, but we know it is necessary if we want to keep on hosting meetings. Everybody adapted quite quickly, and the riders are excited to be back after such a long time – 3 to 4 months – without competition.

Our track meetings are going really well. That is where we want the riders to take part, as that is where you acquire and develop good riding technique and skills. But all our disciplines have kicked off well, even the BMX competitions in Hermanus are going great, with Rikus Muller doing exemplary work there.

Last weekend the Western Cape Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships took place in Grabouw and it was very successful. On 24 and 25 October the Western Cape Track Championships will be taking place at the Bellville Velodrome. Another big event happening soon is the “360” Mountain Bike event in the Eden District.

As president I am very happy, particularly for the cyclists and the event organisers. At least the coaches and technical personnel who work with the riders can derive an income now. The national body is also dependent on riders’ levies and with the lockdown cycling took a huge financial knock.

But now everything is coming together slowly but surely, and we are looking forward to some great cycling.