Amashova spirit kept alive with 2020 virtual event

The pandemic has caused the postponement or cancellation of numerous cycling events, but organisers of the popular Amashova Durban Classic decided to go virtual this year.

Cyclists from anywhere in the world can be part of this prestigious event by simply taking to any roads or trails in their area and completing a 35km, 50km, 65km and 80km road or mountain bike distance.

 

Photo 1 Supplied.jpg
The Amashova, which is South Africa’s oldest road classic, has opted for the virtual option this year and invites anyone from all over the world to participate on October 18. Photo: Supplied

 

“We wanted to keep the Amashova spirit alive,” said event organiser Melissa Felt.

 

“As we had to cancel the physical event due to Covid-19 restrictions, we still wanted to feel the virtual vibe around Amashova race day.”

 

Felt said that she saw numerous positive elements to having the Amashova, which is such a well-known mass participation event, go virtual this year.

 

“We’ve made it possible for cyclists to choose from four distances and have included a 5km or 10km charity run/walk for those who want to be part of the action on race day.

 

“We’re also donating a portion of the run/walk entries to our beneficiary Flag Animal Farm.

 

“Everyone will be emailed a race number that they can wear on race day and will receive a finisher’s certificate which timing company Racetec will email to them.”

 

She added that all cyclists would also receive a virtual goodie bag brought to you by Cycle Lab, which would be emailed to them before race day.

 

Companies who are giving entrants great deals include Cycle Lab, PowerBar, Thule, Futurelife and Be Bright.

 

Felt said the downside to hosting a virtual event was that they would miss the hospitality and friendly vibe at the finish, as well as seeing the proud cyclists achieve their goals out on the road.

 

“We love interacting with our riders - from assisting them at number collection, seeing them on the start line to welcoming them over the finish line and into the hospitality village.”

 

One of the unique factors that will be presented to riders is that everyone who takes part in any of the four distances and who have their Strava linked to Racetec, will have another year added onto their green number log.

 

The group of green number cyclists, which are those who have completed 10 Amashova events, is growing each year and they can be seen proudly lined up in their special batch on the start line.

 

Felt said that anyone with a bicycle and helmet could enter, but those participating in the virtual event on the road needed to have an understanding of cycling safety.

 

“Cyclists can ride on the road or their favourite mountain bike trail. They’re advised to please practise safe cycling and adhere to social distancing.

 

“If the rider has an indoor trainer then they can also ride on that, as long as they link their Strava and give Racetec permission to receive their results.”

 

She added that they had already started preparations for next year’s event, which is taking place on October 24, and would be incorporating a new and exciting feature.

 

“We will have a ‘Friends of the Amashova’ batch for all cyclists who take part in the virtual event.

 

“This batch will give them a preferential start time at the start of the 106km, 65km and 35km events next year.”

 




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