The organisers have confirmed that the new start loop will now turn at Swapo Road (formerly Broadway) instead of turning at Riverside Road as was the case last year, adding that this was purely to bring the race distance up to 100km.
Last year the race route was tweaked to shorten the final out-and-back leg on the M4 to turn at Mdloti instead of Desainager Circle to minimise the impact of road closure on the local residents in that area. To make up for the distance lost a start lap along the coastal M4 route was added in.
“The route worked well but after the race we saw the total race distance was 97km, and all the classics aim to be 100km,” said race route director Andrew van Rensberg.
“We will keep the same format but simply ride up to Swapo Road (formerly Broadway) and turn there before heading back into the city via Masabalala Yengwa Avenue (NMR Avenue) and onto the familiar route that takes the riders out to the M4 Southern Freeway,” he explained.
Van Rensberg added that start lap was well accepted as a chance for the peloton to warm up and ease into the ride.
“The attacks come later, particularly on the climb up to Pinetown,” he explained.
The routes for the popular 45km ride that uses the M4 to Mdloti and back will remain unchanged. Van Rensberg said that small changes will be made to the 55km “cyclocross’ route that is aimed at mountain bikers, hoping to incorporate new sections of single track on the three 5km sectors off the M4.
The new route for the start lap:
The race starts on Masabalala Yengwa Ave (NMR) outside the Moses Mabhida People's Park proceeding south on the north bound carriage way (contra flow). Participants will turn into Sandile Thusi Road (Argyle) and then turn left toward the M4 where participants will enter the Ruth First M4 south bound (contra flow) and proceed north taking the Fairway/Broadway onramp and returning on the Ruth First M4 north bound (contra flow). Riders then exit the Ruth First M4 at Isaiah Ntshangase Road and turn left onto Masabalala Yengwa Avenue in the south bound carriage. Participants will cross over from the south bound of Masabalala Yengwa Avenue to Samora Machel (contra flow) at the intersection of KE Masinga Road, where they will ride into the city, crossing over AB Xuma and Monty Naicker Streets, and turning right onto Margaret Mncadi Avenue west bound to get onto the M4 Southern Freeway.
The aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge Fund Managers, takes place on Sunday 28 April 2019. More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za