Traditionally signalling the resumption of the cycling season after winter, the Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship is again set to attract a bumper entry when it celebrates its 20th anniversary at Sun City next month.
The two-day festival of cycling, which incorporates road and mountain bike races, also serves as a major fundraiser for the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), having bolstered their coffers with more than R3.5-million over the years.
Spokesperson Sonett de Villiers said the popularity of the event was due to their objectives of making sure the cyclists were well looked after.
"From an organisational perspective, we have always concentrated on delivering at a consistently high level," she said. "It is about attention to detail in pursuit of creating the best possible experience for participants.
"In addition," she said, "the Cycle4Cansa event helps cyclists get back into the swing of things after winter, with the routes ideally suited for that purpose."
With the landmark edition creating much interest, De Villiers expected entries to top that of last year.
Therefore, she said, the fields for the mountain bike events on August 19 and the following day's road races would be capped at 1 500 and 4 000 respectively.
She said ensuring the riders' safety was paramount and that Sun City gave them wonderful support in creating a safe environment for the mountain bikers within their grounds.
"For the road race, we are again engaging with all the mines to ensure their trucks don't run on the Sunday morning."
De Villiers said the road races reverted to their original Sunday slot last year and they found the roads much more conducive to a mass participation event.
"The road races are now much safer and faster since the return to the traditional route."
Bestmed marketing manager Sasja La Grange said it was an important race for them as their core strategy with Cansa was to create awareness for early detection and to live a healthy life.
"This event caters for all, as we believe sport in families should be inclusive to ensure healthy, happy generations."
The milestone event would be celebrated with distinctive mementos, said De Villiers.
"We are introducing special pink T-shirts for the 20th edition, as well as buffs and other merchandise. There will also be a commemorative medal."
She said the resort in the Pilanesberg would again pull out all the stops to ensure an equally pleasing experience off the bike.
"Riders get free entry into the Valley of Waves on both days and Sun City really go out of their way to look after all the wheel wobblers."
The Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship offers 25km and 50km mountain bike events and 70km and 103km road races.
Enter at www.cansalostcity.co.za until August 8.
CAPTION: A big entry is expected when the popular Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship, which includes road races and mountain bike events, celebrates its 20th anniversary at Sun City on August 19 and 20. Photo: Jetline Action