What’s approximately 94.7km long and packed with hills? What allows cyclists to own the city for a day including taking over the M1 highway and other major roads?What brings people out of their homes to line the streets and cheer on thousands of cyclists?What raises millions of Rands for charity through cyclists who Ride for a Purpose?
Only the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge gives cyclists this annual opportunity to take over Joburg, and that won’t change in 2018, but this year – we’ll be doing it in reverse!
Cyclists will enjoy the same city-spanning route and the challenge doesn’t get any easier but now the climbs will be downhills, and riders will need to work where they used to be freewheeling.
A big difference in terms of the enjoyability for many riders will be that the cluster of steep hills that made the last 10km of the route such a grind in previous years, will now be tackled and gotten out of the way in the first 10km of the reverse route, while legs are still fresh.
We know that there are a significant number of participants who undertake the Cycle Challenge for charity, or as a bucket list item, who are not regular cyclists, and they really do have to dig deep to complete the ride. We receive consistent feedback from this group that the final four hills just broke them, and detracted from an otherwise awesome experience.Tanya Harford, Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge Race Director
At the same time, this is an iconic event in its 22nd year which has built a reputation for being a tough ride, and therefore attracts thousands of keen, strong cyclists, including elites.
We didn’t want to take away the challenge for our loyal cyclists. The new route profile has just as much climbing and it’s just as long but we think will be even more enjoyable as the really nasty bit, which used to hit just as riders were at their worst, is now out of the way early, and cyclists can go big from the start, and not have the looming thought of Cedar Road and the hills in Steyn City tainting their experience.Tanya Harford, Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge Race Director
It’s an opportunity for anyone who has completed a Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge in the past to take on the challenge all over again to get the new perspective offered by the reverse approach. See the entire route map here.
Notable points to look up from the handlebars include the landmark Nelson Mandela bridge, as cyclists will now be riding towards the CBD, with the city ahead of them as they cross the bridge.
The King and Queen of the Mountains moves from the top of Cedar to Braamfontein, just before riders hit the bridge.
Jan Smuts through Randburg is now a long downhill – but the climb from Craighall Park to Hyde Park is going to be a tough uphill, as will the stretch past the Johannesburg Zoo.
On the other hand, the M1 becomes a speedy set of undulating downhills, and the home stretch, from the turn off Summit into Mnandi becomes a welcome freewheel to the finish line.
The route profile for the new race: Same Same, but faster....
Over the past 22 years, the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge has contributed significantly in positioning Joburg as a destination of choice for cycling enthusiast from various parts of the globe. It has assisted to build on the City’s reputation, as a preferred host City for major sporting events.
Whether 2018 will be your first Cycle Challenge or your 22nd, the route reversal will make this an exciting ride that embraces the City of Joburg as a place to work, play and live. If you’re up for the challenge – 947 loves you!
Enter now at www.cyclechallenge.co.za and follow the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge on Facebook or Instagram or @947Cycle on Twitter.