Big names and young bucks to share superb Tour ‘17 track

COLIN Shave of Kwano Cycling Academy (KCA) has been a very busy man - and not only over the past weeks and days, when preparation for this weekend’s long-awaited Tour de Plett (TdP) necessitated, for instance, a full Monday spent in the forest to mark the 87km route.
But Shave has also been running the Tour’s primary beneficiary and this task has taken up more than the average professional’s day job, and then some, in terms of hours spent working toward a multi-faceted goal.
Suffice to say, the Academy under Shave’s leadership has been changing lives in Bitou’s most populous wards since inception in 2014, by giving youngsters with limited recreational options a chance at mastering the sport of cycling, while broadening young horizons to include academic and social development.
Based at Murray High School, this NPO is a success story that everyone in Bitou should be proud of - as is the fact that 100% of profits from this year’s Tour will be reinvested in KCA’s development programmes.
Other local beneficiaries of Saturday’s seventh TdP are Plett NSRI and Wittedrift High School.
“MTO Group is our title sponsor, and has been loyal partners for the last few years. But we are particularly grateful for their support this year, considering the many challenges they have faced,” explains Shave.
And the sponsors are not the only ones back for more: big names like Dylan Rebello, HB Kruger and Waylon Woolcock, all of whom have enjoyed a high-performing cycling year, will brush sides with KCA riders like Masixole Tom, 21, who regards his third go at the 57km route this year as the biggest chance yet to make his mark among the pros.
Explains Plett cycling royalty Kevin Evans: “Coming off back the back of last month’s successful Dr Evil, numbers are generally up for Saturday’s event. The pros and other highly- skilled riders rated the non-sanctioned Dr Evil as an excellent precursor to the sanctioned Tour de Plett.
“Local fans should again keep an eye on the winning Plett Bike Shop team of Rogan Smart and Aiden Connelly, who are sure to chase a repeat of their recent Dr Evil victory.”
Apart from the many reasons why racers sign up for “the best one-day ride in the country”, spectator attractions also abound - not just along the route, but in and around the Central Beach race village.
“A 30x10-metre marquee will form the heart of the Race Village, offering craft beer, wine, pizza, cappuccino à La Cafeteria and hamburgers thanks to Peppermill Café, as well as a big-screen TV broadcasting Saturday’s test against the All Blacks.
“So we encourage everyone to come and enjoy the buzz at the finish of the race and stay on with friends to eat and watch the game,” says Shave, adding that there are still spots available in all three race distances (87km Marathon, 60km Half marathon, Family Fun ride).
Enter online today at www.tourdeplett.co.za and see the advert on this page for details.
And if you have not yet signed up for Sunday’s Robberg Express trail run, visit www.racingsnake.net or register at Robberg Reserve car park from 7am on October 8.