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04 Feb 2008 16:14
Cycling in South Africa received yet another boost on Monday when it was announced that MTN has become the title sponsor of the country’s premier and only international road-cycling stage race, the Giro del Capo.
The Giro del Capo, a five-day stage race that takes place yearly in the Western Cape and culminates the day before the world-famous Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, has been South Africa’s only international stage race since the demise of the Rapport Tour in 1999.
Since its inception in 1992, the Giro del Capo has provided an important platform for local cyclists to compete in their home country against riders from abroad.
This has raised the standard of local Elite and Under-23 racing, which has helped launch the international careers of some of the most promising South Africans, including three-time winner David George, the current Commonwealth Game silver medallist; 2000 winner Nicholas White, the reigning African Continental champion; and Daryl Impey, the reigning African Games champion.
“With our sponsorship of the top South African professional team, MTN Energade, it is important for MTN to ensure that the country’s premier stage race, the Giro del Capo, is also given the support it needs to grow,” said Anthony Garstang, MTN South Africa senior manager: sponsorships.
“MTN is fully committed to the growth of cycling and our sponsorship of the sport is multidimensional, reaching all the disciplines, road cycling, mountain biking and BMX.
The cycle race holds a 2,2 rating from the International Cycling Union (UCI) and is a key event on the UCI Africa Tour calendar, making it one of the most prestigious road-cycling events on the continent.
“Giro del Capo” is Italian for Tour of the Cape, and part of the race’s charm is the scenic region in which it takes place, starting with the rolling, fertile greenery of the Winelands and finishing with the ever-popular and breathtaking Signal Hill climb during the final stage.
The race is from March 4 to 8 and has attracted all of the country’ s top professional teams, developing teams and a good mix of international squads that should ensure high quality, world-class racing.—Sapa
2008 MTN Giro del Capo
Tuesday March 4, 105km: Wellington-Tulbagh-Wellington
Wednesday March 5, 179,5km: Vissershoek Circuit, Durbanville
Thursday March 6, 174,5km: Paarl-Franschhoek-Villiersdorp-Paarl
Friday March 7, 148,5km: Stellenbosch-Paardeberg-Helhoogte-Stellenbosch
Saturday March 8, 5.5km: Individual time trial: Signal Hill, Cape Town
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