MTN-Qhubeka’s emergence as Africa’s first Grand Tour team is not the only positive cycling development emanating from the continent. Later this month the first African Continental Track Championships are due to be held in South Africa.
The Sax Young Cycling Track in Alexandra Park, 85km from the east coast city of Durban, will be hosting four days of competition from January 21 to January 24 – with January 25 set aside as a reserve day should weather intervene.
The event marks another significant milestone in the development of African cycling following MTN-Qhubeka – who this off-season signed seasoned professionals like Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tyler Farrar, Matt Goss and Brit Steve Cummings – and Kenyan-born British Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
The outdoor concrete velodrome is also hosting the 2016 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships and this month’s championships will also include Paracycling races in both time-trial and pursuit races.
There is a full programme of events at the Championships with medals being up for grabs in the following disciplines: sprint, 500m TT (women’s only), 1km TT (men’s only), Keirin, team sprint, individual pursuit, team pursuit, points race, scratch race, omnium, Madison (men’s only).
Cycling South Africa Track Commission Director Johan Smith commented: “This is very good for the development of track cycling in South Africa.”