Bela Bela to welcome 2019 edition of Tour de Limpopo
The inaugural Tour De Limpopo saw a collaboration between the Limpopo Tourism Agency and Cycling South Africa, showcasing the diversity of the Limpopo Province as a premier cycling destination. The 2018 event attracted 18 international professional cycling teams and produced some of the most amazing views of the Greater Letaba district and the Magoebaskloof.
The 2019 edition begins in Bela Bela, highlighting this biodiversity of the area from the private game reserves close to the roads to the savannah plains and the grape-growing regions, as well as the World Heritage Site in the Makapan Valley situated between Mokapane and Polokwane on the R101. The route will really show that there is “More to Enjoy” in Limpopo.
Limpopo Tourism Agency CEO, Ms Nomasanto Ndlovu, is excited to announce that the event will return to Limpopo Province for 2019 and 2020. Ms Ndlovu said: “Adventure Tourism is another fast-growing segment in Limpopo Province and it attracts a high volume of cyclists who visit for mountain biking, as well as 4x4 off-road enthusiasts from all over South Africa and beyond. This finds resonance with LTA’s Marketing Strategy, particularly on the sports tourism front, mainly due to the province’s scenic beauty provided by the topography. This event will help grow the province’s sports tourism profile.”
The Tour de Limpopo will be a four-day stage race starting at Bela Bela and heading North to the capital city of Polokwane. Teams will stay overnight before heading east to the town of Tzaneen, where riders will stay for two nights before heading back to Polokwane on 18 May, to finish the Tour at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
International Elite Race
The Elite race will comprise teams of six riders and three support crew. Pro Continental Teams, National Teams and local regional/professional teams will be invited to participate in the tour. The interest in the tour has grown with over 24 teams expressing interest to participate. These teams span four continents, representing 14 countries.
Teams will race for General Classification, Sprinters jersey, King of the Mountain jersey, Best Young Rider and Most Aggressive Rider, as well as Overall Team Classification.
Mass Participation elements
To involve as many people as possible, the event will introduce some new concepts this year. From “best host municipality” to school competitions, and a cycle challenge up Mount Agatha, outside Tzaneen.
14 May 2019 – registration, team managers meeting, welcome dinner – Bela Bela
15 May 2019 – Bela Bela to Polokwane - 172km
4 x sprint hotspots and finish sprint time bonus 1 x king of the mountains hotspot Evening function – Daily prizegiving
16 May 2019 – Polokwane to Tzaneen - 96km
1 x sprint Hotspot 2 x King of the mountains hotspot Evening function – Daily prizegiving
17 May 2019 – Tzaneen – Modjajieskloof – Tarantaal – Coachmans Climb (Mt Agatha) - 101km
2 x KOM (Hillclimb finish) – double points for King of the Mountain Evening function – Daily prizegiving
18 May 2019 – Tzaneen – Polokwane - 116km
Gala dinner - Overall prizegiving
Limpopo is the northernmost province of South Africa. It is named after the Limpopo River, which forms the province's western and northern borders. The name "Limpopo" has its etymological origin in the Northern Sotho language word diphororo tša meetse, meaning "strong gushing waterfalls". The capital is Polokwane.
Limpopo contains much of the Waterberg Biosphere, a massif of approximately 15,000 km2 (5,800 sq mi) which is the first region in the northern part of South Africa to be named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The massif was shaped by hundreds of millions of years of riverine erosion yielding diverse bluff and butte landforms. The Waterberg ecosystem can be characterised as a dry deciduous forest or Bushveld. Within the Waterberg, archaeological finds date back to the Stone Age.