Bestmed Jock Cycle is the Comrades of cycling
Cyclists with a sense of adventure and who are not afraid to face a tough challenge are invited to enter for this year's Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique. The race, presented by ASG Events and organised by Wynand de Villiers, will be held in the Lowveld on 21 July 2012.
The Bestmed Jock is the second oldest classic in South African cycling - only the Argus is older. "I regard the Jock as the Comrades of cycling. Any rider who finishes can be proud of the achievement, having conquered what is possibly the toughest climb in local road cycling," says De Villiers.
Boulders will determine who wins
The climb De Villiers refers to is Boulders on the second stage between Nelspruit and Kaapmuiden. It is 7km long with an average gradient of 9%. For about 3km it goes up to 14%. De Villiers predicts that is where the race will be won or lost. "Any rider who is prepared to push himself through the pain barrier will be able to ride calendar days into his rivals. The backmarkers always battle a bit to get to the top, but there is no need to get despondent - there is a long descent to the finish line."
According to De Villiers, the three-stage, 154km Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique is the biggest winter road event in the country, attracting 1 300 riders annually. "Riders love the three-stage format. The locals treat them really well before and after the racing. The food and hospitality just couldn't be better."