The Herald VW Cycle Tour’s new-look website and social media platforms, which launched this week, are making it easier for cyclists to enter online and get the latest news on the event.
The 27th edition promises a full weekend festival of cycling, starting with the mountain bike challenge at Addo on February 4 and culminating in the road events at Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth the following day.
“The website is your hub for everything related to the event,” said The Herald’s chief marketing officer Justin Peel. “We’ve simplified the design and content to ensure it’s easier to navigate whether you’re a road cyclist, mountain biker or spectator.”
Peel said the online site, which was designed by Perfect Circle, provided comprehensive information for riders, including the full schedule of events, start line details, route maps and prize money on offer. He said interested residents could also visit the site for the specifics of the rolling road closures that would be in effect.
In addition, Peel said participants would find links to the race’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for breaking news. “If there are any last-minute changes or weather-related problems, you will get instant updates via the social media.”
He said followers could also look forward to a “Twitter ride”, popularised by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, ahead of the event. “Details will be sent out via our social media platforms.” Peel said organisers were encouraging riders to make use of the online registration process as it was much easier for users and administrators alike. “You can enter every event from the 105km Classic to the 500m Toddlers’ Dash.” He said the first 100 users who entered online would receive a free race t-shirt to the value of R80.
“If you’re not one of the lucky ones, you can still purchase your race merchandise via the website.” Peel said a running list of successful entries would be added to the site, which entrants should check in order to eliminate problems at the pre-race registration and expo. “If you have entered and your name’s not on there, you’ll know that there could be a problem with your payment and registration process.”
Those who still preferred the manual entry method could download a form from the website, he said. “Bukani Print has also made entry forms available at all cycle shops in Nelson Mandela Bay and payments can be made at these stores.”
Road cyclists can enter the 105km Classic, 70km Pursuit and 40km Challenge, or one of the three family options – the¬ 21km Leisure Ride, 2km Kiddies’ Ride and 500m Toddlers’ Dash¬ – sponsored by Powerade.
Mountain bikers can sign up for the 80km Extreme, 60km Adventure or the family-orientated 30km Powerade Leisure Challenge. The 5km Kiddies’ Challenge and 500m Toddlers’ Dash, also supported by Powerade, complete the line-up.
The closing date for entries is January 30.