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Cyclists took to the road for the Discovery 947 Ride Joburg

18 November 2019 Discovery

Participants at the start of the Discovery 947 Ride Joburg

The streets of Johannesburg were awash with enthusiastic cyclists who rode à bloc in Joburg’s iconic and most-loved cycling event. This year’s event attracted roughly 23, 000 cyclists as well as 20 000 eager supporters. The Discovery 947 Ride Joburg is the world’s second-largest timed cycling race and features cyclists ranging from beginner to elite every year.

In its 23rd year the event returned to the sporting calendar with a twist to the traditional route and an inclusive cycling schedule ensuring the participation of novice cyclists. While over 20,000 intrepid athletes braved the 95km challenge, around 2,700 tackled a brand new, shorter 40km route. The introduction of the Vitality Short Ride is designed to encourage and promote an ever-growing culture of physical activity among cycling enthusiasts with a range of fitness levels, in line with Discovery’s vision to get people moving more and reaping the benefits of being active.

“We congratulate every participant who dedicated time and effort to getting fitter for this event, and hope it encourages friends, family and supporters to join them in moving more for better health. The new 947 Vitality Short Ride in particular has proved a great success in making cycling a more inclusive sport for novices – we trust that it serves to whet appetites for people to continue to lead active lifestyles in the year ahead,” said Iona Maclean, Head of Experiential Marketing at Discovery.

Among the cyclists and charity organisations were popular South African media personalities Anele Mdoda and cycling star Daryl Impey who won a stage at the Tour dè France this year. Multiple township cyclists came out as more than five (5) groups from between Diepsloot, Soweto and Tembisa participated. Over one hundred and twenty (120) charity organisations partook in the annual “Ride for a Purpose” campaign which has historically raised over R90 million for good causes.

Effervescent vibes could be felt from across spectator points as people excitedly cheered cyclists on along the route. “Time and again, sport has proved that it unites people and it helps inculcate national pride and patriotism. As the City of Johannesburg, we are proud to support and partner with an event that provides a positive image of Johannesburg and contributes to health and the economy,” said Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba.

Elite male champion Marc Pritzen said, “To be honest it hasn’t sunk in yet but it’s definitely a race I’ve always wanted to win. My first ever bicycle race was the 947 kiddies race so it’s definitely a very special race for me. I have participated in nine ride Joburg events and today was a really hard day out on the bike.I’m really happy that I managed to time my sprint perfectly on this really difficult finish, special thanks to my team mates from Officeguru racing for the support today I could not have done this without them.”

This year’s top three winners in the elite male and female categories were:

Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Elite Men
Marc Pritzen – 2:14:41:300
Alexander Worsdale – 2:14:41:800
David Maree – 2:14:42:300

Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Elite Women
Carla Oberholtzer – 2:41:00
Jo Van De Winkel – 2:41:01:9
Parys Edwards – 2:41:02:6

Primedia’s Group Head of Events, Alexia Poulos commented: “The exponential growth of cycling in the past 10 years in South Africa bears testament to the importance of sporting activities such as these, by showcasing the diverse groups of cyclists we have and offering them a platform to compete amongst the best. We are thrilled to partner with Discovery and the City of Johannesburg on evolving this important cycling event. Our collective vision of getting more people to become healthier and more active is a great fit as we encourage cycling among people of all ages and walks of life.”

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