2017 African Continental Track Championships headed for Durban in March 24-03-2017
The 2017 African Continental Track Championships take place at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycling Track - Outdoor velodrome of 333.33m - in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal from 20-24 March 2017. African track cyclists headed South this summer, and the province of KwaZulu-Natal, along with KZN Track Cycling, has done its utmost at short notice to ensure that another epic cycling event takes place.
Cycling South Africa President who also serves as the African Track Commission President and UCI Track Commission member, William Newman, spoke about the benefits of hosting an African Continental Championship in our home country:
“Once again Cycling South Africa has the opportunity to host the African Track Cycling Championships. The Championships are very important for the development of track cycling on the Continent. After the inaugural event held in 2015 in Pietermaritzburg followed by the 2016 Championships in Casablanca, Morocco it is crucial that the momentum is maintained. It is also of huge significance that the event is held at the Cyril Geoghegan Track as this is the venue that Cycling South Africa is motivating for the inclusion of track cycling at the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
Mr. Newman mentioned the significant strides that African Track cycling has made since 2015 with more nations showing an interest in the discipline. “A huge milestone was achieved by Egypt last year when for the very first time ever, they qualified a cyclist for the Olympics on the track,” he said.
Ebtissam Zayed was Africa’s lone representative on the track in Rio where she participated in the women’s sprint event. As a result of this success Egypt now boasts a world class 250m wooden track which is in the final stages of completion. Newman mentioned how great this achievement was for Africa, as the continent will now have a world class facility to further develop track cycling and host many international events.
“Besides the coveted medals and Championship jerseys on offer, there is added motivation for our Continent’s riders as the African Champion will get a qualification place in certain events at the World Championships to be held in Hong Kong in April 2017".
“We are very grateful for the continued support of the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation and the City of Durban and the eThekwini Municipality in making this possible.”
The Championships cater for the Junior and Elite categories, males and females. As track cycling is still developing on the Continent, entries were open to National teams, UCI registered teams, Provincial teams and Club teams.
Riders from Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Swaziland and Seychelles made their first continental steps, beside the participation of South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and Morocco. Africa secures its presence during the coming UCI World Track Championships that will take place in April 2017 in Hong Kong.