The Powerade Dome2Dome Cycling Spectacular next Sunday, September 17, might just give South Africa a vital final push towards claiming medals at this year's World Championships that take place in the week following the event. The national team will leave for Austria only a few hours after the race, as the riders specifically requested to participate in the Dome2Dome. Daryl Impey from the dominant Microsoft team commented: "The race is only a week before World's and is perfect in every sense for our final preparation."
According to Impey, few races in South Africa present riders with a tough enough course and the distance of the Powerade Dome2Dome "makes it the closest thing we have in SA to international standard."
The participating field has been bolstered by the return of Continental Team Konica Minolta, which will be riding on good form they gained from months of racing in Europe. "We have many riders who will be on form for the race and the event will certainly not be an easy one," continued Impey. "Having more teams in the race will make this a lot harder."
The World Championship circuit is very similar to what the riders in the Powerade Dome2Dome will experience, according to national team manager Tony Harding. "The climb at the World's circuit is not too difficult and it suits us," noted Harding. "Both Daryl and Hanco can climb rather well but it is their sprinting abilities that will give us a shot at the finish."
Harding, who managed the team recently in the Tour of Qinhai Lake in China, said Impey gained a lot of climbing confidence after surviving the brutal climbs on that tour. The Dome2Dome will furthermore be a good indicator for the two U23 South Africans of what is to be expected when they hit the tarmac in Austria.