Racing heats up in Africa

Africa is a hotbed of cycling activity in the month of March with a host of important events taking...

Africa is a hotbed of cycling activity in the month of March with a host of important events taking place in the north and the south of the continent as part of the UCI Africa Tour. Beginning at the Southern tip of Africa, South Africa will for the first time host two UCI classified events in a single month, starting with the Giro del Capo, March 6 - 11.

Some strong cycling talent from Europe will take part in the Giro del Capo, including defending champion Peter Velits from the German Wiesenhof outfit. Top international sprinter, South Africa's Robert Hunter, will for the first time in his career race in the Giro del Capo as part of the Barloworld squad. Barloworld is sending a strong team, which also includes former Tour de Langkawi winner Ryan Cox and Giro d'Italia stage winner Félix Rafael Cárdenas.

The Giro del Capo has changed from a five-day to a six-day stage race through the introduction of a prologue, to bring it in line with international events. Aligning it with international standards, team sizes have also increased from five to six cyclists each to expose more top cyclists - local and international - to the event.

South Africa will host a second UCI classified event when the Maloti Tour kicks off on March 18, and finishing on March 27. A large part of the 2.2-ranked event will take place in Lesotho, a country bordered all around by South Africa, with many of the stages finishing on hilltops.

Moving further north, the Tour of Cameroon, February 24 - March 10, will consist of teams from Holland, France, the Gabon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo, Angola, Congo Brazza, Benin as well as four teams from Cameroon.

Finally, the Tour of Libya, March 17 - 23, will consist of 13 teams, from Asia, Africa and Europe, and cover a total distance of 860 kilometres.

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