For me the Lowveld embodies a cycling paradise and I still get excited whenever a race is held in this beautiful area. Fortunately for me there are 3 major events taking place on consecutive weekends in this region, giving me the perfect reason to stick around. First up was the Panorama Tour which took place from the 23rd to the 26th of April.
The 4 day Panorama Tour is a must-do event on any road cyclists’ calendar. The race is run from the Casterbridge Boutique Mall in White River and consists of three stages (80km, 107km, 113km) followed by a concluding 38km Time Trail on the final day.
It is the only road tour in South Africa where riders compete in a two-man team format similar to what you find at mountain bike stage races. This creates a more social racing atmosphere while the Lowveld’s mountainous terrain ensures challenging racing conditions.
Elmari de Wet from the Clover Ladies Road Team asked me to team up with her for the event and seeing as it was time I gave my Merida Scultura ROAD BIKE a proper workout, I was obliged to say yesJ. Jokes aside, the Panorama Tour’s rules make provision for professional cyclist to team up with amateur riders only. This unique concept creates a competitive amateur event and also gives professionals an opportunity to mingle with fellow riders in a relaxed atmosphere.
We rode a consistent tour placing 2nd on all the stages except on day two where we took the top step on the podium. Our stage results finally secured as a 2nd place overall behind Anette Loubser and Desray Sebregths. Nicolene Naude and Machelle Bremer rounded out the podium in 3rd place.
I always enjoy the Panorama Tour as it makes for good racing yet it is so much fun. Having had a nice partner to share the experience with made it even more pleasant.
Next up I’ll do the short trek to Sabie for the 3 day Sabie Experience starting on the 30th of May.