The annual Bouckaert-Soenen Road Cycling Challenge on Sunday 4 February 2018 will bring thousands of cyclists to Paarl. The races, organised by the Rotary Club of Paarl, are held under the auspices of the Pedal Power Association (PPA) and start at De Poort heritage centre in Pine Street.

Early bird discounts are available until 15 December.

There are three races around Paarl Mountain, measuring 123 km, 72 km and 46 km. The longer 123 km route is suitable for league and more experienced riders and will be a seeding race for the Cape Town Cycle Challenge 2019. It will pass through the towns of Wellington, Hermon and Riebeek Kasteel, with a tough climb over Bothmaskloof Pass. After the descent, the route turns back to Paarl via the Voor-Paardeberg area, before returning to the finish at Strawberry King via Agter-Paarl.

The 72 km race follows the long route but cuts out Hermon and Riebeek-Kasteel and joins the long route at the Sonop turn-off to Voor Paardeberg, then down Agter Paarl Road to the finish.

The 46 km route goes directly around Paarl Mountain and has no serious climbs. It joins the other routes at the R44/Paardeberg Road junction and then back to the finish via Ager Paarl. It is a fun-ride event, aimed at the whole family and will have pent y of entertainment, food and drinks available at the finish venue at De Poort. Families must note that no under 16s may ride the 123 km route; no under 14s may ride the 72 km route, and under 12s must be accompanied by an adult on the 46 km route.

To enter, visit www.paarlrotary.co.za.

The cut-off date for online pre-entries is Friday 2 February 2018 (9am) at www.paarlrotary.co.za or www.pedalpower.org.za. Pre-registration can be done on 3 February 2018 at ASG Cycling, Laborie Centre, Paarl (10am-3pm) or Chris Willemse Cycles, Willow Bridge (10am-3pm). PPA Members must have their seeded number at pre-registration. Entries on the day of the races will be accepted (R350) but will be limited to 2500 participants. Remember to wear your PPA number to avoid extra fees.

Supported by a generous sponsorship from local textile and clothing company Bouckaert-Soenen as part of their social responsibility activities, all proceeds from the races will be channelled through Paarl Rotary towards educare development projects. For further information, contact Dave Moss on +27 (0) 82 575 4063.