Nic White and 94.7 Cycle Challenge 2015
Doing the 94.7 Cycle Challenge 2015? Whether you are you a first-timer or a Veteran, this is no ordinary race. We asked Nic White, winner of 94.7 Cycle Race (1997 and 2010) and former
full time pro rider, a few questions about training, the race and what can be expected.
Here is some STUF you need to know about the 94.7 Cycle Challenge!
Why did you decide to enter this race?
Nic White: “When the event was launched in 1997, we got pretty excited about the chance to
race through the streets of Jo’burg. This was when we fell in love with the race. Coupled with
my win of the inaugural event, after a 90km solo breakaway! During the first years it was a
little bit sketchy, but soon developed into a first class event with super road control. A variety
of routes have had thousands of riders enjoy the closed off streets, all to themselves, for a
race day like no other.”
What was your experience of the race?
Nic White: “Over the years our experiences have been of elation and despair, purely of the
sporting nature, as we have raced to win. Sometimes getting it perfect and delivering, and
other times being so close, but without victory. Sharing that race route with thousands of
people has also been one where many can relate to what the race feels like, although for
many, at half the speed it is little a bit different.”
What training, sacrifice and commitment did it take for you to win this race?
Nic White: “In the past the event came at the back end of a long season, and it was difficult to
stay motivated, and keep training hard. The attraction of a race through my home city on
closed streets has always kept me driven. Now in the last few years the hype of the closed
roads, and warming summer weather, help to keep and build the motivation needed to get on the bike daily to train to get to the required level of fitness. Of course having many others
wanting to achieve their best keeps the peer pressure of the close nit groups high. So guilt for not pitching up to a ride, is far higher than the attraction of a sleep in…”
What are the challenges you face whilst you are in the race (mental, emotional, physical)?
Nic White: “The challenges of the race are a little different to many others that riders will
experience. The fact that there are so many people make the logistics of the start and finish a
little more hectic but besides that, the volume in the racing bunches and the grand scale of the occasion make for nervous riding.
There are so many more people that race this event, that it is a bit more dangerous in the big
groups, and the nature of the route through the streets mean that it is a little more technical
at times. This is why some racing before hand, or tuition in the art of bunch racing can help a
little. With big groups and fast speeds, new challenges arise. Watching the Tour de France with 190 of the best riders in the world, you see what happens. This will just give a bit of
perspective to what it is like with 500 amateur enthusiasts.”
How can you make the most of this event, whether you are a first-timer or a veteran?
Nic White: “As I have indicated, preparation will assist tremendously. Whether it is physical or
race simulation training, all of it will help you enjoy the day more. If you are a first timer,
following some basic principles of consistency in your training leading up to the race will
benefit a lot. Be relaxed, enjoy the day and don’t get too wound up by nerves. Look forward to the closed streets, and racing at speed over the routes that you spend time sitting still in
traffic! It is a wonderful feeling. Plan your escape into and out of the start. Not a bad idea to
ride in and out again from a convenient location… Good luck with the event and enjoy it!
One of my favorites of the season!”