By Bardy the Action Scribe

Following the resounding success of the 2007 edition, the MTN Zoo Lake Criterium has found a permanent slot on the national cycling calendar and will take place on 31 August 2008 at Zoo Lake, Parkview, in the north of Johannesburg.

Although headlined by the country’s top professionals, the event is open to all cyclists who want to give criterium (street circuit) racing a bash. Criterium racing is very popular in the United States and Europe where full road closure of a city circuit brings exciting road racing to the crowds.

Unlike the 2007 event, this year’s Zoo Lake Criterium is not a team-only event, so individuals may enter. A points system will also be implemented to encourage inter-club participation. Each category will race for a pre-determined time plus one lap, ranging in duration from 25–45 minutes.

The whole family will be able to have a fun day out with lots of grandstand seating, big screens televising live race pictures. There will also be plenty of kiddies’ entertainment, while corporate hospitality is also available for companies wanting to entertain staff and clients.

The following categories will be catered for:
•    Junior Men
•    Elite Women
•    Corporate Team – mandatory four riders per team
•    Open Club – individuals or teams
•    Veteran Men 30-39 years
•    Veteran Men 40-49 years
•    Master Men 50-years and over
•    Elite and Under-23 Men

“A big Cash-Dash over one lap, which is open to all licensed categories and offers a winner-takes-all large cash prize, will take place at the end of the normal racing programme. There will also be a great range of prizes on offer as well as lucky draw prizes on the day,” said Anthony Garstang, MTN SA Senior Manager: Sponsorships.

To enter, or to find out more about the MTN Zoo Lake Criterium, call 011 463 2743 or visit