Bidvest Car Rental will be a major driving force behind the Tshwane Classic road cycling event that will see more than 4 000 participants race through the heart of Pretoria on November 5.
With a big entry for the event - which includes the 98km feature race, two supporting races and full road closure - the offering is tipped to elevate it to one of the country's major city races in the years ahead.
In an agreement struck earlier this year, Bidvest Car Rental came on board as vehicle partners to ASG Events, one of the most important logistical components for an event on the move.
ASG operations manager Darren Herbst said the arrangement would play a big role in the smooth handling of the race.
"We will have 15 cars from Bidvest Car Rental on the road to assist with the logistics and to act as support vehicles and lead cars."
He said a further 27 motor bikes would be deployed by the Bestmed Road Rangers, with whom they had a long-standing relationship.
"Seven will act as guides for the leaders of each category, while the remainder will be used by safety marshals to guarantee the security of the riders."
Bidvest Car Rental sales and marketing executive Gaynor von Loggenburg said there were plans in place to ensure cyclists would benefit further from the deal.
"We have specialised rates for all cycling events, while part of our agreement is a direct link from the ASG website to ours," she said.
By linking up with high-profile events such as the Tshwane Classic, they felt they could build their brand and identity, she added.
"As car rental is a very competitive market, we feel that sponsoring ASG Events differentiates us. Our partnership allows us to gain access to the cyclists, who need to rent cars."
Van Loggenburg said that by connecting with cyclists, the arrangement also had a positive impact in their leisure rentals.
"Cycling is a sport that goes on throughout the year and this ensures we receive business consistently on the leisure side. It strengthens our brand with customers who already use us from a corporate perspective."
She also said being involved with sporting enthusiasts was a good fit for the company.
"Sports people, including cyclists, tend to stick with suppliers who support their sport so that is a big plus. The sponsorship has given us media exposure and social media coverage that have been very beneficial."
She said ASG Events received complimentary vehicles for a certain number of days per year.
To promote the city, the 98km race will pass by a selection of its most recognisable landmarks. The shorter options are over 60km and 20km.
There will also be a number of races for children at the race village, which is based at the Voortrekker Monument.
Go to www.tshwaneclassic.co.za for more information.
CAPTION: ASG Events and Bidvest Car Rental will continue their partnership when the Tshwane Classic road cycling race is held in Pretoria on November 5. Photo: Jetline Action Photography