Following a conversation last year between ASG chief executive Wynand de Villiers and Bestmed marketing and sales chief Chris Luyt, the inaugural Phil Liggett Tribute Tour was initiated and took place from Pretoria to Hoedspruit in December 2016.
“The elite men’s and women’s trophies at both events will be inducted this year as the Phil Liggett Tribute trophies.
“Honoured in 2005 as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the sport, Liggett has long been a staunch supporter of South African cycling.
“During the tribute ride in December, we discussed with him at length the futures of the two events and agreed to work on putting measures in place over the next two years to evolve the events into fully fledged international tours.
“It’s an honour for the two events to be associated with Phil. He is world cycling’s most recognisable figure and it’s going to do wonders for the events to have him spread their message across the globe.”
Luyt said: “We feel the Tour of Good Hope and the Jock Tour have the potential to attract international calibre cyclists and I’m sure, in years to come, these could become highly coveted trophies. Liggett graciously accepted the tribute in typical understated fashion.
“He is a wonderful guy and very humble. He joked in his distinctive English manner that he thought it was not good to ‘honour a guy before he’s dead’.
“But he has been a great ambassador for the sport and relates strongly with Bestmed’s objectives in pursuing wellness.
“For us it’s a dual purpose because we want to promote the potential of our brand, while having it linked to the renowned Voice of Cycling.”