Argus Cycle Tour - Cape Town
Although the annual Cape Town cycle tour is a competitive event, it is most likely the most likely enjoyed because of its scenic route. It is also currently the world’s largest individually timed cycle race. It is also the first cycling competition which takes place outside Europe to be included in the International Cycling Union’s Golden Bike Series.
With over 40 000 cyclists partaking in the event each year forging ahead on a 109 km route around Cape Town, the Cape Argus cycle bike race has become an anticipated occasion across the country and the world as international cyclists frequently enter.
The event has included competitors such as Miguel Indurain and Jan Ulrich.
Cape Town Cycle Tour History
The first event was fairly modest and took place during 1978. It was organised by Bill Myrlea and John Stegmann and named the Big-Ride-In with the intention to create attention to the need for cycle paths in South Africa. The event attracted hundreds of amateur and professional cyclists alike all in a bid to create awareness. Lawrence Whittacker, the Mayor of Cape Town at the time also partook in the event.
As time progressed the cycle event was later named the Peninsula Marathon. However, to accommodate the local newspaper, the Cape Argus, the event was renamed. Thus the event is officially called Cape Argus cycle bike race and is part of five major cycling events which occur over a one week period which starts a week before the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The most alluring aspect of the event is that it includes various age groups. The idea is to encourage an interest in cycling from a tender age and to develop the interest.
The event comprises of the following events:
The Tricycle Tour which is meant for children under 6 years of age
The Junior Cycle Tour for children between 6 and 12years of age
The MTB Challenge which is a Mountain Bike event
The Giro del Capo which is a 5 day pro stage race
The Scenic Route
Not only is Cape Town known for its majestic Table Mountain, it is also frequented by tourists from various parts of the world because of its flora and fauna. This makes for the perfect setting for an event such as the Argus Cycle Tour and thus encourages cyclists to enjoy the scenic ride along some of the most wondrous and serene parts of the South Africa. The cycle route starts in the Cape Town city centre, leading towards the Blue Route into Simonstown
and turns at the Smitswinkel, heads towards the coastline. The route heads up a steady climb up Champmans Peak and then descends into short, steep hill called Suikerbossie.
The route heads towards a less demanding downhill to the finish line in Green Point.
Refreshment stations and medical points are set
up along the cycle tour route as well as a team of volunteers from various organisations to ensure that the cyclists are taken care of. Hospitality tents as well as entertainment await the cyclists as they reach the finish line at Green Point Stadium.
Contributing To Society
All proceeds are given to two charities namely Pedal Power Association which uses their share to encourage cycling in various communities and hosting fun rides in the province. The Rotary Club in Claremont is also a beneficiary and invests their share into various fundraising projects.
The much anticipated event will soon take place on Sunday 8 March 2015. The event is open to locals, cyclists in other provinces and international cyclists. However, there are certain guidelines and requirements to adhere to. There are various ways to enter the competition, online, fax and via post. Cyclist born in 1997 or earlier will be accepted to partake in the event.
The Cape Argus cycle bike race is a memorable event that has enlightened the lives of many cyclists. It has become a tradition for many families to partake in and is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s prestigious events. From humble beginnings, today the event is an elaborate occasion enjoyed by South Africans and foreigners alike.