The Cape Town Cycle Tour is an internationally renowned bike race known for being the largest individually timed cycle race in the world. Every year it sees thousands of local and international participants flock to Cape Town to partake in this one of a kind race. This year the race will be taking place on the 12 March, 2017 and this year will also be the celebration of 40 years of The Cape Town Cycle Race. The race had its beginnings in 1978 when it was started in aid of awareness of cycle paths in Cape Town and it proved to be so successful that it was decided it should be an annual event. Race day is just around the corner so here a few tips and for riders and spectators.
By now you’ve put in the hard work and the hours of training needed to get you ready for race day, but there’s still a few things to remember before you head to the starting line. Before you get caught up in the excitement of it all, here’s a little checklist to make sure your ride goes as smoothly as possible.
The Night Before:
- Double-check your bike and make sure your tyres are pumped up and that you have any repair kits or spare tubes you might need.
- Prepare you drinks for the ride and put them in the fridge.
- Lay out your race day clothes and pin on your number for easy access in the morning and remember your timing chip.
- Put your helmet, gloves and any other accessories out with your clothes.
- Put the medical emergency number in your phone: 021 434 1199.
- Eat well and drink lots of water.
- Make sure you get enough sleep.
On the Day:
- Have a good breakfast at least an hour before you start. Eat whatever you are comfortable with.
- Put on sunblock before you leave!
- Drink enough water
- Make sure you get to your chute in good time and try and relax the pre-race jitters with a few stretches to warm up.
The race begins in the City Bowl and sets out along the M3 through Lakeside taking you to Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek along the main road where you get to enjoy seaside views all the way though Simonstown and Scarborough. Then the most daunting aspect of the route begins as the route leads back along the coastline and uphill on Chapmans Peak until participants then get to take on the notorious Suikerbossie Hill. Not to worry though the last stretch is downhill until the finish line at Green Point Stadium. It is a gruelling 109km race but probably one of the most beautifully scenic routes out there.
Tips for Riders
Whether it’s a first time or you’re a cycle tour veteran it’s always good to keep a few things in mind during the race to make it the most enjoyable experience possible for you and your fellow riders. So when you’re out there remember:
- Don’t start too fast, keep a steady pace and conquer each challenge as it comes.
- Hold your line: ride in a straight line and don’t look back just stay focused ahead.
- Indicate when you want to move out of your line.
- Remember to drink! And eat in small amounts if you can.
- Keep your fellow cyclists in mind, be considerate and warn them of any hazards.
- Enjoy the ride!
Anybody who’s completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour will tell you that the support from spectators along the way is one of the best parts of the day and exactly what kept them going after their legs grew tired. Cape Town comes to a stand-still on the day of the race as locals all over Cape Town come out onto the streets in support of the cyclists. The atmosphere is electric and there is no shortage of enthusiastic supporters and encouragement and even some dress up items. For those looking to join in on the fun here are some tips.
Where to Watch:
Corner of Hertzog Boulevard and Adderley Street – Hertzog Boulevard is the starting point of the race and a great place to witness the excitement and buzzing atmosphere as the cyclists cram together in anticipation.
Paradise Road– You can get to Paradise Road from Main Road Claremont where you can watch the cyclists, still full of energy, racing down the highway and starting the uphill climb onto Edinburgh Drive.
The bridges along the Blue Route– You’ll find this crowd favourite spot along the M3 past Bergvliet and Constantia.
Kalk Bay and St. James – You’ll find many locals from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay lining the roads in support. This is a fantastic spot to watch as supporters are always enthusiastic and you can even grab some breakfast as you watch the riders go by.
Noordhoek – On the corner of Main Road and Village Lane this a great area to be in for race day as there is a handful of fantastic restaurants and pubs to enjoy while you watch.
Suikerbossie and Llandudno – The cyclists are going to need a lot of encouragement at this stage as they begin the challenging task that is the uphill climb of Suikerbossie Hill. This is a great vantage point to give that much needed support.
Green Point and the finish – Emotions are high as the cyclists enter the final stretch and make dash towards the finish line near Green Point Stadium. There are spots all along the Main road to soak up the excitement.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do bring along as many family and friends as you can.
- Do bring refreshments, water, hats & sunscreen.
- Don’t ever block the path of the riders.
- Do obey marshalls and officials as they ae there for the safety of everyone.
- Do respect the road closures and traffic laws.