The 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour was supposed to be the 40th edition of this world famous race.It is the largest timed cycle ‘race’ in the world. Up to 35,000 cyclists (including 1,200 from the UK alone) were supposed to tackle the 109km of the usual route taking cyclists from the city center, down the M3 through to Muizenberg and as far south as Smitswinkel. From there they will then head north again, through Hout Bay and Camps Bay to the finish line in Green Point. It is not the toughest cycle sportive in the world, far from it, but no other cycling event offers the atmosphere, the views, food and Joie de vivre that Cape Town offers during this special weekend in March. During this weekend, cyclists own the city and this is reflected in the length every hotel and many organisations goes to in order to accommodate cyclists’ every need.
My hotel offered many services that were vital to a cyclists well being. Services such as massages, special pre-race ‘carb-loading’ dinners and breakfasts, freezer services for drinks bottles, registration shuttle and many more were offered. We even had an in-house bike mechanic!
Cape Town is also one of the most beautiful and historical cities on earth. From Camps Bay to Table Mountain, from the vineyards of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape to Robben Island, it offers picture postcard perfect views almost every where you look. Have I mentioned the seafood? and night life?
I have done this ride twice before, the first time, in 2015 the race was cut to only 47kms due to bush fires that devastated vast swathes of countryside along the route, and last year I rode the full route in 3 hrs 58 mins. This year I was determined to slash 30 minutes off that time. Little did I know what lay in store for us.
Registration for the event takes place at the Cape Town Cycle Tour Expo in the magnificent Cape Town stadium in the days before the event. It is always a good idea to arrive a few days before the event to register before the crowds build and to fit in some sightseeing and training/acclimatization rides as it still is quite hot at this time of the year.