March 09, 2009
Blown away at the 2009 Cape Argus Cycle Tour
2009 Cape Argus Cycle Tour, photo courtesy Jon-Luke Lourens
Of the 35 000 cyclists who entered the 2009 Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, 9 400 woke up on Sunday, took one look at the pumping wind, and went back to bed.
Dot Hartman, who cycled tandem, says, “The wind was howling the whole night. At the race start, the organisers were pulling the starting banner down. Portable toilets were blowing across the road! A lot of people didn’t even start.
“It was hectic,” she continues. “My racing partner was blown right over. At the end of the race he didn’t have sore legs, he had sore shoulders from keeping the bike on the road. Going downhill, pedalling on a tandem bike, you usually clock 60-70km/h, but going downhill at Suikerbossie, we were going only 12km/h!”
The brave cyclists who continued undaunted faced winds of up to 140km/h – the worst in the history of the race. Arran Brown and Jennie Stenerhag won the men’s and women’s titles respectively in times slower than usual for the lead bunch.