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March 13, 2011

Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2011: Cycling enthusiasts flock to Cape Town

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Photo by Deon Gurling

Thousands of cycling enthusiasts from around the world converged on Cape Town today for the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the world’s largest individually-timed road race. This year’s event was won by Tyler Day, while his teammate and defending champion, Malcolm Lange, finished second in his final professional race.

Cape Town was buzzing with bicycles long before the sun came up. The elite riders were racing by 06h15, while other competitors set off in batches thereafter.

The 109km route takes cyclists from Adderley Street in Cape Town, out toward Cape Point and back along the peninsula to the finish. Weather conditions this year were excellent, given there was very little wind and the temperature was a comfortable 23 degrees Centigrade.

The winners crossed the finish line before 09h00, but the entertainment continued throughout the day as spectators cheered family and friends as they completed the race in Green Point, just down the road from Cape Town Stadium.

A massive carnival area adjacent to the Green Point Urban Park served as an excellent setting for cyclists to exchange stories afterward. Live music, a variety of food stalls and a play area for children meant there was something for every member of the family.

Green Point has an excellent selection of restaurants, and famished cyclists where spoiled for choice when it came to carbohydrate replenishment after the race.

Jonathan Smedley, who comes from Johannesburg to ride the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour every year, says he and his family make a long weekend of it. “Cape Town at this time of year is excellent, so we rent a house in Camps Bay and enjoy the beach while we have the opportunity.”

He adds that Cape Town offers an excellent cycling environment in general. “There are a number of dedicated cycle paths around the city and these are far better than any I’ve seen anywhere else in the country.”

cape argus 2011

Photo courtesy ClareC79

The race was first held in 1978 and has grown in popularity ever since, now generally attracting more than 30 000 riders each year.

If you weren’t at this year’s event, you at least now have a year to plan your trip to Cape Town for the 2012 event. You can keep an eye on the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour website for updates about dates, entry forms and more.

See our photo essays:

Enjoying Cape Town scenery at the 2011 Cape Argus Cycle Tour

Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2011 action photos

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