Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour
The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour takes place on March 10, 2013, and this year 35 000 cyclists will pit their cycling skills against billionaire entrepreneur and adventurer Sir Richard Branson.
Started in 1978 by Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann as the Bid Ride-in to draw attention to the lack of cycle paths in South Africa, the race turned into an annual event, eventually becoming one of the biggest in the world.
Thousands of people will stake their spot along the route to cheer on cyclists as they fly past. Many people return to the same spot year after year, arriving before dawn to set up their umbrellas and camping chairs.
The 109km race is the largest individually timed cycle race in the world. Even though it is also one of the most picturesque tours in the world, there are a number of surprisingly difficult hills and winding roads to negotiate.
The tour around the Cape Peninsula starts off at Hertzog Boulevard at the Cape Town Civic Centre, onto the N2, the M3 and along the False Bay coastline, taking in Muizenberg, Simon's Town and Smitswinkel Bay. Cyclists then head west, past the entrance of the Cape of Good Hope part of the Table Mountain National Park, before heading north along the beautiful Atlantic coastline, passing some of the most exclusive suburbs in the country.
The scenic Chapman's Peak Drive beckons, and seasoned cyclists know to be wary of that winding road. The Suikerbossie hill is the next challenge for tired legs before the route goes through Camps Bay, Clifton and Sea Point, and ends at the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.
Over the years many local and international celebrities have taken part in the tour, which raises funds for a number of charities.