Cape Argus Cycle Tour

The Cape Argus is one of the biggest cycle races in the world. Photo © Cape Town Tourism

The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is traditionally staged on the second Sunday in March every year, attracting about 35 000 cyclists from around the world.

The event also includes a tandem category, which can be entered by anyone older than 11, provided that one rider is an adult.

The 2012 event will be held on March 11, starting from the Civic Centre. The route will follow the M3 to Lakeside and then be diverted to Boyes Drive, rejoining the main road from Kalk Bay to Simon’s Town, continuing on to Ocean View and up Chapman’s Peak, and finishing at Green Point.

The Cape Argus Cycle Tour has its origins in the “Big Ride-In”, which Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann organised in 1977 to create awareness about the need for cycle paths. The next year, Cape Town newspaper The Argus came on board as sponsor of the first “Argus Cycle Tour”, which saw 525 cyclists take part and Lawrence Whittaker cross the finish line first.

By the turn of the century, the Cape Argus Cycle Tour had become the world’s largest individually timed cycling event, attracting about 40 000 entries for the 109km event.

The fastest time set for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour was 2:27:30 by Robbie Hunter in 2008 – five minutes faster than his record-breaking ride the previous year. In 2007, Hunter became the first South African to win a stage of the prestigious Tour de France.

The oldest person to complete the race is Japie Malan, who was 87 when he crossed the finish line in 2007.

Seven cyclists in that year’s event – Neil Bramwell, Louis de Waal, Steph du Toit, Gareth Holmes, Stephen Stefano, Alex Stewart and Neville Yeo – were honoured for having taken part in every Cape Argus Cycle Tour ever held.

Visit the Cape Argus Cycle Tour’s official site at www.cycletour.co.za.

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