Get on Your Bike and Train for the Cape Argus 2014 with Cycling Pro Christiaan Kriek

With just 12 weeks to go until the world’s largest timed cycle race ‘The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour 2014’ gets underway, it is time to think about training.

I say ‘think about training’ as there isn’t much point in starting before the food fest of Christmas, but come January, we will be donning our Lycra shorts and heading down to the local gym for some serious Spinning classes!

Of course, there is no better place to train for the Cape Argus than in Cape Town itself, and with one of South Africa’s professional cyclists Christiaan Kriek offering a week-long Argus Training Programme in the run up to the event, there is a solution for international cyclists.

Christiaan Kriek

Cycling since the age of 12, Christiaan Kriek has won numerous cycle races over the years both at home in South Africa and on the international racing scene, in a cycling career that allowed him to travel the world.

After a two-season stint with professional cycling team Jelly Belly in the United States, Christiaan decided to return home to South Africa, and we are delighted to see that he will be helping us ‘lesser mortals’ get in shape for the 9th March with his Cape Argus Training Programme.

We’ve got all the details and info – so get in touch and join us as we Cycle the Cape with a Cycling Pro!

Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014 – Training Programme Day 6

There is no better place to train for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014 than in Cape Town itself, and if you want to be in peak condition for March 9th, our six-day Argus warm-up programme will help you achieve your goal.

We have already covered days one to five in previous blogs, so here’s what you can expect on day 6:

Saturday – 8 March 2014 – Green Point to Camps Bay (30km) & Spa Treatment

With just one day to go until the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014, we will spend out last day of training preparing for the last 15km of the official Argus route.

Training for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014

Cycling along the beautiful Atlantic Coast line, we will make our way from the Green Point Stadium to the cosmopolitan seaside resort of Camps Bay, before heading back in time for a delicious brunch.

We will take this day relatively easy in order to give our bodies enough time to recover for the following day’s 109km race, and will finish this fantastic training programme off with a relaxing and luxurious spa treatment to get your mind and body in prime condition to perform the next day.

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Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014 – Training Programme Day 5

There is no better place to train for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014 than in Cape Town itself, and if you want to be in peak condition for March 9th, our six-day Argus warm-up programme will help you achieve your goal.

We have already covered days one to four in previous blogs, so here’s what you can expect on day 5:

Friday – 7 March 2014 – Stellenbosch to Franschhoek Wine Valley (75km) Road Bike 

By day five of the Cape Argus Training Programme, you will be ready to tackle anything, and so we thought we would treat you to an extra special warm-up session in the Cape Winelands.

After transferring to the university town of Stellenbosch, we will ride a steady tempo past some of the finest wineries in the country, taking in the fresh air and the beautiful scenery that this area of the Western Cape has to offer.

Get Your Place on the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014

The ride takes us from Stellenbosch to the old French Huguenot town of Franschhoek, where we will ride up to the top of the 7km Franschhoek Pass, fill our water bottles at the natural water spring on top, and then make our way down the hair-raising descent into town.

While not too strenuous, we will still cycle a good 75km today, and who knows – we may even be able to fit in a quick wine tasting before heading back to the city!

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Cape Argus Training Programme – Day 4

If you have decided to take the plunge and join our Cape Argus 2014 Training Programme, here is an overview of what you can expect on Day 4:

Thursday – 6 March 2014 – Jonkershoek (45km) MTB Ride  

Today we are going to do something different!

We are going switch to the dirt for a day, and enjoy one of the world’s best mountain biking destinations on our Jonkershoek MTB ride.

Heading inland to the Cape Winelands, we will witness firsthand why multiple world mountain biking champions make this area their training ground in preparation for the Cape Epic.

Training for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014

An area rich in lush forests, spectacular vista points, unique Fynbos vegetation, climbs that head into the heavens and downhill single track that never seems to end, this warm-up route offers riders an amazing variety of terrain – and should not be missed!

Don’t worry if you are taking your own road bike or renting a road bike in Cape Town for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, everyone who books up on this off-road adventure will get a complimentary Mountain Bike for the day – so you can get as dirty as you like!

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Cape Argus Training Programme – Day 3

If you have decided to take the plunge and join our Cape Argus 2014 Training Programme, here is an overview of what you can expect on Day 3:

Wednesday – 5 March 2014 – Gordon’s Bay (80km) Road Bike  

On day three of our Cape Argus 2014 Training Programme, we will be heading over to the eastern side of False Bay, and start our warm up just below the Steenbras Dam Reservoir in the seaside town of Gordon’s Bay.

This is arguably one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in South Africa, and there is no better way to prepare for the Argus than training along this route.

Training Tours for Cape Argus

The first obstacle of this ride will be Clarence Drive, which will give the legs a good test, but you will be well rewarded for your efforts as you descend along the pristine beaches of Kogelbay.

The next challenge will be the steep incline into the small town of Rooi Els, after which you will be faced with the windy plains towards Betty’s Bay.  If you are not used to riding against coastal winds, this training tour will give you plenty of time to practice!

On the way back, if you are up for it, we can escort you up to the Steenbras Dam Reservoir where you will have a stunning view of False Bay- the perfect place to have the lunch we have prepared for you!

After lunch, we will return to Cape Town fully prepared for this part of the route on Cape Argus Day.

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Cape Argus Training Programme – Day 2

If you have decided to take the plunge and join our Cape Argus 2014 Training Programme, here is an overview of what you can expect on Day 2:

Today’s Cape Argus Training Tour will start in the pretty seaside town of Simon’s Town, a wonderful place to cycle through on Argus Day.

Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014

After cycling through the town, we will head up the Smitswinkel Climb featured in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, and our guide will share some useful tips on the upcoming race to make our experience even more enjoyable.

Once we reach the top, we will divert from the route and head into the Cape Point Nature Reserve where we will stop for a coffee to take in the breathtaking scenery.

The Cape Point Nature Reserve is one of Africa’s most spectacular, with dramatic landscapes, stunning cycling trails, deserted coves, and plenty of wildlife and birds – so don’t forget to take your camera today!

After cycling though the reserve, we will continue back along the Argus route through Scarborough, Misty Cliffs, Kommetjie, and then finally back to Simon’s Town where we will have lunch and reflect on the beauty of Cape Town, before transferring back to our hotel.

See the Route Map / Join this Tour

Cape Argus 2014 Training Programme – Day 1

If you have decided to take the plunge and join our Cape Argus 2014 Training Programme, here is an overview of what you can expect on Day 1:

Monday – 3 March 2014 – Cape Peninsula (70km) Road Bike 

Today you will get the opportunity to ride the last 50km of the Cape Argus Cycle Tour accompanied by a professional cyclist as your guide.

The route will include the long climb of Chapman’s Peak mountain pass, followed by the twisty descent into Hout Bay, where you will have a brief moment of respite before tackling the infamous Suikerbossie hill.

Cape Argus Cycle Tour Photos of Suikerbossie

If you have never cycled the Cape Argus Route before, you may think it is all plain sailing after Chapman’s Peak, but Suikerbossie Hill shouldn’t be underestimated, and after cycling almost 100km, this short steep hill is a real killer on the legs!

Cape Argus Route Photos of Suikerbossie

However, the crowd of spectators on this part of the route are exceptionally encouraging, and we can pretty much guarantee you will get at least one bucket of water in your face as you make your way up to the top!

By tackling Suikerbossie on this training tour, you will have no unpleasant surprises on Argus day, and once you have completed this monument in South African cycling, it really is all down hill!

From the top, you will meander along the coast through the beautiful villages of Camps Bay, Clifton, and Sea Point before you finally cross the finish line in front of the Green Point Stadium.

See the Route Map / Join this Tour

Cape Argus 2014 Training Tours – Cycle Cape Town with Professional South African Cyclist

If you are lucky enough to live in the Western Cape of South Africa, you have the Cape Argus Route on your doorstep, the summer is about to arrive, and you will have plenty of time to train and get in top condition for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in March 2014

Training for the Cape Argus 2014

For those of us that live in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s a whole different story! Winter has arrived, the temperatures have dropped, and the only way we are going to get any cycling done between now and March is by hitting the local gym or Spinning class…     But, we think we may have found the perfect solution!

Teaming up with our partners down at Bike & Saddle, Africa’s leading active tour company, we have an amazing Cape Argus Training Program available for both National and International travellers, personally escorted by one of South Africa’s top professional cyclists – Christiaan Kriek!

Cape Argus Training

A Cape Argus training tour is available every day from Monday 3rd March, right through to Saturday 8th March 2014, and whether you decide to do one, two or all six of the warm-up routes available, you will get a real feel for the Cape Argus Route (and the weather conditions) as you head off with Christiaan and the team.

All the cycle tours in the Cape Argus Special Program include drinks, snacks, lunch, a back-up vehicle with support, and a professional cycle guide to help you get the most out of your training session.

Here is a brief overview of what you can expect (maps and more information coming soon!):

Monday – 3 March 2014 - Cape Peninsula (70km) Road Bike

Get the chance to ride the last 50km of the Cape Argus Cycle Tour accompanied by a professional cyclist as your guide. The route will include the Chapman’s Peak mountain pass and the infamous Suikerbossie hill before passing through the beautiful coastal villages of Camps Bay, Clifton, Sea Point and then finally the finish line in front of the Green Point Stadium.

Tuesday – 4 March 2014 - Cape Point (80km) Road Bike

We will start the day’s proceedings in the sleepy Simon’s Town. Shortly after departing, we will start heading up the Smitswinkel climb featured in the Cape Argus. At the top, we will divert from the route and head into the Cape Point Nature Reserve where we will stop for a coffee to take in the breathtaking scenery, before continuing along the Argus route through Scarborough, Misty Cliffs, and Kommetjie back to Simon’s Town.

Wednesday – 5 March 2014 - Gordon’s Bay (80km) Road Bike

Heading to the Eastern side of False Bay for this ride, we will start just below the Steenbras Dam Reservoir in the coastal town of Gordon’s Bay. After tackling Clarence Drive and enjoying the pristine beaches of Kogelbay, you will climb to the small town of Rooi Els before facing the windy plains of Betty’s Bay. This is arguably one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in South Africa, and there is no better way to prepare for the Argus than training along this route.

Thursday – 6 March 2014 - Jonkershoek (45km) MTB Ride

We switch to the dirt for a day to enjoy one of the world’s best mountain biking destinations. Come see why multiple world mountain biking champions make this area their training ground in preparation for the Cape Epic. It offers riders an amazing variety of terrain- lush forests, spectacular vista points, unique Fynbos vegetation, climbs that head into the heavens and downhill single track that never seems to end. (MTB available!)

Friday – 7 March 2014 - Stellenbosch to Franschhoek Wine Valley (75km) Road Bike

Join on this day as we ride a steady tempo past some of the finest wineries in the country. The ride takes us from Stellenbosch to the old French Huguenot town of Franschhoek. Here we will ride up to the top of the 7km Franschhoek Pass, fill our water bottles at the natural water spring on top, and then make our way down the hair-raising descent into town.

Saturday – 8 March 2014Green Point to Camps Bay (30km)

This day will be used as preparation for the last 15km of the Cape Argus Cycle Challenge. We will take this day relatively easy in order to give our bodies enough time to recover for the next day. After breakfast, you will have a relaxing and luxurious spa treatment to get your mind and body in prime condition to perform the next day.

The only thing you need to bring along is your own bicycle and a bucket full of determination – and as you can select as many training tours as you like, you can tailor-make your training program to suit your exact needs and requirements.

Spaces are limited, so get in touch now, and confirm your spot on Cape Town’s best Cape Argus 2014 Training Program!

Need a Reason to Cycle the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014? Do it for Charity!

If you would love to take part in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014, but need some motivation to pull on those Lycra shorts and dust off your road bike, then why not cycle for one of the many Charities listed on the official Cape Argus website, or for a charity you support at home?

Raising money (and awareness) for a charity group is one of the most rewarding things you can do, and those training sessions and the 109km ride will be a whole lot easier to cycle when you know that you are doing it for others, just as much as you are doing it for yourself.

There are some wonderful charities listed on the Cape Argus 2014 website, and whether you ride for the love of education, the love of children, the love of animals or quite simply, the love of people and the planet, your fundraising will make a huge difference to someone or something, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

There are many reasons to ride the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in 2014, so forget the excuses… choose a charity, indulge over Christmas, and give yourself a ready-made New Year’s Resolution – to train for the Argus and raise money for those less fortunate than yourself!

 

Cape Argus Cycle Tour – 36 Years in the Making

The history of the Cape Argus Cycle Tour stems back over 36 years, and while it is now the largest timed cycle race in the world, it started off very differently back in 1977…

Originally called the ‘Peninsula Marathon’, the cycle tour was organised by Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann back in 1977 to draw attention to the need for cycle paths in the Cape Town area.

This first tour attracted hundreds of cyclists, and it didn’t take long for Cape Town’s largest newspaper – The Argus, to become the official sponsor of the tour, renamed the ‘Argus Cycle Tour’ in 1978.

By 1980, the Argus Cycle Tour was advertised as “the biggest cycle race in the Southern Hemisphere” with over 1300 entries.

 In 1982 Coca-Cola were to become the official soft drink provider for the event.

On the 10th Anniversary of the cycle tour in 1987, entries reached almost 5934, but only 4761 finished due to strong winds and heavy rains.

Just two years later in 1989, entries shot up to 12,802, despite being limited to 12,000!

In 1991 South African supermarket chain Pick ‘n Pay came onboard as a sponsor, and the event became known as the Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour. 

By 1994, entries had jumped over the 20,000 mark, with 400 non South African entrants taking part in the event.

The 20th Anniversary of the cycle tour saw over 30,000 entrants, and as the Argus Newspaper changed its name to the ‘Cape Argus’, the event was renamed the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour.

For the first time ever, the tour had to be stopped in 2002 due to extreme temperatures of 42° degrees. Despite consuming over 230,000 litres of beverages, cyclists faced heat stroke and heat-related injuries.

In 2010, the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour became known as “The Tour de Lance”, with Lance Armstrong taking part. Unfortunately, he didn’t win or break any records, but Argus veteran Japie Malan retained his record of being the oldest man to finish – at 90 years old!

2013 was my first Cape Argus Cycle Tour, and 2014 will be my second….

Read the full history of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour on the official website: http://www.cycletour.co.za