Stellenbosch Cycle Tour: Official Seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 gets Underway this Weekend!

We may still have 102 days to go until the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 (yes, we’re counting!), but if you are lucky enough to be in sunny South Africa this weekend, you can take part in one of the premier seeding events – the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour in the beautiful Western Cape Winelands.

A 97km one-day circular event that will take you from Stellenbosch to Wellington and back again, the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour is the 2nd largest road cycling event to take place in South Africa each year, and while many of us internationals won’t have the opportunity to head to Cape Town for the weekend, it is going to be a brilliant day for all those who take part!

The final seeding opportunity for professional cyclists who want to secure ‘pole position’ for next year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour on Sunday 6th March, this fabulous event is sure to be the highlight of November’s cycling calendar, so if you happen to be in South Africa this weekend, make sure you head to Stellenbosch, before having lunch and a wine-tasting (or two!), in this stunning wine region.

Here are a couple of images from the 2014 event.  All courtesy of the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour Facebook Page. Take a look:

Stellenbosch Cycle Tour: Official Seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 gets Underway this Weekend! 12074783_867980293309612_4104980755930624854_n 12235013_881609931946648_3816431172854133191_n 12241451_881608415280133_1860613592876370730_n 12274432_882838551823786_3672456278095039351_n

Top 3 International Cycling Sportives for 2016

While the weather is still rather mild in the Northern Hemisphere, it won’t be long before we have to pack our bicycles away for winter, and if you are dreading the next 3-4 months on an exercise bike, why not book yourself a spot on one of our Top 3 International Cycling Sportives for 2016, and give yourself something to look forward to!

Top 3 International Cycling Sportives 2016There are some fantastic one-day cycling events across the globe, and whether your decide to tackle the world’s largest timed cycle race in South Africa, join the world’s largest recreational ride in Sweden, or Australia’s largest one day bike ride, you can combine the event with a fantastic holiday that the whole family will love.

Cape Town Cycle Tour, South Africa: 6th March 2016

The Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously the Cape Argus) is an iconic one-day, 109km cycling event that attracts over 35,000 cyclists from across the world.  Celebrating its 38th year in 2016, the world’s largest timed cycling event will take place on Sunday 6th March, and if your idea of the perfect cycling holiday includes cycling amongst spectacular scenery in 30° degrees C, this is definitely the race for you.

Brilliantly organised by the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust and the Pedal Power Association, the Cape Town Cycle Tour is suitable for both professionals and hobby cyclists, and despite attracting a huge amount of people, it never feels overcrowded or ‘packed in’. We’ll be cycling for the 4th year running in 2016, and we can’t wait!

Vätternrundan, Motala Sweden: 17th & 18th June 2016

The Vätternrundan is a fantastic cycling event centred around the beautiful Lake Vättern in Motala, Sweden.  Described as the “largest recreation bicycle ride in the world”, the Vätternrundan offers multiple events including the 300km Swedish Classic, the 150km Halvvättern, the 100km Tjejvättern (women only), and the Minivättern for children.

Taking place in June each year, the Vätternrundan is a one day cycling sportive that the whole family can participate in, and as it is a recreation ride rather than a race, there are no winners and the only person you have to compete against is yourself.

Around the Lake, Melbourne Australia: October 2016 (date TBC)

It may be a long way to go for a bike ride, but Australia’s Around the Lake one day sportive is a fabulous event that raises money for children in need.  Celebrating its 24th year in 2016, the Around the Bay cycle tour is currently the largest bike ride in Australia, and offers multiple routes ranging from 20km to 250km around Melbourne’s iconic bay.

While the date is yet to be confirmed for 2016, the Around the Lake Cycle Tour takes place in October each year, so you have over 11 months to save up for your dream cycling holiday in Australia… it’s time to start fundraising!






Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016: There’s more to it than Race Day!

So you’ve secured your place on the world’s largest timed cycle race, you’ve booked your flights to Cape Town, you’ve found the perfect cycle-friendly hotel on the Atlantic Seaboard, now all you need to do is plan your trip to South Africa’s Mother City to make sure you make the most of every minute in town!

The Cape Town Cycle Tour may be a one day event, but if you are an international entrant travelling from overseas, chances are, you will be spending at least 5 – 7 days in the city (you should be, anyway!), and so you will have plenty of time to explore the city and the Western Cape.

Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 International Entries

If you’re based in the northern hemisphere, you probably won’t have many opportunities to train during our cold winter months, so you could start your trip to Cape Town with one or two ‘Pre Argus’ cycle training tours that will get you in peak condition for March 6th.

If you are riding for fun, rather than for your personal best time, then leave the cycling until race day, and spend your time explore the beautiful city that is Cape Town.  There’s Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Camps Bay, Hout Bay, and the V&A Waterfront right on your doorstep, and while some of these attractions are somewhat ‘touristy’, they are still well worth a visit.

Connoisseurs of fine wines should make their way to the Western Cape Winelands, where you can sample some of South Africa’s finest New World Wines in the most spectacular of settings.  There are wine tasting tours, Wine Trams, and even cycle tours in the winelands, although you might not want to take your trusty steed if you are planning to visit more than one vineyard!

If you are more the outdoors type, you could spend your spare time sunning yourself on the spectacular beaches of Camps Bay, Cape Town’s chicest venue.  Although be prepared… the water is cold… freezing cold, even in summer! Alternatively, you could take a full day Shark Cage Diving excursion where you can get up close and personal with the Great White – about 300 of them!

There is so much to see and do in Cape Town that you could easily spend 2 weeks just exploring the city, so whatever you do, don’t cut your trip to the Cape Town Cycle Tour short – you’ll regret it, believe me!



The Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Garden Route and a Safari – The Perfect Package for 2016

There are many reasons to visit South Africa, and the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 is one of them, but if you are an international cyclist travelling all the way from Europe, the United States, Australia or Japan, then it makes perfect sense to extend your stay in Africa with a trip along the Garden Route and a Safari in one of the country’s spectacular National Parks.

Cape Argus 2015 Group Tours from UK Germany Austria Canada USAFor those short on time, an 8-day self-drive itinerary taking in Cape Town, Hermanus or Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and one of the malaria-free safari parks of the Eastern Cape will work really well.  You can pick up a rental car in Cape Town on arrival, spend a couple of nights in the Mother City while you cycle the world’s largest timed cycle race, and then make your way to either the Whale Coast of Hermanus, or the Ostrich Capital of Oudtshoorn for a night.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Garden Route and a Safari – The Perfect Package for 2016From here, you can continue up the Garden Route to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, where there are numerous sightseeing opportunities, endless land and water-based activities, and fabulous boutique hotels and dining venues dotted along the coastline.  You will need at least 2 nights here, before you proceed to the end of the Garden Route (not forgetting to stop at Tsitsikamma National Park along the way), and make your way to your safari lodge in the Eastern Cape.  We particularly like Kuzuko at Addo Elephant National Park and Pumba Private Game Reserve. After 2 nights of getting up close and personal with South Africa’s Big 5, you can drive to Port Elizabeth Airport, drop off your rental car, and catch your flight home.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Garden Route and a Safari – The Perfect Package for 2016If you have a couple of weeks to spare, even better! You could spend 4 or 5 nights in Cape Town over the Cycle Tour (Cape Argus) weekend, before spending 2 nights in the winelands (Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek or Wellington), sampling South Africa’s finest wines.  From here you could take in Hermanus, Stanford and Walker Bay for a day or 2, before heading up the Garden Route, stopping at Swellendam, George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Garden Route and a Safari – The Perfect Package for 2016After dropping your car off at Port Elizabeth Airport, you can catch a flight to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport, where you can enjoy a 3 day safari in Kruger National Park or the über luxurious Sabi Sands Game Reserve.  Our favourite lodges include Nottens Bush Camp, Chitwa Chitwa and Motswari.

After an unforgettable safari experience, you can driver along the Panorama to Johannesburg, where you can catch your return flight home.

There is so much to see and do in South Africa… the Cape Town Cycle Tour is just the start!


Have Your Rented Your Bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour?

The Ballot has closed, all places are secured, and if you haven’t rented a bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour yet, now is definitely the time to make your reservation!

Many of Cape Town’s bicycle rental companies have already rented out all of their bikes for the Cycle Tour weekend, but we still have some fantastic bikes available for individuals and Tandem Riders who are looking for a bicycle made for two, and some great packages for international cyclists who are still looking to secure their place on the World’s Largest Timed Cycle Race.

While many international cyclists prefer to ship their bikes to South Africa for the Cycle Tour, it is not always practical for those who are heading off on Safari or to Victoria Falls after the event, and so we have teamed up with some of the best bike rental companies in town, and have just a handful left for our guests.

If you are looking to rent a tandem for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, or a good quality road bike for the event, drop us a line and we’ll do our best to assist!  Here’s some of the bikes we have organised in recent years…

Pre Argus Training Tours 5 Rent a bike for the Cape Argus img_0106 img_0074 img_0066

Bike Rental Cape Argus v3xSq4DyYV-JOXX7cpaBfvElHVH8L1mkX-0fm-CzJKY


Cape Town Cycle Tour EXPO: New Venue for Cycling Fans in 2016

With a new name, a new entry procedure, and a new venue for its 2016 EXPO, the Cape Town Cycle Tour has undergone quite a few changes in the past 18 months, and whether you like change or not, there is no denying that the world’s largest timed cycle race is now more international and more exciting than ever before!

Cape Argus International Entries

Previously the Cape Argus and the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour, the Cape Town Cycle Tour was renamed in September 2014 to give it a more ‘global appeal’. While I have yet to find a South African who refers to it as anything other than the “Argus”, the new name has certainly raised the events profile overseas, and it looks to be more popular than ever in 2016.

The next major change was the Cape Town Cycle Tour’s new ballot style entry procedure, which was announced just a few weeks ago.  After the chaos of 2014, when South African entries sold out in just 8 hours, the event organisers had no choice but to come up with a new entry system this year, but the new ‘lottery’ style process is not proving very popular with international entrants.

Previously, international entrants had guaranteed entry until the end of January, which meant that they could book their trip to Cape Town 11 months in advance to secure good flight prices and accommodations. But this is no longer the case.

Fortunately, there are charity entries available for those who have already booked their trip, so if you are unsuccessful in the ballot, all is not lost, but this will definitely impact ‘early bookings’ next year – hotels… be warned!

Finally, the Cape Town Cycle Tour EXPO will have a new venue next spring, when it will replace the rather dated Good Hope Centre for Cape Town’s newest landmark, the iconic Cape Town Stadium! A real treat for both local and international entries, next years’ Expo looks set to be the best yet, and it is one of the only occasions when you’ll be able to step inside this magnificent structure without buying a ticket!

Only time will tell if these changes are for the good of this iconic sporting event, but we’ll be cycling the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 regardless – who’s coming with us!








International Entries Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016: Own Bike vs. Rental Bike

One of the most common questions we are asked by international entrants who want to take part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour is, “should we take our own bikes, or should we rent a bike in Cape Town?”

It’s a good question, and we can completely understand why some people would be nervous about transporting their bike to South Africa for the event, especially since many of these bikes are worth over £5000, but it all depends on the individual, and what you want from the race.

Rent a bike in Cape Town for the Argus Cycle TourIn this Cape Town Cycle Tour blog post, we look at the pros and cons of each option, to help you make a more informed decision:

Cycling the Cape Town Cycle Tour on your own Bike

If you are racing the Cape Town Cycle Tour competitively, against other members of your group, or simply against your own personal best, then you should definitely take your own bike to Cape Town.  There are some fantastic rental bikes available, but they will never be to the same standard as your Pinarello Dogma F8, and with your own saddle, own handlebars and finely tuned gears, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take first place on the podium on March 6th!

All airlines allow you to transport your bike, either as part of your luggage allowance or for a fixed fee, so you need to shop around for the best deal.  We particularly like British Airways and Emirates, and to date, we have never lost a bike (hope I’m not jinxing anyone here!), but delays can happen, so try to give yourself at least one or 2 days in Cape Town before the race to avoid the unthinkable…

A good quality bike box essential, as is bike insurance.  Most airlines will not accept any responsibility if your bike gets scratched, so bear that in mind when you pack your trusty steed.

Renting a bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour

If you are heading to South Africa on holiday, and would like to participate in the world’s largest timed cycle race for fun, then renting a bike is a good option.  Most bicycle rental companies in Cape Town offer a good selection of road bikes, but you should bear in mind that the majority of these bikes are rented out throughout the year, and are therefore well used and not brand spanking new.

Due to the popularity of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the demand for rental bikes is high, and this pushes the price up considerably.  Most companies have a minimum rental period of 5 – 14 days, and to rent a decent road bike, you are looking at around ZAR 3,000 (approximately £160) per bike.  Which is about the same price as transporting your bike with KLM or Air France.

Finding a good quality road bike for rent in Cape Town over the Argus weekend is like trying to find a needle in a haystack – it isn’t going to happen, so please don’t even try.  If you are thinking about renting a bike for the Argus, you need to do it now.  Once registration opens in September, all bikes will be rented out within just a couple of weeks, so don’t delay!