Cape Town Cycle Tour – Go Pro Style!

If you are wondering what it is really like to cycle the Cape Town Cycle Tour, these Go Pro pics from the 2015 event should give you some idea!  Sadly, they are mostly rear view photos (quite literally!), but when you are concentrating on the world’s largest timed cycle tour, there is only one way to look – and that’s ahead!

As the Cape Argus was shortened this year due to fires across the Western Cape, chances are, we will never see this altered route again, so while these photos are not the best we have ever taken, they will certainly remain locked away in the Equatours Cape Town Cycle Tour archives.

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Cycle Argus 2016

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Prudential RideLondon 2015: Official Seeding Event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016

While most of the Cape Town Cycle Tour seeding events are based in South Africa, there are 2 options available for those who live outside the country, the Nedbank Cycle Challenge in Namibia, and the Prudential RideLondon Festival of Cycling, which is set to take part in the UK’s capital city on 1st and 2nd August 2015.

Referred to as “the world’s greatest festival of cycling”, the Prudential RideLondon attracts some 95,000 cyclists each year, who head to London to take part of one of the five different events staged over 2 days.

International Entries Cape Town Cycle Tour

On Saturday 1st August, spectators can expect a cycling extravaganza with the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix, a series of criterium races for professional women cyclists and youths that are set to become our future Olympic champions.  The 10th Brompton World Championship will take place on Saturday too, a ‘Le-Mans’ style mass start of over 500 smartly-dressed cyclists, who have to unfold their bikes at the start line and dress in their very best – no cycling shorts allowed!

If you want to join in the fun, there is still time to enter the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle Event, which is open to everyone and anyone with a bike! A fun ride through the traffic-free city, it passes iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.

Three further events will take place on Sunday, 2nd August, the Handcycle Classic with 30 hand-cyclists racing across the city from Kingston upon Thames to The Mall, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, a 100 mile sportive reserved for 150 of the world’s top cyclists, and the hugely popular RideLondon-Surrey 100 for amateurs.

Such is the demand for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 race that entries are made by ballot, so if you haven’t got your entry by now – you will have to be a spectator, and cycle the Cape Town Cycle Tour as a regular international entrant – just like the rest of us!

 

 

Tour of Austria (Österreich Rundfahrt) Creating Heroes one at a Time!

If you think the 109km Cape Town Cycle Tour is a challenge, then the take a moment to salute these cycling pros who have just completed the 8 Stage, 1445 kilometre Österreich Rundfahrt (Tour de Austria) in a rather hot a sweaty 32° degrees!

The winner of the 67th Österreich Rundfahrt has just been announced as 29-year-old Spaniard Victor de le Parte, who just happened to be cycling for our local club – Team Vorarlberg! Congratulations!

Here’s what the race looked like today…

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Atlantic Seaboard: Prime Location for International Entries of the Cape Town Cycle Tour

There are plenty of hotels in Cape Town to accommodate International Entries of the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016, but if you want to get some cycling, running or walking in before you make your way to the start line on 6th March, the Atlantic Seaboard, otherwise referred to as Cape Town’s Riviera, is the perfect location for your trip.

Equatours Cape Town Cycle Tour Accommodation

A stunning piece of coastline stretching from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Shopping Centre all the way past the beautiful beaches of Camps Bay to Hout Bay, the Atlantic Seaboard is highly recommended for international visitors due to its great choice of hotels, endless restaurants, bars and supermarkets, cosmopolitan shopping areas, huge public swimming pool, Virgin Active Gym, and long winding coastal road that was made for outdoor activities.

A great place for cycling, the Atlantic Seaboard forms part of the official Cape Town Cycle Tour Route, so if you arrive a few days before the race (recommended), you can cycle the route backwards, starting in Sea Point and making your way past Camps Bay, Llandudno, and Hout Bay before testing your leg muscles on the mighty Chapman’s Peak.

From here, you can glide down the other side and continue along the Cape Peninsula to the magnificent False Bay, or head back to Hout Bay for a delicious seafood lunch in one of the many seaside restaurants.

Everyone cycling the Cape Town Cycle Tour dreads Suikerbossie, and while it isn’t particularly long (around 2km) or terribly steep (around 7%), it falls in the last 10km of the race, and by then, your bums sore, your legs are tired, and you’ve just about had enough! So cycle up it the week before the race, and prepare your body, mind and soul for your ultimate ‘Argus’ challenge!

 

 

 

 

Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016: 5 Day Training Programme for International Entrants

If you love cycling, now is a wonderful time of year to live in the Northern Hemisphere!  The sun is shining (mostly), its dry (mostly), and with many Europeans about to embark on their annual summer holiday, the 2015 cycling season is officially underway.

But by the time we get ready to head to Cape Town for the Cycle Tour next March, the outlook is going to be a whole lot different.  January and February are generally the wettest and coldest months in the UK and Northern Europe, and while we can all get a few kilometres in on the Spinning Bike, there is nothing like training in the great outdoors.

Cape Town Cycle TourWe tackled the problem this year with a 5 Day Cape Argus Training Programme for International Entrants, and due to popular demand, we will be running a similar programme in 2016… here’s a sneak peek…

WINE LANDS 1 CYCLE TOUR – Monday 29th FEBRUARY 2016  

After collection from the CBD, we will transfer to the outskirts of Wellington to our starting point on the R44 heading south. Bypassing the town and Paarl itself, we will take a moment to view the Afrikaans Language Monument and Paarl Rock in the distance, before making our way past various vine yards to our lunch destination at Vredenheim Wine Estate on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. After a delicious lunch admiring the mountains and breath-taking views of the Cape Winelands, we will head back towards the coast, finishing near Somerset West.

Total Cycling Distance: 100km/62 miles

WEST COAST NATIONAL PARK – Tuesday 1ST MARCH 2016

Today we transfer north (approximately 1.5 hours) out of the city, and start with a gentle 20km warm up before tackling the West Coast National Park ride around the Lagoon to Churchhaven on the western side. On a clear day, we will enjoy magnificent views of Table Mountain in the distance, whilst riding along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. After a delicious lunch as Geelbek, a Historic Cape Dutch style Governor’s Manor House in the middle of the park, we will continue around to the north side of the lagoon before departing back to Cape Town.

Total Cycling Distance: 100km/62 miles

WINE LANDS 2 CYCLE TOUR – Wednesday 2nd MARCH 2016

After collection from the CBD, we will transfer to the outskirts of Stellenbosch to start our cycle tour near Meerlust Wine Estate. After a 10km warm up on the flat, we will begin tackling some of the undulating climbs to Stellenbosch on the R44 (a further 12 km) via winery road. Then over the Helshoogte Pass (literally Hell’s Heights, the name is worse than the 5k climb!) and along a relatively flat path to Franschhoek where we will enjoy lunch at one of the local vine yards. Once refreshed, we will climb the Franschhoek Pass to enjoy the views from the top before a fun 10k downhill ride next to the reservoir, where our transport will be waiting to take us back to Cape Town.

Total Cycling Distance: 100km/62 miles

PENINSULA TOUR – Thursday 3rd MARCH 2016

Heading down the Atlantic Seaboard from our starting point outside the Equatours group hotel, we will climb over the ascent past Llandudno to simulate the climbs out of Cape Town on race day. We will then continue through Hout Bay to the Chapman’s Peak view point, before descending down to the False Bay Coast through the pretty seaside towns of Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek.  After all that downhill, it is time to test the legs with a climb up Smitswinkel, where we will head past the reserve entrance to Scarborough and Misty Cliffs. After lunch at Imhoff Farm, we will make our way back to our starting point, tackling Chapman’s Peak and Suikerboisse to prepare ourselves for race day.

Total Cycling Distance: 112km/70miles with plenty of climbs – just like the Cape Town Cycle Tour!

CLARENCE DRIVE RIDE – Friday 4TH MARCH 2016

This morning we will transfer out of town to Gordon’s Bay, where we will start our ride on the majestic False Bay Coastline overlooking the Cape Peninsula. After cycling the winding coastal road between the sea and the side of the Overberg Mountains, we will flatten out for a few km’s before enjoying a traditional lunch at Cafe Jack in Betty’s Bay. Once re-fuelled, we will head back in the same direction, enjoying new views of this magnificent stretch of coastline.  Extremely picturesque, this combines cycling with sightseeing, so don’t forget your camera!

Total Cycling Distance: 70km/44miles with option of further 20km/12miles

Cairo to Cape Town – Now that’s what I call a Cycle Tour!

While most of us cycling enthusiasts travel to Cape Town for the world-famous 109km Cycle Tour (previously the Argus), British endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont decided to push his African Adventure one-step further with a whopping 10,863km journey from Cairo to Cape Town.

Smashing previous records by a staggering 17 days, 32-year-old Mark from Perthshire in Scotland, completed his trip in just 41 days, 10 hours and 22 minutes, despite suffering from various mechanical problems, an attempted mugging and food poisoning along the way.rovos-rail-cape-town-to-cairoImage Courtesy of Rovos Rail

Mark already holds several world records, which include the Fastest Person to Cycle around the World, and the Fastest Person to Cycle across the Americas, but insists his “wanderlust is definitely cured for a while” after his latest world record title.

When interviewed at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Mark said, “I feel a lot of relief. I put a lot of pressure on myself when I take on these big expeditions.” He continued, “It’s not just my dream, there’s a lot of backing from sponsors, the media’s excited, tens of thousands of people are following online, and there’s a belief that I’ll just go out there and do it. It’s tough, so when I get to the finishing line it’s just an incredible relief to do it.”

Cycling an average of 240 kilometres per day, Mark crossed through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana before finally reaching South Africa, and it seems the 7 months of training that he did with the Scottish cycling squad prior to his trip got him in perfect condition for his African challenge.

Beaumont said, “My plan was always to set the world record at a totally new level”, and it looks like he’s done exactly that!  Would you tackle such an amazing journey (money and time permitting)? Drop us a line and let us know!

I think I’d rather do it on board Rovos Rail – Africa’s most luxurious train!

Rent a Bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016

We may have a whopping 281 days to go until the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 gets underway, but there is already a high demand for quality road bikes, and so if you are thinking of renting a bike in Cape Town for next years event, now is definitely the time to place your order!

There are several bicycle rental companies in Cape Town, and most of them offer very good bikes, but due to the huge demand over the Argus period, they all have a minimum rental period ranging from 3 and 14 days, and you can expect to pay at least R2.500 – R3.500 to rent a decent road bike over that weekend.

Cape ArgusIt is also possible to rent a tandem bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, but they are even more difficult to find than quality road bikes, so advanced booking is essential.  A bicycle made for two will cost you around R1.750 per day to rent, but if you book early, you might be able to get a good offer for 2 or 3 days rental.

Of course, all rental bikes are used and they are probably not up to the same standards as the bike you have at home, so you need to bear that in mind if comfort, timing and speed is important to you. Many cyclists choose to take their own saddle and cleats, which can make a huge difference to your ride, and while the rental companies will provide you with a helmet (it is a legal requirement in South Africa that you wear one), you will probably feel more comfortable wearing your own!

Cape Argus

The best option is always to take your own bike to Cape Town for the cycle tour, but if you are heading off on a safari or travelling along the Garden Route on a self-drive tour, it is not always practical.  So think ahead and start planning now as there will be no bikes left once registration opens in September, and you could end up riding the Argus on a rusty old mountain bike – believe me – been there, done that!