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!

New Entry Process for Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016

In order to “ensure a more equitable process for all prospective riders”, the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust (CTCTT) has announced that they will be implementing a new ballot style entry process for the 2016 Cycle Tour.

Cape Town Cycle TourAs anyone who follows this iconic event will know, local entries for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2015 sold out in just 8 hours when entries opened last September, and to prevent the same thing from happening again this year, the event organisers have decided to use an online ballot entry system, similar to those used for other international sporting events such as the New York Marathon and the Prudential RideLondon.

The new entry process applies to all entrants, both national and international, and riders who want to take part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour in 2016, will have to register their interest online between 9th and 25th September this year.

A week later, cyclists will find out if they have managed to secure a place or not.  Those successful will have until 26th October to pay for their entry and guarantee their spot, those unsuccessful will have the option to ride for one of the many charities available, or wait for the substitution process in January 2016.

David Bellairs, Director of the CTCTT said, “We want to avoid thousands of applicants rushing to be first in line as the entry portal opens, and being disappointed when they sell out in a matter of hours.  Our intention is to create a fairer system as it allows for a greater and more inclusive opportunity for securing an entry. Entries will be awarded at random, regardless of whether interest is registered on the first or the last day of the registration period.  We believe the implementation of this new system is the best way forward for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.”

News24.com has confirmed that the CTCTT has increased the number of riders from 35,000 to 40,000 for 2016, so it looks as though the world’s largest timed cycling event is not going to lose its title anytime soon!

 

 

 

Cycling the World’s Most Beautiful Wine Routes

If your idea of the perfect holiday includes cycling through beautiful vineyards, tasting some of the world’s finest wines, dining in local eateries, and residing in luxurious boutique hotels, then why not cycle one of the world’s most beautiful wine routes this year, and indulge both your senses and your passion for sports in one of these exquisite destinations.

Cycling the World’s Most Beautiful Wine Routes Made for globetrotting cyclists and self-proclaimed oenophiles, these bike friendly wine regions each have something unique to offer international travellers, and as they are designed for wine lovers on two wheels, you can safely cycle from one vineyard to another, tasting home-grown wines and olives, and sampling homemade cheeses, bread and, in some locations, decadent treats made by local artisan chocolate makers…

Cycling the Yarra Valley, Australia

A fabulous location for a cycling tour, Australia’s Yarra Valley is bursting with breath-taking scenery, beautiful vineyards that offer everything from wine tasting to delicious gourmet lunches, and mostly even terrain along the Warburton to Lilydale Rail Trail.  You can easily spend a whole day visiting boutique wineries in the region, before heading to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie to end your cycling adventure on a sweet note!

Cycling the Colchagua Valley, Chile

One of the most successful wine producing regions of South America, the Colchagua Valley in Chile is the picture-perfect destination for a bike friendly wine tour.  While you may need to book an organised trip, rather than heading into the wine lands yourself, it is well worth paying that little bit extra to traverse the dramatic landscapes nestling below the Andes Mountain Range.  This is one of the few places in the world where the Carménère grape flourishes, so sampling local wines is a must.

Cycling Marlboro, New Zealand’s South Island

While there is no designated cycle path, the Marlborough Wine Trail was made for cycling, and with over 30 wineries to choose from, you can tickle your taste buds with Marlborough’s famous Sauvignon Blanc and its world-class Pinot Noirs. Most locals recommend that you start in Blenheim and take the New Renwick Road, which will lead you from one outstanding winery to another.  If you’re a lover of Sauv Blanc – Cloudy Bay should not be missed!

Cycling the Cape Winelands, South Africa

South Africa produces some of the world’s best new world wines, and so the Cape Winelands are literally overflowing with award-winning wineries.  With Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington to keep you busy, you could do a different cycling tour every day, before heading across to the Hemel en Aarde Valley to tackle the less-famous, but equally beautiful Hermanus Wine Route. Satisfaction guaranteed!

 

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!