Having written several blogs about our entry into the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in South Africa this past March, I thought it only right that I should follow-up with some photos, details of our finishing times, and share our overall experiences of the world’s largest timed cycle race.
Registration for the Cape Argus Cycle Touropens at the beginning of September each year and runs until all 35,000 places are sold out, which generally takes around two to three weeks. International entries do remain open longer than the South African entries, but if you want to secure a place, you need to act fast.
Once you have confirmed your spot on this 109km cycling event around the Western Cape, we highly recommend youbook both your flights to Cape Town and your hotel accommodation, to avoid paying inflated prices next March. You will also need to look into bike transportation if you intend to take you own bike.
A week or so before the race, you will receive an email with your race number, and when you arrive in Cape Town, you simply need to head to the registration, collect your race number and timing chip, and prepare for this amazing event.
On the morning of the race, the streets of Cape Town are blocked off so that you can ride to the start-line with ease, and as the Cape Argus is brilliantly organised, you never need to worry about getting lost or making your way into the wrong starting group.
When your start time arrives, you simply make your way to the front, wait for the whistle, and set off with the rest of your group on this gruelling but breathtaking route. The South African crowd will cheer you onwards and upwards with their friendly banter, loud music and buckets of water, and there are plenty of ‘watering stations’ along the way to top-up your water bottles or grab a snack.
You have a total of 7-hours to complete the race, and to be honest, I needed every minute, but I took my time, enjoyed the scenery and crossed the line victoriously!
If you intend to be one of the 35,000 cyclists who take part in the Cape Argus in March 2014, we can highly recommend you secure your place now with a licensed travel agent or tour operator, but please keep your eyes open for un-licensed entities… Those without a license are not able to book flights on your behalf and you may end up cycling a lot further than you think!