Cape Town is not only the oldest city in South Africa (founded in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company), it’s been home to the world’s largest individually timed cycle race since 1978. Originally known as the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, the race was started by a group of local cyclists who wanted to promote the sport of cycling and showcase the beauty of the Cape Peninsula to a broader audience.
Just over 1 000 participants cycled out on that maiden race, and this year we will see around 35 000 participants from around the world follow the 109km route that has changed very little over 45 years.
Many of our guests enter every year, returning not only to our comfortable and well-situated accommodation, but to the challenge of pedalling through picturesque suburbs, past beautiful beaches, and along the rugged Atlantic coastline. The route also takes riders through the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which offers breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding mountains. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including baboons and ostriches.
It’s a popular choice for both amateur and professional cyclists. One of the most iconic parts of the route is the climb up Chapman’s Peak Drive, which offers panoramic vistas of Hout Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The descent from Chapman’s Peak is also a highlight, with its winding roads and spectacular sights.
Overall, the Cape Town Cycle Tour offers riders a unique and unforgettable experience, with a combination of challenging climbs, exhilarating descents, and some of the most captivating landscapes, fauna and flora in the world. Cape Town is renowned for its rich biodiversity, with many unique plant and animal species found only in the surrounding area.
If you’re riding the next tour, here are some tips from previous riders to first-timers:
- Train well in advance of the race: The Cape Town Cycle Tour is a challenging 109-kilometre route, so it’s essential to be in good physical shape before the race.
- Familiarise yourself with the route: Study the course and identify any challenging sections, such as steep hills or technical descents, so you can pace yourself accordingly.
- Invest in good quality gear: Make sure you have a comfortable and well-fitting bike, as well as appropriate clothing and accessories such as gloves, sunglasses, and a helmet.
- Stay hydrated: The race takes place in the summer, so it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the race. Summer here is noticeably warmer than many European summers.
- Be prepared for the weather: The weather in Cape Town can be unpredictable, so be ready for any type of weather conditions.
- Be mindful of the traffic: The Cape Town Cycle Tour is an open road race, you will share the road with cars, buses and trucks. Be alert, follow the rules of the road and obey marshals’ instructions.
And here’s what we love to say to our guests: “Have fun and enjoy the scenery!”. If you’re cycling whilst staying with us, let our team know, and we’ll do our best to wrangle some of our custom-designed cycle shirts for you!