The world’s largest timed cycle race, the Cape Cycle Tour is the jewel in the crown for cycling in the Mother City and easily one of South Africa’s largest – and most popular – sporting events. Held every year in March, the route is 109km long and one of the most beautiful in the world, circling the Cape Peninsula with the start and the finish in the shadow of the iconic Table Mountain.
Easily one of the Mother City’s most iconic events, the Cycle Tour draws cycling fanatics from all over the world, with their supporters in tow, and is eagerly supported by the locals, who line the streets to cheer on the participants. ‘Chappies’, ‘Suikerbossie’ and ‘Hoopla’ are all part of the local narrative and those taking part will quickly learn why. Intrigued? Best you enter then.
There are three main races to take part in, including two other races in the run-up to the Cycle Tour.
Junior: This fun ride takes place on the Sunday before the main event, with several races available to a few age groups, from toddlers to energetic 12-year-olds. For safety purposes, entries are limited and parents are encouraged to accompany their kids on foot. Each child will walk away with a medal, certificate, and goodie bag for completing the race and of course there will be plenty of entertainment, food and drink off the track too.
Mountain bike challenge: For those that enjoy the thrill of off-road track, the MTB challenge is definitely for you. Races range in distance, and take place the Saturday before the Cycle Tour. Since it’s the weekend before the major road race, taking part in one of the shorter of these races can double up as a taper cycle ahead of the 109km road race.
Cape Town Cycle Tour: The 109-kilometre route meanders across the Cape Peninsula, making for some incredible mountain and sea views. But don’t be fooled! While it’s pretty, there are some mean hills to conquer and you’ll also want to mentally prepare yourself for a potential battle with the prevailing summer wind coming from the South East (known as the Cape Doctor) that can be rather strong during March.
For more information, visit the website: capetowncycletour.com
The race obviously leads to road closures, so whether you are needing to get to the start to take part or want to support a friend / loved one, make sure you know the best route to travel: https://www.wesgro.co.za/travel/blog/cycling-races-in-cape-town-and-the-western-cape
Cycling is a big deal in the Western Cape, and while the Cycle Tour is the biggest, there are plenty of other races to choose from. Check out some of the top evens here: https://www.wesgro.co.za/travel/blog/cycling-races-in-cape-town-and-the-western-cape