From one harbour town to the next. After completing the Garden Route 300 in Knysna my journey continued westwards to Cape Town where I participated at the Cape Town Cycle Tour a mere week later.
This event needs no introduction as it’s the biggest timed event in the world. Now in its 39th year the event boasts over 35 000 participants which will surely be much more if race organisers weren’t forced to cap numbers due to the unpracticality of accommodating so many people at a one day event.
The scenic 109km route takes cyclists from the city centre, down the M3 through to Muizenberg and as far south as Smitswinkel. From there the course heads north again, through Hout Bay and Camps Bay to the finish line in Green Point.
The ladies race is always a hotly debated topic at the CT Cycle Tour as everyone involved tries to find a happy medium to make the woman’s event positive and safe. In previous years the ladies raced alongside either the A or B starting groups but that triggered some nasty crashes and unfair racing due to the influence of the big bunches.
This year the organisers tried to arrange a separate race for the ladies but unfortunately the ladies were soon back to racing with the B-batch (250 riders per starting batch) as the gap in start times between the 2 groups was too small. By the time our group hit Muizenberg the C-batch also caught up to us AND we had caught some tandems. This made for some hair raising moments as 500 (fun) riders fought for a front row seat on a narrow coastal road!
On the Chapman’s Peak climb I drifted too far back in the pack and by the time I reached the summit it was disappointing to see our once big group was now splintered into pieces. On the next climb (Suikerbossie) I kept a steady pace managing to ride myself back into the 2nd group where I stayed until crossing the finish line in 11th spot.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour has always been a strange event to race especially with so many different categories in the mix. It might be a good idea to have the elite Men and Ladies race the day before the main ride or set the ladies off much earlier on race day. The M3 is lit up at night and to see the sun rising as we make our way to Muizenberg will be quite special.
Of course the best part of the day was meeting up with my dad and fellow Team Garmin crew to soak up the atmosphere of the event.
For now I’ll be packing away the skinny tires and taking out the big wheels as we head into the Absa Cape Epic starting this coming Sunday.