The Cape Argus Cycle Tour

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The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is the largest timed cycle event in the world and attracts everyone from absolute beginners to cycling legends such as Lance Armstrong.

This year the race will take place on 13 March (2011) and over 35,000 cyclists are expected. The race is the culmination of a Lifecycle Week, which starts on 4 March and includes the Grape Escape MTB Stage Race, Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge, Cape Argus Lifecycle Expo, Cape Argus Pick n Pay Tricycle & Junior Tours and Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

Over the past few years the race has garnered a lot more international interest than usual thanks to actor Matt Damon’s participation in 2009 and Lance Armstrong’s participation in 2010.

Matt Damon rode a tandem bike with his brother Kyle in the Make a Difference team (with rugby great Francois Pienaar) to raise money for disadvantaged youth in South Africa. He didn’t come back in 2010 but has said that, despite the wind, he would love to do it again.

Race basics:

The most important rule for all cyclists is No Helmet No Ride. There are no other clothing requirements and many people go way out for charity by dressing in weird and wacky costumes.

Any one can participate. The actually cycle tour has a minimum age of 12 years, but younger cyclists needn’t feel left out as they can enter the Junior Tour on 12 March.

South African residents must have a license. A once-off license can be purchased from Cycling South Africa (CSA) for the event. Cyclists must also have their own timing chips, which they must wear on race day for their race to be valid and also in case of emergency.

The race must be completed in seven hours. All finishers will receive a certificate. All junior tour competitors will also receive a certificate (there are no medals for first, second and third place), as well as a goodie bag.

The race is 109km long and while it takes you along the most beautiful areas around Cape Town it includes some vicious hills, such as Boyes Drive and Chapman’s Peak, so don’t be ashamed to hop off and walk.

There will be at least six medical stations long the route and several sweep vehicles to provide on the spot treatment (for cramps), as well as to pick up those who can’t continue and provide transport to medical stations when needed.

Training plans for beginners to advanced racers are available at

For more information call +27 21 763 7960 or email or

(image by TJBlackwell via Wikimedia Commons)

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