I have done it twice, the first time was a disaster for me and I barely managed to finish it being consumed with cramps due to inadequate training. The second time went much better as I trained properly and took anti cramp medication. So the message is pretty clear early on, you do need to be properly trained to attempt this race. Look, you don’t actually need to race it, just to finish it. The cut off time is 7 hours and there are rolling barriers such that if you don’t reach them in time you can’t proceed further.
It’s an amazing experience and if you are any sort of cyclist try and plan to do this race one year and also see some of Cape Town. The film star Mat Damon did the tour a while ago with his brother on a tandem. The oldest man to complete it was 90 years old at the time, that is pretty amazing don’t you think?
This is a composite article dealing with the cycle race and including my article Cape Town Mon Amie. The two sort of go together.
Many of the contestants take this race very seriously indeed, training for months on end to get a good time and religiously do the event every year.
For others it’s more of a fun thing, simply to enjoy the comradie of the occasion and the support of the spectators who throng the route, and just to finish the course under the cut off time.
Many contestants dress up for the occasion. But the course is not to be under estimated for a second. It’s a grueling 109 kilometers with several really major hills and passes to be conquered and the worst comes near the end where your legs are sore, you are tired and your stamina’s low. That’s where the crowds delight in congregating, to cheer you on and to see first hand the misery on your face as you struggle up this merciless hill.
The spectators come complete with chairs, music centers, barbecues, and drinks and picnic baskets. They get into place before all the roads are closed from 5.30 a.m.
Even though the route is 109 kilometers long it is crowded with spectators throughout. Basically the whole of Cape Town turns out to watch and make it a festive occasion.