Organisers of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour have given Chapman’s Peak Drive the thumbs-up and declared it officially open, after it was closed due to mudslides and rockfalls late last year.
On Tuesday, the director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, David Bellairs, led Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle and Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde on an inspection of the stretch of road where public works maintenance workers are putting up temporary protective barriers on the rock face.
“We want to make certain that it is safe and that we can widen the road to make it as wide as it can be for the cyclists,” said Carlisle.
“All the mud and residue had to be removed and now we will have at least one and a half lanes open for the cyclists.
“I am happy with what I have seen and if the organisers say it will be safe and they are happy then I am happy,” the MEC said.
Bellairs said the organisation of this year’s event, with about 35 000 cyclists taking part, was no different to that of previous years.
He was glad that “Chappies” had been cleared and declared open.
“Before Christmas we had heavy rains which caused some mudslides and rockfalls, which was a setback. There was also a delay in appointing a contractor to fix it.
“But everything has been cleared now with the work from the ministry, Public Works and ourselves at the Cycle Tour Trust. Chapman’s Peak is one of the most beautiful spots on the tour and we wanted to keep the route coming through here.”
Winde said the tour was a major boost for the local economy.
“The Cycle Tour is one of the major events on the cycling calendar. It adds about R500 million to our economy as we not only get visitors from all over the country but from the rest of the world as well.
“The most talked-about part of the route, besides Suikerbossie, is Chappies. It is a route that is so amazing and we had to make sure that it is ready so that we do not go back to the old route.”
Winde asked participants to take care while cycling and that during their stay they should take in what Cape Town had to offer.
“Everyone should ride safely and enjoy it. But at the same time they must make sure that they enjoy the city.”
Winde will again be participating in this year’s event.
“Training has been good, but government work and cycling do not go well together,” he said.