Cape Town Cycle Tour a success despite 220 injuries and one death

The 45th Cape Town Cycle Tour, the biggest timed bike race in the world. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News AGency (ANA)

The 45th Cape Town Cycle Tour, the biggest timed bike race in the world. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News AGency (ANA)

Published Mar 13, 2023


Cape Town - One cyclist who participated in the Cape Town Cycle Tour died and medical teams had to attend to 220 injuries along the route and finish-line tent in an otherwise successful event in splendid weather.

“Of these, 72 were responded to by EMS vehicles on the route. A total of 19 persons were referred to hospital for follow-up treatment,” the organisers said in a statement.

“Most of the injuries were soft tissue injuries as a result of falls; these were predominantly knees, elbows, shoulders and wrists.

“It is with deep regret that one fatality has been confirmed by the medical team, the details of which are currently being investigated. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the rider concerned,” they said.

Despite this, the cycle tour turned into a family affair as thousands of people gathered at various viewing points to cheer and support the riders as they embarked on a 109km or 42km cycle tour.

With pleasant weather which encouraged spectators to come out in numbers, the event was a success as the crowd cheered “Well done!” to contestants at the 42km finishing line near the Castle of Good Hope.

The Isaacs family of four were among those who gathered near the Castle to cheer for their father and husband who participated in the 42km race. Despite him not making it through to the finish line, the family kept cheering for everyone.

“We came here to cheer for my husband. He did not make it through to the finish line because he did not train this year, hence the shorter race.

“This was an amazing event, which also brought the communities together. As much as we did not know most of the people here, but during the cheering we could see their faces light up as we shouted ‘well done’ to them,” said the family.

The event saw roughly 28 000 contestants taking part in both races. With an introductory race to the long-running event, a 42km version was officially added catering for young and less fit contenders.

Mina Tjallingii won the under-17 race while the under-15 race was won by Ronaldo Levendall. Both winners were awarded prize money and products from Garmin and Oakley.

Divided into Women’s and Men’s Elite categories, the 109km race saw two winners – defending champion Kim le Court with a finishing time of 2:13:20, and Chris Jooste with a time of 02:36:14.

Le Court said: “There was a time where I thought it was too early to start the sprint but everyone else was sprinting and I just opened it up and no one came past. I hung on and I am really glad I could hang on to the end.”

Jooste said: "This is an incredible feeling. I’ve won every age category since I was under-12. This is amazing.”

Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour David Bellairs said: “The Cape Town Cycle Tour is a celebration of cycling and the human spirit. The Women’s and men's elite categories were a true testament to the passion and dedication of these athletes, and we are proud to have them as part of our event."

2023 CYCLE TOUR WINNERS: Kim le Court and Chris Jooste

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Cape Argus