Township cyclists revved up for first Cycle Tour
Encouraged by the growing support of the world famous cycle ride, 94 amateur cyclists from Khayelitsha and surrounding areas will be taking on the largest timed cycling event in the world, the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2017.
On Sunday, an expected 35 000 cyclists will ride the 109-kilometre route through some of the world's most spectacular scenery, which includes the iconic Table Mountain.
Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy spokesperson Sipho Mona said the organisation's participants were ready after preparing for the race since the beginning of the year.
Mona said their participants, of whom the youngest were 14, were ready and looking forward to the event.
Cape Town Tourism has partnered with the Warrior on Wheels foundation to assist four children with disabilities in enjoying the thrill of the Cape Town Cycle Tour this year and showcase that events must be accessible to all.
According to the Cape Town Cycle Tour the event, which attracts riders from all walks of life – including countries across Africa, America, Australia and Europe – injects in excess of R500 million into the province yearly.
Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said the race also raised millions of rand for charitable undertakings and cycling developments.
This year, there are 4 000 international registrations for the race, including 2 000 participants riding for charities.
Duminy said tens of thousands of spectators would gather along the route to support the riders, adding that hotels and other places of accommodation were already reporting high occupancy rates.
“Cycling in the city is a popular activity for locals, and there are many cycling tour opportunities for visitors, including cycling on the Sea Point Promenade and through local communities such as Langa, Khayelitsha and Masiphumelele," he said.
“This popular annual event highlights that business, entertainment and sporting events are of primary importance in attracting visitors and adding value to tourism in Cape Town.
"It shows that there's something for everyone, all year round. Our objective is to generate more popular events such as these, ones that will also enjoy decades of support.”