Cyclists on Chapman's Peak during the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: Henk  Kruger/African News Agency
Cyclists on Chapman's Peak during the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA
Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA
Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA
Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA
Pupils from Ocean View Secondary school at the Cape Town Cycle Tour starting point. Picture:  Athina May/Cape Argus
Pupils from Ocean View Secondary school at the Cape Town Cycle Tour starting point. Picture: Athina May/Cape Argus
Phoenix Secondary School pupils at the start of the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: Athina May/Cape Argus
Phoenix Secondary School pupils at the start of the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: Athina May/Cape Argus
Kim le Court won the Cape Town Cycle Tour women's race in Cape Town on Sunday. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Kim le Court won the Cape Town Cycle Tour women's race in Cape Town on Sunday. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Team BCX’s Nolan Hoffman wins the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Team BCX’s Nolan Hoffman wins the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - The tragic deaths of two cyclists, one in a pile-up and the other one of a suspected heart attack, marred an otherwise perfect Cape Town Cycle Tour.

In the one incident just before 9am, a 40-year-old cyclist, on the M3 southbound, was involved in a pile-up with a group of 20 cyclists. “His family has asked that we respect their privacy at this time and we will not be releasing his name,” Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust marketing, media and sponsorship director David Bellairs, said. Details of the accident remain sketchy. The event’s organisers have extended their condolences to the family.

In the other incident, a male participant died of a suspected heart attack at Smitswinkel Bay at about 10:20am.

Over 35 000 participants descended on the Cape Town Grand Parade on Sunday, the new starting point for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The traditional Foreshore starting point was cancelled due to the severe windy weather conditions that saw last year’s event called off.

The perfect weather conditions across the Mother City on Sunday was a talking point among most riders. “We needed to be responsive in respect of 2017’s challenges and looked to mitigate the wind risk. Fortunately we were blessed with perfect cycling weather today,” Bellairs said.

Nolan Hoffman, 32, won his third Cape Town Cycle Tour title.

“I feel extremely overwhelmed. I think this race causes so much nerves, and everything has to go perfect, especially for us. But everything went well, everything went the way we wanted it,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman is part of Team BCX, a professional road bike racing team comprising seven riders. Hoffman has become one of South Africa’s most prolific road and track race winners since the retirement in 2010 of former cycling legend Malcolm Lange, who was also the owner of Team BCX.

“The team was incredible, everything went perfectly. This is really a huge victory for us. Lady Luck was really with us,” he said.

The Franschhoek-born Hoffman won the men’s 109km race in 2:37:30, and said: “I had really good legs and I believe we held our nerve."

He also out-sprinted Sam Gaze from Cambridge, who won the elite UCI Mountain Bike World Cup title on Saturday.

“For me I have achieved one of my goals in cycling in South Africa. This is just preparation for me for the Commonwealth Games at the beginning of next month.

“The Cape Town Cycle Tour is the biggest event in the country and loads of cyclists invest a lot in it. For everyone this is a big box ticked,” Hoffman said.

“This was our biggest objective for the year, and going away with the win was just incredible. The boys rode out of their skins, and I’m just really pleased with how it all played out,” he said.

Team BCX controlled the peloton through Camp’s Bay and the tricky twists and turns through Clifton and Sea Point, to go into the final sprint perfectly positioned.

The women's 76km race was won by Kim le Court, who is originally from Mauritius.

“Wow, such an emotional day,” Le Court said. “This is the one race that everyone wants to win. I’ve had a year of podiums, and it’s great to finally stand on the top step.”

Le Court won the race in 2:11:50. She beat Namibian Vera Adrian and South African track specialist Maroesjka Matthee in perfect conditions at Glencairn just outside Simon’s Town.

Le Court added that it was good for women to have their own race as it was a "big positive" for team tactics.

Cape Argus