CAPE TOWN - At a press briefing on Thursday, it was announced that the start for the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour will move from its traditional position on Hertzog Boulevard to the historic Grand Parade Precinct.
“Our participants’ safety will always come first,” says David Bellairs, a director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust. “2017 was a year of incredible learnings. We believe now – as we did then – that the right decision was made on the day.
"Nothing could have prepared the team for the challenges thrown at us in the lead up to the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour and nobody was more disappointed at the cancellation than the team who had spent the entire year preparing for the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour. After the issues we had with wind at this year’s start, we immediately reviewed and re-assessed our options for 2018.
“We needed to be responsive in respect of this year’s challenges and look to mitigate the wind risk. We realise that there are very few areas in Cape Town that are immune to the Cape Doctor, but believe with this move that at least participants will not again be subjected to the sort of wind vortices created by the tunnels at the base of the civic center, these being exacerbated by the extraordinarily strong winds prevailing on the morning of this year’s event.
"An extensive amount of work has gone into understanding and looking into risk mitigation procedures and we are in the process of revising our wind guidelines as they relate to the start, route and finish precinct. This is being done in conjunction with Disaster Management Services, City of Cape Town, Pedal Power Association and experts in the meteorological field.”
Bellairs continues: “We are very grateful for the upgrades and rejuvenation that the City of Cape Town has already undertaken, and has planned for the Grand Parade Precinct. Following discussions with all stakeholders and particularly our partners at The City of Cape Town, we have made the decision to move the start to the Grand Parade Precinct.
"The Cape Town Cycle Tour is an iconic event – and the Grand Parade, overlooked by City Hall with the backdrop of Table Mountain, is a globally iconic event venue. The City effectively enticed us back to our ‘routes’: in 1978, 525 cyclists set off from the roads outside the castle on the first ever Cycle Tour (then called The Argus Tour)."
City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith, said, “The City of Cape Town is proud to host next year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour, which has become one of the highlights on the city’s events calendar. This prestigious race is the world's largest individually timed cycle tour, and takes participants along some of Cape Town’s most picturesque and scenic routes.
"While the start of the race changes in 2018, we look forward to welcoming organisers and cyclists to an exciting event. Our support of the Cape Town Cycle Tour forms part of our strategy to attract even more events to the city. We hope our visitors and resident cyclists enjoy the race and natural beauty of the Cape. The City of Cape Town remains committed to doing all we can to promote cycling and to ensure a safe environment for cyclists on our roads.”
Bellairs continues “The Grand Parade Start Precinct will broaden the scope for expansion and improving the overall Cycle Tour experience for participants. A more consolidated precinct will enable us to create a more welcoming environment at the start with the possible inclusion of a breakfast hospitality zone and a more expansive offering of services. Space constraints in Hertzog Boulevard mitigated against such improvements. The move will also free up the central MyCiti bus station located at the Civic Centre.”
On Sunday, 11 March 2018, riders will gather on the historic Grand Parade and line up in Castle Street alongside the Castle of Good Hope and will follow the usual route around the Peninsula to the finish.
Changes are also in the pipeline for the race village at Green Point, which will see a substantial new offering to both corporate and general entrants.
David Bellairs confirmed that every rider who entered and registered for the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour by collecting their number/race pack at the Cape Town Cycle Tour Expo, will receive a preferential entry prior to general entries opening. Entry fees for these riders will remain fixed at 2017 rates.
General and international entry applications to the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour will open on 20 September 2017. Corporate entries will be made available via a corporate hospitality package. This information will be available in more detail from the end of September 2017.
Cape Town Cycle Tour Media