Photo: Ross Jansen/Independent Media
CAPE TOWN - With 10 days to go to the 40th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, cyclists and supporters can enjoy Cape Town’s beautiful scenery, starting on Hertzog Boulevard in the city.

Standing in the starting chutes as cyclists set off gets the competitive juices flowing. There’s a buzz and you’re determined to fly from the moment the start gun cracks.

But at the start there is a climb to Nelson Mandela Boulevard, which itself is a gradual bump almost all the way to Hospital Bend. Take it easy and ease into your 109km ride. If you’re planning a personal best, you’ll still have time to crank it up.

Depending on conditions, this is a love-it-or-hate-it section. If the famous Cape southeaster howls, you’ll want to find a bunch of riders and stick with them.

On a wind-free day you can work up a head of steam, knowing that there are no challenges until you reach the party atmosphere of Jubilee Square, or the imposing climb of Smitswinkel.

St James is squeezed between the rocky shore and a steep mountain.

The Simon’s Town water station is Pick * Pay country. The coastal town is South Africa’s main naval base and consists of Victorian buildings, quaint streets, walkways and a fascinating history.

Experts agree that if you’re doing the Cycle Tour for fun, don’t listen to any expert advice. Fast forward to the home stretch, and the last 15km requires some leg work.

The Llandudno descent just after Suikerbossie will put a smile back on your dial, but save some gas for a few short climbing bursts into, and then out, of Camps Bay.

After that, it’s pretty smooth all the way home.

Cape Argus