The Cape Town Cycle Tour takes place tomorrow. LEON LESTRADE African News Agency (ANA)
The Cape Town Cycle Tour takes place tomorrow. LEON LESTRADE African News Agency (ANA)

Wheels start turning for Cape Town Cycle Tour

By Keagan Mitchell Time of article published Oct 9, 2021

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Cape Town - Tomorrow’s Cape Town Cycle Tour hopes to go some way to rebuilding the tourism sector and ushering in economic recovery.

MEC for finance and economic opportunities, David Maynier, said: “We welcome the Cape Town Cycle Tour which is one of many events that has shown great innovation and adaptation to attract visitors safely back to the Western Cape. It’s critical for us to rebuild our tourism sector and ensure economic recovery in the Western Cape.”

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome back all the participants and visitors to the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The tourism and events industry is one of the major pillars of our city’s economy, but like many industries, it has taken a knock due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s important that we continue to support and focus on rebuilding the events industry and the many stakeholders involved. We wish the organisers and cyclists a wonderful event.”

The Cape Town Cycle Tour has, due to the pandemic, seen a 37.5% decrease in international entries. The biggest timed cycle race in the world, in a bid to mitigate the current restrictions around Covid-19 it has decreased its total number of entries (local and international), from 35 000 to 18 000.

There have been other significant changes to this year’s event, such as cancelling the junior cycle tour, changing the start structure, and strict Covid-19 compliance.

Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, David Bellairs, said usually they would see about 80 countries participating. However, this year, they will have approximately 50.

“It has a significant negative financial impact on the event. We have the same amount of infrastructure out on the route, but only 50% of the revenue to help cover this cost. The positives we will take from this year’s event is being able to pivot the Cape Town Cycle Tour at short notice, based on the ability of an agile events team at the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust offices.

“To ensure the requisite Covid-19 protocols and regulations are met, the number of participants permitted to enter the 2021 event was limited to that prescribed by national legislation at the time (entries opened in April 29 and closed in June). For planning, and based on current projections, we anticipate that no more than 50% of our normal entry limit will be able to be accommodated. As a result, we (only accepted) 18 000 entries,” Bellairs said.

The 109km event, which starts at the Grand Parade and finishes at the Cape Town Stadium, was postponed in March due to the high Covid-19 infection rates.

“We were the last major event to take place (last year) in South Africa, before all events were stopped. This is in fact the postponed version of the 2021 event, which should have happened in March this year. When the postponement was announced, it was a huge blow to the organisers as well as the charities that benefit from the hosting of the event,” he said.

Those who entered have until 4pm today to register and collect their race numbers at the Cape Town Stadium. Some of the protocols when registering include: “Have to produce proof of being fully vaccinated (two shots of the Pfizer vaccine or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If not fully vaccinated, participants will have to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test with a negative result before being allowed into the stadium. Masks must be worn at all times and may only be removed just before being released for the start,” added Bellairs.

Weekend Argus

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