The cycle tour that began in 1977. In 1978 the Argus Newspaper became the sponsor and so the tour has been known as the Argus Cycle tour for as long as most can remember. In the latter years there have been other co-sponsors as in M-Net in 1988, which allowed for TV coverage for the first time. With 12802 rider entered in the following year things started to change. 1990 saw the introduction of safety helmets for riders and 22 starting groups starting on a Sunday instead of a Saturday.
1991, the Pick ‘n Pay group came on board as the naming rights sponsor with the event becoming the Argus/Pick ‘n Pay Cycle tour. Weather conditions were ideal for the 15000 riders and for the first time a sub 2hr30 was broken by Robbie McIntosh in a time of 2:28:46. The next year saw the introduction of the Giro del Capo – a 4-stage professional (registered riders) ending with their last race being the Cycle tour and a prize fund of R15 000 for the winner, claimed by Andre Mclean.
1995 records tumbled as Swedish rider Michael Andersson broke course record in 2:22:56 and the entries increased to 25313 with 21% being Ladies. 1997 and the 20th year of the tour has a sponsor name change for the Augus newpaper to Cape Argus a new logo was also designed with an outline of table mountain.
2000 the big year for the world, but bigger year for the tour as it saw a route change due to Chapman’s Peak having a mountain fir and rock falls, so “Chappies” was close and the route changed and riders came back along the Blue Route through the city centre to Greenpoint a distance of 109km (the Ou Kappse Weg route). For the first time in 2002 the tour had a cut off time at 14h45 due to weather temperatures reaching 42 degrees on some parts of the course. The tour also got aligned with the Proudly South African campaign Mountain Bike Challenge.
2004 the route was back at Chappies after a four year detour. 1697 international entrants represented five continents. 2006 racing Veterans and master were introduced and cool weather resulted in a faster tour that was won by Steffen Radochla in a time of 2:34:28 and Anriette Schoeman recorded her fifth win in a time of 2:59:08.
2011 saw a perfect day on Sunday the 13th March and new course records for the 110km (incorporating Boyes Drive) by Tyler Day in 2:32:10 and Cherise Taylor in 2:49:45. 5000 riders finished under 3hr30.
Roll on Cape Argus, Pick n Pay, Momentum Cycle Tour 2015, with entries open from the 26 September at 2pm for the race on the 8 March 2015. Join in South Africa’s oldest most enjoyable cycling challenge, friendship and just plain old fun event. For all the detail see the Cycle tour site and book your place.
Book your car from CABS car hire ahead of time to make sure you get to the starting line on time.