This year’s event of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the world’s largest timed cycle and one of South Africa's largest sporting events has been cancelled.
Race day on 12 March 2017, saw the race shortened to 78km, cutting out Simons Town, Smitswinkel and Scarborough due to civil unrest at Oceans View near Noordhoek.
Past winners, Clint Hendricks and Nolan Hoffman discuss the days events
At the outset, the race started in the buildings and tunnels of the Cape Town city centre and there was a crash in the bunch. However, 2016 race winner, Clint Hendriks was feeling good and was in first start groups which battled to get through with conditions really tough at that point.
Despite strong winds which saw riders crashing in the early parts, the RoadCover team had a good start. However, after the team were just under 20km into the elite race and the race organisers decided to call off the tour due to the high wind speeds and additional unsafe conditions along the route.
Waiting for the confirmation of what the decision would be.
“The RoadCover Team started off well. Despite the fact that the weather conditions were a little unsafe, the top guys overall were probably capable of doing it, but it’s up to race organisers to make the call,” comments manager and coach of the RoadCover Cycling Team, Nic White.
Wind conditions along the rest of the route were a factor but the organisers stopped the race due to protest action and fires near Hout Bay along the route.
More clothing on for the wait in the breeze.
“Regardless of whether it is wind or protest action, it is what it is,” says the RoadCover Team manager, giving insight into the ethos of rolling with the punches which guides one of South Africa’s top cycling teams.
“There’s a time for action and a time to go with the flow. Water may have the power to knock down buildings, but its strength lies in its tendency to follow the path of least resistance,” says the RoadCover Manager. This philosophy enables the RoadCover team to negotiate the highs and lows of winning and losing.
With the race annulled, there is no 2017 winner. Clint is the defending champion for the next Cape Town Cycle Tour.
“It’s always disappointing not to have a new winner,” says White, who is also a former pro cyclist. “It’s a bit of a catastrophe for the city and everyone who put in a lot of effort and time to come here. But the fires in the informal settlements near Hout Bay are of greater magnitude and we must remember those who are struggling with that,” says White.
The ride back up to the start, the best part of the day. Roaring tailwind!
With spectacular views and challenging terrain, the event draws both pro and amateur cyclist from South African and the international cycling arena.
Asked if he was disappointed, RoadCover CEO Euguene Beck, a keen cyclist, who was also riding in the cycle tour said: “Of course we are disappointed. But as a company providing compensation for road accident victims, we understand that safety is a major concern and support the decision of the race organisers.
Willie Smit waits for the go ahead to return up the route
We’re going with the flow and setting our sights on the next race in the 2017 cycling calendar,” Beck concludes.