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Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour

Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour
Area: Southern Suburbs
Suburb: Claremont
Phone: +27 (0)21 681 4333
Fax: +27 (0)21 685 6648
Web Address: www.cycletour.co.za

Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour


The information below is courtesy of Wikipedia


The Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour (referred to in short as the Argus) is an annual cycle race hosted in Cape Town, South Africa, usually 109 km long. It is the first event outside Europe to be included in the International Cycling Union's Golden Bike Series.


The race is one of South Africa's three 'largest sporting events' in the world. With as many as 31 000 cyclists taking part, it is the world's largest individually timed cycle race. The other two are the world's largest ultramarathon event, the Comrades Marathon, as well as the world's largest open water swim, the Midmar Mile.


The Argus used to form the last leg of the Giro del Capo, a multi-stage race for professional and leading registered riders.


It is traditionally staged on the second Sunday of March and has enjoyed well known competitors such as Miguel Indurain, Jan Ulrich and Lance Armstrong.



In recent years the race has usually followed a scenic 109 km circular route from Cape Town down the Cape Peninsula and back. The start is in Hertzog Boulevard in the city centre, at Cape Town's main Civic Centre. It then follows a short section of the N2 called Settler's Way, then the M3 to Muizenberg, and then Main Road along the False Bay coast to Simon's Town and Smitswinkel Bay. The route then crosses the peninsula in a westerly direction, past the entrance to Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park (within which Cape Point is situated). It then heads north along the Atlantic coast through Scarborough, Kommetjie, Noordhoek, Chapmans Peak, Hout Bay over Suikerbossie hill to Camps Bay and ends in Green Point.


In 2009 and 2010, as well as during previous years until 1999 the race had followed slightly different routes, between 104 and 110 km in length - see the table below.


History of the Cycle Tour

In 1978, Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann organised the Big Ride-In to draw attention to the need for cycle paths in South Africa. The Ride-In drew hundreds of cyclists, including the Mayor of Cape Town at the time. The ride was first won by Lawrence Whittaker in September 1978.


This race was originally planned to run over 140 km, including a leg to Cape Point, but was reduced to a 104 km route when authority to enter the then Cape Point Nature Reserve was refused. The organisers convinced an initially reluctant Cape Argus, a local newspaper and sponsor, to grant the event the right to use its name.


The event now forms part of one of five cycling events which take place over a period of one week starting a week before the Cycle Tour and culminating in the Cycle Tour. The other events include:

  • Tricycle Tour (kids under 6 years of age)
  • Junior Cycle Tour (kids between 6 and 12 years of age)
  • MTB Challenge (Mountain Bike)

The race was stopped twice due to extreme weather, although in both cases many competitors had completed the race by then:

  • In 2002 due to heat: stopped at 14:45 at Ou Kaapse Weg when temperatures reached 42° Celsius;
  • In 2009 due to strong winds: stopped at 16:30 at Chapman's Peak due to gusts up to 100 km/h that blew cyclists off their cycles. Despite the late closure many cyclists were affected, because starting for some groups was delayed by as much as 2 hours, and the cut off time was extended from 7 to 8 hours, due to the strong winds.

History of the Cycle Tour


Route Maps







If there are any errors in the above information, please notify us via an email to info@tourismincapetown.co.za

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