The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour – that exciting, wheeled event that takes over the Mother City for one glorious day each March – is soon to be upon us again, and we can’t wait!
The race was first held in 1978, when a top-of-the-class bike would have put you back between R300 and R500. The riders totalled just 525. Needless to say, the number of entrants has grown drastically since then.
This year the Argus will take place on Sunday, 9 March, and will – as per usual – begin at Hertzog Boulevard before dawn. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know that the atmosphere is always thick with expectation and excitement – the cool morning air, the upbeat music being pumped around, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, the nerves and adrenalin prompting steely eyes, nervous laughs and chummy backslaps, and the last-minute bike inspections. It’s nothing if not memorable, as is the entire course!
Not just another cycle race
The Argus is special, being able to make some impressive boasts:
- It’s the world’s largest individually timed cycle race
- It was the first non-European cycle race to be included in the International Cycling Union’s Golden Bike Series
- It attracts over 35,000 entrants each year
- Over 2,000 of those entrants are foreigners, flying in from all over the world
- It’s South Africa’s biggest one-day sports event
Clearly, an impressive event!
But if that isn’t enough …
The Argus also takes in some spectacular scenery, allowing riders to not only take part in a challenging, I-will-boast-about-this-for-years event, but also the chance to see world-class sights and views. Colourful Kalk Bay, the incomparably beautiful Chapman’s Peak drive, and classy Camps Bay – these are just some of the great scenes participants will enjoy during their ride this year.
Thousands upon thousands of spectators line the race route on the day, there to support renowned cyclists, family, friends and colleagues, spot the tandem cyclists and talk about how difficult that must be on the uphills, or just take part in the camaraderie and excitement of the event. Numerous cyclists and spectators alike dress up in all sorts of fun costumes, from painted flags on faces and high-rise hats to the horrendous Borat outfits and luminescent pants.
The race also raises millions of rands for its two official charities: the Pedal Power Association and the Rotary Club of Claremont in Cape Town, which supports many great causes such as Miles for Smiles and the Put Foot Foundation. City Lodge Hotel Group loves giving back, and so we salute the race organisers for their good work in raising funds for causes.
All our Cape hotels (save for City Lodge Hotel V&A) still have rooms available for the Argus weekend (7 – 9 March), so why not let us look after you during your stay? Everyone taking part in the race will be treated by our staff as the VIP and also VIA (Very Impressive Athlete) that you are!