New venue! The 2017 Fedhealth MTB Challenge promises to once again be an affair to remember.
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How did you find the race? Rate it by clicking on the relevant star, and give your feedback below.
As always, a great and well-oiled machine. The only hiccup was the start. I’m not sure the new check-in system worked. There was a massive bottle-neck. Otherwise a fantastic race.
This was my 4th Argus in a row and definitely my toughest due to the wind. Not my best time, but I felt that the conditions on the day made it my most rewarding one.
Overall, it’s always a fun event which I really enjoy. The start system with the additional “check point” didn’t work well at all. The previous 3 years worked much more efficiently. There was also a huge bottleneck once inside the first checkpoint, outside the start chute (L). But I assume this was much the same for most groups with people from later groups trying to get past, etc. Queuing from the inside out didn’t seem to make any sense at all.
There was a horrific crash in group L, just after UCT near the Princess Anne Ave. turn-off. Two guys went in to the metal side barrier on the right of the road and in to the flower bed. I really hope they are alright!
Very big bunches, possibly due to the wind made it challenging for most of the race.
The expo isn’t what it used to be and could do with a revamp.
The Argus is always such a great race and well organised. Had my best Argus time (3:38) this year thanks to some good training and could have been faster if it wasn’t for the wind. Had my earliest start as well this year so it was great to be able to ride up chappies in the shade for a change!
The check-in process didn’t work as there were people from later start groups just milling around which meant earlier start groups couldn’t get to their chutes in time. There was too much of a bottle neck only having two access points. The check in should only have been at the entrance to each start chute.
Compared to what was predicted/promised:
the check in was somewhat of a mess; the weather was awesome; Boyes drive was NOT missed (yeh!!); the atmosphere was fantastic (as always); the overall organisation brilliant.
I loved – out of 11 times one of my more enjoyable
Great race! More watering points along the route so there wasnt that much congestion compared to previous years. Huge improvement with the new watering hole on Chappies compared to last year where we had to get off our bikes and walk very slowly because of the bottleneck – this time we could just cycle all the way, whilst avoiding the horrible toll booths. Well done guys! The check-in process didn’t seem to work that well, although it was a relief knowing that your bike was safe inside the gates. Tough wind and heat. Great party atmosphere afterwards too.
It is always amazing to see and experience how the massive organisation behind this greatest cycle race anywhere simply works and is improved based on lessons learnt every year. I do agree that there was a bit of bunching at the first check-in, but for the rest everything was very well done.
My best Argus yet! Event was awesomely organised as usual. New checkin system worked well, though the wait felt long and atmosphere a bit lost. The big time gap between certain groups leaving made for a smooth race and less crowds to fight. I only started after 8:44, and the crowds were managable.
No Boyes Drive……what more could one ask for?? :)
Drinks stations were not on their usual spot, which will take some getting used to, but at least no congestion at the top of chappies.
The starting pens was a huge flop for a cycle race of this magnitude. I did not start in my group despite me being early , but on the whole the race was great , the support was far better this year , well done to the organizers , they did a great job.
Great… great … great….My fith… this year the waterpoints was much more organised…. thank you…. The rode thru Meizenburg was awesome…!!!..
My 3rd Argus and best time of 3:27. I dont know, but the traffic seemed worse this year. I fell on 38km in James Town, but luckily me and my bike was fine. Also agree that the start process was more of hassle this year. I dont know why more companies dont display their bikes on the expo?
Further great race and the highlight of the cycling season for me.
* * * * * First Argus. 4h09 a bit longer than planned due to a near race-ending collision!!! Apart from that, enjoyed everything: great trip from Botswana to Cape Town, big race and great vibe in the city of Cape Town. Looking forward to next year’s Argus and many more…
The check in points was a mess. Otherwise the race itself was lovely!
Expo was the same old same old.. Maybe some imaginative thinking required there?
Great race but something needs to be done with the size or time delay of the earlier bunches. ‘A’ bunch caught the VB&VM bunch in Muizenberg (heard from a buddy that the group wasn’t motivated to drive a good speed). A few crashes were reported by riders after the race due to the sheer size of the group after the merge (approx 450 riders). I experienced a few close calls as well – some guys had a serious lack of bunch riding skills.
All in all a good race. The time wasn’t what I wanted but with all group dynamics and cramping up Chappies and Suikerbossie, it was a good day in the saddle.
For some reason can’t rate it with the stars – I give it 4/5. Improvement in the fencing / narrowing of roads can be improved. That fence in Fish Hoek at the circle was definitely an unnecessary squeeze.
Great, my 22nd, totally enjoyed it.5 stars for sure. However,very few have a clue how,when and where to pass.
Race was very weel organised , enough well managed waterpoints, keeping the crowds behind a fence on Suikerbossie was excelent as previously spectactors would crowd into the roads and narrow the gaps for the cyclists going up the hill. Entrance into the holding area was a laugh, half the people got in without a check being made on them. Also caused more congestion trying to get into the pens being confined into a holding area. Finish was fantastic.
Spectators along the route as well as the spectacular views make this the best race in South Africa.
NASA – and here’s why in 19 ACT:-
*Expo – having to be gouged R30 to return, and swap out goods is just a massive scam!
*Start chutes – go back to the old way please – too chaotic this way
*Start time spread – way too close together for the more serious minded bunches up to say M. Make the first start at 06h15 – it’s light enough then. 2 minute gap is ludicrous IMH
As per usual…the race itself went wel.the weather played along..the crowds were superb..the hole organization went well…Just 1 hiccup as far as I,m concerned…the checking system didn’t work too well I must admit…even though I got to where I should be,an hour b4 the time,,i got caught up for 45min trying to get to my start group..i unfortunately had to start with a later group cos of that….Something to look at…Other then that……What a day,,,What an event..Thank you Cape town….
Constantiaberg Mediclinic said that this year is the busiest year they have had to date. True or not, it definitely made me question the seeding and start groups.
I started in “T” at 7:04 AM and based on that time and last year’s Argus I assumed all the riders in my group would be going for at most 4 hours let alone the previous start groups. Looking around my start group I noticed a few riders who looked serious, and others that looked like they dust off whatever bike they have once a year and jump on it to do the Pick n Pay Argus Cycle Tour. So did the latter get into “T” because it’s their 10th race even though they have no intention of taking it seriously? As the world’s largest timed race I’m not suggesting not allowing him/her to participate but rather put cyclists who have entered, and completed, at least 3 timed races in the year preceding the Argus, in earlier start groups. By doing this you take out the element of riders who are unsure on their wheels and cause accidents or cause congestion by walking up Edinburgh Drive when, with that start time, they should be riding. You have their Racetec number so checking races and times shouldn’t be a problem? Does it matter that it isn’t an official seeding race?
Just before going into Simon’s Town, one of the riders in the group we caught up with, who must have started in an earlier group, and is probably not used to riding in groups (based on their behaviour in the group), and got very lucky with an early start time, took out the rider in front of him, forcing me to go over them as I had nowhere to go. This effectively ended my race as my front tyre burst. I ran my bike over to the technical support stand, but was very disappointed to see a very flustered crew working out of the back of a banged up bakkie with none of the spares I require, and charging a fortune for what they could offer me. Do official bike shops want too much money to set up a proper technical support stand with decent spares? I couldn’t continue and had to reluctantly withdraw.
There was an accident just before my accident after the Simon’s Town train station. In this one a development cyclist, that had been causing trouble in the group by weaving and breaking sharply, and had been spoken to by a number of riders in the group, hooked handle bars with another rider. In an attempt to break free he brought both riders down and nocked another rider off his bike injuring his jaw, shoulder and breaking his saddle. This development rider then got up, grabbed the bottle that had been knocked off the injured rider’s bike and took off on his own bike. I applaud youth development programmes, but the schools and development riders need to be educated on proper group riding etiquette and behaviour towards each other and fellow cyclists. People pay a lot of money and travel from all over the country to participate in the Cycle Tour, and I for one expect a great day out on my bicycle with like-minded people starting in a group with riders of a similar fitness, bike skill level and intent to finish the Argus in a similar time.
I understand that accidents happen but a similar incident happened with my brother-in-law who started at 7:30, unfortunately he broke his left wrist and injured his right elbow. My mother-in-law also had a scholar who raced in and out of the group, and then sat back and let them pass him, only to race around the group again, until another gentleman told him to calm down and behave. It was my mother-in-law’s first Argus at 61 and she is the only one of the three of us who finished.
I have outlined three issues I’d like to address:
Fun riders starting too early creating congestion and potentially causing accidents along the way as they fatigue early and lose concentration.
Poor technical support at key areas with a poor selection of spares and expensive prices.
Development/scholar cyclists that have not been taught about rider etiquette and group riding skills.
My proposed solutions to the above problems:
Base the seeding on the finishing times of at least three full distance road/mountain bike events (not necessarily only seeding events) in the year preceding and or year of the Argus up to a certain date. The more races the better the seeding depending on the finish time relative to the winner.
Offer proper support from reputable bike shops with mobile workshops and credit card facilities if possible else another way to ensure payment (up to the bike shop).
Proper education of the development/scholar cyclist in etiquette and do’s and don’ts of group riding.
Brilliantly organised, never waited for no one,
This was my first Argus Cycle Tour and didn’t know what to expect. Listening to people talking about the race over the year made be believe it’s very challenging but this was not the case at all. Coming from mountainbike racing I found it a walk in the park but not knowing the route made me take it easy. I did it on my mountainbike in 3h34 from group W.
I do agree with Steve Bryant about the seeding not working out that great. Very slow riders in higher groups and blocking the road. Down Chapman’s cyclists were laying on their brakes and I just could not pass them. Very frustrating!
I also had two close encounters with development cycling team riders, just like Steve Bryant, where they would just decide they getting out of the saddle and stomping down those peddles, not going any faster, just nearly taking out riders around them. Still learning to cycle and cycle ethics, please chuck them in the back of the groups.
The scenery are spectacular! I must say that I do conceder doing this race again and hope that I start in a much earlier group. I would like to do the Argus under 3h, with my mountainbike!
First timer – really enjoyed the vibe and the few people that remained for the backmarkers like me – but i have plenty photos of misty cliffs etc and in 6h30 you can meet a lot of people! Long wait at the start – but i guess thats why people get a seeding!
First timer as well. What an awesome event. Spectacular and great atmosphere.
First time at the Argus and it is an enjoyable race. Water points were brilliant in the way that they didn’t affect the cyclists on the road, the ‘pit-stop’ system that they used was fantastic when compared to races like the 94.7. Scenery was amazing as can be expected and the supporters around the route were brilliant.
My only major gripes were some cyclists didn’t quite understand the ‘keep left, pass right’ concept and others that were cycling in groups tended to take up the entire road without any idea of what was happening behind them as groups of cyclists bunched up trying to get past.
However, my biggest concern, and I’ve seen this creeping into cycling more and more, is people that are cycling with their headphones firmly planted in their ears. Cycling like that is so dangerous as they can’t hear any communication from cyclists around them, and on several occasions I saw incidents where the headphone clad cyclist couldn’t hear people shouting as they nearly cut them off while drifting across the road. I believe that in organised road running events if you are caught with headphones you are disqualified, I think that should happen in cycling too as we are moving at much faster speeds (sometimes) than road runners, therefore, far more dangerous.
Other than the few uninformed, the race was well organised and a really good way to spend a Sunday morning.
The race and most of the organising was superb as ussual. The reason for the 4/5 rating however is for the check-in problems at the starting area. It working wonderfully before. Why did it need changing? Other than this it was a great race, great spectators and great vibe! See you next year.
Wonderful race and day, even a puncture didn’t spoil it for me, although my time was off a bit.
Agree with other comments, we couldn’t even get everyone into the K pen at the start. I was almost an hour early and it was crammed, not sure what happened to the late arrivals.
Also agree the expo has lost some of the excitement, maybe the venue?
But will be back though the magic is still there……….
2nd time – and still the most brilliant race – such a slick event. Organisers have it down to a fine art. A few comments but not sure I am worthy to give feedback. The pre-start/check in looked way more congested and it was more of a mission to get into the right pen within the allocated time (recommended 1hrs)
I could have missed these – but more ‘km to go’ signs in the 2nd half of the ride. ESPECIALLY the section from back of of suikerbossie to finish.
Meter countdowns to summit – from 500m to go – just on the major climbs this would be an added bonus.
Only until on the road did I notice that the waterpoints had been moved slightly from last year – perhaps more communication about this (excluding the Chappies water point).
Loved not having the crowds on the road up suikerbossie – great to have the wonderful support from spectators but felt safer with them a few meters back. This petered out around the top of the climb though and there were some close incidences with some the water/support crew up at the top.
Still – the most scenic ride you could wish for. Cape Town pulls out all the stops to get the course and roads ready for us wannabes and its magic. 30+000 riders made to feel so special. Just perfect – Thank you everyone. And to Bicyling for the pace charts – I NAILED my time.
Started in #RT. Second year in this group. Dicciplined group and felt safe. Very well organised, and enjoyed the ride – not the wind – and will be back again.
What a disaster with the 2 min starts between the groups…!!! Started in the D group should have been the moment of the day for us but unfortunally we couldn’t ride our time as we trained so hard through the year!
With the short time of 2 min the bunches caught each other very quickly and was a big chaos.. D, E and F group were together and what a bunch issue!!
Rider were screaming at each other, passsing from the left side over the ground! We couldn’t get out of the big bunch as the bunch were so big estamited 1400 riders! One moment we riding then lots of screaming then everybody stopped… then we climbed on our bikes again and start again… This was a very sad day for us .. and wish we could change it…!!
Wonderlike voorreg om die Argus te kan ry. Uitstekende oraganisasie om 35duisend fietsryers so vinnig en doeltreffend te laat wegspring. Wie nie sy pad na die wegspring vind nie, is doodeenvoudig laat.
Ongelooflie ervaring vir my, die 13de keer.
Die Argus bly en is meer as besonder vir ‘n fietsryer. Die wat nog nie ‘n Argus gery het nie, het nog nie fiets gery nie.
Baie dankie aan almal betrokke: organiseerders, beamptes, toeskouers – die hele Kaapstad!
* Was my first Argus – which I was really amped for.
Found the route awesome – not only a spectacular way of viewing the fairest cape, but also a great mix of climbs, flats and downhills spread throughout the race. Also fantastic support by the locals – big thanks to you all – including the guy in the green Borat costume – in fact I am sure I was at school with you (J.C.?)
That said, I couldn’t help thinking it could be EVEN better. So….here are some thoughts the organizers may want to consider for the future…
– check-in process a mess -> as described by numberous others above
– didn’t seem to be any bananas at the refreshment stops? the local SPAR only had lumo-green ones, so was really hoping there would be some (like the 94.7 has)
– Expo was pretty arb, and the green PnP ‘goodie bag’ sack was plain kak! I am sure any youngsters riding in the Argus would have loved a really cool pouch/ tog bag as a momento of the event (maybe if the PnP share price improves we will be rewarded in 2014?)
– Never seen so many accidents in a race before. One cause could be due to inexperienced riders not being aware of the ‘keep left pass right’ mantra. So I think organisers should try educate them – possibly by reminding at start of race, or with some signs up over first few km’s? Could prevent some nasty injuries.
– Seemed the seeding was all over the place. Seeming very slow peeps with good seedings slipping back fast through the field, and faster riders with pretty bad seedings zooming up through it. Could be a CSA issue?
– Were there distance markers over the last 10 km’s of the race (eg every km)? Perhaps I missed them, but if there weren’t any, it would be great to have some, especially when you are conserving those last puffs but also want to give it a ‘Peter Sagan’ over the finish line
– “Hoopla hoopla” cried out over and over by the guy at the start. WTF?
All that said – can’t wait for next year’s!
This was my 4th Argus and my goal was to do well in my age group (u18). Ended up with a time of 3h20 which I was really happy with. Once again the race was a huge success. The conditions weren’t great but there is nothing better than spending your morning riding around the Cape with over 30 000 other cyclists. I feel so privileged to have been apart of this event. It’s always great to be cheered on by the huge crowds! Goosebumps were well in order at the start and finishing lines. All I can say is, I can’t wait for next years race!
Was my second Argus. Did not go for a time as we like to ride Social. We even stopped for lunch…. but were not very successful. A suggestion would be if there was some better catering in the food department… say half way!!!
Will most definitely do it every year!!!
11 in a row – still the most enjoyable on the road calender – and in 11 yaers have never experienced a glitch not of my iwn making – but for the life of me i still can’t understand why inexperienced and obviously incapable riders make the early start groups – is there a procedure (or connection) i don’t know about ?
I have not take part in the Argus, but have entered for it and look forward to ride the race.
The Race of the year. Great thing is you can race it or have the best day out cycling the most beautiful and iconic race with full road closure. What a awesome day on a bicycle!
I’ve done many many races (Epics; Sani’s; DC’s etc) and I always maintain that a sub 3 Argus is a real notch on your belt. Its organised brilliantly; its certainly the most popular race on the calendar; and it gives the weekend warrior a real goal to aim for.
Its a race for everyone.
Only scare I have is crashing due to the fast and massive groups…
It was my first and I’ll be back every year as long as I am healthy. Simply the most beautiful stunning road race this country has to offer
Awesome race, very well organised! This was my first, didn’t make the 2 cut off by 8 minutes, but will be back next year, hopefully less wind next year. Fabulous ride
6/5! My 1st Argus. It was awesome. I practiced and cycled the route twice before to ensure I can STITS (spend time in the saddle). Wind…what wind? To be part of an event right here in my back yard…what more could I ask for? To call what we have the Fairest Cape is an understatement. Seeing CT from a bicycle makes me realise how blessed we are. Organisation, vibe, camaraderie and supporters…this was amazing! I cramped up a few times, feel off my bike on the descend on Little Chappies…bike was ok, i was ok…and needed to finish! Lastly…I peddled my a** off. My time…don’t get personal! That medal means more to me than the chap who won the race. My health has never been better. Cycling here I come. I no longer read the Argus…I cycle it!
Excellent race! Very well organized! Beautiful scenery with the sea on your right most of the way! Wonderful supported by everyone in Cape Town. Extremely enjoyable.
What more do you want?
This was my third Argus in a row, took it slow this time and enjoyed every minute of the race. This is by far one of the best road races that I take part in, I just love this one! No problems along the way and was still strong to to go at the finish! Argus, you will see me again next year.
It was a good Argus this year. Well organised but the ranking was poor. I started in group W and found myself on the front pulling everyone in group down to Simon’s Town where the group started to fragment. At this stage I averaged 306w into the wind. We past everyone ahead so I have to question the ranking. Then I lead the remainder of the pack around to the bottom of Chapmans Peak. I wanted to achieve a time of under 3.10-3.15 but no one else would work with me. I then has a guy in the pack who had sat on my wheel all the way round try to break away on Chapmans. At first I lacked the energy but then got mad and thought right I am going after you. By the top of Chapmans I had reeled him in. Duane Vock named and shamed. Then we rode together and he did a good bit of work up Sukerboisse as we rode the summit together. Then I punctured on the decent and on tubs I spent 20 mins replacing the tub (well my race was over). I canme in 3.37 19th in my group. I just hope I get a better group next time otherwise not worth traveling from the UK. Great people great race and great views.
Fantastic, but we missed some food along the road.
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