Since its humble beginnings back in 1978, the Cape Town Cycle Tour has seen plenty of high’s and low’s as well gale-force winds and torrential rains. Here are some fun facts to impress your fellow cyclists.
- The course records belong to:
Men: 02:27:29 by Robbie Hunter (2008)
Women: 02:44:04 by Renee Scott (1991).
- The record for the highest number of consecutive victories within a competitor’s age group belongs to Penny Krohn, who scored 25 such age group wins.
- The quickest time ever recorded (and highest ever average speed) was set on the 105 km course in 1993 by Wimpie van der Merwe in his fully faired recumbent (02:16:40, averaging 46.1 km/h).
- In 2002 due to heat: stopped at 14:45 at Ou Kaapse Weg when temperatures reached 42 °C.
- In 1990, safety helmets became compulsory. Quickest overall was Lloyd Wright on his faired recumbent in 02:40:29.
- The oldest cyclist to complete the race within the maximum allowed seven hours is Japie Malan (92 years old at the time) during the 2012 Cycle Tour – on a tandem in a time of 05:49:00. He is also the oldest man to have ridden the Argus for the first time, which he did in 2004 when he was 84 years old.
- The oldest woman to complete the race is Mary Warner (80 years old at the time) during the 2006 tour, in a time of 06:43:38.
- The youngest person to ever take part in the tour was four year old Bradley Pickering Dunn, who rode the Cycle Tour on the back of his father’s tandem in 1988.
- If you drove the route in a car, at the speed limit: A normal vehicle with average traffic conditions would be hard pressed to get around in under 2 hours 45 minutes. So the lead cyclists are probably a bit faster than a car would be.
- The race was stopped twice due to extreme weather, although in both cases many competitors had completed the race by then. (2002, 2009)
- Electronic timing transponders were first introduced in 1999.
- In 2009, the Cape Town Cycle Tour was dubbed “the Tour of Storms”, with the strongest winds ever. Fences at the start blown down and banners ripped to shreds, with gusts of up to 120 km/h – literally blowing cyclists off of their bikes.
*Information sourced from Wikipedia.