Three-time champion Nolan Hoffman leads a star-studded elite field for Sunday’s 43rd Cape Town Cycle Tour that also includes SA’s top-ranked mountain biker Alan Hatherly and Tour de France rider Nic Dlamini.
The complete list of road closures for Sunday, 10 October’s race can be found here.
Local hero Hoffman, who won the race in 2014, 2015 and 2018, leads the ENZA team that also includes 2016 winner Clint Hendricks.
The two sprint specialists will be challenged by a quality field who will be looking to break up the race before the finish line.
2020 winner Travis Barrett (Shesha Fuels) is also in the mix but, after falling ill recently, is an unknown quantity.
Hatherly (Cannondale) has been in superb form on the World Cup MTB circuit finishing along the top 10 on regular occasions and mixing it with the best in the world.
How he fares against the ‘roadies’ will make for some fascinating racing but he is sure to be a factor.
Local hero Dlamini (Assos-Qhubeka) – who became the first black South African to ride the Tour de France this year – has extended his 2021 season to include the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
“It’s just one of those races that you have to do,” Dlamini, who hails from Capricorn Park, said.
“Racing in my home town is very special and even though I race all around the world, the Cycle Tour is still my favourite route.”
Mountain biking legend Christoph Sauser, although retired, will also be on the start line of the men’s elite race while celebrities – among many others – such as former Springbok Victor Matfield, TV personality Jan Braai and radio personality Liezel van der Westhuizen are also confirmed entries.
South African champion, Olympian and Hout Bay local Hayley Preen will be a firm favourite for the women’s race after a stellar year.
Preen trains almost daily on the course but will face off against 2018 champion Kim Le Court de Billot (Galileo Infiniti SPOT), top mountain biker Candice Lill, British triathlon star Emma Pallant and local pro Yolandi Swanepoel (Garmin).
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the field has been restricted to a maximum of 18 000.
The event, originally scheduled for March, was delayed as a result of lockdown restrictions and will include a number of changes to ensure the safety of all the participants.
The ‘flow’ start will see reduced groups of under 300 set off at regular intervals with a variety of Covid-19 mitigation plans in place for the water points and the finish area.
There will be no hospitality tents at the finish this year.
“We are delighted that we can host an event in 2021,” Cape Town Cycle Tour Director David Bellairs said.
“The pandemic forced many events to cancel in the last 18 months, but we are fortunate that we have not missed a year.
“The event would not have happened without the help and support of so many… from national and local government, the City of Cape Town and the volunteers, our incredibly supportive sponsors and, most importantly, the participants.
“Every year is special but this year feels that little bit extra special.”
The 109km event starts at 06:15 in the Cape Town city centre with the men’s elite race, while the 78km women’s elite race starts at 06:00 in Fish Hoek.
Owing to national Covid-19 regulations, spectators are banned from attending but quite how that will be policed along the route remains to be seen.
Original posted at www.thesouthafrican.com