The splendid 109 km route that is the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour has many highlights – but also, of course, some tough bits.
Despite Suikerbossie’s reputation as the cruel coup de grace of many racers’ finishing time hopes, before you even reach this final, daunting challenge, you first need to negotiate what I consider the two toughest bits of the route.
ARGUS HEAD’S TWO TOUGHEST BITS OF THE CAPE ARGUS
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- ONE: The Start
What makes it tough: Your nerves, the sheer number of cyclists and the narrow timing mat channel.
How to conquer it: Do your best to relax, which you can accomplish by taking
deep, regular breaths and easing your grip on the handlebar. There’s nothing you can do about the numbers, so just focus on getting yourself stable and moving as quickly as possible. Expect to slow down a bit for the narrower channel over the timing mats.
- TWO: Muizenberg to Simonstown
What makes it tough: A narrow, twisting road with an unpredictable surface and exposure to wind. There is little room to overtake slower cyclists here, which could lead to frustration if you’re keen to get ahead.
How to conquer it: Be aware of parked cars, potholes, beach sand and manhole covers. If you come across any of these hazards, warn the cyclists behind you. Look up the road occasionally so that you can anticipate bunch movement to avoid obstacles. If a South-easter is blowing, it’ll be hitting you hard from the left. Position yourself behind and slightly right of the rider in front of you to get maximum shelter, which will save you energy and help you reach Suikerbossie – and the finish line – feeling fresher.