The second installment of the Cape Classic 380 took place this past weekend. This challenging, superbly organized and fun 3-day cycling event based in Montagu in the Western Cape for amateur enthusiasts wanting to kick start the cycling season, or use it as a training ride for Double Century or Full Ironman saw 40 cyclists riding in a protected and fully supported peloton for 380km in and around Montagu.
The start venue was the iconic Montagu Country Hotel where cyclists gathered each morning at 6:30am for a 7:00am departure.
Watering and feeding points were well positioned at suitable places along the routes for cyclists to stock up on foods and liquids by sponsor PowerBar, with healthy locally sourced lunches being provided for all participants each day from The Rambling Rose, Die Kloof Padstal and Opstal Wine Estate & Restaurant. “Supporting the local community is very important to us.” Comments Race Organiser Andrew Selby.
A Dedicated ambulance with qualified paramedics followed the peloton, with Az and Saffron from Think Bike Marshals, marshaling the routes, which became a bit technical, especially passing through the Montagu Pass where construction and road works are taking place.
The 3-day cycle tour took the riders up the majestic Koo valley where the formidable Burgers and Rooihoogte passes awaited on day one. Day 2 proved to be easy going as the riders rode through the picturesque Breede River valley in a loop from Montagu around Bonnievale. Day 3 took the riders from Montagu (founded 1851) through the beautiful Slanghoek valley to a mountain top finish at the top of the Mitchell’s pass before freewheeling down into Ceres where riders collected their vehicles and celebrated at the Ceres Golf Club.
The event attracted a diverse group, from very strong to amateur riders, together with Alan Winde, Jan Braai and some cycling diehards such as Trevor Seinen, Tim Brink, David Moseley and Paul Ingpen who are no strangers to the bike and long distance events. Comments Tim “The Cape Classic 380 finds a rare balance between racing and touring, with short bursts of flat-out competition breaking up longer, chattier rides at a pace that encourage enjoyment (for a change) of the spectacular scenery.”
Adds Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities: “The Cape Classic 380 is a wonderful experience, you meet great people, get in some good cycling and visit countryside’s off the beaten track. It’s an event that attracts local and international visitors. Cycle tourism in the province is growing by leaps and bounds, and is set to deliver jobs and growth to small towns. In the Western Cape, we have put our Project Khulisa growth strategy in place, which has a focus on cycle tourism. It is my goal to attract 100 000 cycle tourists to the Western Cape each year.”
(Images: Nic Muzik)