Sunday, 5 March 2017

Cape Rouleur 2017

Sportsman 21/1/17
By Peter Farnfield
Saturday, March 4, 2017 - 16:53
Peter Farnfield's picture


I'm not sure whether this is a great idea but I volunteered to write a blog of our upcoming trip to Cape Town, South Africa when Stuart Bunt, Chris Stone and myself will be joined by old RCC member and good friend Steve Taylor.  I think Ryan Visser blazed the trail taking part two years ago when he took the event by storm. The format is an interesting one feel, combining the attributes of a sportive with elements of a pro race. It is a multi-stage event starting with a time trial over a very short 4.6 mile course. It is there to sort us out into one of three groups; just like our own G groups. The fastest group is expected to average over 18 mph over 80 miles. Do-able possibly for us but this group will contain the semi-pros so it will be fast. Stages 1 - 3 comprise three different courses:- flatish, rolling and mountains, each of about 90+ miles and each incorporating a sprint section, a race over 15 miles and a climb. Like the pros each will carry points so at the end of the ride there will be a sprint, GC, and climbing jersery holders. There are age-designated competitions too and in that regard we all qualify for Grand Master status (over 50 years old). We can also go for a team placing (best combined time of three of the four riders). I can imagine that we'll get drawn into the spirit of the riding but it's not all about that. We're staying in Franskoek about 30 miles to the ENE of Cape Town in the heart fo the wine country. Food is also a big here so we're expecting some great evenings exploring the variety of the wines and beers and a steak or two! Temperatures at this time of year could be a problem of the right sort - certianly compared to what we've had to endure this winter - 25 - 35 degrees C. That is getting quite serious (Ryan told me that he rode one day in 42 degrees). Also it will be windy. Being so close to the Cape and the Roaring Forties that is no surprise and the open contryside means there'll be no respite from it. Lots to expect then! After the hard riding there is the Festival ride which is a bit like the ride into Paris  - social and we do so under a rolling road closure and finish up on the waterfront in Cape Town and a party. That's Thursday. Then on Sunday we're all riding in the Cape Twon Cycle Tour (formerly known as The Argus). It is the largest mass cycle event with 35,000 riders so much the same as the  Prudential 100. It's 109 Kms so not too long. It'll make a great finale to the week. I hope to be back with updates after each day.Hope you enjoy the blog