Organisers of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour are expecting a four percent increase in the number of female participants this year.
Last year, 8918 women took part. This year, the provisional number stands at 9 268.
David Bellairs, who is part of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour organising team, says cycling among women is growing.
A large number of women are choosing to enter the Cycle Tour as a result of having experienced spinning in gyms around the country and using the Cycle Tour as a safe and secure environment in which to ride on the road, as we have full road closures.”
Defending women’s champion, Anriette Schoeman, is recovering from a broken wrist, after being hit by a car while training.
She insists nothing will stop her from being on the start line come March 11 and has got her doctor’s permission to participate.
“There’s nothing I can do about it so I’m going to give the Argus a try this year but obviously I can’t put n the proper training as would have liked to.
"I just want to give it a go. At least I can ride and just keep my sanity because if I can be on the start line of the Argus I will actually go insane.”
The Tour which takes place on March 11 is celebrating its 30th year and the Mother City is preparing to celebrate in style.
Only 525 cyclists participated in the first Cycle Tour in 1978. Today, entries are cut off at 35,000.
“There is no secret that the magnificent scenery of the route/Cape Town plays a large part in attracting people year after year.
“However, the Cycle Tour is not just about the ride around the Peninsula, it is an experience, a chance to be part of a week of cycle mania, camaraderie, meeting new like-minded people and off-course there is always that personal challenge”, says Bellairs.
Twice former Argus winner, Erica Green, who won in 1996 and 1997, has some good advice for first time participants of the Tour.
“Ride at a pace you are comfortable with to prevent "over-doing" it your first time around. And don’t forget to take in the moment – it’s quite an experience!”
Read more about the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour online.