Despite COVID-19 concerns, Sunday, March 8 saw the 42nd annual Cape Town Cycle Tour attracting around 30 000 cyclists, although there was a decline in anticipated international numbers.
According to a tweet from Wesgro, the cycling event usually attracts 3 000 international participants – however this year the figure was about 2 500, said Tour Director of Cape Town Cycle Tour, David Bellairs.
According to him, only nine entrants from Italy had contacted Cycle Tour operators to withdraw from the race.
An advisory was sent out to international participants, warning that they would be tested at all the port of entries to South Africa and that those presenting with any symptoms of the virus might have their entry delayed due to testing.
In a statement before the event, Cycle Tour operators announced that they would be proceeding with the event with precautions in place. “Together with our medical team we have developed protocols for Lifecycle Week, including race day,” said the statement.
“We had facilities at each of the water stations where patients can be isolated in the event of them presenting with symptoms, so that they can then be taken off for testing,” said Bellairs.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour is also an opportunity to showcase the Mother City as a tourist destination, highlighted the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos.
Talking to Tourism Update after the tour, Vos congratulated all those who took part in the race and added that international participants were able to interact with ‘Thando’ – one of Cape Town Tourism’s three mobile visitor information vehicles – at the Cape Town Stadium, which provided visitors to the city access to real-time information about the city’s tourist attractions.
“No matter what you are looking for, I trust that those who travelled to our beautiful city stayed a bit longer to explore all we have to offer,” said Vos.