Where to watch the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016
Cape Town comes to a standstill when the largest timed cycle race in the world hits the Mother City on 6 March 2016. 35 000 cyclists will be cycling the much loved original route of 109 km around the Cape Peninsula. The iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour does require a certain level of physical fitness, but as your legs begin to tire, the crowds become even more encouraging.
The route from Muizenberg to Simon’s Town is packed with spectators & the atmosphere is electric. Coming back the Atlantic Coastline, when the residents have been “trapped” you will encounter spectators that are bursting with enthusiasm and encouragement and a lot of loud fun dress up items too!
Guide to Watching the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
- Do bring family and friends
- Do bring refreshments, water, sun protection, hats & sunscreen
- Please don’t block the path of the riders
- Please obey marshalls and officials- they are there for everyone’s safety.
- Please respect the road closures and remember the traffic laws do apply. Park legally
- Please don’t litter (especially cigarette butts that can cause fires)
- Please respect the natural environment – don’t feed baboons, don’t pick plants, or damage fynbos or habitat
Cyclists are seeded into groups with the professionals starting next to the Cape Town Civic Centre at 6am on race day followed by seeded groups of riders in regular timed slots. The route is a spectacular bike journey that runs the length of the Cape Peninsula – through the villages of Muizenberg, St James, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town on the False Bay coastline, then returning north on the Atlantic Coastline through Scarborough, Kommetjie, Noordhoek, over Chapman’s Peak, through Hout Bay and ending at Cape Town Stadium in Greenpoint.
The start at the Civic Centre is crazy but fun for spectators. The morning air is pregnant with the possibility of action. 35 000 bicycles leave the same spot between 6h15 and 10h00 with various levels of thrills and spills. It’s a rare sight to see so many cyclists in one place.
M3 | Newlands Forest:
Although the cyclists are full of energy – it’s fascinating to watch the professionals race through at full speed. The area is accessible from the southern suburbs on the east side of the M3 and via the pedestrian subway. This was a huge moment at the Fire Station in 2015 in the #showyoucaresolidarityride after the March 2015 Fires altered the route.
M3 | Wynberg Hill:
This is the first real climb of the cycle tour and the steepest gradient, making it easy to spot your cycling friends as the struggle up the climb. The vantage area is excellent and you can set up for an early breakfast!
M3 | Blue Route to Steenberg Road:
Overhead bridges along the M3 towards Tokai, are popular viewing spots for the Cape Town Cycle Tour due to the height advantage. The viewing spot from the Steenberg Road Junctions, can provide a lot of action as the cyclists come off the highway at speed and head for the False Bay coastline. Both junctions with the M3 and the M4 towards Muizenberg can be jam-packed with action & some possible spills!
M4 | Kalk Bay & St James:
This is another very popular spot for local Capetonian spectators. Coffee or breakfast at one of the many restaurants and cafes is easily combined with enthusiastic cheers for cycling friends or relatives. This is the glamping section of watching the Cycle Tour (also accessible by train)
M4 | Fish Hoek:
Accompanied by music and breakfast skottels – the good folk from Fish Hoek have a “Breakfast on Main” party near the Fish Hoek Circle to cheer on the cyclists- with lots of dress-up and great home-cooked smells. If you get too hot – you can pop down to the beach for a quick dip in the ocean.
M4 | Glencairn:
There is an excellent long stretch to view the cyclists and is a popular spectator spot for local residents as there is pedestrian access to the grassed area in front of the Glencairn Strip. Refreshments are available from the local businesses but no road access.
This is the 40km mark and there’s a big refreshment stop at Jubilee Square., complete with a medical point and physio! Simon’s Town is always a hub of activity and has been one of the most popular spectator spots over the years.
Simon’s Town – Scarborough:
It’s a longer lonelier section from Simon’s Town, past Miller’s Point to Smitswinkel Bay and round to Scarborough. If you get up very early and make a day of supporting, there is a tough climb at Smits which is worth watching (inaccessible by road for most of the day!) Curving past the entrance to the Cape of Good Hope Section of Table Mountain National Park , this stretch can be windy and tough for the riders especially as there are fewer supporters until one reaches Scarborough. Scarborough is only accessible on foot or before/after the road closures.
This long section of road is made up almost entirely of local residents. Unable to travel by vehicle the residents are “trapped” in the Cape Peninsula and create a street party of note – for themselves and the cyclists. Kommetjie Road is a long flat stretch so the cyclists try and make some good time before Chappies and they welcome the local support!
Noordhoek Farm Village | Noordhoek:
This is another of those BEST SPOTS to watch the Cape Town Cycle Tour – popular with both cyclists and spectators as the vibe outside (or inside) Noordhoek Farm Village is superb. The long stretch of road makes it easy to spot cyclists as they gear up for the ascent of Chapmans Peak Drive. There are refreshments aplenty at the restaurants at Noordhoek Farm Village- and be sure to stop at the Village Roast for coffee! Access is via foot for residents and via Silvermine Road for non-residents!
Hout Bay (corner of Princess and Main Road):
Watch the relief as the cyclists come off Chapman’s Peak Drive and catch a breather before Suikerbossie Hill. The Hout Bay residents make a day of it – with music, laughter and dres-up! It’s an easy watching space with plenty of watering holes and restaurants lining the route.
Hout Bay (Suikerbossie):
It’s not the toughest hill on the route, but it’s the last major one and most participants dread Suikerbossie as they are exhausted at this stage of the race. With 18km to go from the bottom of the hill, the cyclists need lots of encouragement to get up the hill in anticipation of the home stretch. The entire hill is packed with spectators who set up camp for the day with skottel braais and picnics. It’s a fun and festive spot to watch.
This town is also always popular with spectators due to the volume of restaurants on the side of the road! This makes watching extremely effortless, very comfortable, tranquil and stress free. Did we mention the views are great? And there is a small matter of some tired cyclists coming past that might just need a cheer or two!
Sea Point: (Corner of Victoria and Queens Road) & the Promenade
There is a sharp left turn from Victoria Road into Queens Road so the action can be quite entertaining and dramatic! A temporary pedestrian bridge is set up to enable spectators to cross the road or get a view of the cycling action. Hay bales line the Sea Point stretch as the cyclists gear up for the final sprint to the finish.
Green Point (Finish Line):
The winner should fly past the finish line near the Cape Town Stadium at around 8:45am! The dash, the drama, and the emotion of sprint finishes usually provide plenty of action for those waiting for loved ones to arrive. Tears & cheers, grimaces & groans, high fives and fist pumps, hugs, smiles and the satisfaction of a successful race for individuals and teams. The finish is vibrant!
Reminder to Sports Fans:
The Two Oceans marathon takes place on 26 March 2016. This ultra marathon is over the Easter weekend and classifies as one of the most scenic endurance marathons in the world as the route follows the coastline of the Cape Point Route. The Easter weekend is a very busy weekend in Cape Town so book your accommodation early.
Cape Point Route LOVES the Cape Town Cycle Tour (& Penguins)
Cape Point Route offers day tours, packages, accommodation, activities and car hire in Cape Town’s south peninsula in addition to teambuilding events 7 conferencing in Cape Town. Call 021 789 0093 or visit www.capepointroute.co.za