2018 Bestmed Tour of Good Hope
5-9 MARCH 2018
5 STAGES – 490KM – 5218M ASCENT
Presented in the week leading up to the Cape Town Cycle Tour and based in the Paarl/Franschhoek valley, the event encompasses five days of clover leaf racing through the Cape Winelands over a total distance of 490km and 5218m vertical ascent.
An incredible amount of hard work, attention to detail, fulfilling riders’ requests and reshaping the Tour to seamlessly integrate the professional and amateur contingent has led to the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope attracting a strong field annually.
An impressive field of riders are assembling in Paarl for the Tour, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, but besides the top end of the field, where the Tour’s international reputation precedes itself with a host of international stars, the amateur section has received much attention over the past few years.
A big plus for the amateurs are the earlier daily starts. With the exception of the 2nd stage Time Trial and the final stage the batches start at 06h30 with the last batch going off at 07h10, which makes a massive difference to these riders’ experience on route. The 2nd stage Time Trial start at 08h00 while the final stage starts at 07h30. The field welcomes the early starts with temperatures in March getting up to 30 degrees Celsius in the Winelands.
Other additions for the amateurs include a shuttle service from the bottom of Du Toit’s Kloof Pass to the race village after stage 3 and a shuttle service following the final stage which finishes on top of the iconic Paarl Mountain.
A delightful atmosphere has become a trademark of the race village at the magical Nelson Mandela Legacy Facility.
Our resident chef Jacques de Villiers prepares scrumptious lunches which are included in the race entry – a standout feature of the Tour. During these lunches amateurs get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the sport’s top professionals.
It’s wonderful to welcome new waterpoint partners, Nestle Pure Life and Clover who will assist in keeping riders hydrated along with High 5. The events’ hydration requirements are enormous with more than 10 000 litres of bottled water consumed annually.
Following the 2017 Tour, the organisation received a wonderful accolade from triple world marathon and five-time Cape Epic champion, Christoph Sauser, who has competed in the country’s premier road tour for Investec-Songo-Specialized since its inception.
There is, he said, much to appreciate about the Tour of Good Hope. “It is so well organised and I always look forward to it,” said Sauser. “I love to race in the beautiful Western Cape and the speed effect when you ride with a bunch on fast wheels.”
Paarl is a half hour drive from Cape Town on the N1, which has seen many riders taking part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour riders elect to extend their stay in the Western Cape by a week to take part in the event.
The race format comprises a central race village hub at the beautiful Nelson Mandela Legacy and five stages covering 490km and 5218m of vertical ascent. It encompasses five days of racing through the wonderful Cape Winelands.
The first stage is largely flat and fast and a nice leg loosener. Stage 2 presents a 25km time trial for solo riders, while riders entered in the Amateur Teams competition complete a Team Time Trial of 63km.
Stages 3 and 4 are the Tour’s queen stages which traverse Franschhoek Pass, Du Toits Kloof Pass and Bains Kloof Pass. Both stages are presented over 140km respectively and are the major challenges of the 5-day Tour.
The 5th stage is flat and fast, apart from the final ascent up to the Iconic Taal Monument finish on the Paarl Mountain.
Through basing itself in Paarl/Franschhoek valley, the costs and logistical issues facing riders are minimised with travelling and accommodation simplified and cheapened, while the incorporation of some of the best and most famous cycling routes and mountain passes in the Western Cape has really distinguished the event.