Ceva South Africa & the Cape Town Cycle Tour

After his success during the 94.7 Cycle Tour, Rudi Nienaber decided to tackle the murderous Cape Town Cycle Tour, again under the Ceva banner. Here follows his account of his experiences during this race.

“On the 6th of March 2016, I geared up in my Ceva cycle shirt to participate in the 39th edition of the largest individually timed cycle race in the world.

The iconic Table Mountain lurked like a giant over the Cape Town CBD and witnessed the excitement and enthusiasm of the 35 000 riders queuing up at the starting line, to take part and share in this historic event which runs over 109km of some of the most breathtaking views the Cape Peninsula has to offer. The weather was near perfect for a bike ride, with a slight head wind towards Cape Point, which saw the winner cross the finish line with a winning time of 02h35m35s, well before the bulk of the 35 000 riders even crossed the starting line.

Elevations along the route, with the likes of the Smitswinkel climb at Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak just past the town of Noordhoek and the ever so tough and spirit breaking Suikerbossie climb just past the town of Houtbay, ensured that only 28 454 of the 35 000 entrants finished the race.

The starting gun sounded at 06h44 am for my start to the race. A slight technical problem involving my gears, noticed on the very first steep climb about 10km into the race, forced me to stop and find a solution. Fortunately I was able to fix the problem myself, but the stop cost me the better part of 5min to sort out.  I suppose it could have been worse.  I managed to stick with the leading bunch of my start group up to the Smitswinkel climb, where the bunch broke away into a very small group of riders. On top of Smitswinkel I found my strength and rhythm again and started one massive effort to rejoin the leading group which I managed to do about 6km further down the road. I remained with the group up to the base of Chapman’s Peak where it was evident that I would burn out long before crossing the finish line if I kept up to their pace. Therefore, from the base of Chapman’s Peak I maintained my own pace and slowed down slightly.

The ever so tough Suikerbossie climb was nearly my undoing, as I could feel my legs burning and aching on the verge of spilling over into full blown cramps. Grinding pedal stroke after grinding pedal stroke, and only just eluding the crippling leg cramps, I reached the top of Suikerbossie and breezed through the last 15km to cross the finish line for my fourth finish of the Cape Town Cycle Tour in 03h36m06s, 01h31s after the winner.

I would like to extend my warmest gratitude to Ceva South Africa for the sponsorship and the opportunity to take part in one of my favourite cycling events on the South African road cycle calendar. I would also like to extend a challenge to the rest of the Ceva Team, locally and Internationally, to join me in taking part in the 2016 Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge and the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Keep those pedals spinning!”

Rudi Nienaber

Last update: 12/06/2017

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