Applications for the world’s largest individually-timed cycle race opened on Wednesday and it is expected that the Cape Town Cycle Tour will plough R400-million t0 R500-million into the Western Cape economy.
Cyclists from all over the country and abroad‚ 35‚000 of them‚ will be permitted to take part in the race next year‚ and organisers say they have tried their best to make the application process run as smoothly as possible.
The Cape Town-based sporting event will take place on March 12‚ 2017 and last year 45‚000 entries were received‚ with 10‚000 applications being turned away.
Spokesman for the CTCT‚ David Bellairs‚ said on Wednesday that in the past the entry process had always been “a serious issue”.
This was a result of the online application system not being able to handle the number of concurrent payments taking place during the process‚ he said.
Since last year‚ a new process has been implemented to assist “the flow of entries”.
“What we are now able to do is give people a longer time to pay. In the past‚ people would go rushing in to try and enter‚ pay‚ and the banking system would just sort of collapse.
“The problem with the old system‚ based on first come first serve – if you were sitting in the boardroom in a meeting‚ and entries opened — you didn’t get the chance to enter‚” he added.
TMG Digital was unable to access the website at times on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Bellairs‚ the overall economic impact of the event on the Western Cape is between R400-million and R500-million.
“That is everything from transport companies‚ international and local flights‚ hotel accommodation‚ restaurants‚ B& B’s‚ bike shops‚ supermarkets et cetera‚” he said.
Bicycle transportation company Night Trans said they transported between 800 – 1‚000 bikes from all over Gauteng to Cape Town for the event.
Cycle Move’s Brett Lee said while they have only been in the market for two-years they already transport 200 to 300 bicycles from Durban and Johannesburg to Cape Town.
“Probably the most significant thing is that the event raises money for charity and cycling development‚” Bellairs said.
Clint Hendricks‚ from team RoadCover‚ took first place in a time of 2 hours 35 minutes and 31 seconds (2:35:31) in a sprint finish in the Cape Town Cycle Tour earlier this year.
“It’s a wonderful event and its great to see people getting out and getting healthy and fit and it’s great to see the impact that the race has on the economy but mostly it’s great to see that the funds from the event are flowing back into community upliftment‚” Bellairs said.