In an attempt to escape the effects of the dry, windy conditions which have hampered the race twice in the last three years, organisers have moved the start of the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The beginning of the annual road race had been shifted from its traditional spot at Hertzog Boulevard to the Grand Parade Precinct, for safety reasons, it was revealed on Thursday.
“After the issues we had with wind at this year’s start, we immediately reviewed and re-assessed our options for 2018,” said David Bellairs, a director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust.
“We needed to be responsive in respect of this year’s challenges and look to mitigate the wind risk.”
The race was cancelled this year for the first time in its 40-year history.
Elite riders were taken off the course just 20km into the contest after they were met with gale-force winds in the early stages, and the 35 000 participants in the mass field were taken off the roads which had been closed for the event, in order to make way for emergency vehicles after fires broke out in the area.
In 2015, the race had been reduced from its standard 109km scenic route through the Cape Peninsula to a 47km out-and-back course on the M3 highway due to raging fires, which were also exacerbated by strong winds.
General and international entries for the 2018 event, to be held on March 11, would open on September 20.
Every rider who entered and registered for the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour would receive a preferential entry prior to general entries opening.