Sun International backs 1749km Cycle Tour to raise R500,000 for charity

Can you imagine cycling from Sun City to the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town? That is exactly what a team of cyclists will do when they ride out through the gates of the Sun City Resort on Thursday 27 February 2014.

They will be doing so for the 12th consecutive year and will undertake the eight-stage, seven day, 1749 km Tour to again raise funds for various charities along the way. It is hoped to raise R500 000 this year.

From Sun City, they will make their way through Klerksdorp, Christiana, Kimberley, Britstown, Beaufort West, Laingsburg, and Worcester. The team will stop off at other Sun International properties namely the Flamingo Casino in Kimberley, the Golden Valley Casino and Lodge in Worcester, before reaching their final destination of the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.

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Under the leadership of Sun City’s Johann Maré who has ridden every Tour since its inception, this year’s cycle team of 18 riders includes ex-Miss SA Nicole Flint who will be riding her second Tour, this time sharing a tandem with Johann, and also taking part will be two riders from Austria and one from Germany. For four of the riders, this will be their ninth Tour. The cyclists will be accompanied by a support crew of 12 people to assist them on their long journey.

Johann says that adding to the excitement this year is a SuperSport television crew who will be travelling with the cyclists and filming them all the way. The footage is expected to be aired on SuperSport in April 2014.

The main beneficiary of the Tour will be the AIDS Orphans Housing Project near Sun City, and the Sun City Cycling Club is endeavouring to hand over bicycles to their surrounding communities before and after the Tour. The Flamingo Casino, the Golden Valley Casino and the Table Bay Hotel will also identify local beneficiaries in their regions to benefit from this year’s challenge. To date, the Tours have raised well over R6-million for various charities along their route.

You may think that riding the same journey each year could become quite boring. Maré disagrees.

“The routes have differed from year to year and that has allowed us to see different parts of the country and even Southern Africa. We have also had the thrill, for instance, of seeing game such as elephants and rhinos en route. The prime motivation for the Sun City to Table Bay Charity Cycle Tour is to push one physically and mentally through a challenging cycle tour, whilst at the same time contributing to the welfare of children in need. That’s really why we do it.”

And if you thought when the team of cyclists arrives at the Table Bay Hotel, it will be a case of relaxing in luxury with their feet up, you would be quite wrong. They will almost immediately get back onto their bikes and compete in the 109 Km Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the world’s biggest individually timed cycling event.

Any thoughts of cycling back to Sun City afterwards? Interesting idea, cyclists like a challenge.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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