The city of Paarl, located in the Western Cape region of South Africa 60km northeast of Cape Town, has been announced as the host of the 2016 Bestmed Tour of Good Hope presented by Rudy Project.
The five-day tour, which takes place from February 29 to March 3, will be financially and logistically supported by the seat of the City of Drakenstein.
According to race organiser Wynand de Villiers of ASG Events, the tour is supported by Cape Winelands Cycling, sanctioned by Cycling South Africa and the parties are working together to obtain UCI accreditation.
“As the only sanctioned racing tour in the week leading up to the Cape Town Cycle Tour, it’s ideal preparation and a fantastic way to see the wine country.”
De Villiers said that with Paarl as the central race village logistical arrangements will be made easier and considerably reduce costs for participating riders.
The host venue will be the historic La Paris Estate, midway between Paarl and Franschhoek, which dates back to 1699 and lends a distinctly old-world charm to the European-style cycling event.
The 515km tour – comprising an individual time-trial and four road stages – will once again culminate at one of Paarl’s most famous landmarks, the Afrikaanse Taalmonument.
De Villiers said the town was surrounded by some of the most famous mountain passes in the country, such as Du Toitskloof Pass and the well-known Four Passes Route, which goes over the Helshoogte, Sir Lowry’s, Viljoen’s and Franschhoek passes, making it ideally suited to some world-class road racing.
While the country’s major pro teams will be in action, open and seeded amateurs are also invited to enter individually or as part of a team.
The field will be limited to a thousand riders across the various categories.
The Tour of Good Hope forms part of the Bestmed National Cycling Series, which offers a ranking and seeding system for South African cyclists.