July 18, 2020

South African cycling thought leader Andrew Mclean believes the return of the five-day Rapport Tour, which takes place on from 26 – 10 March 2022, is vital for South African sport.

“It will immediately be the biggest cycling tour in the country and be recognised internationally courtesy of the strong brand Rapport created in international cycling for so many years,” said the former three-time Giro del Capo winner.

“Overseas teams will enjoy the timing of the event and the benefit of current foreign exchange rate. Coupled with the beautiful racing surrounds, it won’t be difficult to attract a quality international field.

“I can’t wait to see images of our beautiful country beamed all over the world courtesy of the immense marketing platform the tour will create.”

McLean supported the fact that the tour culminated with the final stage in Cape Town. “The Tour is tough with two very difficult mountain stages in the Boland before transferring to Cape Town. The Mother City is the most fitting backdrop for the grand finale and the final result is likely to be up in the air until the last few kilometres.

He said mountain top finishes – the tour features three – allowed the drama and suspense to unfold for riders and spectators alike.

Before the grand finale to the top of Signal Hill, riders with an eye on the general classification will have to conquer Du Toit’s Kloof Pass (from both sides), Bains Kloof Pass, Franschhoek Pass as well as the climb to the Taalmonument in Paarl.

Mclean said the Rapport Tour, which is sanctioned by Cycling SA and the UCI, could grow into a fully-fledged international tour and saw no reason why it couldn’t draw top international teams.

“It has the potential to become a fantastic event and attract top teams from around the world, not unlike what we’re seeing at the Tour Down Under in Australia at the moment.”

“The marketing and tourist value of the Tour Down Under is well documented and the Rapport Tour can serve the same purpose for the Western Cape.

“With the Western Cape acting as a natural gateway to some of the country’s most famous passes, the racing format lent itself to some spectacular stages. The scenery is stunning,” he said.

The 2022 starts in Paarl and traverses all the famous passes in the Boland region over four days of tough racing.

The hill climb time trail up to Signal Hill in Cape Town constitutes the 5th and final stage.