28 February 2013

Sir Richard Branson to ride in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour

Global entrepreneur and world adventurer Sir Richard Branson will be riding in this year’s Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on 10 March.

Pick 'n Pay Argus Cycle Tour The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour

While it is my first time taking part in the cycle tour, I have experienced the London Marathon and Triathlon, where the crowds really drag you around the course with their support. – Sir Richard Branson.

The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour is the largest individually timed cycling event in the world. Among the 35 000 cyclists who take part each year are always a few famous faces. Actor Matt Damon, rugby legends Hugo Porto and Francois Pienaar, politician Helen Zille, and five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain are just a few of the celebrities who have taken part in the past.

This year, the United Kingdom's Sir Richard Branson will be kitting up for the 36th edition of the race, which traverses a 109km route along the Cape Peninsula and through Table Mountain National Park. It is known as one of the most beautiful cycle races in the world.

The founder of the Virgin Group told local online newspaper IOL: 'I’m looking forward to hearing the roar of the crowd and really giving them something to cheer about. While it is my first time taking part in the Cycle Tour, I have experienced the London Marathon and Triathlon, where the crowds really drag you around the course with their support.'

And the cheers come guaranteed – the Virgin Active group, as the official wellness partner of the event, has seen to that: the Active Angels (40 Virgin Active staff members) will be waiting on Suikerbossie Hill to encourage cyclists on the last difficult stretch to the finish line.

Branson will be riding with Virgin Group CEO Josh Bayliss and his son-in-law, Freddie Andrews.

He is no stranger to challenges, and has attempted many daring feats, including setting a hot air balloon record for crossing the Pacific from Japan to Canada, as well as setting a record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle.

The day before the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, Branson will be hosting a fun ride to raise funds for charity, along with swimming champion Ryk Neethling and Karl Platt, four-time champion of the Absa Cape Epic mountain-bike race.