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Safety standards for 2019 Cycle Tour a priority

Over 35,000 people take part in the event each year and 2019 is no different, Smith said the organisers' experience is evident.

Cape Town Cycle Tour's participants on 11 March 2018. Picture: @CTCycleTour/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Safety and Security Mayco Member JP Smith praised the Cape Town Cycle Tour organisers for their approach to safety for this edition of the iconic race.

Over 35,000 people take part in the event each year and 2019 is no different, Smith said the organisers' experience is evident.

“The organisers really know their stuff, it’s not people who we have to coach, they coach us, and we have a very well-developed safety plan with good fall-back options. So, if there are any impediments around the two-three known flashpoints or otherwise, we have plan Bs, so they are contingency arrangements in place.”

Cape Town Cycle Tour director David Bellairs said they've taken new measures in terms of security and encourage participants to head to their website for new safety tips.

“From safety and security point of view, we've divided the event into seven specific areas that we consider to be ‘technical zones’ and these are areas that we want cyclists to be more aware of other cyclists around or areas where we need them to be especially careful with how they're actually riding on the road.”

There are over 2,000 staff including volunteers who help to make the event a success and Smith said the security working at the race play a valuable role in the good name the race, and the City of Cape Town, have because of safety.

“We have 450 staff from the city and law enforcement staff that will be assisting the event and remember they cover much of the cost of those staff, so between us and SAPS and the private security that they bring on board, we are able to keep the participants safe and make sure that we have incident-free events. The incident-freee tag is very important for us.”

Two years ago, the race was cancelled because of dangerous winds, Bellairs said they would make the same decision if necessary, however, as it stands, the race is set to continue as usual.

"If anybody's life is put in danger as a result of the wind, then the decision to cancel is a simple one. It's not a decision we take lightly, it's one we take carefully, one that's measured over many different metrics, we don't just decide that it's strong now... we look at where it's blowing, direction, wind strength..."

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