The local variety is a two-day tour around the beautiful Western Cape Town, which itself has strong French Huguenot associations and where locals gather each year to celebrate Bastille Day on the weekend prior to the Tour de Franschhoek.
The Tour de Franschhoek’s emphasis is on being laid back and having fun, but for the more competitive types there will be timed Strava King of the Mountain sections on the routes divided across weight categories of above and below 80kg’s.
After each of the stages, the TDFH riders will get to gather in the Tour de France Fan Zone and watch the final two stages of the French event. And they won’t be retiring to cramped caravans: rather their fine Franschhoek accommodation.
Riders will tackle Saturday’s 44km Stage 1, which takes them up and over the Franschhoek Pass from both directions. Riders will be “seeded” in three peletons – Avancée, Moyen and Ralentissez – with others of similar cycling ability.
On Sunday the 50km route includes the notorious Helshoogte Climb among its three King of the Mountain sections, which are linked together by neutral sections.
According to the Tour de Franschhoek’s organisers, the objective is to present a “relaxed, enjoyable cycling tour”.
“The tour gives riders a chance to get out on their road bikes after weeks of following the Tour de France from your couch, and to socialise with like-minded people afterwards. In addition the wonderful riding experience, accommodation and food is all priced in rands, not euros.”