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Tour d\’Afrique Update

May 11, 2006 – Riders arrived last night in Elands Bay seeing, for the first time on this Tour, the Atlantic Ocean. Another two days along the coast into Cape Town and the 2006 Tour will reach its grand conclusion. On speaking to Randy today (the Tour Leader), he and the group are in good spirits – a little tired, and definitely ready for Cape Town. Randy met today with our South African staff to discuss the final arrangements for the rider’s arrival and everything is now in place – police escorts, champagne, and the party!

Please check our website regularly in the coming days for updates
from the finish.

<http://www.tourdafrique.com/2006/rider_2006/rider_times.htm>Race Results

ARRIVAL CEREMONY IN CAPE TOWN – Saturday the 13th of May, 2006

To all families, friends and supporters of the Tour d’Afrique

On Saturday 13th May, having cycled 12, 000 km’s in 96 days through
10 African countries, over 60 intrepid riders representing 14
countries will cycle the final stretch of the Tour from Yzerfontein
into Cape Town.

The official Finish Line, welcoming ceremony and announcement of the
winners will take place at the Amphitheatre, V&A Waterfront. It’s
going to be a big day for all – and for those who are able to be
there – we look forward to sharing the excitement with you.

Date: Saturday 13th May, 2006
ETA: Between 13:00 and 14:30
Location: Amphitheatre, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town


In the final few stages before Cape Town the racers know that all the
positions are essentially decided, and so they are able to ease up a
little and begin to let their minds turn to the finish, and Cape
Town, and the conclusion of this epic race.

South Africans made the biggest presence in the leader standings with
first and second place in the Women’s category and second place in
the Men’s .

American Matt Caretti has lead the Tour since The Gorge where he has
been watched closely ever since by George Oertel.

Just as they did in the 2005 Tour d’Afrique, Switzerland has two
riders finishing in the top 3. Here are the overall results as of Ai
Ais, Namibia:

Joan Louwrens (RSA) 398:19:27
Phillipa le Roux (RSA) 422:55:16
Christa Meier (SUI) 434:40:24

Matthew Caretti (USA) 340:45:07
George Oertel (RSA) 350:56:30
Urs Luethi (SUI) 361:12:22

Official Results for the Race will be posted on the website shortly
after the end of the Tour.

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Tour d\’Afrique Update

May 8, 2006 – Tour d’Afrique, the annual 12 000-kilometer trans continental bicycle race/expedition from Cairo to Cape Town, billed as the most gruelling bicycle race on earth, crossed the border into South Africa on Monday 7th of May.

With only a few days to go, the Tour is scheduled to arrive in the Mother City on Saturday 13th May.

The current section, known as ‘The Diamond Coast’, covers a distance of 1650 km’s from Windhoek, Namibia to the tour’s final destination, Cape Town. The cyclists will travel through Springbok, Garies, Vanrhynsdorp, Elands Bay and Yzerfontein.

In the men’s race, Matthew Caretti (USA) still maintains the lead position, with George Oertel (South Africa) and Urs Leuthi (Switzerland) in second and third positions.

Joan Louwrens (South Africa) leads the Ladies’ race, with Phillipa Le Roux (South Africa) and Christa Meier (Switzerland) in second and third positions.

On Saturday 13th May, having cycled 12 000 km’s in 96 days through 10 African countries, over 60 intrepid men and women from all over the world, including 18 Canadians and 9 Americans, will cycle their final day of the Tour into Cape Town.

The official Finish Line and welcoming ceremony will be at the Amphitheatre, V&A Waterfront, where thousands of supporters are expected to welcome the cyclists.

For more information, visit www.tourdafrique.com

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Tour d\’Afrique Update

February 1, 2006 – Tour d’Afrique, the annual 12 000-kilometer bicycle race/expedition from Cairo to Cape Town, billed as the most gruelling bicycle race on earth, is in it’s second week.

Cyclists are adjusting mentally and physically to the many new aspects that this cycling epic brings; new sleeping patterns, sleeping on the ground, different food and water, anti-malaria drugs, the daily strain of the effort required to cover the distance each day, sun stroke, dehydration, desert winds, dust, fluctuations in temperature from 10 to 37 degrees andS saddle sores a plenty! But the rewards are priceless.

Travelling through 10 African countries in all, over 40 intrepid cyclists have already clocked up 1,400 km in 13 cycling days through Egypt and the Sudan and are taking a well earned rest day along the Nile River on the border of the Nubian and Sahara Deserts in the bustling, friendly town of Dongola.

The paved roads through Egypt in the first week gave the cyclists the opportunity to settle into the nomadic lifestyle that will characterise their lives for the next four months and get some serious training in for the challenges of the ‘roads’ of Sudan.

Canadian Sam Bail, the youngest cyclist on the Tour at 19, says of week two in the Sudan ‘You ride the washboard hating it and then you hit the sand with relief. After struggling through the sand for a few kilometres you find yourself wishing you were riding the washboard again!’

A gruelling 25 kilometre desert crossing on day 13 ended in a ferry crossing across the Nile into the Sahara desert with the highlight of the day being the ride into Dongola. ‘On hitting the paved road 10 km’s before Dongola – I thought I was hallucinating! ‘ said Michael Heitz who is fast finding his ‘s and legs’.

In these incredibly hot and thirsty conditions, Staminade, the official energy drink of the Tour, is their lifeline.

The largest, yet least visited country in Africa, Sudan is home to over 37 million people made up of more than 550 ethnic groups. In spite of their political problems and differences, hospitality and generosity is key amongst the Sudanese people. The cyclists are constantly invited into the simple, yet beautiful mud and stone homes for chai, coffee or a meal.

While the leisure riders soak up the culture in the villages, take photos and time to meet the people along the way, the competition amongst the racers is foreshadowing an incredible cycling event for this year.

The South African riders are at the fore in both the male and female sections, with George Oertel and Joan Louwrens in first positions, and Pieter van Rooyen and Phillipa Le Roux in second positions.

Race Results:
12 days – 1,336 kms

Male Riders
– George Oertel – South African – 43:41:12
– Pieter Van Rooyen – South African – 44:40:12
– Matthew Caretti – American – 44:58:13

Female Riders
– Joan Louwrens – South African – 50:36
– Phillipa Le Roux – South African – 58:11
– Christa Meier – Swiss – 59:34

From Dongola, the Tour will follow the Nile for a day and half, crossing into the Sahara desert before entering the city of Khartoum at the confluence of the Blue and the White Nile rivers. The first time trial of the Tour will take place 30 km’s in the desert before arriving in Khartoum.

The Tour takes approximately 120 days to cross the African continent, of which 95 are cycling days. The cyclists cover an average distance of 125 km (75 miles) each day with a rest day every 5-6 days.

To follow the race or for more information, visit www.tourdafrique.com

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