The Cape Rouleur base at Franschhoek (HotChillee)

HotChillee, the cycling events firm behind the multi-stage sportives,
London-Paris and The Alpine Challenge, have revealed details of their latest –
The Cape Rouleur.

Based in the Western Cape, South Africa,
the event will see riders tackle 525km and 6,475m of climbing across three days,
followed by seeded entry to the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, the world’s biggest
cycle race. As with The Alpine Challenge in its first year, 2012’s Cape Rouleur will be
a limited entry test event, with former Tour de France winner Stephen Roche,
top commentator Phil Liggett and Cape Epic winner Karl Platt all taking
their place on the start line. Next year will see the tour open up to many
more, with prices to be announced later in the year.

Starting and finishing each leg in Franschhoek, one of South Africa’s oldest towns, riders will head
past landmarks including Paarl
Mountain, the Perdeberg
National Reserve and Betty’s Bay. The idea of all HotChillee events is to
bring, as close as possible, the ‘Tour de France experience’ to amateur riders,
and with motorbike outriders, support vehicles and constant access to masseurs
and mechanics, the Cape
Rouleur is no different. With
Cape Argus
entry, plus a relaxed 96km escorted ride into Cape Town following the tour,
entrants can look forward to a full week of cycling at the tail end of South Africa’s

Cyclists on the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour at the start of the climb up Chapman’s Peak. Noordhoek’s Long Beach is in the distance

“The London-Paris and The Alpine Challenge are both known as the closest an
amateur can get to the Tour de France experience,” said HotChillee founder Sven
Thiele. “Our events allow enthusiasts to rub shoulders with cycling legends and
professionals, in a safe and fun environment. It is HotChillee’s objective to
create the same international format in South Africa, using the same
formula that appeals to our HotChillee International riders, creating an
unforgettable cycling experience.” 

Full schedule

Sunday 4 March: Sign On for The Cape Rouleur,

Stage 1, Monday 5 March: (176 km, 1448m ascent, max
gradient 7.9 percent): Stay in Franschhoek. This stage sees riders pass through the
winelands, underneath the Taal Monument in Paarl, past the Fairview and many other wineries. It then
passes Paarl Mountain to the west, heading North and
over Botma’s Kloof, returning via the Perdeberg National Reserve.

Stage 2, Tuesday 6 March: (144 km, 2513m ascent, max
gradient 10.4 percent): Stay in Franschhoek. This is the biggest day of climbing,
heading east over Franschhoek pass, then South to Theewaterskloof dam. The
route then heads south over Vilijoen’s pass to Elgin and over the Houhoek pass returning to
Villersdrop, the Theewaterskloof dam and back over the Franschhoek pass to the
home straight.

Stage 3, Wednesday 7 March: (205 km, 2504m ascent, max
gradient 8.8 percent): Stay in Franschhoek. This is the longest day, from Franschhoek
over Helshoogte (“Hellish Hill”) descending into the university town of Stellenbosch and heading
south towards Gordon’s Bay. From here, the riders take one of the most scenic
coastal roads in the world, passing Betty’s Bay and the penguins. It’s almost
certain riders will see a troop of baboons somewhere en-route. The ride then
turns inland at Kleinmond, over the Houhoek pass from the other direction
returning again via Theewaterskloof dam and back over the Franschhoek pass
home. The day is followed by prizes and a VIP dinner with dignitaries and press

Thursday 8 March: Escorted social ride into Cape Town City 

Sunday 11 March: Cape
Argus Pick n Pay Cycle

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