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Riders from Team NuWater leading the pack at the 2013 Die Burger PPA Cycle Tour

Over 6,500 cyclists lined up at the start of the event at Stellenbosch High School this morning to take part in the Western Cape’s second largest cycling event. Most cyclists participated in the longer 97km route, which is also the final seeding opportunity for the 2014 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

“We broke away at Wellington and managed to retain the lead, but it was hard with the wind, especially during the last 35km when I was on my own with a very strong headwind. This usually suits us better as it makes us work harder, and I’m glad to have won the title for the second time today.” said Rabie.

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Johan Rabie from Team NuWater clinches victory in the men’s elite category at the 2013 Die Burger PPA Cycle Tour in Stellenbosch.

In the Ladies Elite category, Jennie Stenerhag from Team Sasol made it a double-hat-trick today as she claimed her sixth victory in the seven years the annual event has been held. Stenerhag was the quickest over the finish line with a time of 02:41:47.

Last year’s winner, Sharon Laws from Team Momentum Toyota claimed second place narrowly edging out fierce competition from Anriette Schoeman from Team Mecer who secured the final podium spot.

“I don’t enjoy sprinting with the men but as we got closer to the finish, it was quite open and the girls were out front, so I pushed hard for the last 500m. It was a tough race, but it feels really good to secure the title again this year,” said Stenerhag.

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Steve Hayward, Chairman of the Pedal Power Association also participated in the 2013 event. The Pedal Power Association came on board as a co-sponsor ahead of the 2013 event to prevent the short route being cancelled due to a lack of sponsorship. “The PPA is delighted to put money back into cycling and to have the opportunity to encourage less experienced cyclists to participate in the short route. We trust they all enjoyed the ride today and hope to see many of them at the PPA funrides in the lead-up to the 2014 Cycle Tour.”

Each entry for Die Burger PPA Cycle Tour this year contributed R15 towards Die Burger-Kersfonds, the newspaper’s annual fundraising campaign, resulting in the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust handing a cheque for over R100,000 to the fund. Editor of Die Burger, Bun Booyens said, “I had an excellent ride and the route was beautiful. It was very satisfying to know that through my participation, Die Burger Kersfonds was able to benefit.”

A group of participants from the Training Wheels programme, developed by the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust to train and prepare novice cyclists to complete their first Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour event in 2014, took part in today’s event. Carla Von Benecke, another first-timer that completed the 44km route said, “The first half of the route was great, but the second half was a lot tougher as we had to deal with the strong winds. This was such a beautiful ride with the nicest scenery and I’m thrilled that I’ve completed it.”