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015 How pro's can win the Argus Tour: Tips from previous winners

How pro's can win the Argus Tour: Tips from previous winners

A repeat of the five Argus Cycle Tour wins by Willie Engelbrecht (individual) and Francois du Toit (tandems), both of the Boland, will need a Herculean effort today. These two outstanding, elite cyclists, have set the "goal standard" of Argus Cycling racing, against which, other aspirant cyclists will be compared. Gary Beneke, another outstanding individual cyclist in the late eighties, has summed it up neatly, "Winning the Argus Cycle Tour is a privilege, that not many cyclists will experience. Crossing the line requires that a number of factors click into place".

For interest sake, Francois du Toit still cycles and holds many national veteran sprint and time trial records. Francois owns a very well equipped cycle boutique, and his showroom (Du Toit Cycles) is in Melina Road, Rozendal (just off Old Oak Road, and near Tygerberg Valley Shopping Centre). Francois builds road bikes and tandems as in the past - he is an internationally recognized frame builder and manufacturer. Bike refitting and revamping of cycles is his specialty. Well-known brand names such as Pinarello and Orbea are on display in his showroom. Don't forget, timely and early bike service by Francois, before the Argus. Competitive and realistic prices can be negotiated. For enquiries, call him on 021-9100441 or cellular 0832731986. Personalized service can be expected. Access and parking is favourable in front of the showroom at Rozendal.

Now coming back to winning the Argus. The following strategy and attributes are needed:

Talent, youth, grit, endurance, strength, tenacity and motivation. Do you have it?

Four to five years racing experience at national level.
Extensive racing experience at Super League level or higher.

A sponsored road bike such as Pinarello(c), Giant(c), De Rosa(c), Colnago(c), etc. Expert backup road bike service as offered by Du Toit Cycles in Rozendal.

Extensive experience of racing in a sponsored team.
Possess the correct and optimal racing pedigree and flair.
Possess exceptional physical ability, in order to complete the Argus, over Ou Kaapseweg and 109 km in a time equal to or below 2 hours 30 minutes. This is a hectic pace and must be mastered.

Anaerobic/aerobic threshold level power to weight ratio of above 5 watts per kilogram (Beneke).

Be an expert at sprinting, attacking, upstaging and making unpredictable opportunist attacks.

Possess exceptional tactical skills and racing temperament.
Powerful backup team as Willie Engelbrecht used to have. During 2001 Douglas Ryder (an old Capetonian) won the Argus Men's Individual Event, and was sponsored by the elite IBM/Lotus Team.

Luck is a critical aspect of success (Beneke).

Motivation and drive to win (Beneke, Du Toit, Welgemoed and Engelbrecht).

Extensive knowledge of the detoured route over Silvermine, and being aware of the pitfalls, road service and inclines.

Ingredients and cycle skills to be a champion cyclist (Du Toit, Engelbrecht, Welgemoed).

Peak fitness to churn out maximal performance and power wattage at the optimal moment.

Strong concentration faculties, discipline and focused mindset.

Must be a national or international elite road bike cyclist.


Even pro's will benefit from the advice and expertise of Francois du Toit, an internationally recognized frame builder. Call him on 021-9100441, and ask the expert. Pop into the showroom for racing tips, a service, and a chat.

Cycle References for potential winners:

1. The Lore of Cycling. Oxford 1989.
2. Ride Your Best Argus Ever. Tafelberg 2001.
3. The Big Ride. Don Nelson 1998.
4. Fietsry vir Almal. Tafelberg 1990.
5. Serious Cycling. Human Kinetics 1995.
6. The Cyclist's Training Bible. A and C Black 1996.
7. S.A. Cycling Magazine, 2002.
8. Ride Magazine, 2002.
9. Life Cycle: Official Journal of the P.P.A., Western Cape, 2002.
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