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sport
10 March 2017

Keeping track of 35000 riders

Cyclists from around the world have descended on the Mother City for this weekend's Cape Town Cycle Tour. Here's the tech that keeps organisers keep track of them all.

In 1977 the first Cape Town Cycle Tour took place, back when road bikes were made from steel and helmets were optional. Forty years later the event has grown from a humble race for the die-hard cyclist into the world’s biggest road cycling event. The 2017 race will boast 35 000 riders and attract scores of spectators along the legendary route. A closer look behind the scenes reveals state-of-the-art tracking solutions that will make any tech junkie consider buying a bike. 

Using technology to keep people safe and sorted

Tracker Business

Tracker Business, a monitoring and tracking solutions company, has joined forces with the tour to provide industry-leading telematics and location-based services. This type of technology allows medical teams to dispatch emergency services directly to specific locations and gives race organisers information on the nearest ambulance, hospital, sweep vehicles and the shortest route to get to the accident. Top cyclists and participating celebrities are also monitored. This gives broadcasters of the race live map interfaces for better broadcasting. The live map feeds assist the broadcasters in knowing where to place cameramen and photographers, which gives the viewer at home the best angle.

Racetec chip

A Racetec chip not only records your race time, but is also linked to your unique personal profile which allows the medical teams access to critical contact and medical information in case of an emergency. If you fly over the handlebars or hit the proverbial wall, you want the people in charge to know who you are and who to call on your behalf.

Cheater Alert

The mandatory little Racetec chip, attached to the side of your wheel, will also keep you on the straight and narrow. Over the years the race has seen all sorts of people cheating their way to the finish line by taking shortcuts, cutting corners or hitching rides in cars between the start and the finish line. This technology helps the organisers spot a cheating rider from a mile away.

Follow the race

Follow the race on 12 March 2017 on social media on facebook @cycletour and Twitter @CTcycletour and stay connected to all the live updates and information on race day.