The 2010 Tour d’Afrique came to an end this past weekend when the riders rolled into Cape Town amidst cheers from the locals gathered to welcome them. Sunday marked the final day of the annual race from Cairo to Cape Town that saw competitors in the saddle for more than 120 days, and covering over 7500 miles across the length of Africa.
27-year old Australian, Stuart Briggs was the winner in the men’s category, claiming victory with an overall time 398:26 for the race. South African Jethro de Decker took second place with a time of, 16 hours back, and American Tim Thomas came in third at 418:09. de Decker won the most stages with 18, and the most sections, with 3, but Briggs was the overall more consistent rider from start to finish.
In the women’s division there was no problem figuring out who won, as 26-year old German Gisela Gartmair dominated the field. Garmair racked up an incredible 56 stage wins, claimed all 9 of the race’s “mando” days, and was victorious on 7 of the 8 tour sections. Her final time was 404:34, second only to Briggs in the overall standings. Juliana Austin-Olsen, 39 and Jennifer Crake, 40, both of Canada, finished second and third respectively with times of 452:38 and 531:33.
There were 55 riders that rode the entire length of the Tour, with others coming and going from different sections. For some, iti s a highly competitive event, as winning a stage race of 120+ days is quite a feat. For others however, it is more about the adventure of the ride, which crossed through Egypt, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Personally, I can’t think of a more amazing way to tour Africa, and it’s many diverse landscapes.
Registration for the Tour d’Afrique 2011 is already open, so if you would like to take part in the adventure next year, sign up now and start planning. It’s going to be a heck of a ride.
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