Three dead in Cycle Tour

Thousands of cyclists took part in the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour, now in it's 40th year. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Three people died on Sunday in the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Race director David Bellairs confirmed this in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

The first was a trauma incident just before 9am on Sunday morning at Wynberg Hill on the M3 southbound in which a group of 20 cyclists were involved in a pile up.

A 40 year-old cyclist succumbed to the injuries he sustained in this incident and had received immediate medical attention at the scene but that “tragically his injuries proved fatal. “His family has asked that we respect their privacy at this time and we will not be releasing his name.”

Mr Bellairs said that in the second incident a male participant succumbed to a suspected heart attack at Smitswinkel Bay heading towards Cape Point gate at 10.22am. Emergency services spent about 45 minutes resuscitating him but he succumbed and died. Once again they are respecting the family’s wishes and not releasing his name.

Mr Bellairs says they had a total of five heart attacks on the day and the others were resuscitated. He says the participants are given medical forms to complete prior to the race, in which they are asked about their medical conditions, but he says sometimes those who assume they are perfectly fit can suffer heart attacks. When going through the forms the organisers identify high-risk patients and the medical team stays in contact and advises them to seek further medical advice before they participate in the race.

He says in his 28 years of working on the Cycle Tour, there have been only two trauma-related deaths on the day of the race, the first was on Ou Kaapse Weg.

Mr Bellairs says some cyclists lose concentration while they are using cellphones.

A third person, who was marshalling for Rotary on the day, also died at Suikerbossie. An eye witness has come forward and the incident is being investigated.

Over 30 000 cyclists participated in the 40th edition of the 109km race on Sunday.

Nolan Hoffman won the men’s elite race in a time of 2 hours 37 minutes and 30 seconds.

With regards to water security for the race, Mr Bellairs says two million litres maximum of water could have been used during the race but they have sourced three million litres from Swellendam into Macassar Water Treatment Works, and from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous which will go into Steenberg dam.