Entries will no longer be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. In a bid to take the “rush and panic” out of the entry process, organisers have switched to a random ballot system.
Last year, places in the world’s biggest timed cycling event were snapped up in a record eight hours.
The decision to turn the process into a lottery is nothing new, at least not internationally. The London Marathon is just one of the world’s many big events that handles the entry process this way.
However, it has been met with mixed reactions.
Some, especially those looking to complete a succession of tours, fear they will miss out on their hot streak. Others, who have missed their chance in the past to take part because of payment processing issues, slow internet connections, or poor timing, are celebrating the chance to finally nail down a place.
Cycling trainer Elton Davids said: “I think it’s a great idea, a lot of thought has been put into it. And yes, there will be positive and negative responses to it but, at the end of the day, the possibility of more people, new people, taking part in it can only be a victory.”
During a press conference held at the Cullinan Hotel yesterday, Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust director David Bellairs revealed that the change issomething the organisers had analysed extensively following last year’s record sales for the Cycle Tour’s 2015 edition.
“We wanted to take the rush and panic out of entering the race, and we feel we have found asolution.”
The new system will be a three-stage process. It begins on September 9 where riders will be able to register for the event, which is sponsored by the Cape Argus, Pick n Pay and Momentum. The free registration represents an interest to take part and will not ensure entry. This registration period closes on September 25.
During the following week, the randomly-selected successful applicants will receive confirmation e-mails and be given until October 26 to secure their entry by paying the R470 entry fee.
“We want to avoid thousands of applicants rushing to be first in line as the entry portal opens, and being disappointed when they sell out in a matter of hours,” saidBellairs.
He said the intention was to create a fairer system, in line with international best practice. There are 27 000 places available through the general ballot system. A further 5 000 will be handed out to the Pedal Power Association’s members at random, and another 7 000 allocated to charity groups.
“The implementation of this new system is the best way forward for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.”
But not everyone is happy.
Janet Moss, 63, who has done the Cycle Tour 32 times, told the Cape Argus she felt that veterans of the event deserved to secure their places. The rider has been taking part since the early days of the race.
“So, it will be luck of the draw if I get to take part in my 20th in a row?” wrote a user on local cycling forum TheHubSA. - Cape Argus
Original source: Change to entry process for Cycle Tour