29 'serious' Cycle Tour cases
Cycle Tour walkers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - It was a day of broken bikes, but for the tens of thousands of cyclists, riding through the extreme temperatures was the biggest hurdle in the 2012 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.GALLERY: Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour
Medical tents were packed all the way along the 110km route, treating headaches, heat stroke, nausea and cramps, all related to the extreme temperatures.
“Being out there on Chapman’s Peak in that heat was tortuous,” reported David Bellairs, CEO of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust. “As a result, we enforced the cut-offs very strictly, and ‘swept’ a lot more people off the route than last year.”
This was only the second year cyclists were forbidden from continuing if they didn’t make certain cut-off points by certain times.
Bellairs said of the 1 000 people treated, 100 were taken to hospital, of which 29 were considered “high priority” patients.
The “most serious” medical cases were two heart attacks and subdural hematoma.
Several cyclists received IV treatments throughout the day, and the sweep buses were busy picking up riders who were unable to continue in the extreme heat. Riders were showing signs of exhaustion on the route, taking breaks in any shade they could find.
By 14:00, temperatures peaked at 41 degrees Celsius at the finish line.