Protecting you on the Cape Town Cycle Tour
Posted on 1 March 2016
With a field of 35 000 riders, the 109km Cape Town Cycle Tour is the largest timed cycle race in the world. Thanks to Mediclinic’s comprehensive, focused medical service, it’s also the safest.
‘Mediclinic is bringing the science of care to race day,’ says Dr Jann Killops, race doctor from Mediclinic. ‘We are prepared for every eventuality, our experienced doctors and nurses are available on the route to assist you and help you finish the race safely.’
Mediclinic’s event team for the Cape Town Cycle Tour consists of 12 advanced medical care centres manned by doctor and three to four professional nurses, and two basic medical care centres manned by three professional nurses. A further 140 first aiders, 260 physiotherapists and 200 medics in emergency vehicles are also spread across the course. This year for the first time, adds Dr Killops, the laboratory service Pathcare will be offering a free laboratory service at the final medical tent to help guide the clinical decisions made by the doctors.
So what do the medical teams do all day long? Dr Killops says that the most common injuries on race day are fall-related, and most common injuries involve the arm and shoulder. Fortunately people are taking their riding more seriously and are wearing well-fitting helmets – they are essential!
Of course, there are other medical complications too, with some riders making visits to the medical tent that aren’t injury-related. Most of these are preventable, for example sunburn says Dr Killops. ‘Vomiting and diarrhoea are also common complaints, but often it is because on Race Day some riders don’t practise the nutritional techniques that they would when they exercise, on occasion riders want an extra energy boost and as a result they consume supplements that are difficult to digest and cause gastric distress. Cyclists should eat and drink the same foods that they use when they train-that way there are no unpleasant surprises.’
As any Cape Town Cycle Tour veteran will tell you, the weather can also play a huge role in the event. ‘Environmental conditions on race day also add to the complexity of your ride-while we would like to “order” a tail wind, this is often not the case says Dr Killops. That’s why we are constantly monitoring the humidity, temperature and wind speed. We’re constantly looking out for the riders’ safety. We want them to enjoy the day. This is a magnificent city and the Cape Town Cycle Tour showcases not only our incredible natural beauty, but also the generosity, diversity and camaraderie that make us all proudly South African that’s the spirit of the Cycle Tour and that is why we as Mediclinic are proud to be associated with such an iconic event.’