The Coronation Double Century, known in the cycling world as the CDC is one of the largest team time trials in the world – a favourite among fun riders. The camaraderie, scenery and the endurance challenge is what draws riders to the event each year.
For most recreational cyclists the 202-kilometre loop from Swellendam is the longest and toughest journey on a bike every year.
Anyone who’s ever been awarded the coveted Charles Milner Award will know the blood, sweat, tears, not to mention sheer guts, that are spent in pursuit of this renowned accolade that is given to teams when all 12 members cross the finish-line within 15 minutes of each other.
While the first team to get six riders across the line in each category will be crowned champions, the Charles Milner medal goes to each full team of 12 riders which finish inside the allocated 10 hours. It’s a tough one to call this year as most teams make the decision on the day, as the race plays out, whether to shed riders or push for the 12-rider finish.
The Coronation Double Century began life as a non-competitive day in the saddle among long-time cycling friends. A Stellenbosch wine farmer, and fanatical cyclist Charles Milner, is traditionally considered the founding father of what has grown into one of the country’s most prestigious, challenging and scenic bike races.
In the 2018 edition of The Coronation Double Century the winners in both men’s and women’s categories kept all their riders together for most of the distance – which gave them a huge advantage over the rest of the field.
The composite team of Active Bodies put a master class in long-distance team-trialing to convincingly defend their Coronation Double Century title in 2018. While most of the other contending teams lost many of their riders early on Active Bodies kept all 12 together for most of the route, losing only a few riders in the final 20kms for a truly convincing victory. The women’s category winners, STS/Specialized was ahead at every time check and, much like Active Bodies, kept all their riders together for most of the distance.
Also in attendance in 2018 were three all-star invitational teams from Breitling, including the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, multiple mountain bike World Cup champion, Nino Schurter, multiple Ironman World Champion, Daniela Ryf and Jan Frodeno, current Ironman 70.3 World Champ among others.
The Coronation Double Century takes place on Saturday, 23 November 2019 with teams lining up in Swellendam and racing via Suurbraak, the Tradouw Pass and Op de Tradouw, ascent towards Montagu and then passes Ashton, Robertson and Bonnievale, while returning via the R317 to Swellendam.