This year we organised an updated - and arguably harder - edition of the Tour of Limassol
So each November for the past few years a local bike shop in Limassol has organised something called the Tour of Limassol. It’s not…well…quite as grand as it sounds - it’s basically a big 135km ride around the outskirts of the district, but it does take the Tour element quite literally.
Rather than a normal sportive, this has traditionally been a big bunch ride with the speed set by a pace car (imagine if Christian Prudhomme, the Director of the Tour de France, lead out the peloton but never actually dropped his flag, that sort of thing). So for five or so hours you follow this car up and down through various villages engaging in a kind of bicycle sightseeing exercise, all the while following a VW cabriolet.
Anyway, this year the traditional organisers of the event decided they’d like a break, so the whole thing was in danger of folding. Now there aren’t that many organised bike events on this tiny island so to lose one as popular as this seemed rather a shame.
What to do? Well, we’d recently started our own Cyprus Roadie Club to try and organise a few rides and there’s already a Limassol Strava Club (of which Nestor is an admin) which has quite a few members. Combine those we thought and we’ve got a ride. The invitation duly went out.
In the end we got about 30 riders, some individuals, others from clubs here in the South and even a few from Famagusta. This was a stripped bare event - no support car, no feed stations, no dropping anyone and Nestor adjusted the traditional route a bit to include a couple of harder climbs. It actually worked really well and despite the varying ages and abilities everyone stuck to the ‘no-drop’ policy with a real sense of cycling comraderie. Not sure what form the event will take in 2019, but this year proved there’s plenty of appetite to keep it going.