Final words from the Tour Director
It all started in the early morning of January 17th in front of the enigmatic sphinx in Cairo, Egypt and ended on a misty afternoon at 1:35 PM Mouille Point in downtown Cape Town, South Africa with the mighty Table Mountain barely visible.
The winner of the 99 stages, 11,268 km long race is Rob Van der Geest from Netherlands who took 394 hours and 46 minutes to complete the race. Second place belongs to Wil Bonne also from Netherlands who covered the distance in 412 hours and 15 minutes and the third position belongs to Armin Koehli from Switzerland who covered the distance 426 hours and 15 minutes.
The top woman finisher was Sandra Simon from Austria who covered the distance in 529 hours and 18 minutes. In second place came Stephanie Falkenstein from USA whose total time was 610 hours and 24 minutes and in third position Yuko Iwasa from Japan who covered the distance in 655 hours and 34 minutes.
The 120 days event (21 days of rest), the longest and toughest race ever staged with over 65,000meters in altitude climbs and crossing the whole African continent is a celebration of what is possible. The total distance (including non racing parts) of this year event covered was 11,750 km, almost 800 hundred km more than last year Tour. And though not everyone who participated in the Tour 2004 – whether riding the whole distance or simply joining the Tour as a sectional riders – did actively compete, they all participated in a unique adventure, that showcased the beauty of this marvelous continent as well as the challenges it faces. All in all, a great time was had by all.
Congratulations to all. Well done. You have completed an extraordinary event and made it look easy.
Special thanks to all of the folks from African Routes: Ruard, Phillip, Suzan, Ian, Vimpi (Villem), Trevor, Suzzie and Grahame who helped us to cross the continent as well to all of the volunteers Chris, Emily, Manuela and Tracy. A double thanks to our nurse Gillian and our mechanic Pete who kept us all in working order.
Special note goes to our photographer Bruno who not only took great pictures but also used his knowledge of French cuisine and made many of the meals tastier.
Best wishes to all from,