09/03/2018 15:10 SAST | Updated 09/03/2018 15:11 SAST

New CT Cycle Tour Category Gets Snazzy Carol Boyes Trophy

Visually impaired riders on tandems with sighted partners get to compete in this year's Cape Town Cycle Tour, and their trophy is tactile and kinetic.

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A new category for visually impaired cyclists in this year's 40th birthday celebration of the world's leading cycle event, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, has fittingly been welcomed with a new trophy.

The trophy was designed by the South African studio of global design favourite Carrol Boyes, predominantly in the studio's trademark stainless steel – and inspired, the studio says, by the technical and kinetic elements of the new category.

The visually impaired cyclists compete on tandem bikes, with their sighted partners cycling in the front seat.

The metal bulk of the trophy depicts two wheels, symbolising two riders working in unison, that are inlaid with a motif of spokes and circles, encircling tandem motifs, and snatches of braille script.

The wheels spin, so the trophy itself mirrors the kinetic element of cycling. The base of fragrant cedar contains a metal plaque bearing more braille script.


Holly Birkby, who designed the trophy, said the nonvisual senses are stimulated by the kinetic spinning of the wheels.

"The design continues the machine aesthetic of the previous trophies, combining laser-cut stainless steel and industrial fastenings," Birkby said.

The Carrol Boyes design team also developed the Cape Town Cycle Tour's men's and women's trophies in 2013.

Drawing on diverse elements, including the Cape's rugged terrain, those designs showed vignettes of cyclists and distinct local mountains, such as Table Mountain and Simon's Town's Hangklip.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour is currently the world's largest timed cycle race, a 109km ramble around the peninsula that attracts thousands.