Case Study: Customer – RaceTec

Mobilising the Cape Town Cycle Tour

The Cape Town Cycle Tour, with its 35 000 riders, is the one of the world’s largest timed cycling events. It is also arguably the most beautiful cycle tour with the route covering some of the most breath-taking views as it winds around the sea cliffs.

RaceTec, who manage and operate the Cape Town Cycle Tour, asked Coral Tech to assist them in enhancing the experience for both riders and their followers, by providing mobile apps that will indicate each rider’s progress and, where required, provide the RaceTec control centre with updates about anyone who is unable to continue riding.

Allowing Friends and Family to Track Riders

Each rider carries a timing chip, which is used to track their progress on the course. Across the route, there are several timing mats. As a rider rides over a mat, it detects the rider’s chip number and their latest progress becomes available to the central Cycle Tour operations centre. Coral Tech uses this timing point data to update the mobile app for those following riders on the route. It will both send a notification to the phone to let the user know the person they are following has just crossed another timing point, and update the app for each tracked ride with their latest times.

Coral Tech has since significantly enhanced the RaceTec mobile app to allow RaceTec members to enter many of the 200+ RaceTec-managed events during the year and see their results. The app also allows the public to track their friends and loved ones’ progress during timed events, with users receiving tracking and event-related push notifications linked only to those people and events they are tracking.

Ensuring the Safety of Riders Who Can’t Continue

The Cape Town Cycle Tour, being a long route over typically over 100 km, not all the riders are able to complete the course. To accommodate riders unable to continue, RaceTec has 5 different cut-off positions designated along the course. Riders must pass each cut-off point by specific times otherwise they are removed from the race. When a rider cannot continue, they are placed on so-called “sweep” buses, along with their bicycles, which will then take them to the finish area to be reunited with friends and family.

In previous years, the organisers of the Cape Town Cycle Tour had no knowledge of when a rider was cut off, nor onto which sweep bus they had been placed. To help with this challenge, Coral Tech developed an easy-to-use mobile app that scans the QR code on each rider’s race number bib, and this is used by marshals at cut-off points and medical points to track those that aren’t able to continue and also on which bus they are placed. This information is then relayed back to the central RaceTec operations centre, where the event management are then able to track riders who cannot continue, and importantly, who are able to share this with family members, which bus they were placed onto, and roughly when the bus is expected to get back to the finish area.

Innovative Use of Mobile Technology

RaceTec had the vision to improve the experience of both their event participants and their followers, as well as enhance the safety of riders during events. There are many challenges in bringing this type of information to thousands of phones simultaneously during large events, and in areas where cell coverage is not strong. Together with Coral Tech, RaceTec have provided their members and their followers with a set of useful apps and associated cloud-based backend. RaceTec continue to innovate with Coral Tech, with new features such as estimation of arrival times, being planned in the future which are based on complex modelling of each event’s route and previous participants’ performances.

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