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Everybody say Hoopla! - Cycle Tour hero explains story behind iconic race signal

5 March 2020 11:52 AM
Tags:
Cycle Tour
Race
Cape Town Cycle Tour
cyclist
Everybody say Hoopla
Hoopla
Paul de Groot
cycle race
The Cape Town Cycle Tour's “hoopla” man shares the origins of the phrase which gets cyclists going on race day.

Cycle Tour legend Paul de Groot has been starting off races with "Everybody say Hoopla!" for more than 25 years.

He came up with the popular kickstarter phrase which gets cyclists into the spirit.

De Groot says if he doesn't do it, he gets into trouble.

RELATED: Meet the determined Ocean View tannies who are taking on the CT Cycle Tour 2020

He explains that the "Hoopla thing" was inspired by a conversation he had during a braai many years ago, the night before a race.

He made a bet with his friend that he could get cyclists to repeat his phrase, and the rest is history.

In those days, I had to sit on a three-storey high scaffolding tower [at the start line].

Paul de Groot, Cycle Tour legend

It was probably the beer talking, but I said, "I bet I can get a thousand people to shout Hoopla".

Paul de Groot, Cycle Tour legend

I tried it. I said, "Come on guys, you're gonna go out for a nice long ride now, let's try this Hoopla thing."

Paul de Groot, Cycle Tour legend

About 40 or 50 people in a group of 300 did it. Then the next group came along, then it was about 150 who were doing it.

Paul de Groot, Cycle Tour legend

By the time we got to the finishing spot, every group was doing it. It was a thing.

Paul de Groot, Cycle Tour legend

It's now become a tradition and the Cycle Tour says time officially counts from when de Groot says ‘Hoopla!’.

The 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour will take place on Sunday, 8 March.

As the years have gone on, it has become a tradition.

Paul de Groot, Cycle Tour legend

There are a whole lot of starts that are going to happen on Sunday. I'm going to have to do it about 50 or 60 times as far as I can see.

Paul de Groot, Cycle Tour legend

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


5 March 2020 11:52 AM
Tags:
Cycle Tour
Race
Cape Town Cycle Tour
cyclist
Everybody say Hoopla
Hoopla
Paul de Groot
cycle race

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