Posted by Ticketstroom – 05 February 2017
Endurance: TransCape MTB – 650km, 7 days, extreme weather conditions and the harsh Cape terrain. If you think this is your middle name then you may be up to the challenge of this multi-stage scenic but notoriously rugged and challenging annual mountain biking event.
If you flinched, then give a thought to the 130 riders making their way from Knysna to Franschhoek during the week of 5-11 February 2017. Don’t feel too bad though for these work hard, play hard participants, as every care has been attended to thoroughly and the event promises to provide everyone with a unique experience, just reward and comforts.
The entry fee of R30 000 provides each rider with the standard premium package. This means no more tents, but 6 nights of accommodation in great hotels, lodges and guest houses; including breakfast, lunch and access to evening dinner and prize-giving functions. Food will be prepared by local celebrity chef Nic van Wyk and other wonderful local guest chefs.
So let’s start with the race, see what all the fuss is about:
Each stage is between 70km-135km and each route is chosen for scenery, ride ability and enjoyment. Throw in harsh Cape weather conditions (late summer heat, thunderstorms, freezing Karoo nights, gale force winds), add ascents, descents, narrow places, gravel, lush forest, high mountain, semi-desert platforms and see what you’re made of.
Starting at Knysna Waterfront, the first day’s travel takes riders 80km through indigenous forest along to that day’s destination in Wilderness.
Wakey wakey for the second stage which is also the longest at 135km, referred to as the ‘queen stage.’ Are the riders ready to face a hot 2 000 metres of winding gravel ascent over Montagu Pass?
The third stage of TransCape MTB is 81km and covers the area from Van Wyksdorp to Riversdal. From here the fourth stage takes the riders 103km to Swellendam, and then 112km to Greyton during the fifth stage of this unique small field MTB test. It is here that the route directors have added a fresh single-track challenge – the Greyton Black section (which lies between Greyton and Genadendal). A 5km stretch of single track over the hills, it’s promised as the most technical section of the race and is estimated to take longer than usual at about 45 minutes! This new section is anticipated to become “one of the most unique and spectacular single-track sections in the country…” Riders will finish up at Villiersdorp for this leg of the challenge, having cycled 68km.
We will then head into the final stage, so we have followed these brave cyclists through the lush Garden Route to the dry Karoo; over the green hills and pastures of the Overberg and now we arrive at the seventh and final stage of the rally. To cross the finish line and taste victory the riders must face and conquer the feature climb of the TransCape MTB race – the Groenlandberg. It is the highest ascent of the race and once the craggy ranges of the last 78km have been conquered, champagne awaits the victor at the top of Franschhoek pass where the finish line is.
The sights, smells, sounds, culinary samples (maybe a bug or two along the way) are sure to enrich the rider with memories to remain for always. The TransCape MTB team have carefully formulated a special route to enhance the experience for the rider to immerse themselves into the various local ecosystems, culture, landscapes, climate while pushing their beings to the very limit – you can do it!
www.ticketstroom.co.za will be following the stages and is a proud supporter of the race.
We toast too a legacy of this race – the social upliftment in various places of need where MTB wheels have passed through. Keep following us on Facebook and Twitter for all the Transcape MTB 2017 updates.