The all-new De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience will take mountain bikers where they have never been before.
Hosted by the De Hoop Nature Reserve from September 22 to 24, the race will explore game trails, 4×4 tracks and gravel roads that criss-crosses the 34 000ha Cape Nature reserve – many of which for the first time.
The reserve, which is nestled between Potberg and the Indian Ocean in the Western Cape, boasts a rugged coastline known for shipwrecks and whale watching while the vlei is recognised as a wetland of international importance.
Add in mountains, limestone hills, grassy plains and sand dunes – liberally occupied by antelope, rare birds and one of the world’s most diverse floral kingdoms – and you have the ultimate mountain biking recipe.
According to race director Anneke Viljoen, two of the three days feature routes never used before in mountain bike races or by fun riders visiting the De Hoop Collection.
Local farmer and mountain biker Niel Neethling, who is responsible for the course design alongside iMTB Africa’s Warrick Kemp, promises stages of 55km, 65km and 52km with 900m, 1 300m and 800m of climbing respectively.
He has been hard at work securing land access to private farms and negotiating thoroughfares through highly restricted areas.
One of these sections is the eastern region of the reserve, which is usually only accessible along the Whale Trail hiking route. Another is the western bank of De Hoop Vlei with its 200-year-old manor house.
The reserve, which has 1 500 species of flora, is the largest conservation area of lowland fynbos in the Western Cape. It also boasts 86 mammal, more than 260 bird and over 250 fish species.
Entries include breakfasts, lunches and two dinners as well as accommodation in a dome tent. Riders and their families however have a choice of accommodation upgrades.
Supporter packages – including meals, a fun ride, environmental education tours and spa treatments – are available.
Venue & accommodation options
Visit De Hoop Collection.
Stage 1: 55km; 900m ascent
Stage 2: 65km; 1 300m ascent
Stage 3: 52km; 800m ascent
Solo: R3 600 including three breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners
Team: R6 900 including three breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners
Info & entries
Visit De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience.