Mountain bikers competing in the inaugural De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience from September 22 to 24 will have the opportunity to ride on virgin and usually off-limit trails in the De Hoop Nature Reserve area.
Race director Anneke Viljoen said they believed they had put together a route, consisting of 55km, 65km and 52km stages, which showcased the variety of trails offered by the De Hoop and Rûens regions in the Overberg.
“We couldn’t have produced this without the assistance of the local farmers, as well as our route guru Neil Neethling, who ensured it included the most beautiful sights, and Adam Albertyn, who built a new section of single-track on his farm especially for stage two.”
The three-day stage race will open with the route traversing the plains of the De Hoop Reserve before moving north towards the limestone hills that separate the reserve from the farmlands.
A technical single-track descent, named Pebble Dash, will lead riders into the farmlands and onto the Potberg River trails.
The day’s challenge is the 3km Fynbos Climb that will see riders going largely downhill to the finish after reaching the summit.
The second day’s route, which includes sections in the Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve, will take in trails never used before in a mountain-bike race.
Riders will enjoy 4km of virgin, downhill single-track that has been built to link the reserve with the existing trail network.
The final stage will also feature unexplored regions as the area north-west of the valley is closed to the public.
Familiar trails will be ridden before mountain bikers ascend the Fynbos Licker climb and make their way to the waterpoint at the historic Melkkamer manor house.
The three days will cover just over 170km when the race concludes on September 24.