Riders in next year’s Cape Pioneer Trek can look forward to some exciting new trails in a route that takes them through one of the most scenic and biodiverse parts of South Africa.
Details of the route for the seven-day mountain bike event have just been unveiled.
The race, which takes place from September 6 to 12, will cover 462km and a total of 11 250m of ascent.
The 16.3km prologue, which has a new start at Saasveld, the Nelson Mandela University campus near George, features fast-flowing trails with sharp climbs and steep descents.
Stage one takes riders through the Jonkersberg Nature Reserve and finishes in George, 56km later. New trails have been added to the singletrack in the area.
The 73km second stage ends at Louvain, which will be the host venue for the following two days. Louvain is in the upper Langkloof valley, midway between George and Uniondale.
Stage three, which covers 75km, is a new stage. It will take riders on a trail through a mountainous area with magnificent sea views that has not been ridden before.
The 95km fourth stage welcomes riders into the arid Karoo. The Kammanassie mountain must first be conquered before a descent through the valley to De Rust. Riders exit into the Lidikwe Reserve then make their way to the finish in Oudtshoorn.
Stage five (83km) features a mountain-top finish. The Swartberg Mountain is where the quest for the yellow and pink jerseys will be decided.
The 64km sixth stage, with 1 200m of ascent, brings to an end seven days of riding. A challenging climb following the start from the Langenhoven Gimnasium in Oudtshoorn will separate the field and might well determine the final outcome.
The stage ends with a fast race to the finish at the Queen’s Hotel, Oudtshoorn.