Inaugural Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Race in November
Every Cyclists Dream – This is a spectacular three day route to showcase the best of the Cape Winelands – The inaugural Wines2Whales mountain bike race will take place from 13 to 15 November this year (2009). Over the course of 3 days, teams consisting of two cyclists each will cross approximately 230 km of the most beautiful and unspoilt terrain in the Western Cape …
Participants from around the country will kick off in Somerset West, and traverse across 13 wineries, 26 private farms, six mountains, some beautiful historic roads and passes, as well as exquisite nature conservation areas before finishing near Walker Bay in the picturesque town of Hermanus. Here cyclists will be welcomed with entertainment for the entire family, whale watching for which the area is renowned internationally and the finest food and wine. Adding to the excitement, race organisers have made provision for vantage points along the route of the race, which will be accessible to the general public.
Stage 1 will see riders doing 80km to the race village in Elgin, Grabouw. From Somerset West, riders will head towards Sir Lowry’s Pass via the Schapenberg Farms. The early steep ascents will stretch out the field, just in time for some rocky single-track. From here they will meander through the MTO Plantations as well as the many fruit and wine farms in the area to the race village, where they will settle for the next two nights, in order to enjoy a well-earned rest.
Stage 2 will be a 70km ride. Route designer Johan Kriegler has tapped the knowledge of the locals to include some of the best mountain biking trails in the area, including some single and Jeep tracks linked with locally hand-built trails for the perfect experience. Riders will again return to the race village in Elgin to prepare for the final stage the next day.
Stage 3 – The third and final stage will take riders from Elgin to Hermanus, an 80km route. Riders’ legs will remember stages 1 and 2 all too clearly as they tackle the descent into Hermanus. Before spotting a whale, riders will need to endure the toughest, but also most rewarding stage of the race. This stage will include a good deal of ‘never ridden before’ trails, including parts of Groenlandberg, the historic Katberg Pass, the Botriver Valley, Karwyderskraal and the Hemel en Aarde valley.
According to Johan Kriegler, route designer, “This race will offer riders magnificent scenery and some of the best mountain biking tracks in the country. Variety is a key factor, offering participants a different riding experience each day. We expect experienced riders to take between 3 and 4 hours for each stage, whilst the more leisurely riders should finish within 7 hours. Our aim is to deliver an unforgettable mountain bike experience. Spending three days cycling the Wines2Whales race will be one of the most rewarding experiences you can give your mind, body and soul!”
Michael Meyer, from Stillwater Sport & Entertainment, organisers of the Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Race, adds: “Mountain bikers are definitely asking for a three day mountain bike stage race in the Western Cape and Wines2Whales will offer exactly that with an exciting route that can be supported by family and friends at beautiful wine estates. Our company has a long history of presenting events such as XTERRA and the ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun, and we are looking at bringing a lot of creativity and freshness to this mountain bike experience.”
The first Wines2Whales race promises participants breathtaking scenery and spectacular mountain biking terrain, as well as the opportunity to test their endurance and skill. Family and friends will also be able to support their favourite teams along the spectator friendly route.
For more information contact Leandra Knoetze on Telephone +27 (0)21 883-2413.
Entries close on Saturday, 31 October 2009.