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EVENTS

Mar
24
Sun
2019
RTW – Race to Willowmore @ Cradock
Mar 24 @ 6:30 am – Mar 29 @ 6:30 am
Mar
29
Fri
2019
THE SABIE XPERIENCE @ Floreat Riverside Lodge Sabie Mpumalanga
Mar 29 @ 6:00 am – Mar 31 @ 7:00 am
Sabie Xperience @ Floreat Riverside Lodge, Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Mar 29 @ 7:00 am – Mar 31 @ 7:00 am
Mar
31
Sun
2019
Bezhoek Extreme MTB Festival 2019 @ Olifants River Lodge
Mar 31 @ 6:00 am – Jun 2 @ 7:00 am
Apr
5
Fri
2019
GLACIER CRADLE TRAVERSE @ Avianto Lifestyle Estate
Apr 5 @ 7:00 am – Apr 7 @ 7:00 am
Apr
6
Sat
2019
CRADLE MOUNTAIN TROPHY 2019 @ MAROPENG Muldersdrif Gauteng
Apr 6 @ 6:00 am – Apr 7 @ 7:00 am
THE AMOHELA CLARENS MTB CLASSIC @ Clarens
Apr 6 @ 6:30 am – Apr 7 @ 7:30 am

thabo e kholo

*big mountain

day 1 – 70km, 1100m ascent

day 2 – 50km, 750m ascent

*TIMED & SEEDED EVENT

includes (valued at over R400)

– race pack with event GOLF SHIRT

– trucker cap

– draw string bag with goodies

– meal vouchers

– 1 free beer at the finish

– race medal

thaba e nyenyane

*little mountain

day 1 – 50km, 600m ascent

day 2 – 35 km 400m ascent

 

The Cool Ideas Cradle Mountain Trophy 2019_2 Day Stage Race @ Maropeng
Apr 6 @ 6:30 am – Apr 7 @ 7:30 am
Apr
12
Fri
2019
Liberty Winelands Encounter @ Boschendal Wine Estate
Apr 12 @ 7:00 am – Apr 14 @ 7:00 am

12 APRIL – 14 APRIL 2019

3 STAGES – 144KM JOURNEY

 

The 2019 Liberty Winelands Encounter has been reshaped to access some incredible new riding terrain as well as spectacular host venues while also easing rider logistics by overnighting at the same venue for the Friday and Saturday evenings following stages 1 and 2.

The Winelands Encounter takes place over three stages from 12 – 14 April 2019, linking Franschhoek and Paarltogether in a wonderful 144km 3-day tapestry of trails in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

The majestic Le Franschhoek Hotel will play host to the event for two evenings following the first and second stages.

Stage 1 will start at the Boschendal Wine Estate while after stage 3 we will bring the curtain down on proceedings at the beautiful Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl.

The Liberty Winelands Encounter will see the firth edition of the event.

The three-day stage race affords our participants, with a passion for the sport, the experience of a lifetime. It is an encounter where riders are treated as VIP’s and where they are offered world-class hospitality at 5 Star venues.

Riders are only allowed to enter in teams of two.

Apr
25
Thu
2019
Trailand Trout Mtb @ Meulstroom Lodge, Wilge Vallay, Bronlhorstspruit
Apr 25 @ 7:00 am – Apr 27 @ 7:00 am
Apr
26
Fri
2019
joBerg2c @ Heidelberg
Apr 26 @ 7:00 am – May 4 @ 7:00 am

Day 1 – Karan Beef (Heidelberg) to VKB Frankfort Sports Grounds

Screen Shot 2018 06 12 at 12.28.32 1024x561 The Route

Day 2 – Frankfort School to VKB Reitz Showgrounds

Screen Shot 2018 06 12 at 12.28.54 1024x561 The Route

Day 3 – Reitz to VKB Sterkfontein Dam

Screen Shot 2018 06 12 at 12.29.11 1024x561 The Route

Day 4 – Sterkfontein Dam to Emseni Camp

Day 4 1024x538 The Route

Day 5 – Emseni to Clifton Nottingham Road

Day 5 1024x563 The Route

Day 6 – Clifton – Nottingham Rd to Glencairn Farm – Sani Pass Road

Day 6 1024x562 The Route

Day 7 – Glencairn Farm – Sani Pass Road to Mackenzie Club

Day 7 1024x564 The Route

Day 8 – MacKenzie Club (Ixopo) to Jolivet (Highflats)

Day 8 1024x564 The Route

Day 9 – Jolivet (Highflats) to Scottburgh Primary School – The “Champagne Stage” 

Day 9 1024x563 The Route

 

Trek 2 Teebus @ Steynsburg EC
Apr 26 @ 7:00 am – Apr 28 @ 7:00 am
May
3
Fri
2019
Gravel & Grape Extreme @ ATKV Goudini Spa
May 3 @ 6:00 am – May 5 @ 6:30 am
May
4
Sat
2019
Gravel & Grape Adventure 2-day @ ATKV Goudini Spa
May 4 – May 5 all-day
Gravel & Grape Extreme 2-day @ ATKV Goudini Spa
May 4 – May 5 all-day
The Houw Hoek Tour @ Houw Hoek Hotel, Elgin
May 4 – May 5 all-day

The Houw Hoek Tour is a non-competitive 2 day MTB stage event. The objective is to give MTB’s and newcomers to multi-stage events (NOT NEWCOMERS TO MTB) the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of scenic, fun and non-competitive riding. However, make sure that you are fit as each of the two stages are approximately 50 km, mostly on gravel roads (including jeep and single tracks) and that you can and love riding single tracks.

Event Dates 04 & 05 May 2019
Start times 08h00 on both days
Registration 14h00 – 20h00 on 03 May at the Houw Hoek Hotel & 06h00 – 07h30 on 04 May at the Houw Hoek Hotel
Start venue Houw Hoek Hotel, Elgin
1st Finish venue 4 May – Houw Hoek Hotel, on the lawn at the back of the hotel – see https://houwhoekhotel.com/ for map
2nd Finish venue 5 May – Whalehaven Winery at Wine Village at the Hermanus & Sandbaai robot intersection – see http://www.hpf1855.co.za/winery/cellar-location for map
Entries Online entries open at 08h00 on 01 March 2019 – ONLY 900 available entries
Entry fee R 950 per person (individual entries, not team entries), which excludes a Houwhoek event T-shirt, accommodation and meals.
An event T-Shirt can be ordered @R 100
and a long sleeve viscose sweater @R 200.
Luggage transfers Drop your bag on Sunday morning before the start of the Tour at the Registration venue and we will transport your bag from the Inn to Whalehaven Winery.
May
11
Sat
2019
Ridetheberg @ All Out Adventures
May 11 – May 12 all-day
May
14
Tue
2019
Sani2C – Trail 2019
May 14 @ 6:08 am – May 16 @ 7:08 am

Sani2c 2019 Trail

14-16 May 2019

3 days of amazing trails though KZN. From the majestic mountains of Sani Pass, Southern Drakensberg to the lapping shores of the warm Indian Ocean at Scottburgh Beach, KZN, South Coast.

Day 1

Start: Glencairn Farm, Himeville, 8am

Finish: MacKenzie Country Club, Eastwolds, Ixopo

Distance: 82km*

Total ascent: 1 295m*

Average max temp: 28.4°C

Sunrise (Sani): 6.33am

Sunset (MacKenzie): 5.18pm

Sani2c Day 2019

Day 2

Start: MacKenzie Country Club, Eastwolds, Ixopo, 6.30am

Finish: Jolivet, 10km south of Highflats

Distance: 99km*

Total ascent: 1 544m*

sani2c day 2 2019

Day 3

Start: Jolivet, 7am (except in the Race event – see times under Race Info)

Finish: Scottburgh Primary School, Scottburgh

Distance: 82km*

Total ascent: 883m*

sani2c day 3 2019

Included in entry:

Sani2C 

2 race villages with tented accommodation (a four-man tent to share with your partner).

A comfy high density Vitafoam mattress. You will need to bring your sleeping bag and pillow

3 meals a day plus a 24hour chill zone full of yummy goodies enough to pile on all you have just worked off!

Access to all the race facilities and improved permanent facilities i.e. hot showers, bike wash facility, rider chills zones with Clover Vanilla Milks etc.

Professional medical support by Berg Medical is included however you will need travel insurance in case of hospitalisation.

Full logistical support from Super Group who will transport your bag from race village to race village.

2 to 3 water points along the route with lots to eat and drink. We suggest you bring along your preferred bars or drinks. You don’t need to worry about going hungry. These tables are well stocked!

Enter: https://sani2c.co.za/home

May
15
Wed
2019
Sani2C – Adventure 2019
May 15 @ 6:40 am – May 17 @ 6:30 am

Sani2C Adventure

15 – 17 May 2019

3 days of amazing trails though KZN. From the majestic mountains of Sani Pass, Southern Drakensberg to the lapping shores of the warm Indian Ocean at Scottburgh Beach, KZN, South Coast.

Day 1

Start: Glencairn Farm, Himeville, 8am

Finish: MacKenzie Country Club, Eastwolds, Ixopo

Distance: 82km*

Total ascent: 1 295m*

Average max temp: 28.4°C

Sunrise (Sani): 6.33am

Sunset (MacKenzie): 5.18pm

Sani2c Day 2019

Day 2

Start: MacKenzie Country Club, Eastwolds, Ixopo, 6.30am

Finish: Jolivet, 10km south of Highflats

Distance: 99km*

Total ascent: 1 544m*

sani2c day 2 2019

Day 3

Start: Jolivet, 7am (except in the Race event – see times under Race Info)

Finish: Scottburgh Primary School, Scottburgh

Distance: 82km*

Total ascent: 883m*

sani2c day 3 2019

Included in entry:

Sani2C 

2 race villages with tented accommodation (a four-man tent to share with your partner).

A comfy high density Vitafoam mattress. You will need to bring your sleeping bag and pillow

3 meals a day plus a 24hour chill zone full of yummy goodies enough to pile on all you have just worked off!

Access to all the race facilities and improved permanent facilities i.e. hot showers, bike wash facility, rider chills zones with Clover Vanilla Milks etc.

Professional medical support by Berg Medical is included however you will need travel insurance in case of hospitalisation.

Full logistical support from Super Group who will transport your bag from race village to race village.

2 to 3 water points along the route with lots to eat and drink. We suggest you bring along your preferred bars or drinks. You don’t need to worry about going hungry. These tables are well stocked!

Enter: https://sani2c.co.za/home

 

May
16
Thu
2019
KAP sani2c Race @ Glencairn Farm
May 16 @ 7:00 am – May 18 @ 7:00 am
May
25
Sat
2019
DBX Mtb Stage Race @ Darling Western Cape
May 25 @ 6:00 am – May 26 @ 7:00 am
Jun
8
Sat
2019
The Liberty Waterberg Encounter @ Sondela Lodge
Jun 8 @ 7:00 am – Jun 10 @ 7:00 am
Jun
12
Wed
2019
RTR – Race to Rhodes @ Pietermaritzburg
Jun 12 @ 6:00 am – Jun 19 @ 6:30 am
Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal @ Umngazi River Bungalows
Jun 12 @ 6:30 am – Jun 16 @ 6:30 am
Jun
14
Fri
2019
The Katberg Quest @ Fort Beaufort
Jun 14 @ 6:30 am – Jun 16 @ 6:30 am
Jun
15
Sat
2019
The Greyt Escape @ Greyton
Jun 15 @ 6:00 am – Jun 17 @ 6:30 am
TRANS AUGRABIES MTB @ Riemvasmak
Jun 15 @ 6:30 am – Jun 17 @ 6:30 am
Jun
16
Sun
2019
RASA – Race Across South Africa @ Pietermaritzburg
Jun 16 @ 6:30 am – Jun 22 @ 6:15 am
Jun
17
Mon
2019
FISH RIVER SUN MTB CHALLENGE @ Fish River Sun Hotel
Jun 17 – Jun 18 all-day
Jul
5
Fri
2019
iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day @ iSimangaliso Wetland Park’s uMkhuze
Jul 5 @ 6:30 am – Jul 8 @ 6:30 am
Jul
14
Sun
2019
Imana Wild Ride @ Great Kei River
Jul 14 @ 7:00 am – Jul 18 @ 6:30 am
Jul
23
Tue
2019
Nedbank Tour de Tuli @ Botswana
Jul 23 @ 7:00 am – Jul 28 @ 7:00 am
Aug
17
Sat
2019
The UMKO Adventure @ Richmond Country Club
Aug 17 – Aug 18 all-day
36ONE MTB Challenge @ Kleinplaas Holiday Resort, Oudtshoorn
Aug 17 @ 6:30 am – Aug 19 @ 6:30 am
Jozi2Kozi Mountain Bike @ Luneberg
Aug 17 @ 6:30 am – Aug 24 @ 7:30 am
Aug
31
Sat
2019
GREYTON MTB TOUR @ Uitkyk Primary School, Greyton
Aug 31 – Sep 1 all-day

The Greyton Tour is a non-competitive 2 day MTB stage event. The objective is to give MTBs and newcomers to multi-stage events (NOT NEWCOMERS TO MTB) the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of scenic, fun and non-competitive riding. However, make sure that you are fit as each of the two stages are approximately 50km, mostly on gravel roads (including jeep and single tracks) and that you can, and enjoy riding flowing single tracks.

Event Dates 31 August & 01 September 2019
Start times 08h30 on both days
Registration 15h00 – 20h00 on 30 August at Uitkyk Primary School, Greyton & 07h00 – 08h00 on 31 August at Uitkyk Primary School
Start & Finish venue Uitkyk Primary School, Greyton- within walking distance of the center of Greyton
Entries Online entries open at 08h00 on Monday 03 June 2019
Entry fee R 950 per person (individual entries only, no team entries), which excludes accommodation and meals.
Sep
6
Fri
2019
Ride2Nowhere Long Route @ McGregor
Sep 6 @ 6:00 am – Sep 8 @ 7:00 am
Ride2Nowhere Short Route @ McGregor
Sep 6 @ 6:30 am – Sep 8 @ 6:30 am
Namaqua Quest Mountain Bike @ Springbok Inn Country Hotel, Street, Springbok, Northern Cape South Africa
Sep 6 @ 7:00 am – Sep 8 @ 7:00 am
Sep
8
Sun
2019
Cape Pioneer @ WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
Sep 8 @ 6:30 am – Sep 14 @ 7:30 am
Sep
19
Thu
2019
Dr Evil Classic @ Plettenberg Bay Game Farm
Sep 19 @ 6:30 am – Sep 21 @ 6:30 am
Sep
20
Fri
2019
3 Towers MTB Stage Race @ Mankele
Sep 20 @ 6:30 am – Sep 22 @ 6:30 am
Sep
27
Fri
2019
Lormar MTB Tour #Farmtrail @ Fairview Farm
Sep 27 @ 6:30 am – Sep 29 @ 6:30 am
The De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience @ De Hoop Vlei
Sep 27 @ 7:00 am – Sep 29 @ 7:00 am
Oct
12
Sat
2019
Berg & Bush 2 Day Original @ Emseni
Oct 12 @ 6:00 am – Oct 13 @ 7:00 am
Oct
25
Fri
2019
Wines2Whales Chardonnay @ Lourensford Wine Estate
Oct 25 @ 7:00 am – Oct 27 @ 7:00 am

Stage 1: 69km & 1 650m

Lourensford Wine Estate to Oak Valley Wine Estate

The elegant Lourensford Wine Estate marks the start of your three-day journey to Hermanus. The climbing starts almost immediately with a long and fairly steep gravel drag taking you up to the saddle, where you can enjoy spectacular views of Stellenbosch and Cape Town. From the saddle there’s a long and steep downhill so please take heed – it’s very fast with tight, blind corners and water humps. While you’re still on the Lourensford estate you’ll get to experience two new trails – Old Pine and JK’s Contour – and veterans of the W2W might notice that some trails from earlier years have been reintroduced, including Schoeman’s, Witboom and Canarie. Water Point 1 arrives at the 18km mark before the notoriously steep Vergelegen climb makes an appearance. It’s the toughest climb in the race but it’s not very long and the reward is a relatively easy passage to Water Point 2 (38km) at Idiom Vineyards, a superb spectator point. The iconic challenge of the day comes in the form of the historic Gantouw Pass – an old ox wagon trail and compulsory portage section where you can still see the grooves worn in the rocks by the Voortrekkers’ wagon wheels. The reward on the other side is some of the best singletrack in the country – the fabled A2Z network of Grabouw, which has been extensively rebuilt for this year’s event. A change from previous years sees Water Point 3 move to Grabouw Country Club,via the new Willie’s trail,  which now doubles up as a second spectator point and an excellent place to watch the racing or greet your favourite riders. The last 10km to the finish in Oak Valley offers a mix of singletracks and open vineyard roads. If you listen closely before you get to Oak Valley you’ll hear the race commentators welcoming riders home for a well-earned meal and recovery drink.
wines2whales

Stage 2: 66km & 1 350km

Oak Valley Wine Estate to Oak Valley Wine Estate

Dubbed ‘Play Day’, Stage 2 is one of the FNB Wines2Whales’s many drawcards, with sublime singletrack, manicured berms and mind-blowing descents. From the gun, riders will face a steep but short climb that will sort out positioning before entering the singletracks. The first 25km is fast and flowing with regular ups and downs. Riders will access Oak Valley via the signature contour experience – famous for its waterfall and gravity-defying cliff-face singletrack (JK’s Edge). Don’t look down! The real fun begins when you enter Paul Cluver via the new Rietvlei Roller and then on to the Witklippies contour trail, which culminates at the Amphitheatre with Water Point 2 (35km). From here the fun intensifies as the feature-laden rollercoasters of Raka, Swing, Ark, Cobra, Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder, Jakkels and Pine Singles send your heart rate into overdrive. The infamous Red Climb towards Lebanon village has been replaced by the new Trunk Trail singletrack along with the new flowing Huppeland will take you to Water Point 3 at Thandi next to the Hickory Shack Restaurant. The Thandi switchbacks which appear just after Water Point 3 at the 52km mark are the proverbial last sting in the tail before the thrilling, purpose-built KROMCO-PERI Play Park – redesigned this year to commemorate the 10th anniversary. From there it’s a 10km dash to the finish.
wines2whales

Stage 3: 72km & 1 250m

Oak Valley Wine Estate to the Marine Hotel, Hermanus

The third and final day of the FNB Wines2Whales is a challenging affair – especially with nearly 150km of riding and 3000m of climbing in the legs. Don’t be fooled by the route profile and make sure not to get sucked into racing dynamics early on – most of the climbing comes in the last 30km so save something for the end. The trickiest section of this stage is the Kat Pas descent just after the Houw Hoek trails. Caution is advised as this is a particularly fast downhill with a rocky, loose and sometimes quite rutted surface. Water Point 1 (24km) is located at the Botrivier School, a highlight for many owing to the incredible support from the local school children and supporters. The next 20km, which takes in a large portion of the Wildekrans trails before rising to Water Point 2 (43km), is arguably the most important section on Stage 3. It’s important that you pace yourself correctly as a nasty series of ups and downs await – the breath-taking Gaf-se-Bos and Hemel en Aarde trails. Here you’ll confront as many climbs as you will descents before the new route home, which includes a climb towards Rotary Way and a trail through the Hermanus Golf Course. The last few kilometres drop you into Hermanus and the magnificent Marine Hotel, where you’ll hopefully be welcomed home by the very whales that inspired the event.
wines2whales
Oct
28
Mon
2019
Wines2Whales Pinotage @ Lourensford Wine Estate
Oct 28 @ 7:00 am – Oct 30 @ 7:00 am

Stage 1: 69km & 1 650m

Lourensford Wine Estate to Oak Valley Wine Estate

The elegant Lourensford Wine Estate marks the start of your three-day journey to Hermanus. The climbing starts almost immediately with a long and fairly steep gravel drag taking you up to the saddle, where you can enjoy spectacular views of Stellenbosch and Cape Town. From the saddle there’s a long and steep downhill so please take heed – it’s very fast with tight, blind corners and water humps. While you’re still on the Lourensford estate you’ll get to experience two new trails – Old Pine and JK’s Contour – and veterans of the W2W might notice that some trails from earlier years have been reintroduced, including Schoeman’s, Witboom and Canarie. Water Point 1 arrives at the 18km mark before the notoriously steep Vergelegen climb makes an appearance. It’s the toughest climb in the race but it’s not very long and the reward is a relatively easy passage to Water Point 2 (38km) at Idiom Vineyards, a superb spectator point. The iconic challenge of the day comes in the form of the historic Gantouw Pass – an old ox wagon trail and compulsory portage section where you can still see the grooves worn in the rocks by the Voortrekkers’ wagon wheels. The reward on the other side is some of the best singletrack in the country – the fabled A2Z network of Grabouw, which has been extensively rebuilt for this year’s event. A change from previous years sees Water Point 3 move to Grabouw Country Club,via the new Willie’s trail,  which now doubles up as a second spectator point and an excellent place to watch the racing or greet your favourite riders. The last 10km to the finish in Oak Valley offers a mix of singletracks and open vineyard roads. If you listen closely before you get to Oak Valley you’ll hear the race commentators welcoming riders home for a well-earned meal and recovery drink.
wines2whales

Stage 2: 66km & 1 350km

Oak Valley Wine Estate to Oak Valley Wine Estate

Dubbed ‘Play Day’, Stage 2 is one of the FNB Wines2Whales’s many drawcards, with sublime singletrack, manicured berms and mind-blowing descents. From the gun, riders will face a steep but short climb that will sort out positioning before entering the singletracks. The first 25km is fast and flowing with regular ups and downs. Riders will access Oak Valley via the signature contour experience – famous for its waterfall and gravity-defying cliff-face singletrack (JK’s Edge). Don’t look down! The real fun begins when you enter Paul Cluver via the new Rietvlei Roller and then on to the Witklippies contour trail, which culminates at the Amphitheatre with Water Point 2 (35km). From here the fun intensifies as the feature-laden rollercoasters of Raka, Swing, Ark, Cobra, Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder, Jakkels and Pine Singles send your heart rate into overdrive. The infamous Red Climb towards Lebanon village has been replaced by the new Trunk Trail singletrack along with the new flowing Huppeland will take you to Water Point 3 at Thandi next to the Hickory Shack Restaurant. The Thandi switchbacks which appear just after Water Point 3 at the 52km mark are the proverbial last sting in the tail before the thrilling, purpose-built KROMCO-PERI Play Park – redesigned this year to commemorate the 10th anniversary. From there it’s a 10km dash to the finish.
wines2whales

Stage 3: 72km & 1 250m

Oak Valley Wine Estate to the Marine Hotel, Hermanus

The third and final day of the FNB Wines2Whales is a challenging affair – especially with nearly 150km of riding and 3000m of climbing in the legs. Don’t be fooled by the route profile and make sure not to get sucked into racing dynamics early on – most of the climbing comes in the last 30km so save something for the end. The trickiest section of this stage is the Kat Pas descent just after the Houw Hoek trails. Caution is advised as this is a particularly fast downhill with a rocky, loose and sometimes quite rutted surface. Water Point 1 (24km) is located at the Botrivier School, a highlight for many owing to the incredible support from the local school children and supporters. The next 20km, which takes in a large portion of the Wildekrans trails before rising to Water Point 2 (43km), is arguably the most important section on Stage 3. It’s important that you pace yourself correctly as a nasty series of ups and downs await – the breath-taking Gaf-se-Bos and Hemel en Aarde trails. Here you’ll confront as many climbs as you will descents before the new route home, which includes a climb towards Rotary Way and a trail through the Hermanus Golf Course. The last few kilometres drop you into Hermanus and the magnificent Marine Hotel, where you’ll hopefully be welcomed home by the very whales that inspired the event.
wines2whales
Nov
1
Fri
2019
Wines2Whales Shiraz @ Lourensford Wine Estate
Nov 1 @ 7:00 am – Nov 3 @ 7:00 am

Stage 1: 69km & 1 650m

Lourensford Wine Estate to Oak Valley Wine Estate

The elegant Lourensford Wine Estate marks the start of your three-day journey to Hermanus. The climbing starts almost immediately with a long and fairly steep gravel drag taking you up to the saddle, where you can enjoy spectacular views of Stellenbosch and Cape Town. From the saddle there’s a long and steep downhill so please take heed – it’s very fast with tight, blind corners and water humps. While you’re still on the Lourensford estate you’ll get to experience two new trails – Old Pine and JK’s Contour – and veterans of the W2W might notice that some trails from earlier years have been reintroduced, including Schoeman’s, Witboom and Canarie. Water Point 1 arrives at the 18km mark before the notoriously steep Vergelegen climb makes an appearance. It’s the toughest climb in the race but it’s not very long and the reward is a relatively easy passage to Water Point 2 (38km) at Idiom Vineyards, a superb spectator point. The iconic challenge of the day comes in the form of the historic Gantouw Pass – an old ox wagon trail and compulsory portage section where you can still see the grooves worn in the rocks by the Voortrekkers’ wagon wheels. The reward on the other side is some of the best singletrack in the country – the fabled A2Z network of Grabouw, which has been extensively rebuilt for this year’s event. A change from previous years sees Water Point 3 move to Grabouw Country Club,via the new Willie’s trail,  which now doubles up as a second spectator point and an excellent place to watch the racing or greet your favourite riders. The last 10km to the finish in Oak Valley offers a mix of singletracks and open vineyard roads. If you listen closely before you get to Oak Valley you’ll hear the race commentators welcoming riders home for a well-earned meal and recovery drink.
Stage icons: Lourensford and Vergelegen climbs, portage over Gantouw Pass, A2Z singletracks
Land Rover Technical Terrain: The Vergelegen climb, though just under 400 meters long features the steepest uphill gradient of the 2018 FNB Wines2Whales route. Riders will be wishing for four wheel drive and traction control when they reach it at the 28km mark.
Hendrico’s stage advice: Don’t get sucked in by the hype, nerves and emotions at the start – cycle at your own pace and find a rhythm, there’s still 60km to go. Stay calm and modulate your brakes on the downhills: they’re fast and somewhat technical at speed.
Terrain: Good quality gravel roads, dual tracks and singletracks. Gantouw Pass is the only portage section in the race – it’s steep, rocky and exposed to the elements.

Stage 2: 66km & 1 350km

Oak Valley Wine Estate to Oak Valley Wine Estate

Dubbed ‘Play Day’, Stage 2 is one of the FNB Wines2Whales’s many drawcards, with sublime singletrack, manicured berms and mind-blowing descents. From the gun, riders will face a steep but short climb that will sort out positioning before entering the singletracks. The first 25km is fast and flowing with regular ups and downs. Riders will access Oak Valley via the signature contour experience – famous for its waterfall and gravity-defying cliff-face singletrack (JK’s Edge). Don’t look down! The real fun begins when you enter Paul Cluver via the new Rietvlei Roller and then on to the Witklippies contour trail, which culminates at the Amphitheatre with Water Point 2 (35km). From here the fun intensifies as the feature-laden rollercoasters of Raka, Swing, Ark, Cobra, Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder, Jakkels and Pine Singles send your heart rate into overdrive. The infamous Red Climb towards Lebanon village has been replaced by the new Trunk Trail singletrack along with the new flowing Huppeland will take you to Water Point 3 at Thandi next to the Hickory Shack Restaurant. The Thandi switchbacks which appear just after Water Point 3 at the 52km mark are the proverbial last sting in the tail before the thrilling, purpose-built KROMCO-PERI Play Park – redesigned this year to commemorate the 10th anniversary. From there it’s a 10km dash to the finish.
Stage icons: Singletracks and Paul Cluver Amphitheatre. Mind-blowing trails of Waterfall, Vissie’s favourite, JK’s Edge, Sounds of Silence, Rietvlei, Witklippies 1 & 2, Raka, Swing, Ark, Cobra, Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder and Jakkels. KROMCO-PERI Play Park.
Land Rover Technical Terrain: The Pofadder Singletrack is without a doubt the most iconic of all the Elgin Valley’s serpentine inspired trails. Though it has matured into a more sculpted and flowing singletrack it is still more than worthy of the title of Land Rover Technical Terrain.
Hendrico’s stage advice: Ride as many singletracks as you can in preparation. Singletrack requires more concentration and work than open roads so work on your skills!
Terrain: Good quality gravel roads. Manicured berms, purpose-built singletrack. Nothing overly technical.

Stage 3: 72km & 1 250m

Oak Valley Wine Estate to the Marine Hotel, Hermanus

The third and final day of the FNB Wines2Whales is a challenging affair – especially with nearly 150km of riding and 3000m of climbing in the legs. Don’t be fooled by the route profile and make sure not to get sucked into racing dynamics early on – most of the climbing comes in the last 30km so save something for the end. The trickiest section of this stage is the Kat Pas descent just after the Houw Hoek trails. Caution is advised as this is a particularly fast downhill with a rocky, loose and sometimes quite rutted surface. Water Point 1 (24km) is located at the Botrivier School, a highlight for many owing to the incredible support from the local school children and supporters. The next 20km, which takes in a large portion of the Wildekrans trails before rising to Water Point 2 (43km), is arguably the most important section on Stage 3. It’s important that you pace yourself correctly as a nasty series of ups and downs await – the breath-taking Gaf-se-Bos and Hemel en Aarde trails. Here you’ll confront as many climbs as you will descents before the new route home, which includes a climb towards Rotary Way and a trail through the Hermanus Golf Course. The last few kilometres drop you into Hermanus and the magnificent Marine Hotel, where you’ll hopefully be welcomed home by the very whales that inspired the event.
Stage icons: Kat Pas descent after Houw Hoek, Botrivier town (look out for the crèches), Hemel en Aarde trails, new Marine Hotel finish.
Land Rover Technical Terrain: The Wildekrans Singletracks provide the final Land Rover Technical Terrain of the race as they flow through the koppies and ridgelines of the award winning wine farm. Scuplted by Braam Gericke they require focus and fitness to complete with speed.
Hendrico’s stage advice: Ride within your limits down the Kat Pas and remember 80% of the climbing is after the 40km mark. And save some energy for the new sting in the tail.
Terrain: Rocky climbs and descents. Sand and manicured trails upon entering Hemel en Aarde.