Joberg2C Day 9 – Jolivet (Highflats) to Scottburgh The Old Mutual Wealth “Champagne Stage”

Day 9 – Jolivet (Highflats) to Scottburgh The Old Mutual Wealth “Champagne Stage” 

Last but not least! A neutral day to celebrate the spirit of mountain biking. Dress in something green!!!

Distance: 84km
Ascent: 854m
Descent: 1551m

After the tender steaks and one or two beers with the Highflats farmers, it is time to head for the coast on the last day of this incredible journey. In years gone by it was considered a rest day but with an incredible new single-track through lush sub-tropical vegetation, day 9 is no longer a gentle pedal to the coast. It is not a hard day by comparison to what you would have endured over the 8 days, but it now has more mountain biking and less off-road riding.

For 2017 we have decided to make day 9 a neutral day. It is still a timed day and compulsory if you want to get your finishers medal. However we have decided that after 7 days of racing and a long ride we should take the edge off and just enjoy the last day without the rush.

The day starts by passing through one of the country’s most manicured sugar cane farms whose roads will afford you the opportunity to appreciate its beauty. A long, quick descent through Whitley’s farm will split the field, as will the first hard climb – Clint’s climb. Soon after the climb the single-track “rollercoasters” into new surroundings experienced at every turn.

Sweeping cane roads will move the tour along at a surprisingly brisk pace from farm to farm on its journey to the coast. A few short steep climbs will remind your legs why they needed the training, as will the steep technical climb fondly known as Work To Be Done. This climb will feature as a little test of how far you have come. If you are strong you should try climb it without dabbing your feet.

An interesting change in terrain will lead you into the tracks of Vernon Crooke’s Nature Reserve and on to some spectacular single-track through Mtagati coastal bush. Look out for the wildlife and appreciate the herd of cheeky Zebra that often escort cyclists through their plains. Shortly after Vernon Crooke’s, prepare for two surprises that will punish those who start too ambitiously and who are now scratching in the bunch.

There was a change in the route for 2013. Instead of turning up towards Heart Rate Hill one continues down the valley and under the R56 tar road. This route adds a further 8km to the previous route but takes away Heart Rate and adds some amazing new sections.

After crossing under the R56, riders flow down the river valley for 12km towards Esparanza. There a specially constructed underpass takes you on to a spectacular section named Ricky’s Rail. This old railway route winds down the banks of the Kelso River and onto Dave Toil which is a purpose-dug track taking you out of the valley up onto an old golavaan track fondly known as Lost and Found. It is on this single-track that mountain bikers will experience up and close pristine south coast bush.

A gentle climb known as Dump Hill will join you into the spectacular trails of Ellingham Estate. Andre’s Underpass leads you back under the R56 and into Andre’s Ambush. This is another great initiative which not only serves the race but offers year-round off-road safe passage for local mountain bikers wanting to ride the Ellingham trails. An exhilarating finish through Moodie Lane leads to the sea at Scottburgh main beach where the finish line awaits together with family and supporters.

Feel justifiably proud and thankful that you have achieved a feat that many would never consider. Be grateful that you are strong and healthy as you celebrate the successful completion of a life experience. You are on your way to becoming a legend. Well done!

We may change routes at the last minute without warning in case of safety (surprise timber felling) or weather issues.