Mountain bike enthusiasts looking for the ultimate physical test, but who still want to enjoy their creature comforts all while racing through one of the most picturesque regions of South Africa, better get their entries in for the new “kid on the block” in local mountain bike stage racing, the TransCape MTB Cycle Race.
The seven-day event, set to be held for the first time from February 8 to 14, 2015, will see the field tested to their limits on a classic route that will take them from the start, in the quaint coastal town of Knysna, to the finish line in the Stellenbosch, Franschoek region in the heart of the Cape winelands.
Covering a distance of about 750km the race, which has CSA approval, will showcase the best South African mountain biking has to offer. While it will provide a stern but fair challenge for pro riders, dedicated amateur mountain bikers will also find it achievable with every finisher sure to leave with a true sense of accomplishment.
The direction of the race will alternate each year and has been put together by a dedicated and experienced team of sports enthusiasts.
Open to individual riders and teams of two cyclists (men’s/women’s/mixed) and disabled competitors the entry fees are R28 000 per team and R16 000 per solo entrant. There will also be a TREAD Buffalo category (at no additional fee) for teams with a combined rider weight of at least 180kg and individual division for cyclists weighing more than 90kg.
Race owner, Lenore Collett says this event is for the discerning mountain biker. “It is an exclusive event which offers a challenging seven-stage on-the-bike race coupled with a first-class off-the-bike experience, with each competitor being treated like a VIP.”
Accommodation (included in the entry fee) will be provided at guest houses and not in tented camps like many other events of this nature while the culinary expertise of renowned chef, Nic van Wyk, has been brought on board to oversee the cyclists’ dietary requirements.
“While we aim to provide riders a healthy dining experience on the trip we still want our competitors to get a taste and feel of the Cape. So after a long day in the saddle hungry and tired bodies will be revitalised with a tantalising culinary experience that will showcase local cuisine,” says Collett.
With this in mind Van Wyk, who is also an avid mountain biker, will incorporate his brand of healthy regionally inspired dishes into the competitors’ daily meals, adding a gourmet element to the TransCape MTB Cycle Race experience.
The race will also have a strong social responsibility focus. “As this event will have a fixed route it makes it possible to invest and make a sustainable difference in the communities that the race passes through every year,” comments Collett.
And true to their word the organisers have already teamed up with Rotary as its official charity partner which will facilitate the support of various worthy projects on the TransCape route, ensuring sustainability.
To maximise the experience and make each rider feel like a star the field for the first event will be kept relatively small so interested mountain bikers are urged to get their entries in now – by visiting www.transcapemtb.co.za – to avoid disappointment. Closing date is September 30.
To earn a true badge of honour, do the TransCape MTB event next year and experience the best cycling seven days of your life!”