FRIDAY 13 APRIL
MATIES CRICKET CLUB HOUSE AT COETZENBURG CRICKET FIELDS TO LE FRANSCHHOEK HOTEL
Distance: 54km; Total ascent: 1300m
The first stage incorporates some world famous trails, including the Banhoek Trails, the impressive single track at Boschendal Estate, the equally legendary Skyfall single track on Bartiney Estate on Helshoogte and a purposely built single track around the Bergriver Dam.
Overall the vertical ascent on the stage has come down significantly over the past two years mainly courtesy of some wonderful new route access the event has received over the prestigious L’Ormirans Estate.
Boschendal, one of the largest Wine Farms in the world, recently completed a wonderful array of delightfully flowing single track. The Encounter doesn’t access the intimidating Boschendal single track high up on the Simonsberg, instead we remain lower down and include the Inferno and Sugar bowl sections which are lightning fast and non-technical.
After exiting Boschendal on the Drakenstein Mountain Range side, the route will enter the L’Ormirans Wine Farm, home of the world famous Franschhoek Motor Museum for some well earned free voyager miles on the beautifully sculpted farm roads on the farm (numerous of which are even paved!).
Instead of going high up towards the impressive Drakenstein Mountain on L’Ormirans the event will remain lower down just above the motor museum on the escarpment, which will make this section nice and quick compared to last year.
A final tweak on stage will come before the Bergriver Dam where riders won’t do the big climb before the dam. Again the route will remain lower down before accessing the purposely built single track around the Dam before the final undulation towards the finish line at Le Franschhoek Hotel.
SATURDAY 14 APRIL
LE FRANSCHHOEK HOTEL TO KLEINE VALLEIJ
Distance: 57km; Total ascent: 1300m
Relatively easy riding, with the route skirting most of the mountain ranges of the Winelands, including Drakenstein, Du Toitskloof and Hawekwa mountains. The major climb of the day starts at Cascade Manor on some beautifully cut single track and takes the riders up to Hawekwa Plantation. From here, there are breathtaking views of the Winelands and all the way to the Swartland, followed by exhilarating riding to the finish at Kleine Valleij.
The stage also includes a trip through the Drakenstein Prison. In the prison, formerly known as Victor Verster, the event will pass by the famous statue of Nelson Mandela which was erected following his release from the prison in the early nineties, and riders will also pass by the house in which he was held captive during the latter years of his incarceration.
SUNDAY 15 APRIL
Distance 48km; Total ascent: 1100m
Supposed to be a fun day, but definitely not without some proper climbing. The day includes some of the famous Cape Epic trails such as Rollercoaster, Point Break, Cool Runnings and the Bobsled. Riders will experience a day filled with beautiful trails, views and all the Winelands has to offer.
The Route Profiles
54km, 1300m ascent
57km, 1300m ascent
48km, 1100m ascent