The TransCape MTB race organisers will provide a new challenge for riders after introducing a single-track section called the Greyton Black in the multi-stage race beginning on Sunday.
Positioned on the penultimate stage on the stretch between Greyton and Genadendal, route director Wayne Collett said the TransCape would be the first to experience one of the “most spectacular single-track sections in the country”.
He said the single-track segment would test the riders’ technical skills as they contemplated the closing stages of the seven-day, 650km journey from Knysna to Franschhoek.
“It is by far the most technical section,” he said. “This one is up in the hills and you need to know what you are doing, although it’s not that long – only about 5km.”
He said the Greyton Black single-track was the most significant addition of the changes they had made to the route.
“People will spend a lot more time on that section now. What used to take you five minutes now requires about 45 minutes.”
Besides the Greyton Black, Collett said the queen stage on the second day would also certainly capture the riders’ attention.
“Firstly, it’s the distance of 135km and secondly it is the stage with the most climbing.
“There is over 2 000m of ascent, including one of the bigger climbs on the TransCape in the Montagu Pass, which comes at the beginning.”
Collett said a third factor which came into play was the heat and he warned riders to ensure they were always properly hydrated.
“As the queen stage is the longest in the TransCape, the heat does come into play because most of the riders will be out in the sun for a longer period.”
He added that the heat would be a factor throughout the event as it could rise to above 40 degrees Celsius in some areas.
“They will definitely get to those levels in some places and you have to make sure you have enough sustenance to get you through each day.”
Collett said he did not think the wind would play that big a factor in a mountain biking event, although he added things could get tricky on the feature climb of the race at Groenlandberg.
This comes on the seventh and final stage and provides the riders with the biggest ascent of the TransCape, which is presented by ASG Events.
“Coming on the last day, Groenlandberg is very high, which gives it a climate of its own.
“So you can have a strong wind at the top and that can often make the descent a little difficult.”
Stage 1 – Knysna to Wilderness (80km)
Stage 2 – George to Van Wyksdorp (135km)
Stage 3 – Van Wyksdorp to Riversdal (81km)
Stage 4 – Riversdal to Swellendam (103km)
Stage 5 – Swellendam to Greyton (112km)
Stage 6 – Greyton to Villiersdorp (68km)
Stage 7 – Villiersdorp to Franschhoek (78km)