The Liberty Winelands Encounter to be held in the Western Cape next month will undergo a number of refinements to ensure it offers riders a memorable experience.
Part of the Encounter series, which includes the TransCape and Waterberg, this three-day event takes place in the Cape Winelands from April 13 to 15.
Trails will cover areas adjacent to Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.
Route designer Johan Kriegler said they were busy fine-tuning the routes to ensure they suited riders of all levels.
“For example, we found that the original start from Stellenbosch was quite tough as it included the Botmaskop climb, while the switchback climbs were too technical.”
He said this year’s race would start at Zorgvliet Wine Estate at the top of Botmaskop, making it a bit more manageable.
Cyclists would face a combination of single-track, jeep-track and gravel roads, added Kriegler.
“Stage one, which includes the Boschendal and Franschhoek single-track sections, has about 70% gravel roads.
“The second stage starts and finishes at the Le Franschhoek Hotel and does a circular route around the Bergriver Dam.
“The final stage starts at the hotel and finishes at the Nederburg Wine Estate, with plenty of open gravel roads.”
Having already received a positive response, with the all-inclusive package virtually sold out, ASG Events acting chief executive Fritz Pienaar believes they are well placed to attract a variety of cyclists.
“This is a perfect event for riders of all levels who want to do a stage race which has an element of luxury,” he said.
“They will experience some awesome trails in one of the most popular mountain-biking regions in the country, with three days of riding which are not as difficult as many other stage races.”