The 2018 TransCape mountain-bike stage race has been awarded official UCI ranking, and as a result the incredible event has been catapulted into a select group of only a handful of mountain bike races internationally in which mountain-bikers can earn UCI world ranking points.
The seven-day race, which was only established in 2015, has rapidly become one of the most prestigious and sought-after mountain bike races in South Africa and it has already attracted some top riders.
The event, driven by Volvo, has also secured title sponsorship from a well-known South African corporate giant – an announcement in this regard will be made next week – so the added hot-off-the-press UCI sanctioning news bodes very well for the future of TransCape.
TransCape takes place over 7 stages, 630km and 10 200m of vertical ascent from the picturesque Garden Route town of Knysna to Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands in South Africa from 4-10 February 2018.
It presents an unequalled experience that combines hard-core mountain biking with luxury, comfort, and great food. The event has earned a reputation as mountain biking’s most luxurious tour in South Africa.
UCI ranking now ensures that the event offers UCI rankings points to finishers, which increases their value as pro cyclists and assists in nations’ qualification for Olympic Games, World Championship and World Cup events.
“The elevation of TransCape to UCI status makes it an attractive proposition for local and international professionals,” said local pro and former Olympian Philip Buys, who finished runner-up in the National MTB Series behind PYGA EuroSteel teammate Matthys Beukes recently.
“To have UCI status is very good for events of this nature,” Buys said after confirmation was received earlier today.
“It plays a big role for riders who want to improve their seeding for World Cup events and it’s ideal to have more races on the local scene for our cyclists to do that.”
TransCape boasts a prize purse of R250 000, which is well within the UCI’s requirements. UCI sanctioning also brings with it a windfall of international media coverage, all of which attracts South Africa’s best riders as well as a top international field.
“TransCape is distinguished by its paranoid focus on service levels and hospitality,” says Wynand de Villiers, CEO of ASG Events, the TransCape organising entity.
“We know it’s tough enough on the bike, hence there is no reason to test riders’ patience and tenacity off the bike and on vital on-route rider support.
“That’s why our waterpoints at TransCape are always fully stocked with delicious eats and drinks, thanks to Woolworths, and our technical crew are regularly on hand to assist on route.
“Our meal servings have no equal, thanks to celebrity chef Nic van Wyk, and our luxury tents boast beds with duvets… and even electric blankets for those very cold winter’s evenings!
De Villiers explains that from the moment riders arrive at TransCape “they are wrapped in a cotton wool and there is no need for outside seconding or assistance”.
TransCape is limited to 270 riders and the popularity of the event has really been fuelled by the fact that it’s a total plug and play luxury solution for mountain-bikers.
“You simply enter, book at technical service package with one of our two world classic suppliers, book your daily massages with EPT Recovery and pack your 110 litre Scicon travel bag with all your necessities for the week.
“And off you go on a wondrous journey which has no equal from the back of the saddle,” he smiles.
The organisation also arranges for clothes washing to be done at the various guest houses and hotels along the way.
While you relax in the Volvo chill zone with bottomless CBC beer and La Couronne wines, bikes are washed and lubed daily and transferred to the technical back-up crews if they need attention – ready to be collected at the bike park the following morning.
Riders in the premier package are shuttled to their hotels and guest houses daily in the luxury of the impressive Volvo XC90s while the luxury tented guys simply walk over and sink away on soft beds for an afternoon nap.
With a limit of 270 entries, the stated mission of TransCape is to try and guarantee every rider’s experience on the trails as well as a high level of hospitality off the bike where you’re not regarded as just another number in the event.
“At TransCape no expense is saved and no stone unturned to ensure a memorable journey for the entire field,” assured De Villiers.