All about The Race
TransCapeMTB is a unique multistage endurance MTB race across the Western Cape in South Africa.
It offers the discerning mountain biker an endurance event with a perfect balance between a very tough on-the-bike challenge and a very comfortable and premium off-the-bike experience.
What does this mean?
Whilst our route philosophy is based on scenery, ride ability and enjoyment rather than pushing your bike over ancient unused trails, stages still range from 70-130km. And they are not flat. There will be calf-crunching climbs, white-knuckle descents and long days of facing off against the harshest of elements as you navigate some of the most scenic, but notoriously rugged and challenging mountain biking terrain South Africa has to offer. Now add the fact that it will be late summer with mid day temperatures topping 40°C. Therefore have no doubts, although this will be an incredible journey, it will certainly test your limitsand flush out some inner demons.
But there are rewards at the end of the day…
After very tough days in the saddle you will arrive at a ‘race village’ quite unlike the normal. Think ‘premium package’, only at the TransCape it comes standard. Given that this is a small field event we are able to base ourselves at a variety of lodges, guest houses and premium tented camps. Most nights we will have group dinner functions, but there will also be nights in guest houses where you will be able to kick back and find some quiet time to recoup for the next days challenge.
We also place a high premium on good food. Each night you will be able to refuel the tanks with the best local produce lovingly prepared by our hosts.
And what is good food without good wine in this part of the country? The antioxidant of choice to many an experienced mountain biker of these parts will also be one of the luxuries to help get those pistons firing at full strength again.
Not forgetting about your bike, we will have bike wash facilities available at all overnight venues as well as a dedicated bike mechanic team that will be offering special maintenance packages.
So we invite you to come saddle it up in the emerald heart of the scenic Garden Route. Crank your way into the verdant indigenous forests bristling beyond Knysna’s rugged shoreline. Cross the towering Outeniqua as you duel with gravity en route to the stunning, semi arid Klein Karoo.
Experience the best karoo lamb and warm hospitality of this special place, then saddle up and say goodbye to this unforgettable semi-desert. Pedal ever onwards as you navigate the remote gravel roads and secret single-tracks meandering via the hills and dales of the Overberg, a region resplendent with patchwork fields and lush grassland.
Ahead lies the Cape’s picturesque Winelands, but first you must conquer the craggy ranges shaping a natural barrier between you and your destination. Champaign on the top of Franschhoek pass and the finish line await, as do memories which will last a lifetime.
TransCapeMTB – a singularly unique experience that combines hard core endurance mountain bike stage racing with luxury, comfort and 5 star food
You had better be wearing your big girl panties, because the TransCape is not flat or easy. We do not believe in suffering, but a fair deal of blood, sweat and tears are an integral part of what makes any MTB event memorable. So yes, every one of our riders should be able to finish the event if they trained for it, but do not expect it to be a breeze.
Diverse terrain and the full brunt of the harsh African elements will be there to face off to every morning when you saddle up, with daily stages constituting anything from 70km to 130km, with distances depending on relevant technical and geographic challenges.
The Cape summer is not for sissies, and February just happens to coincide with red-hot temperatures and severe weather conditions. Extreme heat, thunderstorms, potentially freezing nights, gale force winds… all we can say is bring your A Game!
An adequate training programme – supplemented by a focused nutrition plan – will help to ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared for anything that Mother Nature and the TransCape MTB route throw at you.
So, although we will endeavour to make sure the route is well marked – with strategically placed water points and a few welcome surprises along the way – it is essential that all riders are self-sufficient en route, with ample hydration, food and bike spares to handle these extremes.
* Please note:
The race takes place during daytime and all the teams are obliged to reach specific points before the specified cut-off time for such a point. If a team fails to reach these deadlines, they may still participate in the rest of the race, but in an unofficial capacity and they will no longer be timed. The same rules are applicable to solo riders.
Both team members must complete each stage together and within the stipulated timeframe if they wish to qualify for official positions. Team members must always ride together (within a timeframe of maximum 2 minutes apart) as some section of the route traverse inhospitable and remote terrain.
The first team to complete all stages successfully will be declared the overall winner. In addition, winning teams will be declared for the respective individual categories as well.
Solo’s are non-racing, unless we have more than 10 solo entries.
You’ve heard the cliché ‘It is about the journey, not the destination’, right? Well, the thing is that you cannot have a proper journey without a Point A and a Point B. This is what first got us started on the TransCape MTB concept …
We’ve done dozens of South African MTB Stage Races and rides, and the ones we’ve enjoyed most have been those events that took us on a linear journey through this wonderful country we call home. You start somewhere real and you finish somewhere real.
Progression along a multi-day journey such as this goes hand in hand with your personal transformation, passing through the landscape experiencing the scenery from forest to fynbos to grassland to desert – and then all the way back again – your soul and your spirit will soar in tandem with the geographic ebb and flow.
We’ve said all along that for us, ‘it is about the ride, not about the race’. We want all our TransCape MTB riders to have the time to immerse themselves within every nuance their route will offer on the day. The smell of the Karoo scrub as you pedal through the Rooiberg; the distant rumble of thunder as summer storms strafe the plains beyond Calitzdorp; the raucous racketing call of Knysna touraco in the Podocarpus Yellowwoods towering above you and your bike as you navigate the forests from the starting line…
Don’t get us wrong. We know the needs of the mountain biking fraternity, and that there will always be people out there keen to put the hammer down and race for the line. But we also want those Regular Joe’s, Weekend Warriors and Middle-Packers to be an integral part of this amazing TransCape MTB journey.
Our dream is that our route organiser will make you fall in love with the countryside the route will traverse. Small towns you’ve barely heard of will pop up on your radar and, instead of creating the archetypal race village, we’d like our riders to disperse into these “dorpies”, eating “koeksisters” and downing mugs of “boeretroos”, while soaking up the special spirit of the “Platteland”.
To end off, we feel that some of the humanity has been lost in the process of creating MTB races which pass through towns without bringing lasting benefit. TransCape MTB will be slick, but it will always have heart, and we will engage with everyone – including those non-bike people we pass on the way – to share our special brand of passion.
And yes, everyone who enters this amazing race WILL be a VIP!!