2018 Route Preview
7 DAYS – 7 STAGES – 614KM – 10 200M ASCENT
The route for the 2018 edition of the TransCape has been unveiled and new route director Pieter van Wyk, in conjunction with route consultant, Johan Kriegler, have unearthed some sublime route options for the iconic 7-day mountain-bike adventure which links Knysna in the Garden Route to Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands.
Riders will cover a total of 614km over 7 stages with a total of 10 200m of vertical ascent.
True to the spirit of the race, the 2018 TransCape will be tough, but our aim with the route is to create variety and making the entire route rideable. This entails some route building for 2018 as well as the creation of bridges to ensure we don’t wade through rivers waist deep.
They have taken sensible route options which don’t include climbs with long unrideable rocky gradients. They have tempered the climbing challenges to between 1000m and 1600m daily, with the exception of stage 2 (1900m) and the final stage (1850m).
Our stages for 2018 will feature the following routing:
STAGE 1: Knysna to Wilderness – 77km; 1200m ascent
The stage starts at the Knysna Waterfront but instead of heading out of town on the tar road towards George we ride over the lagoon via the old railway bridge which culminates in some fine single track. We are including various sections of the Garden Route Trail Park to create some delightful variety before going down Swartvlei Farm and along the Lakes to the Wilderness Hotel finish.
STAGE 2 – Wilderness to Mossel Bay – 86km; 1900m ascent
The stage starts at Wilderness Hotel, up White’s gravel road and two historic passes into the Saasveld/George/Witfontein single track. Then it’s across the Outeniqkwa Pass into MTO Jonkersberg, along the Outeniqkwa mountain, down towards Groot Brak and along a coastal single track to finish at ATKV Hartenbos.
STAGE 3: Mossel Bay to Riversdale – 107km; 1600m ascent
Stage start at ATKV Hartenbos and we ride lots of gravel and farm roads towards Riversdale. We cross the Gourits River at the only operational Rietvlei Drif before finishing at CJ Langenhoven School in Riversdale.
STAGE 4: Riversdale to Swellendam – 100km; 1300m ascent
The stage starts at the School going out on the Vetrivier road before some contour riding via the Klein – en groot Kagga and the Duiwenhoks gravel road. Then it’s onto the Grootvadersbos single track and Suurbraak before crossing the Buffelsjags River and finishing at Gaiko Lodge in Swellendam.
STAGE 5: Swellendam to Greyton – 104km; 1400m ascent
We start at the Lodge and go out via Swellendam town and then onto the Bruintjieskraal gravel road. Just before it gets boring we go left towards the Riviersonderend and the Breede River – crossing with a boat to land at Kambati. Then it’s riding along the river – over the Riviersonderend river on a very old rusty steel plate bridge – up the old Oxwagon Stromsvlei trail – along the DR 1306 towards Riviersonderend town and then gravel roads towards Greyton. The last 5km is wicked single track into Greyton to finish at the EcoLodge in Greyton.
STAGE 6: Greyton to Houwhoek – 67km; 950m ascent
The stage starts at EcoLodge and goes out towards Houwhoek via gravel roads and the Genadendal, Voorstekraal and Berea single track. We then hit the Middelvlei gravel road, which presents contour riding towards Botriver, before going up the old historic Kat Pass. Then it’s a short single track to finish at the Houwhoek Inn.
STAGE 7: Houwhoek to Franschhoek – 73km; 1850m ascent
We start the final day at the Houwhoek Inn along the old N2 and past Lebanon Hamlet to enjoy the Paul Cluver and Oak Valley trails. We ride up old historic Viljoenspass, along and down Nuweberg and via the back of the Theewaterskloof Dam before summiting Franschhoek Pass to finish at La Couronne in Franschoek. The finish line will be at La Couronne itself for 2018 and not at the top of the pass.