Route profiles, elevation and information about every stage in the TransCape race.
STAGE 1 | Montagu
Ascent: 1 600m
Start Location: Redberry Farm (George)
Finish Location: La Plume (Volmoed/Oudtshoorn)
Your TransCape journey kicks off in the beautiful Garden Route town of George, at the foot of the majestic Outiniqua mountains. The race registration venue at Redberry Farm is also the start line for Stage 1. An easy roll on the tar neutral zone followed by a short gravel section gets the legs warmed up and leads you straight towards the mountains and your first climb of TC22. From there the winding jeep track contours take you through mountain fynbos and indigenous forest. You exit this fun stretch at the Outeniqua Pass crossing and then it is straight onto the main feature of S1, the grand old Montagu Pass. The surface is generally good but rocky in some sections and kicks up to 15% at its steepest. Once on top, take a moment to admire the view and freshen up at WP1. The next 30km’s or so is all beautiful, fast-flowing gravel as you leave the lush garden route behind and work your way deep into the warm heart of the Klein Karoo. There is a short jeep track section along the old road halfway through the beautiful Paardepoort section. Shortly after passing through the ‘world famous’ Zebra Station, we hit another of the feature sections, a super fun fast-flowing jeep track farm crossing that exits at WP3. From here it is a fast run on open gravel as you head toward the majestic Swartberge in the distance and the beautiful backcountry settlement of Volmoed and the finish line at La Plume. A very well balanced and enjoyable opening stage that has a bit of everything.
STAGE 2 | Rooiberg
Ascent: 1 300m
Start Location: La Plume (Volmoed/Oudtshoorn)
Finish Location: Rooiberg Lodge (Van Wyksdorp)
As both the name and the profile suggest, this stage is all about one of the legends in Klein Karoo mountain biking, the majestic Rooiberg Pass. It is a stage of 2 halves, with the opening 45km being predominantly fast flowing gravel as we work our way along with one of the Klein Karoo’s many scenic backcountry roads as it twists and turns its way along the foothills of the splendid Gamka and Rooiberg mountains. It is advisable to travel in groups and to keep your powder dry in the first half as all the work is yet to come. Crossing the Gouritz river and entering the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve marks the start of the second, and very different, half. It will also be warming up by now and you will undoubtedly already be breaking a sweat as the pass comes into view. Stock up well at WP2 and then ease into your assault of the Rooiberg Pass. It is truly a special place to be on a bike, so ignore the burn in your legs and enjoy every moment of this special climb. WP3 at the top offers sweet relief and some of the best views of this Klein Karoo heaven. The descent is very fast and although the surface is generally good, the speed can make it treacherous. The final 12km homestretch is not all downhill though as you work your way through the foothills and up to the finish line at Rooiberg Lodge where warm hospitality, cold beer and a cool swimming pool awaits! A perfect gravel grinder stage… with ONE BIG CLIMB.
STAGE 3 | Kanga
Ascent: 1 500m
Start Location: Rooiberg Lodge (Van Wyksdorp)
Finish Location: Kweekkraal Guest Farm (Riversdale)
The first of the three long stages of TC22. The scenic reserve road heading out from Rooiberg Lodge winds through the reserve and is sure to get you in the mood for another great day on the bike! We take a right turn out of the reserve and start to work our way southward through some more great rolling back roads. We cross a river, followed by an enjoyable private farm section that links us back up to the main Van Wyksdorp road. A quick gravel dash later and you find yourself at the entrance of the by now legendary Kanga section. The next 35km is some truly honest mountain biking through private game farms teeming with wildlife and spectacular scenery. This is certainly one of my favourite TransCape sections. Just you, your bike and some truly unique wilderness …and the KangaKrusher. Get up this short sharp double stinging beast without pushing and you will have something to beat your chest about at dinner tonight! We exit the Kanga at the foot of Garcia Pass. This mainly tar section winds gently upwards through one of the most pristine fynbos environments you will ever see. From the top of Garcia it used to be ‘sit back and enjoy the ride home’ time, but not in this edition. Use the decent and easy roll towards Riversdale to recharge the battery as there is still plenty of work to do. We take a right turn just before town and head back out west on some open gravel before the last mainly jeep track section presents you with the last few challenges of the day before the finish line at the beautiful Kweekkraal Guest Farm. A true journey stage that has it all.
STAGE 4 | Milk & Honey
Ascent: 1 600m
Start Location: Kweekkraal Guest Farm (Riversdale)
Finish Location: Gaikou Lodge (Swellendam)
We head north out of Kweekkraal Guest Farm and get the legs burning early on as the farm jeep track takes us over some short sharp climbs. Linking back up with the gravel it is almost straight into the Milk and Honey climb that takes us up to the high point of the day. The scenery is superb with ever-changing mountain views, river crossings and peaceful farm settings with the odd early morning bovine ‘traffic jam’. The second big climb of the day hits you around the halfway mark. Graveyard Climb is a long drag that gets steeper towards the top, but once up and over, the rewards are immediate. The fast-flowing single track and gravel drop back down into the valley is fast and fun and a short jeep track takes you to the by now legendary WP2 at Moody farm. Once re-fueled it is time to tuck down and get your roadie on for a fast gravel grind followed by a 12km fast flat tar stretch on either side of the characterful little town of Suurbraak. We leave the tar and turn back towards the mountains, up a short sharp climb and through some more beautiful private land. From here it is a quick dash down to the Buffeljags dam wall and a short stretch along the river to the crossing point. Once out the other side, you are basically into the homestretch. Bomb it along the flowing forest road and through the short, fun single-track section, but don’t forget about the stinging little hill just outside town… At least you will be hearing the music and smelling the boerewors by now, so just smash this climb and then enjoy the downhill run into the finish line at the beautiful Gaikou Lodge. ‘Milk & Honey’, generally the toughest stage on TransCape, is sure to deliver another memorable day of MTB’ing!
STAGE 5 | Never-ending River
Ascent: 1 400m
Start Location: Gaikou Lodge (Swellendam)
Finish Location: The Oaks Estate (Greyton)
A long neutral zone straight down the main road of Swellendam takes us westwards out of town and over the river. With the majestic Langeberg as backdrop, the first 30km of open rolling farm road through orchards, wheat and canola fields is spectacular in the early morning mist. Once we cross the Breërivier we start heading south towards the Riviersonderend mountains. Here the terrain changes as we head into a most enjoyable private farm and jeep track section, crossing through the lower foothills. Once up and over the other side, some spectacular views of the Overberg open up before you. Take a minute to savour the view before heading down the fast drop towards the ‘river that never ends’. Here a fun and fast-rolling back road wedged between the ever-rising mountain on your right and the river to your left takes you all the way to the crossing just below the town of Riviersonderend. Some portage is required here, but nothing too hectic as the river is quite low this time of year. Once safely across, it is a quick and characterful run through the outskirts of town to the next water point. The mountains continue to frame the rest of your journey as you keep hugging the foothills, rolling along more glorious jeep track through orchards, fields and fynbos. This enjoyable section exits onto the main Greyton road approximately 15km from the finish line. From here it is a fast and furious (…or leisurely) gravel dash to the stunning ‘The Oaks Estate’ finish venue where cool green lawns under majestic oak trees, and plenty more ice-cold beers, await.
STAGE 6 | Bakenkop
Ascent: 1 100m
Start Location: The Oaks Estate (Greyton)
Finish Location: Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate (Botrivier)
Starting at The Oaks, we have a quick run on the main Greyton road before we hang a left for a short jeep track farm crossing through the orchards and over the low water bridge at Oewerzight. From here we head west for about 7km on another nice easy flowing back road towards the main feature of the day, the famous Bakenkop singletracks. This is arguable one of the coolest single-track sections in the country, firstly winding up the valley before its famed switchbacks kick straight upward. Recent work on the switchbacks has eased them out significantly resulting in an even more rideable and enjoyable experience. But please don’t just rush up and over, take a moment near the top to look back and admire one of the best views your bike will ever take you to. The descent down the other side is mildly technical but taken easily it is only fun, fun and fun. We exit the Bakenkop section onto a lengthy middle section of fast-rolling gravel up to WP1 at about 25 kms. Refuelled we keep heading west and link into the Middleplaas road. This lengthy gravel section has a long drag up to the 40km mark, but you are well rewarded with a super-fast run all the way down the other side. At the bottom, we hook a right onto the Swartrivier road that takes us to WP2 at Boontjieskraal. Refuel well here as your final section of TC22 is still a tester. We slip under the N2 via a culvert that requires some dismounting and then we start working our way up the valley. There are a couple of very short very steep climbs on the winding jeep track up the valley before a fast descent down the other side. Gabrielskloof Wine Estate sits on a hill and the only way there is back up for the last 1.5km. As you roll through the beautiful Gabrielskloof entrance and up the main brick road you will have time to sit up and think back on your journey before rolling through the finish arch right in front of the restaurant where family and friends await a very well-deserved hero’s welcome.