Road & MTB Combine At Cape Duo Challenge

Andre Valentine |

The Cape Duo Challenge is set to offer cyclists a one-of-a-kind challenge by mixing road and MTB into one race

Silverback 2015

A first-of-its kind cycling experience aimed at both road riders and mountain bikers will have its inaugural event between 5-8 October 2017 in the Western Cape. The event takes cycling’s two biggest disciplines and brings them together in one four-day stage race.

The event is the brainchild of cycling enthusiasts Peter Diesel-Reynolds, Ernst Viljoen and Pieter Joubert, who combine years of corporate experience with a love for the sport. “Around the world, there’s a distinct divide between mountain biking and road racing,” says Diesel-Reynolds. “There are separate events for both disciplines, but in speaking to other cyclists, we thought, why not bring the two together?”

The Cape Duo Challenge is designed to have teams of two tackling a variety of scenic routes across paved roads and mountain bike trails, with the race beginning in the Slanghoek Valley, moving through Welbedacht in Wellington and ending in the scenic Rhebokskloof Wine Farm in Paarl.

“There are separate events for both disciplines, but in speaking to other cyclists, we thought, why not bring the two together?”

On day one, teams split up, with the first rider taking part in a 40 kilometre road race and the second rider tackling 25 kilometres of challenging terrain that will test their mettle with a track that includes 800 metres of elevation gain. Here, the views of the Slanghoek Valley are on full display as riders immerse themselves in a true cycling challenge.

On day two, teams ride in tandem across 125 kilometres of paved track, while the following morning, they head off road and negotiate the Welvanpas trail as the province’s gorgeous mountains undulate across the horizon.

Finally, day four incorporates paved roads before teams hit a surprise detour through the Rheboksloof cross-country mountain-bike trail, with the finish line nestled inside the Rheboksloof Wine Farm.

A penalty is enforced for teams that finish more than two minutes apart.

Cycling is growing in popularity with an estimated one million cyclists in South Africa alone. Further estimates suggest one hundred thousand of these riders will take part in an event in the next three years.

“Despite the growth, many events are stagnating and not able to offer a new challenge,” Joubert says. “We decided it was the perfect opportunity to invigorate the space.”

A portion of the money raised will be going to the Ground Level Projects, an initiative aimed at uplifting the province’s underprivileged.

“Here is our chance to not only give riders an exciting new event, but put the money to good use,” Viljoen says.

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