- The move from Banhoek to Blaauwklippen has brought an entirely new route
- A great weekend of riding, with options for the kids and hardcore amateur racers
- Typical of a Stellenbosch event, you’ll have to work for your singletrack fun – but it will prove rewarding, with flowing trails
There’s a new route around South Africa’s mountain biking capital, for riders participating in this weekend’s Fedhealth MTB Challenge.
A venue change sees the event move from the Banhoek valley, the southeastern side of Stellenbosch, promising lots of flowing singletrack.
The event structure sees a kids event on Saturday, with 500m, 1.5- and 5km route options. Ideal for kids of all skill and fitness levels.
A proper single-day route for the Challenge
The more serious riding will commence on Sunday, with the Fedhealth MTB marathon (58km) and half-marathon (28km) stages.
Mountain bikers familiar with Stellenbosch will know that short, punchy climbs and flowing singletrack are in abundance. And with the Fedhealth MTB Challenge moving to Blaauwklippen estate, it has opened a wealth of new route options.
Michael Meyer is the event founder and understandably excited about his new route. "The marathon event will consist of a 58km route that boasts a total climb of 1200m. Riders can look forward to smooth open road climbs, lots of single track and technical (but smooth) descents. Iconic farms that will be traversed will include Blaauwklippen, Mont Marie, Dornier, Ernie Els and Stellenrust."
Although weekend warriors should be capable of riding the marathon distance event with ease, there is also the half. "The Half Marathon will cover a 28km distance and will boast a total 580m climb,” continues Meyer. "The terrain will include good gradient climbs and beautiful views. Iconic sections will include the loop at Dornier and the views at Keermont. Iconic farms that will be traversed will include Stellekaya, Chaloner, Keermont and Vriesenhof."
Something for everyone
Meyer is keen for families to enjoy the diversity of trails, on offer. "The Fedhealth MTB Challenge is the perfect opportunity for families to spend time together while getting outdoors and staying active. We can’t wait to welcome mountain bikers to the start line at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate this coming weekend for a mountain biking experience like no other."
The Saturday fun ride is priced at R195 a rider, with kids riding for R100 on their choice of those three short-distance loops. Sunday’s marathon event is R425, with the half marathon priced at R325.