Bravery will be required on Stage 1. Tulbagh, once a frontier town, is still an untamed mountain biking destination. New trails and established challenges ensure a fittingly difficult day. Four major climbs punctuate the day with Raptor Rise setting a tone of sweeping switchbacks through fynbos, continued by Boegoe and the Kliprivier Trails. Fanti’s Pass, infamous in its intensity ensures the day’s elevation gain easily exceeds 2 000 meters. It’s not just all challenges and climbing though. Singletracks, never before ridden in a race, like Jan se Bos offer a welcome reward for uphill toils, as do established trails like Assegaaibos and God’s Window. Fortune will favour the brave on this stage. But the line between bravery and foolishness can be a fine one, so be warned.