New Frontiers

The first transition stage, from Hermanus to Oak Valley Estate, traverses wild country nestled within pockets of manicured agriculture. 108 brutal kilometres of raw, natural trails separate the race villages. Sections of purpose-built singletracks and brief flirtations with district roads provide moments of respite on smoother surfaces. 2 600 metres of climbing makes for an arduous day on the bike however. The challenges begin from the gun, with a climb out of Hermanus and into the wild; then trails deep in the fynbos lead into Wildekrans where tight and twisty trails make gaining momentum difficult. Onwards and uphill the Honingklip trails lead to a brand-new challenge, a hitherto unused climb into the Hottentots Holland Mountains and onto the Elgin plateau. Valley Road Farms and Paul Cluver provide final climbs before a high-speed, high-risk, high-reward run into Oak Valley ensures the stage ends on a high, ahead of the time trial on Stage 4.