Varsity MTB to begin at the world-famous Nederburg wine farm


Varsity MTB to begin at the world-famous Nederburg wine farm

The Varsity MTB Challenge, proudly sponsored by FNB, is the first South African university mountain bike race, which will take place on 1 and 2 October 2016 in Franschhoek. The race, which is open to alumni, students and supporters of any university, is a two-day race set in beautiful Franschhoek in the Western Cape. The first stage will begin at the magnificent Nederburg wine farm, finishing at La Paris Estate, where the second stage will begin and end on 2 October.

Stage 1 (1 October 2016)
Distance: 53km
Ascent: 1400m
Start: Nederburg
Finish: La Paris Estate

The first stage begins at the Nederburg wine farm on the foothills of the Drakenstein Mountains, below Du Toitskloof Pass. Following a 4km gravel road climb, which should spread the field; riders tackle a contoured jeep and single track section which keeps them midway on the slopes of the mountain almost all the way to Wellington.

Paarl and Wellington are clearly visible for the duration of this section from an elevated view. Turning back, the event runs through the Buffet Olives farm and through the well-known Cascades singles before crossing the N1 Highway via a pedestrian bridge. From there it’s fast and exciting riding, downhill all the way to the finish at La Paris Estate.

Stage 2 (2 October 2016)
Distance: 54km
Ascent: 1100m
Start: La Paris Estate
Finish: La Paris Estate

This stage has the most iconic start of any event in South Africa – in front of the Mandela statue. The first 4km takes place inside the Drakenstein Correctional Centre. After leaving the prison, a gravel and jeep track should spread the field before heading towards Simondium.

The route veers left towards Franschhoek and turns back towards Paarl at the foothills of Helshoogte to access a wonderful stretch of single track on the well-known Boschendal Wine Estate, which runs some way up the Simonsberg before dropping down onto a contoured path which runs almost all the way to Backsberg Estate. The route then turns back towards the Berg River and over the same bridge that took riders out. The last stage has been designed to give experienced mountain bikers a true challenge.

For entry details and to register for the event, please visit and click on “SIGN UP NOW”.

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