2019 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen route

The 2019 route is truly a culmination of the best trails and areas we have utilized over the last 10 years. The focus is on pure enjoyment, even during the journey stages, which are naturally slighter longer, the emphasis was shifted to more fun and scenic areas to ride through. The addition of many new single-track sections, which is still in the construction phase, will elevate the 2019 edition to something to cherish.

Even the iconic landmarks within the route will have that added twist to enhance overall rider enjoyment even though it will still remain a challenge of note. Swartberg Mountain and the return of the Kammanassie makes this year no walk in the park, but above all, we have found that route sweet spot that will stay with the riders forever. Enjoy.


Prologue #PointPursuit

 

Prologue-IG

We had to bring this one back for another year – too many requests could not be ignored. The prologue route is the most spectacular in all the years and similar to that of 2018 with an added cliff hanging single-track that has never been seen before. The start at Milkwood primary school is followed by a knee-jerking climb to the St Blaise lighthouse and then the single track starts, all along the edge of the drop-off towards the sea, truly exhilarating.

The boardwalks and beachfronts of the Point area will be on the menu as well as a beautiful view of the Bay where Bartholomew Dias set foot in 1488, then known as the Bay of Saint Blaise.

The distance is 14,7 km with around 575 meters of total vertical ascent – just note that the majority of the ascent happens in the first few kilometres!

 START:  Milkwood Primary School, Mossel Bay.

FINISH: Milkwood Primary School, Mossel Bay.

Distance: 14,7 km

Vertical ascent: 575 meters


Stage 1 #GondwanaGlory

 

Stage 1 will showcase the Mossel Bay area, new areas as well as those exquisite former utilized trails are included. Riders head North West towards freshly cut single tracks just commissioned and then head onto Gondwana Private Nature Reserve. This 11 000 hectare reserve offers a truly unique wilderness experience and riders will come face to face with the free roaming Big 5 game of the African continent.

Truly a spectacular area with views of the mighty Outeniqua Mountains and the ocean close by. The route’s approach to the urban areas has changed completely with more new tracks through adjacent beach areas and onto Milkwood School for a well-deserved night on the water’s edge.

Don’t underestimate this stage, still tough but very rewarding.

START:  Milkwood Primary School, Mossel Bay

FINISH: Milkwood primary School, Mossel Bay

Distance: 96 km

Vertical ascent: 1950 meters


Stage 2 #OuteniquaOdyssey

 

This stage is the first of the journey stages with over 2000m of climbing over 107km. A neutral goodbye ride through the town will see riders heading in Northerly direction for a brand new section just past the Hartenbos River from there into some of the most pristine forests on this coastal belt, heading towards the foothills of the great Outeniqua Mountains.

Jeep and single track will traverse the foothills of the mountain, heading straight East towards George. Rewarding single track just after water point 3 will see riders approaching George from a different angle without the bite we had at this finish in previous years. We finish at Van Kervel High School, a Cape Pioneer partner since 2009!

START:  Milkwood Primary School, Mossel Bay

FINISH: Van Kervel High School, George

Distance 107 km

Vertical ascent 2400 meters


Stage 3 #LusciousLouvain

 

One of the shorter stages for 2019, taking riders in an easterly direction towards Louvain, our hosts for this fabulous stage. Loads of marvellous single-track riding traversing the Northern foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains.

Herold is adjacent some of the best kept secrets in mountain biking – tracks so lovingly built and kept by the passionate people at Louvain. You will be blown away by this short and rewarding day in the saddle.

START:  Van Kervel High School, George

FINISH: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold.

Distance 63 km

Vertical ascent 1650 meters


Stage 4 #KammanassieKanon

 

We have an absolute treat in store for you on stage 4 – Kammanassie is back! Don’t be fooled by the 98km’s of distance, you will need all your  ability to propel your bike over the nearly 2000 meters of climbing on this day. A steady approach to this  infamous  mountain leads riders into arguably the most desolate and scenic section of this year’s race, the valley through the Kammanassie Mountains.

Awe-inspiring cliffs, white-knuckle descents and vertigo-inducing climbs are the order of the day as we follow a lush path cut through the mountains by the Dryland team. Reaching the top you will be rewarded with a view that stretches to the horizon – and the finish in your sights. This Pioneering gateway to the Karoo, the Kammanassie lies nestled below, as riders descend towards De Rust and the exit of the valley

The change in climate and terrain is evident as we enter the arid desert like Karoo; riders approach Oudtshoorn from a different angle as we find our way towards Langenhoven Gymnasium, our hosts for the next couple of days.

START:  Louvain Guest Farm, Herold.

FINISH:  Langenhoven Gimnasium, Oudtshoorn

Distance 98 km

Vertical ascent 1950 meters


Stage 5 #SwartbergShowdown

 

This stage will have to stay, even though rated as the 2nd hardest in 2018 it was also praised as the best one. The mighty Swartberg Mountain was not accommodating in 2018, only allowing a handful of riders to the top in the treacherous and extreme weather. The queen stage will again be challenging, but those views make up for the effort. It will elevate riders more than 2000 meters vertically finishing at close to 2000m above the sea.

This stage leaves Oudtshoorn in an Easterly direction negotiating the foothills of this great mountain as riders slowly find their way to the top. The final 8km is straight up to the best finish of any mountain bike race – the World Heritage site of Swartberg Mountain welcomes each and every one to its beauty and splendour.

The overall yellow and pink jersey wearers should be decided here, tomorrow is Champagne day!

START:  Langenhoven Gimnasium, Oudtshoorn

FINISH: Swartberg Mountain, Oudtshoorn

Distance 91km

Vertical ascent 2300 meters


Stage 6 #ChandelierChampagne

 

After a well-rested night, the final day sees a start at Chandelier Game Reserve, home to another famous Dryland race, the Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen. This day will definitely start with some game viewing as giraffe or eland cross the valleys and plains of this exquisite reserve.

It is all about having fun and celebrating the achievements of the week gone by, 60 km of jeep-track up, single-track down! A fast race to the finish at the Queens Hotel caps a brilliant week in the saddle – until 2020.

START:  Langenhoven Gimnasium, Oudtshoorn

FINISH: Queens Hotel, Oudtshoorn

Distance 60 km

Vertical ascent 1200 meters