The unparalleled beauty of the ‘Race with Soul’. Photo: www.zcmc.co.za
South Africa’s ‘Race with Soul’ is about to make a return to its pioneering roots. The Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen has settled into a comfortable rhythm over the last ten years, and was said to have put on its best edition yet in 2018.
But as with the spirit of a true pioneer, it will once again head into the unknown in search of something even better with a 2019 route like no rider has experienced before…
To ease into things, the popular Mossel Bay Prologue will remain fairly similar, but with the edition of more single-track and less urban areas. Riders will once again experience the thrill of the cliff-hanging paths of St. Blaize – the perfect introduction to an event that delivers diverse scenery from start to finish.
Cue stage one – the first to see drastic changes in 2019.
Often described as the ‘Prince Stage’, the once familiar trails in and around Mossel Bay will see a complete overhaul with a new route back to town to limit previous tar road sections.
As riders depart from Mossel Bay, they will encounter sections that will feature for the first time in Cape Pioneer history.
Dryland Director Henco Rademeyer revealed, “We are adding sections that have never been ridden before – in other words, freshly developed single and jeep track that will lead riders towards the Outeniqua Mountains. We will also replace the last 10km into George with something far more exciting.”
Hold onto your handle-bars, because Louvain is about to make a return. This area will certainly bring back fond memories and give riders a new crossing over the Outeniquas.
The venue has been completely upgraded since the event’s last visit, with new accommodation, different tracks and a space for a brand new race village. According to Rademeyer, riders are in for a true Klein Karoo experience here:
“We want riders to experience a really remote race venue for at least one night – a place far removed from the hustle and bustle of a large town or city. Here they can encounter the Karoo in its full glory,” he said.
A glimpse of the Cape Pioneer’s arid Klein Karoo trails. Photo: www.zcmc.co.za
Leaving Louvain, riders will head into the Kammanassie. This news might send shivers down the spines of many, but next year sanity will prevail and route organisers have promised a new approach without too many surprises.
Looking back at some infamous Kammanassie stories, Rademeyer recollected:
“In 2009 we actually had riders assisting the media bikers to get the big motorbikes out of the valley! Some of our riders ended up leaving their bikes and walked out of there. We will definitely be taking a milder approach next year!”
And now for the question on everybody’s lips – what will the Swartberg stage look like next year Rademeyer is excited to announce that once again there will be a Swartberg mountain top stage finish:
“There is something mystical about finishing on top of the Swartberg – the Cape Pioneer is the only mountain bike stage race I know of that boasts this kind of achievement!”
He also hints that this will likely be the Queen Stage again, but that the Kammanassie will take a close second.
And finally onto Chandelier Game Reserve…
The familiar favourite is always special, but will come with a completely different ride next year that will even be a few kilometres shorter.
A closing comment from Carel Bosman, Momentum Head of Sponsorships:
“This is going to be the best Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen to date. The balance between tough and rewarding stages is just right. We’ve basically taken all the things we’ve previously learned and created the 2019 route!”
2019 CAPE PIONEER TREK ROUTE REVEAL VIDEO
Distance: 14.7 km