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ENTRIES OPEN FOR ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FAVOURITE STAGE RACES

The arrival of spring and the easing of restrictions on mass sports events combine to deliver
perfect timing for the opening of entries to one of South Africa’s most iconic mountain bike events, the 2022 Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. The 12th edition of the UCI-graded race will take place in the Klein Karoo and Garden Route regions of the Western Cape from 4-10 September 2022.

Originally known as South Africa’s toughest mountain bike stage race due to its exceptionally difficult routes during its formative years, the Cape Pioneer Trek evolved into an event that delivers the perfect balance between challenge, reward and stimulation and has become more appealing to a wider range of mountain bikers. This balance strikes a chord with discerning mountain bikers who have embraced the event’s pay-off line: The Race With Soul.

Unlike most stage races, the Cape Pioneer Trek route changes every year, guaranteeing rider engagement on every single stage. The 2022 edition promises one of the most exciting routes that incorporates trails designed to include everything from coastal forests, to rugged semi-desert and the only mountain-top finish in mountain bike stage racing. It’s undoubtedly the most diverse mountain bike stage race in South Africa – and possibly the world.

Last week, Cycling South Africa announced that it had been involved in clearing the way for mass participation sports events to resume at full scale but within the South African Government’s Covid-19 parameters. All CSA-sanctioned mass events now have the green light to resume with vaccination proof or negative-test status required for participants.

“After a tough period, where we had to cancel the Cape Pioneer Trek twice due to regional and national safety concerns, we are excited to be in a position to finally focus on celebrating the 12th edition,” said Henco Rademeyer, co-founder and race director of the Cape Pioneer Trek.

“We are looking forward to seeing all the regular participants that keep returning year after year; but are also excited to host new riders that have discovered the benefits and rewards of mountain biking in the past 18 months and who are looking for a fresh challenge,” added Rademeyer.

The Cape Pioneer Trek comprises two events – the seven-day Race and the four-day Adventure from 7-10 September 2022, which follows the same route as the longer event over the final four days. The Adventure was originally reserved only for solo entrants, but has now been opened to two-rider teams. Entries to both events officially opened on Thursday 23 September 2021. Well known as their flagship race, both these events offer upgrades to Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum Plus experiences, which guarantees the event is either less stressful, more fulfilling, or both, as well as customisable to your needs.

For those who feel the full event is too formidable, either in distance or time away from work/home the Adventure is 317km over four days, which is achievable for most committed mountain bikers and still includes all the elements that a Dryland race is renowned for, including exceptional organisation, legendary water points, fabled landmarks, high quality meals and the warmest hospitality.

Dryland Rewards is a loyalty programme exclusive to Dryland participants. Completing the 7-day Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen will have you earn the most points across all event platforms of 70 points towards your tier level status for value back on your next entry. More about Dryland Rewards here. https://drylandrewards.co.za

“Your health is your greatest wealth and we now feel excited and comfortable to host you at our world class stage race. We need to create opportunities of hope in these challenging times. You need to get back on your bike, feel the sun on your skin and create more unforgettable experiences and memories!” said Carel Bosman, Lead: Events and Sponsorships of Momentum Metropolitan.

“The Cape Pioneer Trek is the ideal opportunity to celebrate your health and experience an international standard event in some of the most dramatically beautiful areas of South Africa,” added Bosman.

While the Cape Pioneer Trek is a UCI-graded race that guarantees a minimum sum of prizemoney and media coverage for the professional racers, it places an equal amount of emphasis on the middle- and back-of-pack riders, who are usually vocal in their appreciation, as this selection of feedback comments confirms:

“It was a perfect mix of fun and tough.”
“This is a very intimate race – really nice to be part of a professionally run event that has a personal touch. Loved all of the crew, school staff/students.”
“Organisation was brilliant, the route was excellent and the event accommodates all riders, from strong to weaker.”
“Simply the best multi-day MTB event I have ever done, and I have done a lot! Truly world-class!”

Each year the Cape Pioneer Trek sees tight, often dramatic contests among some of the world’s best mountain bike racers for stage wins and the overall titles in the various categories. The moderate distance stages combined with a good balance of tough climbs, fast descents, flowing singletrack and exposed open sections ensures exceptional close racing from the Prologue to the final stage.

The route for the 2022 edition combines some brand new trails and terrain with iconic features, such as the Saasveld Forest singletrack, The Montagu Pass, the Kammanassie and the Swartberg.

Here’s a summary of what to expect:

Sunday 4 September: Prologue #SaasveldSingletrack
Start: NMMU Campus, George
Finish: Van Kervel High School, George
Description: 16km with 300m ascent through the twisty singletrack and jeep track of the mountain-side Saasveld forest.

Monday 5 September: Stage 1 #JonkersbergJewel
Start: Van Kervel High School, George
Finish: Van Kervel High School, George
Description: 56km with 1750m ascent of primarily singletrack through the lush Jonkersberg Nature Reserve.

Tuesday 6 September: Stage 2 #LusciousLouvain
Start: Van Kervel High School, George
Finish: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold
Description: 73km with 1950m ascent through the Witfontein Nature Reserve and up the historic Montagu Pass.

Wednesday 7 September: Stage 3 #LangkloofLiaison
Start: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold
Finish: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold
Description: 75km with 2000m ascent on an all-new stage that offers refreshing Indian Ocean views and many challenging ascents.

Thursday 8 September: Stage 4 #Kammanassie
Start: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold
Finish: Langenhoven Gymnasium, Oudtshoorn
Description: 95km with 1800m ascent that includes the notoriously tough Kammanassie Reserve’s unforgiving terrain and steep gradients.

Friday 9 September: Stage 5 #SwartbergShowdown
Start: Langenhoven Gymnasium, Oudtshoorn
Finish: Langenhoven Gymnasium, Oudtshoorn
Description: 83km with 2250m ascent with a finale up the iconic Swartberg Pass – a storied ascent to a mountain-top finish at almost 2000m above sea level.

Saturday 10 September: Stage 6 #KingofQueens
Start: Langenhoven Gymnasium, Oudtshoorn
Finish: Queens Hotel, Oudtshoorn
Description: 64km with 1200m ascent through the Chandelier Reserve with some stiff climbs that could affect the final GC.

Total: 462km with 11250m of ascent

For more information on the route, head to https://capepioneer.co.za/route2022/

To secure your team or solo entry for the 2022 Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen, head over here: https://capepioneer.co.za/

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