Entries to the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, opened at 12:00 on the 14th of December 2016 alongside the launch of the sponsorship partnership between Momentum Health and Biogen for Dryland Event Management’s flagship mountain bike stage race. The three year sponsorship agreement is set to take the race, already famed as the #racewithsoul, to new heights in 2017 and beyond.
The 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek was the first edition to make use of a new format for the race, as the stage routes were either “journey” or “exploration” stages. The change from the daily upheaval of the race village and racing from point-to-point daily has allowed Dryland Event Management to focus on the rider experience like never before.
Two of the seven stages in 2016 and, in all likelihood (though you’ll have to wait for the route announcement in May 2017 for confirmation), in 2017 are journey stages. These days see riders cross the pains and the foothills of the Outeniqua from Mossel Bay to George, and then cross the Outeniqua Mountains and the rugged tracks of the Klein Karoo to Oudtshoorn.
The remaining five stages are exploration stages. Each explores a vastly different biome, providing a mountain bike based tour of the Southern Cape’s diverse fauna and flora. From the cliff top paths and the coastal fynbos and milkwood forests of Mossel Bay, to the deep green depths of the plantations around George, and on to the harsh but hauntingly beautiful semi-arid Klein Karoo. The daily changes will ensure that rider foreign and local alike are kept in awe of the natural splendour of areas which the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, traverses.
The 2016 race was the shortest edition yet, though it was far from easy. That said Dryland Event Management felt that a true mountain stage, in the spirit of the pioneers of old, was lacking. So for 2017 a mystery queen stage has been announced. Speculation is rife as to which of the many mountain passes will set the scene for this iconic stage…
Will the race return to the daunting Kammanassie Mountains or will it undertake the 8.4km 650m grind up the Swartberg Pass, where the views are as breath-taking as the climb itself? Perhaps a new mountain challenge is in order? An ascent over the Klein Karoo’s Gamkaberg might not offer the altitude gains of the Swarberg Pass, but what it lacks in altitude it makes up for in quadriceps sapping gradient. Or perhaps riders will undertake the treacherous Cradock Pass? Cradock Pass was once the first route from the Klein Karoo to George and took farmers three days with twenty oxen yoked to a wagon to cross the mountains. The crossing should hopefully take mountain bikers significantly less time, but just how long potentially waits to be seen.
Off the bike the addition of Momentum Health and Biogen as sponsors of the Cape Pioneer Trek is set to improve the already famous hospitality. Both companies are keen to increase the Chill Zone offerings and Biogen are looking at ways to ensure riders are able to recover between stages effectively. Plans are also afoot to include a water point zero before the start of each stage where riders can stock up on Biogen products of their choosing for the stage ahead.
The fellow sponsors of the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, won’t allow themselves to be outdone by the incoming title sponsors though. Riders can expect more post-stage relaxation and recovery inducing treats from Fairview Wine and Cheese and Cape Brewing Co, while the elite riders will be treated to an increase in prize money too.
Entries for the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, include standard camping accommodation, where each rider has a two person tent to themselves, but for 2017 Dryland Event Management are pitching more luxury tents and booking out more hotel accommodation for the luxury and platinum and platinum plus upgrade packages. For riders serious about enjoying every second of the 2017 race the upgrade options are worth every cent. To explore all the entry options click here.