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The route remains focused on diversity and rider enjoyment, after numerous requests we have added an extra day at Louvain, taking the Pioneer away from the larger towns into the remote mountainous areas of the Langkloof. The journey stages, which are naturally slighter longer, the emphasis is shifted to more fun and scenic areas to ride through. The addition of a primarily single-track only stage, of which parts are still in construction, creates a diverse and challenging ride.

Even the iconic landmarks within the route will have that added twist to enhance overall rider enjoyment even though it will 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 #SaasveldSingletrack

We had to bring this one back – too many requests could not be ignored. The prologue route is the most spectacular in years and boasts a brand new start at Saasveld. The prologue which consists of single-track and jeep-track, hand-built by passionate George mountain bikers will be an absolute hit, exhilarating fast flowing trails with sharp climbs and steep descends. There are many viewpoints for spectators along the route which makes it easy to follow and cheer riders along.  The distance is 16,3 km with 300 meters of total vertical ascent, nothing major in climbing which makes this a fast and furious opening to the 2020 #RaceWithSoul

START: Saasveld (NMMU University Campus)

FINISH: Van Kervel High School, George

Distance: 16,3 km

Vertical ascent: 300 meters

Stage 1 #JonkersbergJewel

Stage 1 will take riders through the amazing Jonkersberg Nature Reserve, riding on exquisite trails, some newly built, some legendary in the area. This is a stage everyone will look forward to and will leave with great memories, the true essence of mountain biking personified. This primarily single-track-stage can easily be underestimated due to the relatively short distance, don’t be fooled this day will keep you very busy. Truly a spectacular stage with views of George and the ocean close by, this promises to be the highlight for those purists among us. Spectators can once again join in the fun with various points along the route accessible for friends and family.

START: Van Kervel High School, George

FINISH: Van Kervel High School, George

Distance: 56 km

Vertical ascent: 1 750 meters

Stage 2 #LusciousLouvain

We leave the coast and head towards the interior, the route taking riders in a northerly direction towards Louvain, our hosts for the next two days.   Loads of marvellous single-track riding for the first 25 kilometres in the Witfontein Nature Reserve, and then onto the iconic Montagu Mountain Pass, with a twist we might add. Over the mountain onto Herold, a sleepy village on the Northern slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains, adjacent some of the best-kept secrets in mountain biking.   We head east onto trails so lovingly built and kept by the passionate people at Louvain. You will be blown away by this day, although challenging, always rewarding.

START: Van Kervel High School, George

FINISH: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold.

Distance: 73km

Vertical ascent: 1 950 meters

Stage 3 #LangkloofLiaison

A brand new stage within a never before ridden area, something to behold. Stage 3 kicks off with a challenging climb up Duiwelskop, at the top, the Indian Ocean below creates a fabulous backdrop.  Riders take an easterly turn towards Uniondale onto a mountain track rarely used this century, then north towards Eagles Falls and Buffelsdrift, just passing by the southern foothills of the Kammanassie, towards the river carrying the same name.  New trails, challenging climbs, fabulous views onto a finish at Louvain. What a day!

START: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold.

FINISH: Louvain Guest Farm, Herold.

Distance: 75 km

Vertical ascent: 2 000 meters

Stage 4 #Kammanassie…

We have an absolute treat in store for you on stage 4 – Kammanassie is back! In 2019 the weather prevented us the honour, this year we are taking a different angle. A steady approach to this infamous mountain leads riders into arguably the most desolate and scenic section of this year’s race, the climb and descend into the Kammanassie Reserve.This is the Pioneering gateway to the Karoo, riders descend towards De Rust and the exit of the valley onto Lidikwe Reserve, a special treat on-route to the finish.  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 95 km

Vertical ascent 1 800 meters


Stage 5 #SwartbergShowdown

This stage will have to stay, even though rated as one of the most challenging it has often been praised as the best. The mighty Swartberg Mountain is not accommodating, often not allowing riders to the top, treacherous and extreme weather always in play.  The Queen stage will 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.  At the start, 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 everyone to its beauty and splendour.  The overall yellow and pink jersey wearers should be decided here, tomorrow is another day.

START: Langenhoven Gimnasium, Oudtshoorn

FINISH: Swartberg Mountain, Oudtshoorn

Distance 83km

Vertical ascent 2 250 meters

Stage 6 #KingofQueens

The stage, often regarded as one of the best, capping a week of fabulous riding is completely revisited for 2020. Most notably is the start, a climb will separate the field and could determine the overall outcome.  Of course, Chandelier is still on the cards, but with a twist, enough said, 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 2021.

START: Langenhoven Gimnasium, Oudtshoorn

FINISH: Queens Hotel, Oudtshoorn

Distance 64 km

Vertical ascent 1 200 meters

Total Distance: 462 km

Total vertical ascent: 11250 meters

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