2011 Stage One

Route Description

From the start at Casterbridge, you turn right towards Hazyview following the lead vehicle for a 3 km neutral zone after which it will give way. The speed limit will be 30kmph in this zone and no riders may overtake the lead vehicle until the end of the neutral zone.

The MTN Hotspot is at the 25 km mark at the Da Gama Dam Climb (just before the turn-off to Cybele Lodge)  and is for the first men, women and mixed teams across the line.  This will give you the opportunity to show how much steel is in your legs but remember, there is a long way to go.  Before reaching Hazyview, you head left towards the Banana Valleys of Kiepersol where muddy hippo spoor across the road has been sighted. The potholes on this section are extremely bad and great care should be taken.

The first water point is at 45km at the steep Blue Mountain Lodge Climb.  Fill up here if you are a slower rider because it is a long tough section to the next water point.

After Kiepersol, you turn left onto the Hazyview/Sabie road.  If you punish your legs here, you will struggle for the last 40km back to White River. These 20 km are through the rolling hills of the Sabie Valley alongside the Sabie River making it difficult to get a rhythm.  The down hills are wicked but over too quickly. Look out for Bergvliet Climb which will test riders' stamina at about 50km.

Turn left just before Sabie and climb about a kilometer to reach the 70 km water point.  This is the start of a 15km but gradual climb to Spitskop which is a long drag that could sap the legs but the reward is the fast finish back to White River.  The worst of the day is over when you see the White River 40km road sign.  The final water point is about 15km from the end which will give you a final push to get home.  As you approach White River, you will be directed through the back roads of the town and it is the final burst back up to Casterbridge where everything started.

Replenish lost calories at the many restaurants and cafes in the centre, have a massage and relax before prize giving and race briefing for Stage Two at 17:00 at the Barnyard Theatre.