The aim for day 1 is to create a faster and technically easier day before Sunday’s single-track extravaganza. In a complete redesign of last year’s first stage, riders will head northeast and explore the farms on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg between Klapmuts and Simondium.
Riders who participated in the 2016 Absa Cape Epic will catch glimpses of the final day’s Stage 7 as riders cross from Boschendal to Delvera. Apart from various single-track sections around Klapmutskop, most of the routing is on farm roads and will make for fast riding.
In terms of elevation, long route riders can expect a relatively easy day with around 1280m of climbing according to Google Earth, with a distance of 58km. Short route riders can expect around 950m of climbing for the 40km option. Just note that the route does not take in the more technical blue/black single-track on Klapmutskop.
On day 2 the route heads into the trails with the Contour being the only event that utilises the ‘Never Say Neverending Again’ Trail in the Simonsberg, that at 10km is one of the longest continuous pieces of trail in the Western Cape and offers unsurpassed views of the Boland and Peninsula.
‘We have also added more flow in the Knorhoek region of Day 2’s route to eliminate some of the stinging ascents and replacing them with single-track. We are also excited to announce that Distell’s Groenhof Farm is becoming part of the permanent trail network and that we’ll be launching new single-track with the 2017 Contour” continues Botha.
With more than 26km of single-track on Day 2, just shy of 50% of the days riding will be on the narrow stuff! Race distance for day two is approximately 57km and elevation between 1500 and 1600m. Due to the high volume of single-track, rider numbers to this race are limited to ensure a premium rider experience, so do not delay to get your entries in as only pre-entries are taken.
Nicknamed “TheFireRide” after the inaugural event in 2016, the start & finish are at the Agri-tourism village of Delvera just outside Stellenbosch. The region is famous for its top wines and beautiful trails, views, and spectacular scenery.
All entrants are treated at registration with a free T-shirt, race, event sweatband, bottle of Delheim or Muratie wine and a breakfast snack with coffee/tea on race mornings. At the finish line, they can look forward to a free bike wash, craft beer, lunch, massage, warm shower and chill out areas with even kiddies entertainment.
BOS Sport will support the refreshment stations as hydration partner on the routes and at the finish line for both weekends.
Top riders like Team Spur’s Ariane Luthi are already entered with many other top pros also expected to make an appearance as they start preparing for the stage race season.
Fairtree Capital added: "We are very proud to be associated with the Fairtree Simonsberg Contour and are very excited to welcome riders for the second edition of the ‘Fire Ride’. After recently testing the trails ourselves, we can attest that the Dirtopia team and the landowners have done an incredible job in preparing the trails and that all participants are in for two fantastic days of mountain biking!”
Trail runners get their own two-day stage race on the 11th & 12th of February, with daily 25km and 12km options. Runners will also love the singletrack in the Simonsberg Conservancy and vineyard trails, with a fun short route of 7km added on the Sunday morning. The same offering of T-shirt, wine, food and entertainment will be available for runners too!
Entries and all for all events on www.dirtopia.co.za or contact Dirtopia Trail Centre on Delvera at email@example.com or 021 884 4752