The Fairtree Simonsberg Contour – now affectionately known as The Fire Ride – will take place on Saturday and Sunday. The starting and finishing points for both days are at the Delvera Farm outsider Stellenbosch. Riders have the option of a short route (some 40km) or a long route (some 60km) on both days.


For route designer and race organiser Meurant Botha from Dirtopia the past few weeks has been a real challenge. Not only trying to save some of the trails during the fire, but also now making sure the Fairtree Contour does take place despite of the fire.

“It has thus far taken six days and over 150 man days to clear the fire damage and we can report that the trails are now around 85% cleared,” said Botha on Tuesday. “The past few days has also revealed the extent of the damage, with especially the Lower Ho Chi Minh and Exit trails showing the worst damage and will remain impassable for the immediate future.”

He added: “The extent of the burn has left us with no choice but to reroute Day 1 of the Fairtree Contour to include the Koelenhof region. This will make for flatter and fast riding, although the first part will include the Le Bonheur and Uitkyk climbs and singletrack sections that will certainly spread the field. Keep some gas in the tank for the final ascent of Klapmutskop and the final singletrack reward.”

Day 2 sees the riders heading into the Simonsberg properly and the elevation stats increase measurably. “We have decided to tweak ride distances to leave our elevation stats close to our desired targets so do not underestimate the efforts required on this day by going on distance only. Riders will get a first-hand view of the fire damage and photo opportunities abound. We are happy to report that most of the Knorhoek section escaped the fire so riders can look forward to enjoying some of the last forest canopy covered trails the area has become renowned for.”

The work is not done yet though. “As we are still hard at work getting the routes ready, so please keep checking in on route updates in the final build-up to race day.”

Fairtree Capital is a Cape Town based investment manager that manages alternative and long only investment portfolios across all global asset classes. They have committed to support the effort to rebuild the trails after the Simonsberg Fire with financial support. “Fairtree is fully committed to rebuilding the trails and without their backing this would not be possible,” said Botha.

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Day 1:


Day 2: