Dryland Event Management, the organisers of the bridge Cape Pioneer Trek revealed the route for this year’s race in a lavish affair in Green Point, Cape Town. Riders, corporates, celebrities and media attended the launch where they enjoyed wine and beer courtesy of Fairview and SAB as well as delicious canapés. Paul Valstar, MC for the night, welcomed everyone before introducing the new route, which was followed by a comprehensive video of what riders can expect. The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the R100 000 prize money for the winners of Stage 2 which is a first in South African cycling history! The end of Stage 2 will finish off with a monster 1100m vertical ascent over roughly 12 km which is another first in SA cycling!

There were changes made to the route this year with a lot of emphasis on riding quality, shorter stages and less ascent but with that great pioneering spirit still firmly intact. Smooth single tracks, undulating scenic jeep track and visits to the iconic mountains and valleys that only the Klein Karoo can offer are just some of the things that lie ahead for riders.

After four years of scouting and exploring, the Dryland team will continue to bring riders the best mountain biking route. The 2012 bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will take riders through icons like the World Heritage site of the mighty Swartberg Mountain, the challenging sheer drop down cliff faces of the Meiringspoort, the arid semi desert region to the north of Prince Albert, and through the undulating mountainous Klein Karoo and the lush forests of the Garden Route. The race will start and finish at the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge in Oudtshoorn with the prologue including the pristine single track of MTB Destinations.com, which is some of the best single-track around.

Returning this year will be headline sponsors Klein Karoo, Scooters Pizza and Wilde Pure pressed fruit juice that contribute a great deal to not only the race and riders but the communities as well.

Klein Karoo International Ltd (KKI), who is the world’s foremost producer of ostrich, related products will be involved again this year and will be providing all of the food consumed by riders over breakfast and supper every day. This includes, among others, their delicious lean ostrich meat products and venison. KKI is a company with very strong social responsibility principles and this is evident in the enormous support they provide to the ever needy rural communities in the Klein Karoo. KKI’s association with a school like Zwartberg High School in Prince Albert typically allows the school to subsidize the school fees of around 100 needy families for a whole year – this is making a difference!

Popular with the riders and communities alike, Scooters pizza will be on call to provide hot, tasty and fast pizza. The highlight of their involvement is the great appreciation and smiles they receive from riders after greeting them with their delicious pizzas after a grueling day of riding. “Not only will we be providing pizzas but we will have our hot bikini girls and Scooters guys at water points along the route too,” explains Riaan van den Berg, spokesperson for Scooters pizza. “They are there to encourage riders, provide water and sun block or even hold their bikes while they grab a quick bite to eat.”

Cyclists will be ensured they get plenty of replenishing with Wilde Fruit Juice who has been involved in the Cape Pioneer Trek for 3 years now. “We believe strongly in the Pioneer Trek’s vision of giving back to the community and schools in the surrounding area,” says Melissa Boshoff from Wilde. “With our involvement we can not only ensure that some of the nutritional needs of the cyclists are met during the race but we can be assured that our contribution is having a greater community impact which is what the great Pioneer spirit is all about!”

The bridge Cape Pioneer Trek promises nothing but an amazing riding experience, a race that provides a challenge, one that creates lasting memories and lastly it provides that elusive feeling of belonging - yes this one has got soul!

Please see below for exact details of each stage for the 2012 route: