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[Event] Stellenbosch MTB Challenge

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Event Name: Stellenbosch MTB Challenge
When: 28 July 2019
Where: Spier Wine Estate, Western Cape
Category: MTB


The 14th edition of the Stellenbosch MTB Challenge on the 28th of July 2019, for the second year we take a break from the annual 6 route format and focuses on fun and family with 2 route options launching from Spier Wine Estate!

Early bird entries get 10% off if entrants use the code “Stellenboschmtb” online by 27 April. Make use of this offer now, as entries are also limited per distance with a 22km and a 50km to start from 8am in various start groups. As there are fewer distance options, entries will be limited to 2000 riders, to give outdoor enthusiasts the ultimate experience. The picturesque routes will cater for beginner to intermediate riders in keeping with the theme of having fun outside with friends & family.

As one of the premier venues in South Africa, Spier Wine Estate needs no introduction and has loads on offer for riders and spectators alike with wonderful food, wine, and beautiful scenery to wow the senses. The two routes chosen for this year’s challenge compliments the venue and offering perfectly. Excellent waterpoints are planned with food and drinks and even Bubbly and chocolate! As well as tech zones, to support riders that are having any mechanicals.

To add to the fun, the Stellenbosch Farm Run will be hosted on Saturday, 27 July to create the perfect winelands outdoor weekend. Entries are open with the early bird special too!

Well-known route designer, Meurant Botha of Dirtopia, has been involved in mountain bike routes & events at Spier since the late nineties and knows the area well.

“The 2018 event was such a success for riders that we want to keep the focus on the fun family aspect for mountain bikers. Even beginners and the younger crowd can enjoy this stunning area of Stellenbosch. There are lots to improve on since the event was held for the first time at Spier in 2018, therefor it makes sense to keep the event at this popular & beautiful estate” says Botha.

Route descriptions:

The 22km is the perfect beginners route with under 300m of climbing on mostly open dirt roads and tracks. The route follows 70% of the standard annual 30km challenge route and riders can expect a fast course.

There is one waterpoint just after midway stocked with water, Powerade and Coke, as well as fruits and a basic bike workshop.

You’ll ride through vineyards orchards and large stretches of fynbos and can expect beautiful views of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountains.

The 50km mirrors the 2017 route with of course the exclusion of the town-based route sections. To make up for these excluded sections we are adding routing on the south western side of the course, including more riding in the Vlaeberg area. To the best of our knowledge, these additional routes have never been used in a mountain event before. It is in the Vlaeberg area that riders will reach the first of 3 water stations at 20km, after quite a few rolling hills that are sure to be the cause of some thirst. The Stellenbosch Hills farms will ensure for a festive stop with wine tasting planned, among other treats. The views from the 1st half of the course is stunning with wide vistas of the Western Cape on offer.

After the 2nd stop in the Polkadraai area, riders descend back to Vlottenburg and Spier for the final 15km of flatter riding. A final water station with around 10km to go means that there is ample support on route for those that are a little more challenged on the day.

With around 800m of climbing the route can be considered as fairly easy and non-technical.

Riders can expect well stocked refreshment stations, technical support on route and of course all finishers get a special commemorative medal. At the finish carnival there will be kids entertainment, live music, food & drink, and a lucky draw with loads of prizes, including a Giant Bicycles mountain bike to be won!

Entries will close 24th of of July or as soon as the entry limit is reached. Note that each route has an entry cap. Order a unique once off event long sleeve t-shirt or hoody with your entry.

See website for route profiles and more information: www.stellenboschmtbchallenge.co.za

DATE: Sunday, 28 July 2019

VENUE: Spier Wine Estate

TIME: 50km start at 08h00, 22km start at 08h40

COST: 22km – R190 and 50km – R330


• 22km funride for children & novices.

• 50km funride for intermediate

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Really enjoyed the race last year, but this time around I will make sure I am there early enough to start in my designated group

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I thought last year was only a 'break' from the normal / previous routes...seems like they're sticking with this format, though...a pity, IMHO.

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Really miss the 40km and 60km options as they were much more of a challenge. Did the 50km last year and not worth it IMO if you are looking for a "challenge". 

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Really miss the 40km and 60km options as they were much more of a challenge. Did the 50km last year and not worth it IMO if you are looking for a "challenge". 

The reality is that it caused to much of a disruption to the town and was very costly. Look at the Stellenbosch Cycle Challenge and One Tonner - all of these events moved out of Stellenbosch. 


Took a stroll with the family on the single track next to Eersteriver this afternoon, less than a month to go.




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Who is doing this?


Would like to see the route itself on a google earth map or similar- anyone found this somewhere yet?


All I can find on their website is the route profile.

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It lost the "Challenge" bit.

Had some teething problems last year with the new venue. Traffic was a nightmare, bottle necking at the starting shoots but trust that it will be sorted this year

hasnt this race lost its mojo since it moved to spier?

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We did it last year and I can honestly say it was very enjoyable after we finally got the car parked.  Amazing venue, nice food, music, and the atmosphere really added to the experience.  


As always word of caution, be careful with leaving bikes on racks, as there were rumors of big thefts.  It might just be easier to park your bike in the bikepark

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Some friends and I are in for Sunday yay.


I got an e-mail, it says "NO number collections, late entries, substitutions or distance changes on race day."

What is a "number collection" ? The board ?


Thanks for the Strava route @ Rouxenator.


-edit- I phoned them and they said the boards have to be collected the day before the race, just fyi.

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As a venue there really is no other mtb race that comes close


When judging the route you need to consider what the organisers had in mind. When they changed the venue and route I remember reading somewhere that the focus is not on a very technical hard route for the professional amateur but rather on the riders that want to transition from shorter to longer routes. In the light of this I think the route was perfect last year

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Loved the first half, wish I could do the last half... Stick 1 - Silverback 0


Hope I can find a replacement for it tomorrow.








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As my 8yo son and 10yo daughter's first ever MTB "race", they had a blast.  The mud and river crossings were so much fun for them.


What made it awesome from my point of view was how many people (especially those on the 50km race who blasted past us) shouted encouragement to both of my kids.  Almost brought a tear to my eye.  I had a good cackle at one lady who said "how awesome, daughter and dad date", and then someone who said "Amy will be proud" (He was wearing a BreakAway shirt).  One gent had to do some rapid avoiding action as my son veered in front of him in the mud, nearly causing a fall, but all good.  Just a smile and a wave.


The camaraderie was amazing.  I'm just sorry to the guy who I tried to help with his bomb that got stuck and I emptied his tyre of sealant. I hope you managed to finish.


Events like this make it great for me to be a dad of kids taking up the sport.  


And the organization was excellent.



Edited by Sbloomer
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