Stage 1 – (Prologue)
Enjoy the sunset prologue through the Cobra Trail in the beautiful Bontebok Park with its unique Cape Floral species and protected Renosterveld. You will ride among some of the 200 Bonteboks who call this reserve their home. Many bird species can be spotted alongside the Breede River with a variety of antelope species and even Cape Mountain Zebra.
Stage 2 – Swellendam – Swellendam
This first distance stage will take you through some serious climbing, testing your climbing legs at the foothills of the Langeberg mountain through Marloth nature reserve. With the majestic clock peaks to the North you will enjoy some stunning scenery. Many Cape Floral Fynbos species can be found with some patches of indigenous forests in the reserve. Don’t let the leopard footprints in the tracks let you lose focus.
Stage 3 – Swellendam – Riversdale
This will not be the longest stage of the tour however don’t underestimate as it is possibly the hardest of them all. The first 15km through farmlands will only be the start of some tough gravel riding up ahead. You will have to climb up the gravel version of Alp du Huez with about 400m of altitude gain of steep gravel terrain. After you have reached the top you will descend into the Duiwenhoks river valley with a few serious rolling hills before reaching Riversdale for a welcome rest.
Stage 4 – Riversdale – Calitzdorp
From the lush green garden route to the semi dessert of the little Karoo. First you will need to conquer Garcia pass to reach this beautiful arid region. Then you will the reach Rooiberg pass with the views of the little Karoo opening up as you crest the pass. With a total of 69 bends in the 14km, corners and curves aplenty make sure you keep something in the legs for this majestic section.
Stage 5 – Calitzdorp – Oudtshoorn
The shortest and easiest of all the stages, you will have earned this mid ride recovery day! Take the opportunity to spin out the legs and recover for what lies ahead on stage 6. Flat and fast whilst riding into the ostrich capital of the world. Keep your eyes up and your head out of the sand !
Stage 6 – Oudtshoorn – Knysna
Leaving Oudtshoorn and the Karoo behind and heading for the sea, you will ride down this 17 kms of magnificently scenic narrow, gravel road decending from the tiny hamlet of Herold into George. First, however, you need to climb the Montague pass which was build in 1848 at a cost of 36000 Pound Sterling. After riding through the town of George you will need to conquer the 7 passes of the lush and green forests of the Garden Route. Riding down Phantom pass you will start to smell the sea and the Rainmaker braai.
Stage 7 – Knysna – Plettenberg Bay
This will be a stunning day out through the the enclosed Knysna forests sections. The forest is home to some of South Africa’s oldest indigenous trees and include Ironwood (Olea capensis), Stinkwood (Ocotea bullata), Outeniqua Yellowwood. The forest is also home to the African elephant and they are seen on rare occasions. This day and tour will be rounded off by visiting the Kwano Cycling Academy before finishing in Plettenberg Bay.