IT’S A RACE LIKE NO OTHER, FROM THE HEART OF THE KAROO COMES THE RACE WITH SOUL. Taking place from 4 – 20 Oct or 17 – 20 Oct 2018 in the Western Cape, this race promises to deliver on everything mountain bikers love about their sport.
From the arid desertscapes of the Groot Karoo to the great mountains of the Klein Karoo and the aboriginal forests of the Garden Route, the Cape Pioneer has it all, a truly African mountain biking experience. The magic lies in the unique combination of exciting, diverse trails, passionate people and authentic human connection, brought to you by world class event organisers. The result is a race that has achieved near legendary status.
A ROUTE UNMATCHED IN DIVERSITY
IN SEVEN DAYS, THE PIONEER TAKES YOU FROM UNSPOILED COASTAL TRACKS TO DENSE WOODLANDS, GREAT MOUNTAINS AND THE VAST PLAINS AND WILDLIFE IN THE HEART OF THE KAROO.
We’ll be back with a fiery urban element that takes the race to the spectators. Soak up the spray from the Indian Ocean with a spin on the beach, before heading up, up through lush coastal pine forest towards the foot of the Outeniqua, your first big-mountain experience. Soaring passes and white knuckle descents deliver you into the shimmering depths of the Klein Karoo desert. Watch the mercury rise as the racing cranks up a gear, the race heading North, offering fame and fortune for those who dares to take her on. Feel the tingle of excitement, love the burn, embrace the adventure!
The 2018 route is truly a culmination of the best trails and areas we have utilized over the years. The focus is on pure enjoyment, even during the travel stages, which are naturally slighter longer, the emphasis was shifted to more fun and scenic areas to ride through. The addition of many new single-track sections, which is still in the construction phase, will elevate the 2018 edition to something to cherish.
Even the iconic landmarks within the route will have that added twist to enhance overall rider enjoyment even though it will still remain a challenge of note. Above all, we have found that trail sweet spot that will stay with the riders forever. Enjoy.
Major route changes continue to deepen the allure of the Cape Pioneer Trek, with one of the biggest draw cards this year coming right at the start.
We had to bring this one back – too many requests could not be ignored. The prologue route is the most spectacular in all the years and similar to that of 2015 and 2016 with an added cliff hanging single-track that has never been seen before. The start at Milkwood primary school is followed by a knee-jerking climb to the St Blaise lighthouse and then the single track starts, all along the edge of the drop-off towards the sea, truly exhilarating.
The boardwalks and beachfronts of the Point area will be on the menu as well as a beautiful view of the Bay where Bartholomew Dias set foot in 1488, then known as the Bay of Saint Blaise.
The distance is 15 km with around 500 meters of total vertical ascent – just note that the majority of the ascent happens in the first 4 kilometres!
Stage 1: #GondwanaGlory
Stage 1 will showcase the Mossel Bay area, new areas as well as those exquisite former utilized trails are included. Riders head North West towards freshly cut single tracks just commissioned and then head onto Gondwana Private Nature Reserve. This 11 000 hectare reserve offers a truly unique wilderness experience and riders will come face to face with the free roaming Big 5 game of the African continent.
Truly a spectacular area with views of the mighty Outeniqua Mountains and the ocean close by. The route’s approach to the urban areas has changed completely with more new tracks through adjacent beach areas and onto Milkwood School for a well-deserved night on the water’s edge.
Don’t underestimate this stage, still tough but very rewarding.