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The 2018 Route For The Cape Epic

From the magnificent slopes of Table Mountain to the fantastic majestic Grand Finale situated at Val de Vie Estate with a crazy time trial between, the Cape Epic 2018 route was designed to be bold and balanced. The overall distance covers 658km, with 13 530M of climbing that will include 4 consecutive days of 100km, and the final stage which is extremely difficult to reach the line, with a Stage 5 time-trial that may shake-up even the most elite riders. There will be highlights screened everyday on Supersport so we hope you have updated your membership and have your DSTV installation optimized for this amazing event.

Here is an overview about the 2018 route:

Table Mountain: The Prologue

This section covers over 20km with 600m of climbing. Short but extremely sharp, riders will have to ride over a vicious climb on 100m in length with certain sections that ramp up to steep and unforgiving gradients. The last punch on Table Mountain is Dead Man’s Tree before they will find a mass of spectators waiting to cheer the riders on, where they will loop back onto the finish. The last challenge includes the quick descent associated with Plum Pudding, which is the Land Rover Technical Terrain section.

Robertson- Robertson: Stage 1

This section covers over 110km with 1900m of climbing. The first day of the Cape Epic is never easy that welcomes all riders that come with a smile that soon turns into a grimace associated with endurance and effort. This part of the race involves rolling around farm roads, that follow up with sharp kickers and a rock n%u2019 roll descent over rutted and rocky descent of Con’s Single-track. The Takkap Climb occurs just before the halfway mark and is considered the largest challenge for this day. Then the “Hidden Cliff” of Skuilkraans forms a part of the 14km uphill battle before a small reprieve and a few more testing climbs that go through the Elandskloof Reserve.

Robertson-Robertson: Stage 2

This stage covers 110km and 2000m of climbing. This part of the race is similar to a 10-round championship boxing-match with its different climbs that throw uppercuts and jabs at the riders throughout the day. There is a bit of fun to be had with the Bosvark 10km single-track swoop after 82km, which for most riders is the highlight of their day. It is advisable to keep their reserves for the remaining 40km.

Robertson-Worcester: Stage 3

This is the transition day that is longest-stage for the Cape Epic but is not regarded as the most-challenging when it comes to terrain. This stage covers 122km and 1800m of climbing. The initial 20km will include 3 climbs, with Penn Hill the primary challenge for the day with a 3.5km brute climb which comes directly after a 12km uphill graft.

Worcester-Wellington: Stage 4

This section covers 111km and 1800m of climbing as is regarded as the toughest part of the race. This section is inclusive of the 2 hardest climbs of the Cape Epic that will leave a few riders extremely exasperated at certain times.

Wellington-Wellington: Stage 5

This stage is the flat out but very far from actually flat and covers 39km with 1430m of climbing. This is a timed trial that could shake event the most elite of the categories with the intensity associated with altitude gain and a very short day. Rondawel forms the first 5km of the race, followed by Plantation over 13km, and Seven Peaks over 22km. The fun really begins with Bobsled bridge along with the single-track descents of “Cool Runnings” and “Cool Runnings Two”.

Wellington-Wellington: Stage 6

This section covers 76km along with 2000m of climbing. This is regarded as a fun-day for the Cape Epic, but riders still need to travel up in order to enjoy all the down hills.

Wellington- Val de Vie: Stage 7

The last leg of the Cape Epic involves 70km and 2000m of climbing, where the climb starts after just 3km on the Patatskloof, with the concrete strips which indicate the start of the Beulah climb. Once Protea Climb is completed riders are given a glimpse of the finish situated at iconic Val de Vie, yet are faced with the final challenge, known as Freedom Struggle Climb. This Bone Rattler descent will be followed up by a 3km bumpy, rocky and very loose descent where all riders need to exercise extreme caution. The last 6km is over the purpose-built singe track onto Grand Finale situated at Val de Vie Estate where riders get to celebrate wearing the Cape Epic finisher’s medals.

Get On Your Bike – Bicycle Wine Tours Of The Cape Winelands

A trip to South Africa’s world-renowned Cape Winelands is a treat for any wine lover. For many people this means a day trip by car or on a tour bus to enjoy some of the most scenic attractions (and some of the best wines) in the world.

However, there’s another way to enjoy the sites, scents and sounds of South Africa’s famous wine destinations such as the Franschhoek Valley, Paarl, and Stellenbosch – and that’s on a Cape Town bike tour through the winelands.

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These areas offer numerous trails and gentle meanders through the vineyards and green tree lined roads that make any wine tour a delight for the senses. These bicycle routes and tours are ideal for the nature lover and the family that is looking to spend some quality time in the fresh air of these unspoiled areas.

There are a number of different tour operators that make bicycle tours of the Cape Winelands accessible for visitors. The routes vary in intensity and range from gentle meanders suitable for all ages to more challenging and longer routes that take in a wide variety of different vineyards.

Tour operators will provide transport in an air conditioned bus to the Winelands, as well as provide a qualified and professional guide. The operator will also provide mountain bikes – suitable for the smaller gentle dirt roads that are found in many vineyards, as well as arranging entrance fees and wine tasting fees at the wine estates that are going to be the focal point of the vineyard cycling experience.

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Some of the most popular tours are of the Stellenbosch region where those taking part can enjoy visits to up to four different wine estates. Included in these tours are visits to cellars, wine tasting and access to experts from the various estates who will be on hand to educate and inform riders about the wine making process and the finer points of wine tasting.

A sample itinerary for a day exploring the Winelands could consist of a gentle cycling experience suitable for the whole family. This would take in between two and three vineyards and usually take a day on a route that is up to 5 miles in length. This short excursion is suitable for all ages and is ideal for families with younger children. This sort of day out will sometimes include lunch at one of the world-class vineyard restaurants – often enjoyed under majestic Oak trees.

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For a more strenuous exploration experience, there are also tours which can range up to 13 miles in length. This is adventure biking and wine tasting at its best. Many tour operators will offer three (or more) vineyards, as well as one of Stellenbosch’s famous Van Ryn brandy distillery. During this route, riders will be exposed to some of the Cape’s most scenic vistas – including the internationally acclaimed views over False Bay. In addition, riders will also be exposed to the culinary expertise of some of South Africa’s most well-respected chefs and some of the most beautiful places to enjoy a relaxing and invigorating lunch in the beautiful surroundings of wine estates that can trace their heritage back to the 17th century.

A wine tour combined with a relaxing day of bicycling is the perfect way to enjoy some of the world’s best wines and some of the best scenery in on the globe. With the wide variety of bicycling options available, this is an option that should be of interest to the whole family. If you have your heart set on the Cape Winelands this is well worth investigating.

The Top Five Wine Farms In South Africa’s Cape Winelands

Favorite wines are largely a matter of individual taste, however awards and peer recognition, as well as export orders can usually be used as yardsticks to measure the success of a country’s wine production.

In the case of South Africa widespread international recognition has been a mark of the success of its wine production and the excellence of its many different types of both red and white. this been the case for generations and has only accelerated since South Africa came out from under the dark cloud of Apartheid.

The South African region most often recognized for the excellence of its wines can be found in the Cape Province, South Africa’s most southerly province – which is also home to what many South African’s regard as the Mother City – Cape Town.

The Cape Winelands (as the area where wine production is widespread) boasts many areas of excellence, centered around the towns of Franschoek, Stellenbosch, Wellington, Robertson, Somerset West and Paarl. It is these areas where some of South Africa’s best wine farms are situated.

It’s a difficult choice to make, but if one were forced to identify five wine farms that should be on every international visitors the following 5 would certainly be in contention.

#1 Rust en Vrede.

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Rust en Vrede has been around for over 300 years and produces some of the Cape’s most well respected Merlot’s, Cabernet’s and Shiraz (internationally know as ‘Syrah’) wines. Nelson Mandela has a keen appreciation for the wine produced at this estate and today it’s also known for it’s namesake restaurant which is consistently rated as among the best in South Africa.

#2 Vergelegen.

Vergelegen Winery and mountains

Established in 1700 that wine farm consistently produces wines that score extremely highly in the top 100 wines of the world. The scenic gardens are an added attraction for visitors. The Cabernet Sauvignon V has won multiple awards across the world and is perhaps the star of the extremely attractive Vergelegen lineup. As far as white wines are concerned those in the know will always take the opportunity to stock up on the very well regarded the reserve Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc range available from the estate, it is however the red that has been favorably compared to the best that France has to offer.

#3 La Motte.

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For some the La Motte Chardonnay can stand head to head with the best in the world – and the Sauvignon Blanc’s and Shiraz offerings are extremely well regarded as well. The Franschoek estate also plays host to the ‘Pierneef à la Motte’ restaurant – winner of multiple awards.

#4 Meerlust.

Aerial View of Meerlust

A well loved and regarded estate Meerlust was established in 1693 and it’s Bordeaux blend Rubicon can be found in some of the finest restaurants across the globe. Other notable reds are the Pinot Noir and Merlot offerings. It also has a wide variety of very impressive white wines available. A visit to this estate will simply not disappoint lovers of red wine – while the whites are elegant and subtle.

#5 Rust en Vrede.

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This is one of South Africa’s most venerable wine estates being established in 1694. The estate produces only red wines and that focus has enabled it to built a reputation as one of the premier red wine producers in the world. The rich and velvety Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines are an absolute delight.

A visit to the Cape Winelands will provide a rich and varied experience for any lover of wine. As a bonus the value of South African wine due to favorable exchange rate is simply very hard to beat.