The route for the 2017 TransCape mountain bike event, taking place from February 5 to 11 from Knysna to Franschhoek, has been changed.
Following the trial ride last week, route director Wayne Collett and his team have decreased the total amount of climbing by 1 300m as well as the cumulative distance from 675km to 650km.
The total distance of the event is now set at 650km with 10 700m of elevation over seven stages.
The two stages on which the changes have been implemented are the first two.
Instead of covering 102km and 2 600m of ascent, the first stage has been tweaked to offer an 80km ride with an elevation of 1 700m from Knysna to Wilderness.
Stage two is the queen stage and remains a monster challenge at 135km, but it has been reduced from 2 400m to 2 000m.
With the changes the stage becomes infinitely more ridable with a delightfully quick and scenic middle half.
It’s also now sandwiched in between two 80km stages, which balances the first half of the event nicely.
The route crew, consisting of Andrew White, Wayne Collett, Peter Dowling and race director Darren Herbst worked on the changes during their week-long riding excursion to bring the route in line with where the organisation would like to position the event.
“The changes will temper the overall challenge to bring it in line with the event owners’ vision for TransCape,” said Collett.
“We want to offer riders an iconic challenge, but it’s not our aim to benchmark it on the difficulty of the Cape Epic.
“With these changes we feel it nestles nicely in between the Epic and some of the more manageable three-day stage races in the country from a difficulty perspective – certainly nothing as difficult as the Epic,” he said.
New stage distances and elevations:
Stage one: 80km, 1 570m
Stage two: 139km, 2 008m
Stage three: 80km, 1 516m
Stage four: 98km, 1 670m
Stage five: 110km, 1 493m
Stage six: 64km, 1 621m
Stage seven: 79.5km, 1 863m