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Our route-building team have unearthed every bit of wonderful and rideable mountain-biking terrain on and around the Paarl Mountain and the end result is the very best way to experience the mountain and the views over the surrounding Simonsberg and Drakenstein ranges.
These imposing ranges are just an unbelievable sight early morning and you can even see Table Mountain from the top of Paarl Mountain.
Participants will also come within 200m of the distinctive Taal Monument, another standout feature on the landscape.
Both stages start and finish at the beautiful Rhebokskloof Estate on the Northern Slopes of Paarl Mountain.
The 60km first stage circumvents the entire Paarl Mountain anti-clockwise from Rhebokskloof Wine Estate with the notable addition of some wonderful trails on the Suid-Agter Paarl side which connects Rhebokskloof with Spice Route Estate without having to summit the mountain in the process.

After Spice Route the event drops down into Fairview where 8km of brand new riding also awaits on Fairview (for the first time on the southern side of the N1) before riders climb halfway up the mountain via the Jan Phillips Drive dirt road before accessing Rhebokskloof (and some wonderful single track riding to the finish!) from below the mountain – not as per normal via the Google Ridge descent on top of the mountain.

After dropping down the famous single track at Rhebokskloof to the finish on the lush grass embankment at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, each rider is rewarded with an ice-cold Coke or a craft beer from CBC – the fastest growing independent brewery in the country.
CBC also erect a waterpoint on the first stage which is a very popular stop – it’s almost like riding into a beer tent with free draft beers, music and a wonderful MC.
If you’re not hooked on mountain biking before this, it will be a completely different picture afterwards.

The Sanlam MTB Invitational route encompasses all best features on the Paarl Mountain. Riders can expect wide open plains, strong climbing challenges, majestic mountain views, deep ravines, indigenous forests and spectacular views. The route is characterised by riveting jeep tracks, challenging rocky outcrops, fast flowing downhills, meandering river crossings and stunning single-track.

route stage1_route_profileSTAGE 1

The ride is aimed at accomplished mountain-bikers who are looking for a true off-road challenge, and the first stage personifies this.

Proceedings start off from Rhebokskloof and heads towards Ridgeback and the adjacent farms on the Suid-Agter Paarl side. It takes riders around the mountain through various wine estates, orchards and some custum built trails.

The event traverses the mountain anti-clockwise before dropping into Spice Route where riders will encounter the popular CBC “water” point. Riders are advised not to dig into too many drafts as this is only the halfway-mark of the event.

Riders pass by the Spice Route artisan village, through Fairview and Diamant and then dip under the N1 Freeway via a brand new culvert, which is only being completed shortly before the event.

Riders do 8km of fast riding on the Southern side of the freeway before making their way back towards the mountain and the Taal Monument. The event doesn’t climb all the way to the Monument.

Instead it pops out on the tar road climb to the Taal Monument, but only for a few hundred metres before tackling some fine single track adjacent to Jan Phillips Drive.

From Jan Phillips Drive it’s a gravel road climb but not all the way to the top and the well-known radio tower. It stays on the lower slopes of the mountain to access Rhebokskloof side-on.

The final few kilometres are absolutely sublime and take place on some new single track sections with Route Director Darren Herbst has built.

The route has been designed with the Rhebokskloof single track section on the last stretch, which will afford riders a congestion-free experience on this award winning blue ribbon trail.

The route is packed with great trails and views and the waterpoints make for a festive addition with lots of entertainment, atmosphere and a selection of eats and drinks.

The route has been designed to give experienced mountain bikers a true challenge which will leave them not only out of breath, but also absolutely breathless on various sections because the views are without their equal on top of the mountain.

The views on the course are spectacular, to put it mildly. For most of the route the spectacular Drakenstein Mountains provide a view to the north while on the other side Table Mountain and the Simonsberg provide a backdrop which the finest of artists will struggle to recreate.

The total ascent on the first stage is 1550 metres.

Riders pass by the Spice Route artisan village, through Fairview and Diamant and then take a right turn halfway back down the mountain again to go around the Taal Monument.

The trail pops out on the tar road climb to the Taal Monument, but only for a few hundred metres before tackling some fine single track adjacent to Jan Phillips Drive.

From Jan Phillips Drive it’s a gravel road climb all way to the water tower before the real fun starts on the way back to Rhebokskloof. The event finishes on a sublime 12km single track section at Rhebokskloof, which has been described by many as the finest in the whole of South Africa.

The route has been designed with the Rhebokskloof single track section on the last stretch, which will afford riders a congestion-free experience on this award winning blue ribbon trail.

The route is packed with great trails and views and the waterpoints make for a festive addition with lots of entertainment, atmosphere and a selection of eats and drinks.

The route has been designed to give experienced mountain bikers a true challenge which will leave them not only out of breath, but also absolutely breathless on various sections because the views are without their equal on top of the mountain.

The views on the course are spectacular, to put it mildly. For most of the route the spectacular Drakenstein Mountains provide a view to the north while on the other side Table Mountain and the Simonsberg provide a backdrop which the finest of artists will struggle to recreate.

The total ascent on the first stage is 1700 metres.

route2 stage2_route_profileSTAGE 2

After a mild and picturesque start, the 40km ride gets down to the business end very quickly, ascending the mountain on some sublime single track on Rhebokskloof into the reserve. The 2nd stage does a shorter loop on top of the mountain before dropping back into Rhebokskloof and its wonderful single track, which riders have the opportunity of doing again.

The total ascent on the second stage is 800 metres.