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Escape to Nature during the Potberg & De Hoop MTB

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Entries for the 2016 edition of the fantastic Potberg & De Hoop MTB are open. The two day stage race, which takes place on the 3rd and 4th of September, has become a firm favourite on the mountain biking calendar – as it offers manageable distances, varied riding, a social setting and takes place in one of the most scenic parts of the country. Plus in 2016 adidas Eyewear will be offering adidas Eyewear products as prizes for podium finishers and one lucky Potberg & De Hoop MTB entrant will win a pair of the fantastic adidas evil eye evo sunglasses, complete with their ground breaking vario lenses.

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All you have to do to stand the chance to win the adidas evil eye evo with vario tuned lenses is enter the Potberg & De Hoop MTB and you’ll automatically be placed in the lucky draw to win these stunning mountain biking sunglasses. Asides from the prize winning incentives the riding, catering and setting at the Potberg & De Hoop MTB are more than reason enough to enter. The riding takes place in and around the iconic De Hoop Nature Reserve, best known for the five day Whale Trail hiking trail and the amazing whale watching the De Hoop coast line offers. The riding is largely non-technical, with sections of rocky jeep track and tricky singletracks adding spice to the routes.

Stage one starts on the Potberg section of De Hoop Nature Reserve, near the environmental education centre where you probably spent a week on a school trip years ago. The first stage offers 75km, and 25km distances, with the long route skirting the western slopes of the Potberg Mountain as it heads for the Breede River. Following trails and jeep tracks across the Overberg’s wheat farms the route joins the river and follows it toward the Indian Ocean before heading across the saddle of the Potberg and descending into a valley between the mountain and the limestone hills which overlook the sea. At the 50km mark riders pass the start at Potberg and continue on the same route as the 25km riders followed earlier in the day. The final kilometres take the riders from Potberg along grassy jeep tracks past the hamlet of Ouplaas and over the undulating limestone hills into De Hoop Nature Reserve. Coming in the main entrance of the reserve the view across the plains, teaming with bontebok, eland and ostriches, towards the snow-white sand dunes and the azure ocean is enough to take one’s breath away. Fortunately it’s largely downhill to the finish from there. The finish line is situated on the banks of the De Hoop Vlei, in front of the De Hoop Collection’s spectacular new wedding venue.

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Stage two starts at the De Hoop opstal and the route options offer 55km and 22km distance options. Both distances start with a loop to the bottom of the De Hoop Vlei allowing riders with ornithological interests the opportunity to spot both rare and plentiful species of birds on the Ramsar protected wetland. The long route riders then climb the limestone hills before descending a ridgeline towards the west and rejoining the banks of the vlei. In recent years the high water level has forced riders off their bikes as they crossed the causeway at the headwaters of the De Hoop Vlei, but given the dry end to 2015 it’s unlikely the vlei will be as full come September the 4th this year. After crossing the vlei riders pass out of Cape Nature’s property and onto private land as they follow the trickling Wolwerivier towards Ouplaas. A technical singletrack climb, which fortuitously averages a manageable 6.5% average gradient, follows hard on the heels of water point two as riders cross back over the limestone hills into De Hoop Nature Reserve. The closing kilometres are once again predominantly downhill to the finish at the De Hoop Collection where a scrumptious lunch and a complimentary Mitchells Beer await.

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Would be entrants to the Potberg & De Hoop MTB can look forward to a weekend in one of the Western Cape’s premier nature reserves, which boasts fantastic southern right whale viewing from the sand dunes, amazing birding, one of the most diverse floral regions in the fynbos biome and guaranteed sightings of the rare and endangered cape mountain zebra and bontebok. Aside from the natural attractions and mountain biking, the Potberg & De Hoop MTB also offers scrumptious catering and a relaxed tour-style vibe throughout the weekend. Racing results are rewarded at the Potberg & De Hoop MTB but the real fun is had by the riders stopping to take in the scenery or enjoying an extra glass, or two, of wine over lunch and dinner.

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The Potberg & De Hoop MTB is truly a must do event for the mountain biker looking for a memorably family getaway, to find out more visit www.gardenrouteevents.co.za or to enter online click here. Remember entering the Potberg & De Hoop MTB automatically enters you in the lucky draw to win a pair of adidas evil eye evo sunglasses, with vario tuned lenses, but if you’re not fortunate enough to win adidas Eyewear will be on hand at reception and on both race days with their full range of performance eyewear. If you’d like to learn more about the adidas Eyewear range or the vario lenses you can click here. To stay updated and indulge in the pre-race stoke like Garden Route Events on Facebook, follow @gardenroute300 on Twitter and gardenrouteevents on Instagram.

Fast Facts: Potberg & De Hoop MTB

Event Website:         www.gardenrouteevents.co.za

Event Dates:             3 & 4 September 2016

Location:                   De Hoop Nature Reserve, Western Cape

Stage 1 Stats:           Long 75km | Short 25km

Stage 2 Stats:           Long 55km | Short 22km

Entry Fees:                From R1 440 per rider | Click here for more information

Facebook:                 Garden Route Events

Twitter:                       @gardenroute300

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