Well known race organisers and trail developers, Dirtopia, will head up race management of the event. Dirtopia has spent the last 2 years developing new trails on Uitkyk, Delheim, Knorhoek and Muratie estates and while riders may have had tastes of these routes while participating in the Cape’s major mountain bike classics, no event has really showcased the entire network of routes.
Further, the event is run in partnership with the Simonsberg Conservancy, representing 24 farms around the Simonsberg mountain, including a host of Stellenbosch’s premier wine estates. In terms of the deal, the Conservancy receives an annual financial contribution to beef up administration as well as becoming a shareholder in the event.
According to event director, Meurant Botha, this is a unique management structure for an event. “We felt it was time to address the current status where event organisers operated commercially on the back of landowners’ generosity and develop a model where there is real financial benefit to the properties as well”.
Further, the event is investing in tourism related infrastructure geared towards trail visitors on several properties. “This is first and foremost a legacy project aimed at enhancing the trails-tourism potential of the region. We’ve long since identified the Simonsberg with it’s premier attractions as the perfect trails destination and are confident that this event and accompanying product development will be an asset to the region and it’s landowners.”
” Fairtree Capital is delighted to partner with the Simonsberg Conservancy and Dirtopia in a way that benefits all parties and hope to offer riders a very enjoyable experience of the spectacular winelands region”
In terms of routing, a major trail build is underway. The Simonsberg is known for it’s general steepness, so it is quite fitting that the Contour’s name addresses this challenge. Dirtopia’s trail building activities has already unlocked many farms with more accessible contour trails, making it possible for riders to enjoy the stunning vistas that the region offers.
While the final route will be launched later this year, riders can expect daily stages of 55-60km, each with around 1500m of elevation. Botha emphasised that the emphasis will be on a fun, trail experience, a perfect season opener for the stage race season.
Hosted by the region’s wine estates, riders can look forward to an exciting harvest-time wine route experience.