The Cape Classic 380 is set to take place for the first time from 31 October to 2 November in one of the most picturesque areas of the Western Cape.
The Cape Classic will be based in Montagu in the Western Cape on the famous Route 62, which will be having its annual Rose Festival over that weekend.
The rides will have rolling road closures so that riders can ride in a completely traffic safe environment.
Event organiser, Andrew Selby, who has been toying with the idea for about two years, wanted to enter a multi-day road event but found no such event. So he promptly started conceptualising an event and identifying and testing routes. He chose the Montagu area for its natural beauty, location, easy traffic and the fact that there are no such events in the area.
He says, “The idea is to have fun on what could be a lovely family outing with beautiful routes, lots of nice restaurants, a variety of accommodation and some very famous wine estates.”
During the ride there will be motorbike outriders, plus vehicles supporting and protecting the riders. Mechanical support will be available throughout the rides for any punctures and other mechanical failures. The organisers will replace tubes but any other parts are for the riders’ own account. Bikes will be cleaned every day.
Watering and feeding points will be positioned at suitable points along the rides for riders to stock up on carbs and liquids. Partners of the event organisers will provide their products and there will be some healthy locally sourced food.
Food, including a full breakfast spread from 6h00 daily and drinks will be available at the Start Village, as well as mechanics for any last minute requirements. Lunch will be provided every day after the stage and there will be a final celebratory lunch in Ceres on day 3, at which three jerseys will be awarded.
Registration will take place the evening before Day 1, where snacks will be provided and there will be an opportunity to meet fellow riders.
A number of ride captains will be part of the pelotons who will be there to help set the pace, ride at the front, if necessary, and pull anyone who has dropped back for any reason back into the peloton.
All participants will be provided with a Cape Classic jersey, though riders will be more than welcome to ride in their own colours.
A dedicated ambulance with qualified paramedics will follow the tour for the complete event for any unlikely accidents.
A team of professional biokineticists, physiotherapists and masseuses will be on hand to help with any niggles and/or tired legs at the end of the day’s ride.
The event will be open for entries at R4 900 per cyclist from 8 April 2014 on a first paid, first entered basis.
Says Selby, “Over the three days there will be a competition with three designated Sprint Lines and three King of the Mountains Pass finishes at which riders will be awarded points and at the end of the event we will be awarding jerseys for King of the Mountains and best Sprinter.”
A part of the ride entry fee will be donated to a worthy charity partner of the Cape Classic and those wishing to be more involved are more than welcome to donate additional time, money or other goods.
Selby adds, “The local community will be involved as much as possible, including any skill transfers that we can give as part of the process, for example, the mechanics will be assisted by locally hired individuals who will be trained in basic bicycle mechanics.
“I would also like to express our appreciation to the provincial government and local municipalities for going out of their way to assist us wherever they could. We trust that this event will provide a significant capital injection to the area in terms of tourism.”
There are two limited all in packages which include accommodation at the start village at the Montagu Country Hotel, namely single accommodation in a classic room for R6,650 and double accommodation in a luxury room at R8,150. The latter is the price of one rider plus another person sharing. However, there are numerous other accommodation offers in Montagu to suit most tastes and budgets.
Day 1: There and Back Again, a Koo Valley Tale
31 October 2014 7h00 start at the Start Village
Riders will assemble at the start village and ride up the majestic Koo valley where the formidable Burgers and Rooihoogte passes await. The stage will be 144 kms long and involve a total climb of 2 050m. Riders will ride as pelotons but, given the nature of climbs and descents, some splintering of the groups will be inevitable.
Spring should be in full bloom and the fruit blossoms will provide a perfumed canopy of flowers for those who have the energy to look up.
Day 2: Cape Classic Route – A cruise around the Breede River
1 November 2014 7h00 start at the Start Village
The ride through the picturesque Breede River Valley in a loop from Montagu around Bonnievale.
This stage will be 98 kms and involve a relatively tame 760 m climb. The ride will be in a peloton with designated sprint points.
The Breede River will be crossed twice, once on a trestle bridge and once through a ford, then the Groot River will be crossed.
Given the river valleys, the riding is mostly through lush rolling valleys, though there is a 250m climb at the 76km mark to keep riders honest.
A number of famous wine estates will be passed.
Day 3: Historic South Africa
2 November 2014 7h00 start at the Start Village
Stage 3 will take the ride from Montagu (founded 1851) through the beautiful Slanghoek Valley with a mountain top finish on Michell’s Pass. 138 km of cycling with 950 m of ascending complete the tour. There will be one designated sprint point and Michell’s Pass will count for King of the Mountains.
As riders leave Montagu for the last time, they will be under a rolling start à la the Grand Tours, which will give them some time to notice the national monuments down Long Street (the most in one street in South Africa) and the English fort perched on the rocks above the tunnel as they exit Montagu.
The ride will then go through Ashton (1897), Robertson (1853), Rawsonville and the magnificent Slanghoek Valley (1709), where there will be a refreshment break.
Riders will then turn right towards Ceres, with the historic Bainskloof Pass(1853) on their left, the last climb up to the top of Michell’s Pass (1848, also built by Andrew Bain ) for the finish and then a short cruise into Ceres for a final celebratory lunch.