This stage is consistently rated as the favourite by all riders – it must be something to do with the exclusivity of the ride, but probably more so the views across this rugged coastline. Just after the start, riders descend the historic old pass down to the Storms River gorge, then travel through Bluelillybush plantation onto a route that follows open plantation tracks towards the east.
This landscape of recently harvested trees and thick mature forests, wind towards water point 1, nestled high above the ocean with a straight drop to the sea. The ride proceeds with a cliff-hugging ride straight towards water point 2, situated far above Storms River mouth, overlooking the National Park below. Just over 12 kilometers to go, back onto the Storms River pass, the climb takes you to the race village to cherish a well-deserved day.
|Start:||Friday, 11 August 2023| 08:30 | Tsitsikamma Village Inn | GPS S33 58.425 E23 53.200|
|Waterpoints:||27km | 52km|
|Approximate finishing times:||Leaders 10:30 | Middle markers 11:30 | Back markers 12:30|
The shortest day of this year’s race must not be underestimated. The route takes you in a westerly direction into the lush indigenous forests just above MTO’s Lottering plantation. Even though man-made, these well-preserved forests and jeep tracks create a wonderful riding experience.
The route takes a sharp turn to the south heading towards the ocean, through more forestry roads onto Waterpoint 1, just before riders cross underneath the national road. This last section as well as the next 10 kilometres is a brand-new addition to this year’s route. Riders make their way nearing the ocean, where riding on the water’s edge gets a whole new meaning winding through undulating forestry tracks towards Waterpoint 2. An easy ride towards the finish caps an interesting second stage where the friendly and hospitable faces of your hosts at the Inn await.
|Start:||Saturday, 12 August 2023 | 08:30 | Tsitsikamma Village Inn | GPS S33 58.425 E23 53.200|
|Waterpoints:||18km | 37km|
|Spectator point:||GPS: S34° 00.251′ E23° 51.225′|
|Approximate finishing times:||Leaders 10:00 | Middle markers 10:30 | Back markers 11:30|
Today’s ride starts once again in an easterly direction through the Storms River gorge taking riders through beautiful dairy farmlands, courtesy of the local landowners. From here the routes takes a sharp turn to the north, to water point 1, crossing under the national road traversing the southern slopes of the Tsitsikamma mountains. The views are breathtaking, the tracks smooth and easy and the water points are packed with cold drinks and locally produced fruits and other delicacies.
On the return, riding under canopies of indigenous trees and crossing the fern infested ancient rivers, riders will have the finish in sight – 3 days spent riding and enjoying the magnificent Tsitsikamma area will give the soul time to breathe, until next time…
|Start:||Sunday, 13 August 2023 | 08:30 | Tsitsikamma Village Inn | GPS S33 58.425 E23 53.200|
|Waterpoints:||25km | 40km|
|Spectator point:||GPS S33° 59.987′ E23° 56.868′|
|Approximate finishing times:||Leaders 10:00 | Middle markers 10:45 | Back markers 11:45|