The two-day Varsity MTB Challenge event in Paarl, which will be held on Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1, will have a race village at the Nederburg wine farm as its centrepiece, with cloverleaf routes starting and finishing at the race village.
Although billed as an alumni challenge, it is also aimed at the general public, who can compete in two-man teams. Student teams will compete in a separate competition within the main event.
Last year, the race started at Nederburg but finished at La Paris, from where the second stage began.
“The big difference this year is that we’re centralising the race village at Nederburg with a cloverleaf route on both days,” said ASG Events managing director Wynand De Villiers.
“This will create an easier, user-friendly experience. For example, you can park your car on the Friday and leave it in the same spot for the whole weekend, without having to go anywhere or arranging any transport or related logistics.”
He added that, from an organisational point of view, they would be able to put all their efforts into one venue instead of having to split things up.
Mr de Villiers said the two-day stage race concept was relatively new, but he felt it had plenty of potential.
“Participants don’t have to take any time off work and it’s the type of race where you know you can get two proper riding days in, especially if you’re training for an event like Wines2Whales.”
ASG operations manager Darren Herbst said the main accommodation option was two nights in a tented village at Nederburg, which features two comfortable single beds with mattresses, white linen, duvets and pillows, as well as bedside tables, electric lanterns, blankets, carpets, chairs and towels.
Mr Herbst said other facilities available to the entrants would be a bike park and storage, bike wash, beer garden, wine-tasting and food stalls.
“There will also be the FNB Massage and Recovery Zone, which will be free to all riders, with no pre-booking necessary.”
To enter and for details, visit www.varsitymtbchallenge.co.za