Get a taste of what to expect by checking out the route info below!
We can tell you it will be more of the same plus lots more! Farmer Glen is always making sure the route gets better and better. Please note that due to farming operations the weather and various other factors distances may vary slightly. As we get closer to the event chances of changes become less.
9 May 2017
10 May 2017
11 May 2017
Glencairn Farm, Himeville, Sani Pass Road, 8am
MacKenzie Country Club, Eastwolds, Ixopo
Water Point 1:
Water Point 2:
Aveage max temp:
- The first 3.2km will be a neutral zone where all riders will stay behind the race lead car controlled at 20km/h.
- Thereafter the racing will begin with the first 12km being open district road. This will warm the legs and a smallish drag will split the batch before entering the first dual track at Acutt s Avenue, a fast, generally down 3.5km dual track which has been re designed and added to with a number of mergers, bridges and passing opportunities.
- Breaking out of the gum plantation you will race along the fast district road passing through green valleys filled with dairy cows. You will be surprise by a new left turn leading into the farm of old and bearded mayor of Pevency, Lyn Bloemeyer and his young son, Joe. Their herd of Jersey cows will think you all nuts travelling at such speed through their home. After passing Lyn’s pride and joy, his 9 tower center pivot you into the scenic farm belonging to strongest farmer in Underberg, Charles Taylor. Take time to look at the Southern Drankenberg whist riding south back to familiar ground with the second “dual” single-track section through the Oak Maze. Remember to keep left and pass right or just dice each other flat out.
- Watch the fast descent before breaking back out onto another new section of single track up Death Valley designed to eliminate the wide open road and the drag up to the first spectator point. Thereafter, you will cross the railway line and there will be no respite before the first significant climb up to the highest point of the event at View Climb. If the pressure is not on, this is the final time to steal a glance of the Southern Drakensberg before you head off towards the sea.
- More “keep left, pass right” double single-track will lead down the Ferns through cool pine forests and into Bramble Ripper.
- There are some flowing turns through the young pines before you hear the noise of spectators and supporters at the PG Bison bridge, a 200m-long, curved, submerged and floating bridge across the Sappi Mossbank dam.
- A very short rocky section on loan from the western Cape follows before you enter the short but hard-packed Mbiba singletrack, some of KZN’s fastest smooth and flowing single track south of the Equator.
- Another new short cut designed to take you around the hill and not over will please those familiar with the route before the forest roads lead you up and out of Mondi Brooklands and onto the contour path known as Charlie’s – on land belonging to farmer and the mayor of Bulwer, Charlie James.
- You’ll cross under the R612 and reach the first water table and spectator point found at the 42km mark, where people from Pevency will attend to all your needs with friendly singing and dancing.
- From there, a silent forest road leads you up Big Ring Climb the 3rd put in place due to recent harvesting operations. and then on towards Donnybrook, passing through Duma’s. Another new section named OG’s was designed to eliminate the fast decent and hairpin left hander beforeCape Chestnut Valley. A good climb opens the lungs before you take a cool and restful descent through the Xumeni Forest, home of the Cape Parrot.
- Soon after leaving the natural forest, you will wind your way over the seldom-used railway bridge towards the second water table at Belmont Conference Centre.
- As you take leave of your admiring supporters, your legs will feel the strain on the hardest climb of the day, leading up Bowman’s Hill and on to a short section of technical singletrack, included specially for the free-riding junkies.
- The next fast pine forest track will see you dropping in altitude as you enter the final valley for the day. The singletracks of Wappo‘s, Muffin Top and Goog’s will lead through the pine plantations to Alsea farm dam wall and a new route that cuts out the final tortuous climb to the finish at MacKenzie Country Club.
10 May 2017
11 May 2017
12 May 2017
MacKenzie Country Club, Eastwolds, Ixopo, 6:30am
Jolivet, 10kms south of Highflats
Water Point 1:
Water Point 2:
Water Point 3:
Ave max temp:
- You will be woken at 4.30am for Day 2, which is long and arduous by any standards.
- You’ll start by hurtling down 7km of district road before entering the start of the Ant’s double single track. Thereafter it is Funny Music, Butterfly and Soda Falls before Wow exposes the jewel of sani2c - the mighty Umkomaas Valley. These tracks will offer some of the most spectacular views should the early valley mist afford this opportunity. The fast track is broken by short sections of forest roads, which allow overtaking opportunities.
- Yankee Doodle is one of the highlights of the races and the first taste of things to come for the next 30km. You are led into Murray’s Meander, which has to be some of the most dramatically positioned single-track imaginable. At first glance, the route above the towering cliffs seems to drop directly into the Umkomaas Valley.
- After some breathtaking singletrack past Shange’s Homestead and the new Umko Lodge, the path leads you into Nick’s Pass. Dropping into this valley, these fast switchback descents will have your brake pads sending hot whiffs of warning to those behind. Here you will find the pride of the route builders – a 3km purpose-built bench-cut mountain bike pass known as Sosiba’s Section. Thereafter, you will experience some of the most enjoyable single-track to be found. After passing the cheering children of our adopted Msayana School you have two options. The Free Riders and the baggie pant brigade need to keep left and enjoy some challenging technical rocky patches and short, steep gravel descents. The majority of riders will take the new contour path which is more typical sani2c signature flowing trails.
- You will now find yourselves in the heart of sani2c country. Fast-flowing sweeping curves will allow you a quick glance at the Umkomaas River, which grows ever closer as you continue your descent.
- A sharp right bend takes you into Mchunu’s Pride, a smooth, fast, bush-lined footpath leading you past the remote homesteads of Mchunu’s two wives, many children and grandchildren. Leaving the dancing Mchunus behind, you enter the real African bush where the flowing singletrack of Heaven or Hell races through the thorn trees for 3km before the final climax of Tamika’s Detour. All too soon you bottom out on the banks of the Umkomass River.
- The pace and adrenalin rush now changes as the route flattens out and you follow the banks of the Umkomaas. Nyala Flats is fast and hard-packed and follow the gentle gradient on towards the Cat Walk bridge.
- After crossing onto the north bank of the mighty Umkomaas, you enter game farms and Giraffe Alley for some 10km of mountain biking euphoria.
- The Peri Bridge will take you back across the river and onto Mike’s farm. At the 39km mark you find the first seconding table of the day manned by the school boys of Maritzburg College.
- After Freeman’s Farm you will warm the legs on the bush tracks that lead towards the Ixopo River into game farms teaming with kudu, bushpig and nyala. This game track is not the only thing that rises – the altitude, temperature and your heart rate rise as you make the long, winding climb through Steve’s Spruit that is challenging under the best of conditions. The remote Ixopo River Valley is as far as you get from civilization. After crossing this river many times, you will pass through Dawn Valley and onto Ponderosa Farm. Some work is required along the quiet district road that climbs to the Spur seconding table where most will rest awhile and tuck into a burger.
- Leaving the table you drop back into a small valley before a nasty steep climb up to the abandoned Grand View Farm.
- From here some great game paths lead you through Out of Africa and into the cooler Sappi Highflats plantations which surround the hamlet of Highflats. Be comforted by the fact that it only gets cooler as you leave the thornveld and approach the timber plantations on the top.
- Fast Sappi roads lead riders on to Fisherman’s Trail and Highflats Church, where you will find the third seconding table for the day.
- From here it is a further 14km of undulating forest roads past Knocker farm, Judy’s Corner, Puddle Alley and onto the final 2km of Charlie’s Sidewalk before a welcome finish at the second race village on Jolivet Farm. This day will be remembered as one of your most challenging ever on a mountain bike.
11 May 2017
12 May 2017
13 May 2017
Scottburgh Main Beach, Scottburgh
Water Point 1:
Water Point 2:
Ave max temp:
The sea, tidal pools
Showers and restaurants:
- This stage is a great deal faster and less technical and should be the easiest of all three.
- It starts by passing through sugar cane farms where fast roads will surprise you with sharp fast turns.
- You’ll experience the beauty of the coastal forest on a long, quick descent through the Whitley’s farm.
- The field will split as the Clint’s Climb exposes those who overdid day 2. After the climb, more sweeping cane roads will move the tour along at a surprisingly brisk pace from farm to farm on its journey to the coast, with new surroundings experienced at every turn.
- A short steep climb will bring you into the Dumisa Farmers’ Association seconding table at 23km.
- Cold legs will remind you why they needed the training as you race through Invernettie Farm and enter the back gate of Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve for the steep technical climb known as Work to be Done. The terrain changes as you follow the tracks through the reserve some spectacular singletrack through Mtagati coastal bush. Look out for the wildlife and appreciate the herd of cheeky zebra that often escorts cyclists through their plains.
- After Vernon Crookes prepare for the fast sweeping descent into the valley and onto Esparanza Farm. Stay with the group and conserve here as you race along the valley floor and into the Lions Club table at 59km.
- Leaving the table, you’ll be smelling the finish but there is still work to do and it’s not be wise to burn too many matches too soon. A specially constructed underpass takes one on to a spectacular section named Ricky’s Rail. This old railway route winds down the banks of the Kelso River and onto Dave Toil , a purpose-dug track that will take you out of the valley onto an old golavaan track known as Lost and Found, where you will find pristine south coast bush.
- Then a gentle climb up Dump Hill will join you into the spectacular trails of Ellingham Estate.
- Andre’s Underpass leads you back under the R56 and into Highway, a great initiative that not only serves for the race but offers year-round off-road safe passage for mountain bikers wanting to ride the Ellingham trails.
- An exhilarating finish through Moodie Lane leads you onto the famous, long, floating bridge that snakes across the lagoon for 600m.
- Leaving the bridge it’s a short dash to the finish and the awaiting crowds on Scottburgh Main Beach.
- Feel justifiably proud and thankful that you have achieved a feat that many would never consider. Be grateful that you are strong and healthy as you celebrate the successful completion of a life experience. You are on your way to becoming a legend.