At 5am on Thursday, 23 May 2019, Lottering will set off from Patensie, just east of the infamous Baviaanskloof in the Eastern Cape, and cycle 1 340km through the Cape, climbing 17 mountains – almost 16 400m – in a single ride. He aims to finish this unforgiving Im’possible Tour, labelled #xtremeSA2019, in Paarl, three days later on Sunday morning, 26 May.
This year’s tour, sponsored by VO Connect, CompCare Wellness Medical Scheme, Universal Healthcare, Air Mauritius and Mercedes-Benz X-Class, is attracting a vast amount of interest given the unforgiving terrain, short time frame Lottering has given himself to complete the #xtremeSA2019, and the fact that he will be cycling through three consecutive nights, non-stop. No one has ever attempted a ride of this magnitude in South Africa, over virtually every mountain pass between Port Elizabeth and Paarl.
The first 200km of the #xtremeSA2019 will take Lottering westward up the Baviaanskloof, riding into the first night via the Prince Albert Pass to Knysna, following which the Seven Passes Route, which crosses 10 rivers and seven gorges, to George awaits. From there, Lottering will switch to his road bike, heading over the Robinson Pass to Oudtshoorn, then back onto the mountain bike over one of the most exquisite mountain passes in the world, the Swartberg Pass, which Lottering hopes to reach just before sunset on day two after some 622km.
Descending down the Swartberg Pass at night to the town of Prince Albert will be the most dangerous part of the ride, before embarking on a 230km gravel stretch across the Karoo around the isolated valley of Gamkaskloof, and through the breath-taking Seweweekspoort Pass on to the Anysberg Reserve to Montagu. The challenging Ouberg Pass will await Lottering at around 10pm on the third night after covering a tormenting 1 000km, before heading north to Touwsrivier. Once on the road bike again, a further three passes await, including the Bo-Swaarmoed Pass and Bainskloof Pass.
After passing through Ceres at sunrise on Sunday, 26 May, Lottering aims to arrive at the finish at Reuben’s & Co Restaurant, The Yard, at Val de Vie Estate in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley at around 10am.
The purpose of Lottering’s annual Im’possible Tours is to inspire, challenge, and be relevant – which is precisely what he has done in the five Im’possible Tours since his near-fatal cycling accident in July 2013 in Italy. The Im’possible Tour has become widely known for its extreme brand of fundraising, reaching over 21 million people through broadcast and print media. Lottering has shared his remarkable story ‘From death to the top of the Alps’ at conferences in over 11 countries and raised R2 million to date for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.