Scenic riding through fynbos and farmlands at the Stanford MTB Classic

Stanford MTB Classic
Photocredit: Oakpics.com

On the weekend of the 16 – 17 February 2019 mountain bikers are invited to gather for a tour with timing – the Stanford MTB Classic. The event boasts a relaxed country village atmosphere, spectacularly scenic riding through fynbos and farmlands, and for 2019 timekeepers too for those who cannot help but race. So be sure to join in the festivities at Stanford Valley.

The Stanford MTB Classic features short and longer route options, with the longer routes being 55 and 48 kilometres in length. The short routes meanwhile are 24 and 27 kilometres long. The riding in both distances is varied with smooth gravel roads, flowing singletracks and rugged mountain jeep tracks making up the distances.

It is an event for avid mountain bikers looking to reconnect with the by-gone spirit of the sport. For those who know how to have fun on and off their bikes. Mountain biking families can gather at Stanford Valley and the fitter members can ride the longer routes, while the less serious can cruise through the short courses. Then post-stage they can enjoy a delicious lunch with like-minded people before drifting off to their bed and breakfasts, or relax under the oaks before curling up in a luxury tent ahead of the next stage.

Kicking off from Stanford Valley on day 1 the 55 kilometre long, opening stage stars with a leg-awakening bang heading up the Lucerne climb with views from Flouhoogte with singletrack alongside the meandering Paardenbergsrivier, past Sandhoogte and into the Papiesvlei Fynbos Area, traversing the Hermanuspietersfontein wine estate, Skaduwee singletracks, Salmonsdam, Keeromskloof an old wagon trail, to a lookout above Raka Wines and downhill for an exhilarating run-in to the finish at Stanford Valley.

The short route on the opening day is just 24 kilometres long, but also starts with the challenging Lucerne climb to Flouhoogte, descends to Paardebergrivier and crosses a dam wall, where an interesting optional extra awaits. More singletrack follows and leads to the day’s Water Point at Paardenberg. While the longer route riders head upriver from that point the short route entrants head down, following the singletracks before rejoining the route they took down from Flouhoogte to back-track and ride the Lucerne section as a thrilling descent to Stanford Valley.

The second stage of the Stanford MTB Classic features a 48 kilometre long route, which should ensure riders are back at Stanford Valley in time for an early lunch and prize giving – before hitting the road for home. Stage 2 will provide views over Walkerbay and at Vaalvlei Naas Terblanche will share his encyclopaedic knowledge of the fynbos frogs. The route heads in the direction of Stanford itself taking in the scenic route through the Welgesind, Sir Robert Stanford and Birkenhead Estates with vineyard roads and singletracks make up the kilometres across those illustrious farms .

The short route, which takes in 27 kilometres on the final day, follows the same quiet gravel road which the longer route joins closer to Stanford from the Kleinrivier crossing past Kleinrivier Cheese. Then it’s singletrack virtually all the way back to Stanford Valley, along the Philipskop’ San Rock Art, Witwater and Bluegum trails to the Kleinrivier below the race village. The final stretch includes a climb from the river and a duck through a culvert under the R326 to lead riders home to Stanford Valley.

For more information visit www.stanfordmtbclassic.co.za

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