Winelands Encounter offers package for all

Liberty Winelands Encounter
Photo: Ewald Sadie

A memorable experience at a good price is what ASG Events has set out to achieve as they look forward to the three-day Liberty Winelands Encounter from 13-15 April 2018 taking place in the Cape Winelands with trails covering areas adjacent to Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.

Having already received a positive response, with the all-inclusive package virtually sold out, ASG Events acting chief executive Fritz Pienaar believes they are well placed to attract a variety of cyclists. Pienaar believes that their target market for the event is amateur riders, keen to experience a stage race. Route designer Johan Kriegler said they were fine-tuning the routes to ensure it suits riders across the board.

“For example, we have changed the starting venue for stage one, which used to be in Stellenbsoch. However, we found it was quite tough as it included the Botmaskop climb and the switchback climbs were too technical for the average Liberty Winelands rider,” Kriegler said.

This year’s race will start at Zorgvliet Wine Estate at the top of Botmaskop, where cyclists will face a combination of single-track, jeep-track and gravel roads. Stage one, which includes the Boschendal and Franschhoek single-track sections, has about 70% gravel roads, while the second stage starts and finishes at the Le Franschhoek Hotel and does a circular route around the Bergriver Dam – the ratio of single to gravel is about 45 to 55.

“The final stage starts at the hotel and finishes at the Nederburg Wine Estate, with plenty of open gravel roads offering ample opportunity to appreciate the scenic autumn colours of the Cape vineyards,” Kriegler concluded. Kriegler said the stage distances ranged between 45 and 55km, with a maximum of 1 600m climbing on the second stage.

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