There is no such thing as a free lunch, except at the Val de Vie MTB Expedition 3-Day Stage Race! Food Lover’s Market has announced its sponsorship of the Val de MTB Expedition, the Boland’s signature 3-stage MTB event. As part of their support they will provide participants with scrumptious meals after every stage of next year’s event, which takes place on 7-9 October in Paarl.

Paid partnership with Val de Vie Expedition

Food Lover’s Market recently opened a beautiful new flagship store in the fast-growing city of Paarl, adjacent to Val de Vie Estate, which creates the perfect fit for their support of the Val de Vie MTB Expedition.

“We are delighted to welcome Food Lover’s on board. It’s great to welcome another partner who shares our vision for the race from the outset,” says race organiser Wynand de Villiers, who has also managed and pioneered some of the most prestigious other mountain-bike stage races in South Africa, including TransCape, Cape Winelands Encounter, Waterberg Encounter and the Sanlam Invitational.

“We limit the participation total of the Expedition to 400 to ensure a user-friendly environment which affords us the opportunity for rider spoils, and the Food Lover’s partnership is another important building block in our event ethos.

“We are jointly committed to the vision of creating the Boland’s signature 3-Day mountain-bike event. The event attracted a capacity field of 400 riders in its inaugural edition this year is again limited to 400 participants for 2022. Following the inaugural edition, the uptake for 2022 has been nothing short of remarkable and entries are filling up fast.

“It’s wonderful to have such strong support from a household brand and it’s going to add so much value to our participants.”

Paarl Spice Route trails

Says Mike Coppin from Food Lover’s: “We really look forward to being involved with the event, which has set a new benchmark for mountain-bike stage races in South Africa. It’s great to be able to reward each participant with delicious food following every stage.

“Community and sport are very important to Food Lover’s and we are delighted that we have the opportunity to make a contribution to the participants in this prestigious event,” he says.

De Villiers says a lot of thought and research has gone into the format, venue, hospitality and routes for the Expedition. “We feel that we have created an incredibly user friendly and comfortable off-the-bike experience, coupled with unequalled trails over a solidly challenging and rewarding 3-day racing format,” he says.

“The key to the off-the-bike experience is staying, starting, finishing, and eating at the same place every day, and we couldn’t ask for a better venue than the Pearl Valley Clubhouse inside the award- winning Val de Vie Estate.”

According to De Villiers the carefully crafted event format eases logistics for riders, and it’s a conduit for a more relaxing, non-rushed environment, enabling riders to explore the area in the afternoons or to simply relax and recover for the next day’s racing.

The event truly presents a relaxed and dynamic race weekend getaway environment in which riders can get to know each other on the bike on the challenging and rewarding trails of the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, and off the bike at the 5-star Race Village at the luxurious Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis and the Pearl Valley Clubhouse.

According to De Villiers the central locality of Paarl means riders who live in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington or Franschhoek can drive in daily if they don’t want to book accommodation and meals at the hotel or elsewhere in Paarl.

Plaisir de Merle singletrack

“There is no better geographical area for mountain-biking in South Africa, and it’s no surprise that the Absa Cape Epic sets up camp in the valley most years and finishes at Val de Vie every year.

“The race village is surrounded by mountains on all sides within a 10km radius – Paarl Mountain to the North, the Drakenstein Mountains to the East and South, and the Simonsberg to the West. These mountain ranges boast an abundance of incredible trails, some of which have been naturally shaped while others have been built over the past ten years.

“The routes are tough, but they have been crafted to provide flowing riding and rewards that speak for themselves, including Hawequas ,Welvanpas, Banhoek, Boschendal, Plasir de Merle, Idas Valley Dam, Skyfall, Camissa, Klipwerf, Afterburner, Inferno and Sugarbowl,” concluded De Villiers.

For more info and to enter the Val de Vie MTB Expedition, go to


DATE: 7-9 OCTOBER 2-22


STARTING TIMES: Friday 7 October Stage 1 Time Trial: 13h30 | Saturday 8 October Stage 2: 07h30 | Sunday 9 October Stage 3: 07h30

ROUTE: 3 Stages | 172km | 3850m ascent.

Stage 1: 20km Time Trail. Trail inclusions – Drakenstein Mountains | Val de Vie and Pearl Valley trails | 450m ascent

Stage 2: 75km. Trail inclusions: Val de Vie Estate | Hawequas | Welvanpas | Beulha | Drakenstein Mountains | 1650m ascent

Stage 3: 77km. Trail inclusions: Val de Vie Estate| Helshoogte| Banhoek | Boschendal | Plasir de Merle | Idas Valley Dam | Skyfall | Camissa | Klipwerf | Afterburner | Inferno | Sugarbowl | new Plaisir descent | ascent 1800m

More info about Val de Vie Estate |

More info about Food Lover’s Market:

More info about the Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis |

Enquiries |

Paid partnership with Val de Vie Expedition