The August winds have brought good news to the Val de Vie MTB Expedition 3-Stage Race, which takes place in Paarl on 24-26 September 2021. TCS Wi-Fi has been confirmed as the presenting sponsor of the event; and a new 42km Mini Expedition has been added to the roster to cater for even more mountain bikers.
“We are delighted to welcome TCS Wi-Fi on board. It’s great to welcome a sponsor who shares our vision for the race from the outset,” says race organiser Wynand de Villiers, who has also managed and pioneered mountain-bike stage race events such as TransCape, Cape Winelands Encounter, Waterberg Encounter and Sanlam Invitational in recent years.
Brandon Stewart and Ian McLeod will be at the sharp end of the field to fight for the overall win at the Val de Vie MTB Expedition 3-Day Stage Race, presented by TCS Wi-Fi on 24-26 September in Paarl.
A 42km stand-alone event has been added to the final day of the weekend’s action at the Val de Vie MTB Expedition 3-Day Stage Race, which is presented by TCS-Wi-Fi.
The Val de Vie Mini Expedition takes place on Sunday 26 September and route director, Pieter van Wyk, has shaped a manageable and rewarding challenge featuring 800m ascent. The Mini Expedition is limited to 300 riders.
“We have received several requests from mountain-bikers who would like to take part over the weekend, but for whom the 3-day stage distances and degree of difficulty is a yard too far coming out of winter,” said De Villiers.
“The addition of the 42km standalone event caters for a vast number of additional mountain-bikers who can now experience a taste of the exceptional hospitality and trail offering of the Expedition weekend. The Mini Expedition encompasses the Banhoek trail network and single-track sections on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg and Drakenstein Mountains in Simondium. Notable single track inclusions are Sugarbowl, Porcupine and the new Plaisir de Merle trails,” said De Villiers.
The entry fee for the Val de Vie Mini Expedition is R370 and entries are now open. To enter, click here.
“In terms of the multi-day event, we are jointly committed to the vision of creating the Cape Winelands’ signature three-stage mountain-bike race. The event has already seen an inaugural uptake of almost 400 riders, which is significant for a first edition of a mountain-bike stage race,” added De Villiers.
TCS Wi-Fi is part of The Computer Shop (TCS), which has become well-known as a trusted IT service provider over the past twenty years. The company boasts a client base of over 6000 home and business users, who enjoy uncapped, unshaped and unthrottled connections on both wireless and fibre networks. They are opening new TCS branches soon in Franschhoek and Simondium.
Says Wesley McQuillan of TCS-Wi-Fi, “TCS presents a next generation high speed Wi-Fi and fibre to the home solutions, for users with extraordinary connectivity requirements. It ensures increased connectivity and speeds that traditional service suppliers can’t match.
“TCS Wi-Fi grew from a need for connectivity in holiday towns, starting in Plettenberg Bay. It was built and designed from the customer back to insure the best and most flexible customer solution possible.
“We are expanding into the Winelands and we’re all passionate mountain-bikers. Val de Vie Estate and the event is a perfect fit for us to get our brand established in the area while using a vehicle we know well to convey our message. We will also contribute to the staging in various ways with our technologically driven solutions,” says McQuillan.
Val de Vie Estate in the Cape Winelands offers the perfect mountain bike getaway, with more than 45km of trails on the estate and a vast number of trails on the surrounding mountains.
“The Expedition sets a new benchmark for mountain-bike stage races, and although we already have almost 400 riders entered for the event, we believe it’s still very much in its fledgling phase. Getting sponsorship support from the outset is really encouraging,” commented De Villiers.
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.
De Villiers has managed a variety of cycling events over the past 20 years. Since moving from Johannesburg to Paarl eight years ago, he has relished in the mountain-biking terrain offered by the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley. “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.”
ESSENTIAL EVENT INFO:
DATE | 24-26 SEPTEMBER 2021
VENUE | ALL STAGES START AND FINISH DAILY AT THE PEARL VALLEY CLUBHOUSE RACE VILLAGE
Friday 24 September Stage 1: Time Trial – 13h30
Saturday 25 September Stage 2: 07h30
Sunday 26 September 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
2-RIDER TEAM ENTRIES:
- Entry including 2 nights twin room sharing accommodation at the luxurious Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis (at the race village) and all meals: R15 600 per team.
- Race entry only, excluding accommodation and meals: R5 600 per team.
SINGLE RIDER ENTRIES:
- Entry including non-sharing accommodation at the luxurious Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis (at the race village) and all meals – R9000 per rider (non-sharing hotel room occupancy with all meals)
- Race Entry Only, excluding meals and accommodation – R2800 per rider
Custom Val de Vie MTB Expedition Rain Jacket included in all entries.
For more info and to enter click here.
More info about Val de Vie Estate | www.valdevie.co.za
More info about TCS Wi-Fi: www.tcswifi.co.za/
More info about the Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis | www.pearlvalleyhotel.com
Enquiries | firstname.lastname@example.org
Paid partnership with Val de Vie Expedition