The Val de Vie MTB Expedition 3-Day Stage Race is, by a landslide, the most special mountain-bike stage race which he has pioneered in his 20-year tenure as event organiser, writes Expedition organiser Wynand de Villiers. Read his insights on the creation of South Africa’s extremely popular new kid on the block in stage racing.

Paid partnership with Val de Vie Expedition

I have pioneered and managed a variety of stage races over the years, including TransCape, the Cape Winelands Encounter, Waterberg Encounter and the Sanlam Invitational, along with the signature mass participation road events I have organised.

No stage race offering comes even remotely close to the Expedition. In my view it’s currently the best product among 3-day stage events in South Africa.

As an event organiser, you know your event can only be as good as the canvass with which you’re presented, and I couldn’t be more fortunate due to the geographical position of the race – at the spectacular Val de Vie Estate and surrounded by mountains on all sides within a radius of 8km.

I’ve taken part in other signature 3-day rides and they’re great, but the Expedition offering does what they can’t do, which is couple a world-class venue with world-class trails.

Two further differentiators are, firstly, that it’s anchored within the same comfortable venue environment for all three days and, secondly, it’s adjacent to Cape Town in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

There are no long traveling stints involved and no sleeping in tents at different spots for two evenings in the middle of nowhere. The event offering has resonated strongly with many seasoned mountain-bikers who have grown tired of the point to point logistics of stage races, and the remoteness of these events.

The Expedition is by no means an easy event, and that’s exactly where we want to position it. It must be aspirational. Completing the event represents the pinnacle of achievement within 3-Day races.

After a mild start to get the legs going in the 20km first stage time trial, the two stages that follow are substantial. Both are longer than 70km and offer just over 1600 metres of vertical ascent.

We have put a lot of thought and research into the format, venue, hospitality and routes for the Expedition and 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.

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 and Hotel inside the award-winning Val de Vie Estate.

We look forward to welcoming our 2022 riders at our 3-day event from 7-9 October in the Valley of Life.

For all the event info and to enter, head here.

Paid partnership with Val de Vie Expedition