If you mention Welvanpas and Banhoek, you immediately grab the attention of seasoned mountain bikers throughout South Africa. If you weave these two famous trails networks into a three-stage race based at a world-class venue, it adds up to an experience that satisfies the most demanding mountain biker. That’s exactly what the Shesha Fuels Val de Vie MTB Expedition 3-Stage Race has done.
Paid Partnership with Shesha Fuels Val de Vie MT Expedition
The route for the Val de Vie MTB Expedition, which takes place on 7-9 October in Paarl, is underpinned by the experience and vast knowledge base of route director Pieter van Wyk, who spent a number of years fulfilling this role for the Absa Cape Epic.
Stage 1: 20km (Time Trial) Trail Inclusions : Drakenstein Mountain Range | Val de Vie Estate | 450m Ascent
Stage 2: 75km Trail Inclusions : Val de Vie Estate| Hawequa Forest | Wild Hog Welvanpas | Drakenstein Mountains | 1650m Ascent
Stage 3: 77km. Trail Inclusions : Val de Vie Estate| Banhoek | Helshoogte | Boschendal | Plaisir de Merle Idas Valley Dam | Skyfall | Camissa | Klipwerf | Afterburner | Inferno | Sugarbowl | 1800m Ascent
The stages represent a true mountain biker’s paradise, with all the Banhoek trails woven into Sunday’s third stage, while the second stage tracks the Drakenstein Mountain Range escarpment to Wellington to encompass the Wild Boar Trails on Welvanpas; and it also includes some new trails on the way out and back adjacent to the Hawequa Forrest.
A missing element in the inaugural year on Stage 2 was the trails that used to hug Du Toits Kloof Pass on the way out and back from Welvanpas in Wellington. These trails were destroyed by fires two years ago.
But this year’s second stage on Saturday will feature added trail sections on the way to Wellington and on the return route back to Val de Vie Estate. This will polish the stage delightfully, along with the legendary Welvanpas Trails above Wellington.
Stage 1, a 20km Time Trial, gets a new downhill reward on the Drakenstein Mountain Range while the Val de Vie trails Estate also feature a little more variety for this year. There’s not much work that needs to be done in Val de Vie as the trails are nicely crafted to provide flowy, predictable riding.
All three days of the Expedition start and finish at the Pearl Valley Clubhouse. The event has been bolstered in various ways for 2022 and features a new headline sponsor and numerous partners who will add some amazing value to the race.
Shesha Fuels is the new title sponsor while Food Lover’s Market has partnered with the Expedition to offer all participants scrumptious lunches after every stage of this year’s event.
Fabian’s Bicycle Transport is sponsoring free bike transport to and from the Expedition for riders from Gauteng, Durban and the Garden Route.
For all event information and to enter, click here.