Following a successful inaugural Bestmed Paarl MTB Classic, the race organisers have improved the route to showcase even more breathtaking landscapes and awesome single-track in the winelands surrounding the Western Cape town.
The beautiful Rhebokskloof Wine Estate will now be the official host venue for Paarl’s signature mountain bike event on November 22, and route director Darren Herbst is very excited about the move.
“The move to Rhebokskloof is purely to improve the route and overall experience for all the riders taking part,” said Herbst.
“One of the main considerations for the changes was the safety of the participants, and we feel that has been improved greatly.”
Herbst said about 70 per cent of the trail would be the same as last year, with much of the tar road sections being replaced by safer off-road trails.
The venue change from the Parys Sports Grounds to Rhebokskloof on the northern slopes of Paarl Mountain gives them more access to the very popular single-track on the wine estate.
“We always had an idea of what we wanted to do with the trail, but after last year’s event a lot of the riders had some suggestions, and we took them to heart.
“We listened to the guys and came up with some awesome new route ideas,” said Herbst.
The trails at Rhebokskloof consist of a 14km and an extended 21km section that will form part of both the 30km and 60km races that make up the Bestmed Paarl MTB Classic.
While sections of the Rhebokskloof trails were incorporated into last year’s feature route, Herbst said the short-course riders would also get to experience the popular trail and enjoy a real mountain biking experience.
“Riders of both distances will get to ride parts of Rhebokskloof’s amazing single-track. We did not get to showcase enough of Rhebokskloof last year, and now we are very excited at the prospect.”
Herbst added that Rhebokskloof’s versatility as a venue offered much more for riders and their families.
“The restaurant offers great meals, there is entertainment for little ones and wine lovers can enjoy the estate’s wide selection of fine wines.
“I believe we are creating something really great with this event, and the shift to the new venue is just another improvement we are bringing to the Bestmed Paarl MTB Classic,” said Herbst.
The field for the classic, which is presented by the City of Drakenstein and ASG Events, will be limited to 1 500 riders.
As the final mountain biking event in the Bestmed National Cycling Series, it is expected to draw significant interest from riders vying for overall honours.
Alternatively, find Paarl MTB Classic on Facebook or follow @PaarlMTBClassic.