The race organisers of the Liberty Winelands Encounter are preparing for a late surge of entries ahead of today’s closing date for riders wishing to compete in the Western Cape event.
The second race in the Liberty Encounter Series, the three-day event from April 12 to 14 takes place on the iconic mountain-bike trails surrounding Paarl and Franschhoek and there is still space for late entrants.
ASG Events chief executive Erick Oosthuizen said they expected entries to pick up as the deadline drew near, with the race offering massive value for the riders.
As an incentive to competitors ASG Events are offering a 30% discount on all entry packages, which ends at midnight tonight. More information can be found on the Facebook page.
“We are focused on offering an event which gives the riders an experience to remember and the accommodation option at Le Franschhoek Hotel will provide genuine quality for them,” said Oosthuizen.
“We have about 15 team entries left and there are openings for all the categories.”
Competitors who choose the hotel option will spend two nights at the luxury Le Franschhoek Hotel, an option the organisers introduced last year to avoid the hassle of getting to new race venues each day.
There is also the basic team entry package, which excludes accommodation but provides breakfast and lunch on each day.
ASG are again limiting the field to 200 teams, which incorporates a wide range of riders from the weekend warriors to corporate teams, with a mix of professional cyclists.
However, Oosthuizen added that this year they had introduced a solo category as well to accommodate riders who may prefer this to the team concept.
“We want to make sure that we are inclusive in what we offer and we still have space for both solo and team riders.
“But solo entries will share a room with other solo riders to make sure there is accommodation for everyone.”
He said the team category had always proved the most popular option in three-stage races, but there had been growing interest from solo riders.
The Liberty Encounter Series began with the TransCape MTB Encounter from George to Franschhoek in February.
The third and final event will be the Waterberg Encounter near Bela Bela, Limpopo, from June 8-10, providing cyclists with a typical bushveld experience.
For more details on the race, go to www.winelandsencounter.co.za.
CAPTION: Cyclists have until today to get their entries for the Liberty Winelands Encounter which takes place in the Western Cape from April 12 to 14. Photo: Robert Ward