It may be April Fool’s Day, but the extension of the entries deadline for next weekend’s Liberty Winelands Encounter until Friday (April 5) is definitely no hoax.
That was the assurance given by ASG Events chief executive officer Erick Oosthuizen in announcing that the deadline for the three-stage mountain-bike race had been extended to 1pm on Friday.
The Winelands Encounter is the second event in the Liberty Encounter Series and will take place on the scenic trails around Franschhoek and Paarl from April 12 to 14.
Alluding to April Fool’s Day, Oosthuizen said they wanted to make sure everyone understood that “this is no joke”.
“We still have a number of spaces available in the various categories and this includes the popular hotel option, which has all the ingredients to make it a memorable racing experience,” he said, referring to the four-star Le Franschhoek Hotel.
This is the base of the race for the first two days before the finish at the Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl on the Sunday.
Hotel general manager Chris Snyman said the hotel was a popular option for cyclists who wanted to tackle the iconic routes in the Cape Winelands.
“We have numerous clients who come throughout the year to explore the road options in the region, as well as the off-the-beaten track mountain-bike trails,” he said.
“We offer a peaceful environment where the cyclist can relax on the 11-hectare property. Our facilities include a pool, jacuzzi and spa treatments, or they can just enjoy the spacious surrounding of their rooms in a tranquil setting.”
He added that they were delighted to be part of the Winelands Encounter.
“It’s been an honour to be a partner in this occasion from the start and we look forward to the growing success of the event.
“Through this partnership the event grows annually and we look forward to possible additional events together with ASG.”
Oosthuizen said that while the hotel option remained the most popular among the cyclists, there was also space available in the remaining categories.
“We have the basic option, which excludes accommodation but includes breakfast and lunch each day.
“This year we have introduced a solo category as well to accommodate riders who may prefer this to the team concept.
“We want to make sure we are inclusive in what we offer and we still have space in the race for both solo and team entries.”
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.
Photo 1: Riders wishing to compete in the Liberty Winelands Encounter have been granted a reprieve, with the closing date for entries extended to Friday (April 5) at 1pm. The three-day mountain-bike race takes place near Franschhoek and Paarl from April 12 to 14. Photo: Robert Ward