TransCape Stage 4 End Swellendam

It's a journey!

TransCapeMTB has pioneered the premium, small field, stage race concept in South Africa and it is our mission to ensure that the event continues to deliver one of the very best multi-stage, endurance mountain biking experience is the world.
In addition to offering a truly world class customer experience, TransCapeMTB also has a mission to ensure we make a real difference to the people through who’s land we travel. This we do via various fundraising activities that benefit numerous charities and education initiatives along our route. Our initiatives also focus heavily on job creation and skills development.

Contact Details


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Business Information

Race Info

Entry Fee

R30 000 per person - Don’t forget, this is for the Premium Package! At TransCapeMTB, Premium Package comes standard!! See below what is all included.


  • Seven days of awesome mountain biking
  • Fully stocked water points (with 32Gi as our main race nutrition partner)
  • Tech zones (normally at WP2 each day with basic spares and lube)
  • First aid and off road rescue teams on route and at start/finish venues (a race doctor will also be on site).
  • Sweep vehicles, backup vehicles and our legendary sweep cyclists
  • All accommodation during race week (6 nights total)
  • Accommodation during race week in great hotels, lodges and guest houses.

No More Tents!!!

  • Access to all our legendary evening dinner and prize giving functions (Hosted by TransCape MC Gerald de Kock and Food by celebrity chef Nic van Wyk and other great local guest chefs)
  • Breakfast (Served every morning at your guesthouse, hotel or other venue)
  • Lunch (Served at each day’s finish venue)
  • All transfers between finish venues, accommodation and evening functions …NOW IN LUXURY VOLVO SUV’s!!!
  • You will also receive a stylish 90L race bag at race registration. We’ll transfer the bags from town to town.
  • We’ll also transfer your other luggage to Franschhoek (please note that you won’t have access to those bags during race week)
  • Bike rinse and lube after each stage

* Additional mechanical services, repairs, spare parts, etc. will be charged by the bike service teams.

* Full bike maintenance packages will be available to purchase prior the event from various service providers. Full details to follow later.

  • Selected clothing items and a goody bag with some great sponsored products


  • Accommodation the night before the race starts (registration day) and accommodation after stage 7 in Franschhoek.
  • Accommodation only included as per the 6 nights specified above.
  • Bike maintenance, repairs and spare parts
  • Massages: to be booked directly with our official physio team
  • Any medical costs other than routine first aid. It is imperative that you have your own medical aid in order
  • Additional transfers: I.e. should you withdraw from the event for whatever reason and need to be transferred to the nearest airport or some other location
  • Event pictures: there will be an option on the entry form to order a memory stick with event pictures additionally.

Race Categories

2 Person Teams or Solo

Men, Ladies or Mixed (Please note we reserve the right to change a team category to a non-racing category should it not receive at least 5 entries)

Race Rules

2017 Routes

Stage 1 “Forests and Fairies”

5 February 2017
Knysna – Wilderness
Distance: 80km
Ascent: 1570m
Notable climbs: Phantom Pass | Homtini | Bergplaas

Once again TransCape kicks off with an absolute classic and it is all about capturing as much as possible of the iconic Knysna Forests! It is a beautiful ride, and this time around also a lot gentler on the legs versus TransCapes past. We believe we have now struck a much better balance on S1 that gives you a much easier introduction to your 7 day journey. So now you can actually take it easier and spend more time admiring and enjoying this unbelievably stunning part of South Africa …but then again, as they always say ‘it doesn’t get easier, you just ride harder!’ At least now the choice is yours…

Your journey starts at the beautiful Knysna waterfront with a long and relaxed NZ along the full length of the world famous lagoon. After crossing the Knysna River at the top end of the lagoon we turn north and head for the forests and your first climb of the day, the beautiful Phantom Pass. After negotiating this first challenge we take a right turn on the Rheenendal road and then enjoy a fast tar section that will get you ticking off the km’s and get your legs warmed up for the next challenge of the day, the scenic Homtini pass. Take a moment here to savor the view before you plunge down towards the river below. We then stick to the open road for a while until we pass the small settlement of Karatara. One more river descent and sharp climb on the district road before we take a right turn for a stunning section of forest riding. This section in the Beervlei and Bergplaas areas takes in some particularly fantastic scenery and pristine indigenous forest. This is a tough but FUN and very scenic section. The beauty surrounding you is sure to help you forget any pain in your legs and make it your most memorable section of the day. Be sure to take a pit stop at the river crossing with its beautiful waterfall, and if it is a hot day, why not a swim as well! There is some climbing to do after, so refresh well and then attack! Again it is some of the most picturesque terrain, so you will have plenty to distract your mind from the burn in your legs. Once out the forest your reward is a fantastic, white knuckle descent down to the old George road below. This time we turn left though and then immediately right again and then you are onto the homestretch. This is where your legs will really appreciate the new finish venue as well. Instead of another 4 hard climbs on the 7 passes road as in past years, you now get a second high speed descent reward down the Wilderness Heights. The run into the new finish venue is fast and flat and will ensure even our sweep riders and their companions arrive well in time for lunch at the beautiful Ebb and Flow camp site. Be sure to take a dip in the river before being whisked off to the King George hotel for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. Recover well, tomorrow is the long one…

Stage 2 “Outeniqua”

6 February 2017
George – Van Wyksdorp (Rooiberg Lodge)
Distance: 139km
Ascent: 2 450m
Notable Climbs: Montagu Pass | Gouritz Exit

This is the King Stage. As is customary, Stage 2 is the ‘long one’. BUT there is a big positive change for 2017. We have moved to a new overnight venue at Rooiberg Lodge, situated in a particularly stunning part of the Klein Karoo. This means that about half of S2 is totally new. And in our opinion it is even more spectacular and a much more balanced ride. But this means we bid a very ‘fond’ farewell to the beast of TransCapes past, GAMKABERG. BUT one thing you can be sure about is that the new look Stage 2 is a beauty! Yes, it is ‘easier’, BUT 139km is still a beast by any standards, so your sense of achievement will still be well fed.

The start remains the same with a neutral zone through the town of George from our overnight venue at the beautiful King George hotel. The big climb of the day comes early in the form of the visually stunning Montagu Pass. It is a beautiful but tough climb, at times kicking up to 14%. The surface is mostly good though, which makes for an ideal first KOM for those up front keen on some early morning racing. As is tradition, DON’T forget your ‘toll fee’ at the bottom of the pass, Lenore will be there to collect! Once safely over the Outeniqua mountains you enter the Klein Karoo that will be your playground for the rest of S2 and most of S3. The section down the mountain and through Paardekloof and beyond is fast flowing and quite exhilarating as you get a real sense that you are making good ground after the tough Montagu start. It is not all down hill though, but the climbs are fast flowing and the ostriches constantly racing you on the side of the road provide plenty comic relief. Once across the highway we pass through the little settlement of Klipdrift and then onto some more enjoyable fast flowing back country roads. At the R328 intersection we enter a fun farm crossing section with nice jeep track in true klein karoo habitat. We exit this section back onto the old run in into Gamka. There is a bit of climbing here and then a drop down and past the Gamka entrance where you may glance to your right for a view of the old beast. This time though we shoot right past and then join up to the Van Wyksdorp road. This is arguably one of the Klein Karoo’s most scenic back roads as it twist and turns its way through the foothills of the splendid Rooiberg. The first half is mostly downhill and beautiful fast flowing stuff as you work your way towards the Gouritz River. Take some time at the crossing to refresh with a quick dip in the river as there is some work to be done on the way out. The road surface is good though, so the climbing, although significant, is still flowing and as always the scenery is truly breath-taking. This section was one of my favourites on the whole trial ride and is just very special. Forget the distance and 

just soak in your surroundings! We eventually re-join the main Rooiberg Pass road a couple km’s before the lodge where a last short climb or two takes you to an exhilarating descent right into the lodge entrance. Here warm hospitality, great food and a cool swimming pool awaits! That night it is skaap braai under the stars. Magical!

Stage 3 “Kanga”

7 February 2017
Rooiberg Lodge – Riversdal
Distance: 81km
Ascent: 1 400m
Major Climbs: KangaKrusher | Garcia Pass

After a long and legendary stage 2, a shorter stage 3 is just what the doctor ordered! And with the legendary ‘Kanga’ as the main feature of the day, it is the perfect ride to remind you why you love to ride your bike. As it is a shorter stage, we start off a little later this morning.

The easy roll out of Rooiberg Lodge through the picturesque reserve is sure to get you in the mood for another great day on the bike. Once out of the reserve, we take the main road into Van Wyksdorp. This is a small but truly memorable and characterful little town that is super excited to welcome TransCape to their little piece of heaven. We do a short weave through town where the locals will make you feel like a hero. Then we get back onto the main road for a quick run to the Kanga entrance. The next 35km is some truly honest mountain biking through private game farms teaming with wildlife and spectacular scenery. For me personally, this section is one of my favourites on the whole of TransCape. Just you, your bike and your buddies in some true unique wilderness. And as you will get to this section much earlier than before, heat will not be a factor. So you can just enjoy! And a special challenge to all to ride up the KangaKrusher with no pushing. It is short, but kicks up over 20% and definitely a hero-maker to all that can get up in one go. We exit the Kanga at the foot of Garcia Pass where WP2 offers a chance to refuel for the fast 25km homestretch. But all the work is not done yet, as this time around we are able to add another short off road section in Garcia Pass for some added fun. Once you hit the tar section again be sure to have a good look around as you will be surrounded by arguably the most pristine fynbos environment you will ever see. The climb up Garcia is really easy, then once over the top, grip your handles and enjoy the flight! Tar never felt this good!!! Once down Garcia it as a fast run into Riversdal where a hero’s welcome from all the school kids at the Langenhoven School in Riversdal awaits.

Stage 4 “Milk & Honey”

8 February 2017
Riversdal – Swellendam
Distance: 103km
Ascent: 1 800m
Notable Climbs: Milk & Honey | Grootvadersbosch Ascent

‘Milk & Honey’ is another beautiful day on a bike! And as always there is something very special about stage 4 thanks to our partnership with the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy. This non-profit trust, which represents the private landowners of this unique and stunning area, has been creating some MTB magic for many years now and once again we look forward to making some more memories in this beautiful land. But rest assured, we have also learnt our lessons from the 2016 route where stage 4 turned out to be a lot tougher than we expected. So for the 2017 edition we have gone back to the drawing board and redesigned virtually the entire second half of the stage. So this time round you will get to enjoy all the GvB magic and be able to keep the smile on your face all the way to the finish line!

The first half of the route is unchanged as we head north out of Riversdal and take a left on one of the Cape’s truly beautiful back country roads. The first 50km of rolling hills all along the foot of the Langeberg Mountains is mostly easy going with only one notable climb and plenty exhilarating descents. The scenery is stunning and the many river crossings along the way offer welcome relief if you feel like a quick dip to cool down. Then we hit the spectacular Grootvadersbosch Conservancy and wilderness area. This is a truly great place to be on a bike! A little different this time though as we stick to the main road for the climb up to the conservancy. It is still a proper climb, but much quicker and ensures you get up there feeling a lot fresher and ready to smash the awesome single tracks. They are fast flowing with many purpose-built fence crossings and a real treat. We exit at the Moody farm where WP2, with its legendary spread of boerewors and Karoo lamb (if there are any leftovers from the spitbraai!) will be ready and waiting. With your veins still pumping with adrenaline you then get onto the Zuurbraak road for a super-fast run into this characterful little town. Use this opportunity to recover and regroup for the final stretch into Swellendam. We leave the tar section for a short stretch through some beautiful private land (one short sharp climb here!) and exit at the top end of the Buffeljags dam. From here it is all new stuff to the end and we have no doubt all returning riders will approve of the new finish stretch. We take a dip down to the bottom of the dam wall and follow the river downstream to a small weir crossing. Once out the other side we head around the hill where the climbing is gentle and the cows are friendly. Beyond the pines we have another short weir crossing, then right through a clover field and into a new short and surprisingly fun single track stretch along a canal. Some cows will again greet you as you emerge on the other side and then there is just one last short sharp climb right outside town that stands between you and the finish line. But by this time you will be hearing the music and smelling the boerewors already, so just bomb this climb and then enjoy the straight downhill run into 

the new finish venue at the beautiful Geico Lodge. ‘Milk & Honey’ is sure to deliver another fantastic day of MTB’ing!

Stage 5 “Never-ending River”

9 February 2017
Swellendam – Greyton
Distance: 112.5km
Ascent: 1 542m
Notable Climbs: None really…

This is the last of the long journey stages and another great day of back country riding. If you have been pacing yourself nicely over the first few stages and you are feeling strong, then today is the opportunity to step on the gas a bit. It is a ‘flatter’ and faster stage, but there are still a couple of sections that will demand 

your attention.

We head westwards out of Swellendam, and with the Langeberg for a backdrop, the first 30km of open rolling farm road through orchards, wheat and canola fields is quite spectacular in the early morning mist. Once we cross the Breerivier we work our way southwards to the Riviersonderend mountains. The terrain starts to change here as we head into a very enjoyable section of farm roads and jeep track that takes us to WP1 at the beautiful Melozori Game Reserve. This malaria free game reserve is home to over 18 species of game, including the endangered Bontebok, so be on the lookout as you enjoy this fantastic new section of stage 5. We exit the reserve at the top of the Stormsvlei pass for a quick dash down the newly laid tar pass. A sharp right links us back onto the old route where we follow this particularly nice section of fast rolling farm road all along the Sonderend River. We cross the river just below the town of Riviersonderend. Some portage is required here, but nothing too hectic as the river is quite low this time of year. Once safely across it is a quick run through the lower parts of town to WP2. Then it is on to some more classic farm roads on another beautiful section of authentic back country riding. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the fast flowing roads. A classic hanging bridge takes us over the river and on to the home stretch. A quick dash on the fast flowing open road takes us to a last fun single-track section just before town. We exit next to the river just out of town and take a right turn up one of the beautiful side streets. Two more left turns and you feel like a champion as you head right down the main road for another hero’s welcome in what is one of South Africa’s most exquisite ‘platteland’ towns.

Stage 6 “Heaven”

10 February 2017
Greyton – Villiersdorp
Distance: 68km
Ascent: 1 700m
Notable Climbs: Greyton single-track switchbacks | Middelplaas climbs | RUSTY GATE

This stage is shorter, faster and a whole lot of fun!!! Plenty single-track, plenty technical challenges, but also plenty climbing…

We head back east out of Greyton to join up with the fantastic Greyton – Genadendal MTB routes which take us on a wide loop through the hills to the south of these two beautiful little towns. This section has a number of short sharp climbs mixed with exhilarating single track descents and is a lot of fun. We cross back over the Sonderend River just to the south of Genadendal and then amble down one of the characterful town roads. WP1 is at the historic Mission Station and museum (be sure to take a pic or 2!), and from there we head out west. A short sharp climb on the edge of town leads to another 15km stretch of more fun single and jeep track. It is undulating but fairly easy as the route wind westwards though orchards, fields and fynbos. After WP2 there is a short scenic road section that takes us on to the major challenge of the day, the 6km ascent of the infamous ‘Rusty Gate’ climb. This is a steep one kicking up to 14-16% for long stretches and is sure to test you one last time. The rewards are great at the top though. Turn around, enjoy the view for a second, take a selfie, and then grip those handlebars and enjoy a fantastic super-fast descent. It is pretty much downhill all 

the way home from here. Only a couple short dips on the outskirts of town and then a nice fast roll into the finish line at Kelkiewyn. This is your last night on tour and it is sure to be a special one!

Stage 7 “Hero”

11 February 2017
Villiersdorp – Franschhoek
Distance: 78.5km
Ascent: 1 635m
Notable Climbs: GROENLANDBERG | Franschhoek Pass

Home sweet home! The last stage, also a ‘short’ one, is a very fitting end to this great adventure. But to complete TransCape2016 you will need to dig deep one last time as there lies a major rite of passage’ between you and the finish line. Yes it is the famous Groenlandberg!

We start off with an easy roll out from the banks of the Theewaterskloof Dam for a somewhat longer NZ than normal …and we’ll have some fun to celebrate the last stage of this amazing journey. Once we cross the bridge over the dam we hang a left and the racing begins. From there it is a very fast run on the open road to the bottom of the beast. For those who have never been up Groenlandberg, it is tough, it is long, but it is absolutely stunningly beautiful! The surface is loose gravel, rutted in many places and a real challenge, but it is definitely ride able. Take time to look around every now and then and enjoy every bit of it. At the top, take a moment to look to the East – you can almost see Knysna from there… Then refocus as it is time to grip those bars again and reap the reward of all your climbing efforts. The downhill is fast and furious, but also tricky in places. Ride within yourself and you will have no issues. Once safely down the mountain you can refuel at WP1 from where it is a fast dash along the tar road and on towards the northern banks of the Theewaterskloof Dam. We then enter another fantastic section through the beautiful Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve all along the foot of the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountains. This is quite fast flowing reserve road and jeep track with plenty small beautiful river crossings, some rocky sections and if you are lucky some eland or kwagga sightings. We exit the reserve at the foot of the Franschhoek pass, where WP2 offers some sustenance for this last challenge of TransCape2015. It is fairly long, but it’s all tar and the adrenaline will be pumping as you smell the finish line. So go ahead and give it all you got, we will be waiting for you with something special on top. Once done and all the pics taken, it is time to sit back like a champion and freewheel your way down into Franschhoek and the finish line at the beautiful La Couronne wine estate where friends, family and good wine awaits!


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