“THE ROCK” MTB Stage Race encompasses some of the best features in the area and includes the wonderful riding terrain offered by the Hero Adventure Parks in Paarl as well as the Paarl Adventure Trails network.
Stage 1 Rhebokskloof – Spice Route: 55km - 1000m elevation
Day 1 is the Adventure Day!
Day 1 is the Adventure Day!
With a seeded batch start from Rhebokskloof, riders have a 1.2km section to stretch the legs and find their place in the bunch before heading into the first pocket of single-track.
Make sure you are prepared - once riders are in the Pinotage single-track it’s a gradual elevating climb around the Western side of Paarl mountain into Ridgeback farm where the 1st waterpoint welcomes you nice and early.
From there an entertaining single-track climb will take you through the famous orchards of Olyvenbosch Olives and down 5km of flowing fun to the 2nd waterpoint at the famous Bistro 44 Farm Stall at 14km.
From Bistro 44, it’s a short tar section to warm the legs up for the Stinger. She is short at only 2km, but she bites. This single-track climb is loose and steep so take it in your stride because it is not without reward.
Once over the Bridge at the top, the views are nothing short of amazing over Paarl Diamant Equestrian Farm and vast open farmlands all the way to Table Mountain.
Once you catch your breath back it’s back to the adventure as you continue to wind your way down and around the Paarl Mountain through a variety of vineyards, orchards, cattle farms and into the Renosterveld Reserve.
The Renosterveld reserve is truly something special. It’s a protected area where you ride along the upper contour among natural Fynbos and Renosterveld into the famous Black Pearl Vineyards and over to Ruitersvlei Wine Estate.
Ruitersvlei Wine Estate is the next waterpoint stop at 20km and it’s a special one with great food, friendly people and just a great vibe.
Then it’s onto some gravel roads where the Alpacas from Alpaca Loom await your arrival. They’re always a great sight before you head into the popular Landskroon Wine Estate.
Once around the dams At Landskroon the Trail Runners will head straight over into the finish line at Spice Route while the mountain-bikers continue to wind through the Landskroon vineyards, across dams and through forests before entering the Spice Route single track.
After the 4th waterpoint at 37km it’s flat and fast. The final 16km is a lot of fun - berms, forests, bridges, dams and oodles of flowing single track. The trails at Hero – Spice route are the perfect ending to a great 2nd day.
A further 2 “waterpoints” present them in the last 20km where riders can sample CBC beer and Wilderer gin!
The last 2km climb up to the finish is a leg burner and brings you to the finish in front of the CBC Brewery at Spice Route.
The trails are filled with great features and are bound to lift the spirits as you make your way to the finish line of day 2 at Spice Route Destination.
Spice Route Destination pulls out all the stops to provide entertainment and the day is filled with music, great food and a true festival of fun for the entire family.
Stage 2 Spice Route – Rhebokskloof: 42km - 1200m elevation
The second and last day of “The Rock” starts from Spice Route Destination and is a journey on the Eastern slopes of Paarl Mountain.
The variety of terrain is second to none with trails starting off through Spice Route where you’ll experience a flat and fast 8km to start off with before heading into the new XCO Trail on Diamant Estate.
Better known as Tomb Raider, the XCO Trail at Diamant is something to behold. It’s an almost ghostly section where rock formations, fast berms and flowing forest sections will put a smile on the face before the 1st waterpoint at 13km.
Once through Diamant it’s down to Knus Karoos Kombuis before the left turn and the climb up to the Taal Monument - the first bit of hard work on the stage.
This left turn onto the tar signals the start of a 10km climb up Jan Phillips to the top of Paarl Mountain.
Most of the climbing for the day takes place in this 10km and it’s firstly on tar and then on gravel road. It’s open and eases its way up to the radio tower at the top of the mountain.
The 2nd waterpoint is at 23km. It’s perfectly placed for a much-needed break.
At 26km riders take a right turn out of the reserve and drop down into the Hero Adventure Trails at Rhebokskloof. This section is better known as “Superbowl” and riders can get ready for the Grand Finale - the following 14km is pure awesomeness!
The next waterpoint is at 30km and overlooks Paarl on top of the mountain. The views are amazing and it’s the perfect time to stop and enjoy a chat with the friendly crew before heading down, around, in and out of the Shiraz single-track to the finish at the main restaurant at Rhebokskloof.
The last 20km truly tops off a great three days of cycling and it’s just reward for completing the 2nd edition of “The Rock”.
The day at Rhebokskloof will again not disappoint with lots to eat and drink coupled with live entertainment.