The Greyt Escape – Greyton, one of the Western Cape’s best loved mountain biking meccas, plays host to the Greyt Escape three day mountain bike stage race from the 15th to the 17th of June 2018. The event showcases the amazing riding on offer in the Riviersonderend Mountains and provides the perfect excuse for a long weekend away in a peaceful country village.
The beautiful, quaint country village of Greyton with its old-style, warm country hospitality brings to the discerning mountain biker the terrain that challenges, rewards, and finally releases the rider to reminisce about an experience that won’t be forgotten.
You cannot beat this classic town with its charming Victorian architecture, old-world charm and oak-lined avenues, together with local wines, kick-ass coffee shops, quirky curiosity shops, mouth-watering delis, and even a few laid-back Genadendal donkeys wandering around.
And so the ‘Greyton Classic’ MTB Event from yesteryear continues to evolve. The inaugural event in 2015 saw a typical one-day mountain biking ‘Challenge’, with weekend warriors taking on a rough and ready local route.
In 2016 Anneke and Petie Viljoen, together with route-director Andrew White decided to expand the event to incorporate a 2-day Stage Race. One year later the Greyt Escape has put up its collective hand as a mountain biking festival of note, incorporating a 3-day stage race, as well as options to ride single days as an individual challenge.
Route director Andrew White, has been assisted by iMTB Africa’s, Warrick Kemp to establish challenging, but rewarding routes for each stage. All three stages feature iconic singletracks and fabled climbs, but while the routes are undoubtedly tough they are not unduly so – with the distances kept to below 65 kilometres on each stage and with no more than 1 250 metres of climbing on any day.
The race also boasts an e-bike category for the riders who want to experience Greyton’s mountain biking to the fullest without having to suffer up the climbs like UFO, Maermanskloof, the Bakenskop Cobra, Davey’s Sprocket and Rocky Horror. That said for riders on purely human powered machines the rewards of the Middleplass singletracks, Blue Hippo Slide, Nguni Singletracks, Bone Shaker, Luislang and R.I.P descents will more than make up for the altitude gained.
The event starts with a long stage, but also arguably the easiest stage of the race. Featuring 62 kilometres of racing and 1150 meters of climbing, most of which comes in one go on the famous UFO Climb mid-way through the stage. Rolling farm roads get the Greyt Escape underway before riders take on the Wreck Route, the UFO Climb and the Middleplaas singletracks, before an undulating return to Greyton concludes the first day’s racing.
Stage Two traces the Greyton Classic route of old, 64 kilometres filled with punchy climbs and testing descents produces a total elevation gain of 1 250 meters. The route takes in local favourites such as the Blue Hippo Double Climb and the Blue Hippo Slide; Hemelsbreed and Oaks singles; up Castle Hill, down the Oaks pines, through the Oak glade; up to the highest point of the day and then down the Nguni singles. Piet’s contour and then down the Casy await; followed by the Oewerzicht Trails and finally the Bone Shaker which takes you home to Greyton.
The final stage boasts an action packed 45 kilometre route, with a shade under 1 000 meters of climbing. Four climbs – namely Maermanskloof, the Bakenskop Cobra, Davey’s Sprocket and Rocky Horror – provide the day’s challenges. Each climb is followed by a rewarding descent however, and none more so than the final two of the race, the Luislang and R.I.P – a new addition to the race. It is a fun and twisty descent which takes you back to Greyton, fast.
Entries are R4 700 per solo rider or R9 200 per team of two; for the option which includes dinners. While the non-dinner options are R4 250 for solo riders and R8 300 for teams. Entries include lunches, from Friday to Sunday, the option of dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, a Ciovita Greyt Escape cycling jersey and a Performance Brands winter warmer.
Off the bike the treats of Greyton await. With accommodation options left up to the riders’ discretion the bed and breakfasts of Greyton are sure to be bursting at the seams. For a comprehensive list of all the options visit www.greytontourism.com
For the riders who choose to spend their time dining in the race village the festive atmosphere of Greyton is sure to take the edge off the riding. The Greyt Escape epitomises the stage race experience, catching up with old friends and making new ones over the shared love of the great outdoors and the amazing sport of mountain biking.
To experience the trails and the winter festival atmosphere of the Greyt Escape for yourself, enter online at www.thegreytescape.co.za or contact Race Director Anneke Viljoen on 084 228 0414 or via email on [email protected]