ASG Events is situated in Paarl and our route-builders are working throughout the year to unearth every bit of mountain-biking terrain on and around the Paarl Mountain. We believe the result will present the very best way to experience the mountain and the views over the surrounding Simonsberg and Drakenstein ranges.
These imposing ranges are just an unbelievable sight early morning and you can even see Table Mountain from the top of Paarl Mountain.
The Sanlam MTB Invitational route annually encompasses all best features on the Paarl Mountain. Riders can expect wide open plains, strong climbing challenges, majestic mountain views, deep ravines, indigenous forests, and spectacular views.
The event last year became the first to link up all the terrain around the mountain to present a total circumvention of the mountain.
The Sanlam Invitational is aimed at accomplished mountain-bikers who are looking for a true off-road challenge, and the first stage personifies this.
In contradiction to last year we’re traversing the mountain clock-wise on the first stage, which will get the bulk of the climbing done in the first half while also including some wonderful downhill single track sections on the eastern side of the mountain and the Taal Monument.
Batch starts will be implemented this year with proceedings starting from Rhebokskloof and the race heads east to link up with Jan Phillips via a few vineyards.
The Jan Phillips climb runs past its highest point at the Campsite (the event DOES NOT go all the way up to the Radio Tower, Terminator, or the Cement Road climb) before dropping down towards the Taal Monument while hitting some fine singles all the way to Diamant Estate where an enchanting forest section again awaits.
The route doesn’t cross the Suid-Agter Paarl road this year as we have cut out the 8km loop between the Suid-Agter Paarl Road and the N1 Freeway.
Proceedings go directly on to Fairview and Spice route where riders will encounter the popular CBC “water” point. Riders are advised not to dig into too many drafts as this is only the halfway-mark of the event – although most of the climbing is done.
The final 25km takes riders on a lovely flowing journey around the mountain through various wine estates, orchards, and numerous new custom built trails. The final 8km is on the famous Pinotage single track on Rhebokskloof.
The route is packed with great trails and views and the waterpoints make for a festive addition with lots of entertainment, atmosphere and a selection of eats and drinks.
The route has been designed to give experienced mountain bikers a true challenge which will leave them not only out of breath, but also breathless on various sections because the views are without their equal on top of the mountain.
The views on the course are spectacular, to put it mildly. For most of the route the spectacular Drakenstein Mountains provide a view to the north while on the other side Table Mountain and the Simonsberg provide a backdrop which the finest of artists will struggle to recreate.
The total ascent on the first stage is 1550 metres.
After a mild and picturesque start, the 40km ride gets down to the business end very quickly, ascending the mountain on some sublime single track on Rhebokskloof into the reserve. The 2nd stage does a shorter loop on top of the mountain via Kristi’s Camp before dropping back into Rhebokskloof and its wonderful single track. This stage does the entire new res-sculpted 12km single track on Rhebokskloof to the finish.
The total ascent on the second stage is 800 metres.