When Cape Town was announced as the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination at the World Travel Awards in December 2018, I don’t think any of us were surprised. It homes some of the most iconic events in the sporting calendar, and while the Cape Town Cycle Tour and the Two Oceans Marathon get the international acclaim that they deserve, there are many other events happening in the Western Cape that have not captured a worldwide audience…yet!
One such event would have to be the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. A fabulous 102km race throughout the Western Cape Winelands, it is a spectacular ride, and if you have already done the Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously the Cape Argus) and you fancy something a little bit different, this should be your number #1 choice.
The Stellenbosch Cycle Tour is an official seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020, and so it is the perfect training ride for internationals who intend to participate both events. In 2019, the tour got a new date (pushed back from December to January) and a new location, starting and finishing at the Val De Vie Estate, which is a short drive from Stellenbosch centre. While the route remained largely unchanged this year, the event organisers switched it around somewhat so that Helshoogte Pass, the only real climb of the race, came at the 70km mark, rather than right at the beginning as it was in previous years, to spice things up a bit!
On Sunday, 20th January 2019, the Bicycle Beyond Team lined up for the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour for the very first time, and it did not disappoint! The weather was beautiful, the route was challenging but very doable, and the scenery and camaraderie were simply amazing. While it’s not as big as the Cape Town Cycle Tour, it is just as enjoyable, and if you are looking to start your 2020 cycling season in style, this is definitely one for the Bucket List.
Here’s what our Stellenbosch Cycle Tour looked like…
Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa is a dream for many international cyclists, and rightly so. It is undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful stretches in the world to discover on two wheels, and if you are up for the +/- 750km challenge, why not plan your winter cycling holiday now and book your spot on the 06.12.2019 departure!
The beginning of December is the perfect time of the year to visit South Africa, with plenty of sunshine, warm temperatures, and less tourists than in February and March when thousands of international road cyclists head down to participate in the world-famous Cape Town Cycle Tour. Flights are well-priced at that time of the year too, and so if you want to extend your 2019 cycling season, this is the perfect way to do it.
Cycling the Garden Route is a demanding trip, especially if you intend to cycle the full route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, but it offers untold rewards. The scenery is spectacular, the roads are surprisingly well-maintained (well, most of them!), and there are some fabulous accommodation choices.
You’ll start each day with a delicious breakfast before jumping into the saddle. You can expect to cover some 100km each day, stopping at various lookout points along the way. A sumptuous picnic will be enjoyed on route, and you’ll have time at leisure in the afternoon to enjoy the facilities on offer at each high-end hotel before regrouping for a 3-course dinner.
Garden Route Road Cycling Tour: Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrive Port Elizabeth
- Day 2: Port Elizabeth / Build Bikes / Short Spin to Test the Legs
- Day 3: Cycle from Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay
- Day 4: Cycle from Jeffrey’s Bay to The Crags (Plettenberg Bay)
- Day 5: Cycle from The Crags to Brenton-on-Sea
- Day 6: Cycle from Brenton-on-Sea to Oudtshoorn
- Day 7: Cycle from Oudtshoorn to Swellendam
- Day 8: Cycle from Swellendam to Hermanus
- Day 9: Cycle from Hermanus to Cape Town
- Day 10: Free Day Cape Town
- Day 11: Departure
Some short bus transfers are included to keep the average daily distance to around 100km, and the group is followed by a support vehicle at all times.
If this sounds like your perfect cycling holiday, find out more, and cycle South Africa’s Garden Route in December 2019!