Covid-19 has enforced a change of date to the 2020 editions of the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience and Greyt Escape stage races. Overberg MTB Events and the race venues, the De Hoop Collection and village of Greyton, have decided to postpone the races to later in the year. In the case of the Greyt Escape the 2020 event will be shortened to a one-day race.
The Greyt Escape was scheduled to take place over three days, from the 13th to the 15th of June. It will now, if it is safe to do so, be staged as a truncated, one-day event. The date for this will be announced in due course.
“Many businesses in Greyton rely, to a large extent, upon tourism” Anneke Jacobs, owner of Overberg MTB Events, explained. “We therefore will be doing all we can to not cancel the event entirely. Even a one-day event, we trust, will bring mountain bikers to Greyton to stay a night and eat in the local restaurants.”
Stage 1 of the planned Greyt Escape route will serve as the route for the proposed one-day race. It takes in the infamous UFO climb in its 70-kilometre distance and features 1 265 metres of climbing. The most thrilling section however will be the new singletracks on Jan Viljoen’s farm, Middelplaas. These trails explore the foothills of the Riviersonderend Mountains, in a region which the route has never been able to visit before.
Looking ahead to 2021, the Greyt Escape will move to an earlier date on the mountain biking calendar. Next year the race will take place on the 9th to the 11th of April. The move to an earlier date will ensure warmer temperatures and less chance of rain that the event’s traditional mid-winter date.
The De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience meanwhile has been rescheduled from late August to 19 to 21 November, 2020. It is an event that boasts not only fantastic riding, but also provides a spectacular weekend away for the whole family. The De Hoop Nature Reserve is one of Cape Nature’s flagship nature reserves and there is arguably no better way to experience its unique flora and spectacular fauna than by bike.
“Since the 2019 edition new trails have been built further enhancing the riding at the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience” Jacobs stated. Before promising: “If there are any restrictions on cycling events, which does not allow us to proceed in November, entries will be refunded in full. We hope, however, that we will be able to stage the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience in part because of its boutique nature. With limited entries available and various accommodation options the event by its nature does not carry as many risks, as events with larger numbers of participants.”
“We realize that all South Africans are undergoing enormous economic challenges right now, which may continue into the near future” Jacobs added. “It is very important that we continue offering affordable mountain biking events and experiences. Overberg MTB Events provide exactly that to participants, so keep checking in with us!”
“We are very proud to be associated with destinations, such as the Stanford Valley Guest House, Beloftebos Farm Cottages and the De Hoop Collection” Jacobs said of Overberg MTB Events’ partners. “A lot of spectacular trail development has recently been completed near the Stanford Valley Guest House and on the adjacent Paardenberg farms. These singletracks offer riders top class trails together with superb hospitality. The new trail is dubbed The USP Trail (Ultimate Southern Pass Trail) and is an exceptional addition to the current trail network in the Hermanus/Stanford region. We will continue working together, with our partners, on accommodation and getaway packages once the restrictions on travel, exercise and gatherings lift. In addition to promoting Stanford Valley Guest House, Beloftebos Farm Cottages and the De Hoop Collection as destinations we will also be offering guided tours and MTB skills coaching packages, on demand, throughout the year.”
To find out more about Overberg MTB Events and the races they organise please visit www.overbergmtbevents.co.za. For event specific details on the Greyt Escape visit www.thegreytescape.co.za and www.dehoopvleimtb.co.za for all the information on the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience. The company’s third event, the Stanford MTB Classic, took place in February 2020 and was unaffected by the global Covid-19 pandemic. It is scheduled for 27 and 28 February 2021 and more details are available at www.stanfordmtbclassic.co.za.