Entries will be limited to 350 riders on each of the 40km and 60km distance options every day to ensure a free-flowing event across an extended singletrack route. Riders that are keen to participate have until Wednesday, 31 January to enter online as no entries will be taken on race day.
According to race director and route developer, Meurant Botha of Dirtopia the first day of the two-day event will offer extensive singletrack riding out around Klapmutskop heading towards the Simondium area. While the route offers ample opportunity for riders to spread out before entering the first singletrack sections of trail, organisers want to offer participants ideal conditions for an amazing experience.
“There is simply no way of providing a rewarding singletrack experience when the field gets too big. Most events try and remedy the situation by making the trails smoother and less technical, ultimately detracting from the rider experience. It is also important for the event to invest in the legal, open-7-days-a-week trails, and 2018 will be no exception. Our trails team is hard at work building new sections that will add greatly to the diversity of the first day’s route,” says Botha.
Longer route riders can expect around 1500m elevation, while the shorter route option will focus on a fun trail experience with an 800m climb.
The route for Day 2 of the stage race will stick to the winning compilation of more than 25 singletrack sections showcasing the best of the Simonsberg Trail system. Long routers head up to the 10km Never Say Neverending Again section.
According to Botha, the past two Spring seasons have allowed this section the opportunity to recover from the devastating fires shortly before the inaugural race.
“The mountain has recovered spectacularly following the devastating fire in 2016, which damaged 90% of the trails and destroyed a large section of the forest canopy. Participants can look forward to the spectacular scenery on what remains the premier trail in the region,” states Botha.
The Fairtree Contour is the only event that uses this particular trail as part of its routing. The fact that numbers are limited and 42km of riding precedes this section of the route, promises an enjoyable experience for all.
“Although the elevation at around 1500m for the long route is considerable, the climbing is not intense and very manageable. That said the Long Route is not for inexperienced riders,” stresses Botha.
Short routers do most sections apart from Never Say Neverending Again and can expect a punchy, singletrack infested morning.
Riders can customise their entry and opt for the following variations: 60km both days (R1100), 40km both days (R900), 40km on Saturday and 60km on Sunday (R950), 60km Saturday and 40km on Sunday (R950), 60km one day only (R550) or 40km one day only (R470). Entry fees include a breakfast snack, coffee, lunch daily, bike park with lube station, on route technical support by BMT, fully stocked refreshment stations, live timing and a medal. A total purse of R40 000 will be up for grabs in 2018 with equal prize money to be awarded for the ladies’ and men’s overall winners over two days.
The Fairtree Simonsberg Contour stage race is also proud to announce that the Jan Kriel Institute joins the Simonsberg Conservancy as an official charity partner of the event. This non-profit organisation is responsible for raisings friends and funds for the children of Jan Kriel School – recently announced as the best “Special Needs School” in South Africa.
Entries are limited so enter online at www.dirtpass.co.za or www.fairtreecontour.co.za to avoid disappointment. Meal vouchers can also be booked for family members and friends who would like to come and support and wait at the finish carnival with loads of kids’ entertainment.
Route profiles and descriptions are available online at www.fairtreecontour.co.za.