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Cape Epic Stage 6 Route Preview Elgin-Elgin
Altitude gain: 2 750m
THE QUEEN STAGE
When veterans of the Absa Cape Epic were asked about the toughest climb ever in the event, their response was unanimous: Groenlandberg. In 2017 the route returns to the rugged track which rises more than 600m along nine kilometres of rocky, sandy climbing – the average gradient is seven percent but one or two sections tilt up more than 20%.
That confrontation with the race’s most notorious climb comes 20km into the 2017 route’s Queen Stage and after some gentle climbs to warm up the legs. Then it is more rocky trail across the back of the Groenlandberg and another tough climb on an unstable surface before a sweeping descent, a bump or two and some short singletrack takes you under the N2.
This is rocky terrain so riders need to be careful: punctures could ruin their day. Then it is time to explore the south side of the Grabouw district. Riders will loop through the Kogelberg Nature Reserve – one of 400 unique biosphere reserves in the world – and private farmland before heading back under the N2 via Lebanon’s flowing singletracks. The last climb from Thandi Wine Estate takes riders back to Oak Valley and another burst of singletrack sections before the finish.