The 3rd edition of the Bastille MTB Classic takes place on Sunday 13th July. This event takes place over the same weekend as the Bastille Festival in Franschhoek, which attracts thousands of people from all walks of life. Many of them visit the quaint little town to indulge in the wine & food that the “French Corner” is famous for.
There are also those that choose to indulge in Franschhoek for another reason: to challenge themselves, on a mountain bike, in spectacular surrounds. The route for the Bastille MTB, winds its way through wine farms, as well as up & around nearby mountains, that are frequented by many of the local cyclists. Two of these mountains – Matoppie & Dassenberg – will leave you gasping for air, but also gasping in amazement, at the spectacular views that make this race so unique.
Route director (and Organiser) of the race – Geddan Ruddock – has made good use of the variety of terrain on offer, including easier farm roads, short sections of flat tar roads (for recovery), jeep track & single track. You will find yourself riding through sand & water, over rocks and on slippery (clay) surfaces in the vineyards. There is a fair amount of climbing on both the medium & long routes (the latter has a 3km slog of a climb towards the end), which requires a fair amount of fitness. There are also a few technical sections, which will test riders’ technical abilities. They are both challenging courses, but very rewarding if you conquer them. The short route over 10km, is a straight forward ride on farm roads (interspersed by short sections of tar), suitable for beginners & children alike.
The venue for the race, is situated a stone’s throw from an icon of Franschhoek – the Huguenot monument. Driving down main road to the end of town, you will get to a T-junction opposite this landmark. Turn right here, and then look for the parking signs (on your left). To your right, will be a big open field with all necessary facilities in the top corner. Registration takes place in the small white marquee, with some food stalls and other amenities close by, for both participants & spectators convenience alike. For those that are interested, the Festival marquee –where wine & food tastings of local farms & restaurants will be on offer – is a very short walk away.
For participants’ piece of mind, there will be a number of safety services in place, for (both on and off the course). These include security guards, a small police presence, traffic officials, emergency medical assistance & a 4 x 4 backup service.
If you are looking for an active Sunday with a difference, then why not consider coming to Franschhoek this Sunday to participate in this challenging, but rewarding off-road experience? Late entries are being accepted on the morning of the race between 6h30 – 8h30, with a 1000 rider limit. As an official entrant (read: finisher!), you will receive a medal, as well as be eligible for some great lucky draw prizes (of which local wines feature strongly). Winners in the long route will receive prize money, and all category winners will receive prizes. Please note that you will also be timed, this is based on your number board; no timing chips are required.