The 2014 incarnation of the Trans Karoo sees riders embark on a 240km journey from Eselfontein outside Ceres to the Jupiter Guesthouse in Sutherland on Saturday 26 April. It is set to be a testing ride with the possibility of rain and light headwinds predicted for the early phases of the race. Riders will be heartened to note though that the cool temperatures and overcast conditions should be perfect for a long day of riding.
The Trans Karoo is billed as one of the toughest single days of mountain biking in the country. The 240km route features a shade over 3 000 meters of climbing and a 17 hour cut-off time, meaning riders will have to cross the finish line at the Jupiter Guesthouse by midnight.
Along with the serious test of mountain biking endurance the Trans Karoo riders will enjoy the iconic Karoo vistas, as the route climbs out of the fertile Ceres Valley, crosses the Tankwa Karoo, before climbing the Ouberg Pass into the Karoo Hoogland. For most of the starting field the latter stages of the race will be completed under the clearing skies, a crescent moon and the Milky Way – as it can only be seen in the Karoo.
Riders take part individually or in teams of two and can receive support from their designated support teams at two points on the route. There are also four check-points and a water point on route which will provide riders will the usual hydration, sustenance and sweet treats. To help the tired legs overcome the Ouberg Pass the race organisers will be braaing at Check point four, at the top of the pass, to provide a hearty and warming welcome after the toughest leg of the race.