The inaugural PwC Great Zuurberg Trek rolled out amid the picturesque Zuurberg Mountains just outside Addo, near Port Elizabeth, on May 31.
The Eastern Cape’s premier stage race covered more than 200km and offered the exclusive field of 80 teams three days of real mountain biking through diverse terrain.
On day one, riders traversed the Valley Bushveld of the world-renowned Addo National Elephant Park and made their way through the citrus orchards of the Sundays River Valley.
The second stage saw them make a spectacular switchback descent into the White River Valley and power along the ridgeline of the Zuurberg mountains, with epic views of the Karoo and coast on either side.
The third and final stage took riders through a section of the national cross-country course at Hayterdale before the final push to the finish up the historic Zuurberg Pass.
Winners Andrew Hill and Adriaan Louw of Fairview-TIB were full of praise for the clover route and even veteran racer Andrew Mclean could not resist calling it “one of the best races I’ve ever ridden”.
The four-star Zuurberg Mountain Inn served as the race village, with riders stepping out of their bedrooms and onto the start line every morning.
Race director Brad Jackson of Mountain Events said the organisers would continue to up their game, with even more creature comforts and little luxuries planned for 2015.
“Our aim is to be the best, not the biggest,” said Jackson. “We’re building a boutique bike race that offers three of the most balanced and exciting days of riding anywhere in the country.”