The second marathon day, looping from Saronsberg into the Witzenberg Valley is a reimagination of an epic UNTAMED stage. Relentlessly rocky singletracks will provide a stern test of each rider’s ability to maintain speed and momentum.
Withstanding the untamed and unrelenting challenges presented by the Witzenberg Valley requires endurance and skill. Stage 2 begins with an ascent from Absa Cape Epics of yore, climbing the waggon trail into the Witzenberg Valley. Famed for its relentlessly technical trails the valley itself might not feature an imposing amount of climbing, but do not be fooled by the profile. Ouplaas, Wakkerstroon, Slagboom and Welgemeen all provide singletracks which will demand absolute focus, as well as constant shifts in weight. The rocky trails deny momentum and reintroduce the concept of inertia to all but the most skilful. Ascending back out the valley is no easy feat either, nor is the Wagon Trail descent back to succour at Saronsberg. Withstanding Stage 2 will require mental as well as physical fortitude.
ADVICE FOR THE TEAMS:
Technical skills in stage and marathon racing terms might not mean the ability to hit big jumps or negotiate precipitous drop-offs. Rather they help you maintain speed, momentum and flow. The Witzenberg Valley is a place that rewards those who can overcome obstacles without touching the brakes, because every pedal stroke avoided is energy saved. Ride rocky singletracks in preparation for Stage 2.
Route Director's Tip
Don’t think you’ve done it all in Hermanus. We made the stage a little shorter but that’s so we could add more of the good stuff in the Hemel en Aarde valley – some superb singletrack awaits the riders. Some familiar, some fresh. They’re linked with some ‘Absa Cape Epic-specific’ trails that are unrideable outside of the event. Take note… steep climbs and long, technical descents.