Stage 5:

Wild and 


In the absence of a second transition stage, Stage 5 provides an additional day of singletrack exploration in Wellington. Expect a fast and fun day out, if the fickle weather gods play along.

In the absence of a second transition stage, Stage 5 features a thrilling loop through the Wild Boar Trails. Home to technical climbs, traverses and descents it is a rare day at the Absa Cape Epic. One of flat out fun, but still with a challenge or two. A mix of district road and dual tracks starts the day, interrupted by the Roller Coaster singletrack, then it is on to Mischa and Welbedacht. The trails begin in earnest, for the second half of the stage, with Luislang, Happy Hog and a race into the rocky reaches of the Doolhof Valley. On the south-bound, return from the top of the valley True Grit awaits en route to Doolhof itself, then its home via Dirty Dancing, Welvanpas, the Golden Mile and Val du Charron. Wild and rocky at times, always untamed, it should be a faster stage, ahead of the bus journey to Stellenbosch for the final two stages of the race.


Wellington is one of South Africa’s best trail destinations. The Hawequa and Groenberg Mountains, which provide the terroir for the singletracks, also attract big weather into the region. In the Absa Cape Epic’s previous two visits to the town, in 2021 and 2018, the region provided torrential rain and temperatures that peaked at over 40 degrees respectively. Students of the race will note that the 2021 edition took place in October, so March 2023 is more likely to see extreme heat once more. If that is the case a relatively easy day on paper could quickly become arduous on the trails. Do not get behind on hydration!

Route Director's Tip

We are visiting the grande old dame again – Groenlandberg. When we come here, riders assume this is the ‘Queen Stage’ and in 2023 it is. Though I believe Stage 3 is just as worthy. Sure, Groenlandberg is tough, so we took out the traditional climbs in Nuweberg and put in fun stuff instead, saving your legs for the downhill Gantouw Pass portage.