The Grand Finale finishes in the heart of South African mountain biking for the first time since the 2006. Though this time Stellenbosch itself, rather than a storied wine farm, hosts the final finish line.
No free-ride final stage, the Grand Finale in 2024 is packed with adventure. But the conquest of the untamed is within reach. Only 65 kilometres remain. Of those remaining kilometres the majority are in the Jonkershoek Valley, with the world-renowned MTO Forestry Trails providing the bulk of the riding. Ater a tough dual track climb into the plantation the trails begin by continuing the ascent up Irish, the dropping into Armageddon. A zig-zag of climbs and descents follow with Red Pheonix and Neverending Story completing the exploration of the valley’s northern slope. The Valley Trail crosses the river and Bosluis climbs the southern slope to the XC Trail. Exiting the MTO gate the course drops into The Dentist and climbs the Jonkersdrift trail en route back to Coetzenburg. A new singletrack traverses high above familiar terrain into Eden, then it is on to Mont Marie for the Gutted Baboon and Element before a race back through Eden, down G-Spot and the World Cup XCO Trails to the final finish line. With that the Absa Cape Epic and the untamed are conquered. And your name will be added to the Book Of Legend.
ADVICE FOR THE TEAMS:
Soak it all in. Enjoy the final stage experience. The later start, the festival atmosphere and the glow of your achievement. Yet, do not take your eye off the prize, that Absa Cape Epic finishers’ medal still needs to be earned. Do not get complacent at the final hurdle, the singletrack packed day could still trip you up with a crash or a major mechanical.
Route Director's Tip
That climb out of Lourensford is steep, especially on tired legs. But there’s still some fun to be squeezed out of the 2023 route, following the best of the trails of the Stellenbosch Trail Fund. Give it one last surge on the climb that takes you to Banhoek – it’s the last before the final trails leading into Val de Vie. The Grand Finale is a fitting end to a week of unique racing and your spot in The Book of Legend will be hard earned. Good luck!