Montagu Mountain Mania 2008

Known as the gateway to the Klein Karoo, the historic village of Montagu lies in a fertile valley between two rivers, approximately two hours north of Cape Town. Montagu is renowned for its incredible rock formations, orchards, vineyards, hiking and mountain bike trails, and therapeutic hot mineral springs. On 17 May 2008, this peaceful South African village will be welcoming crowds of cycling and running enthusiasts as they gather to enjoy the 2008 Montagu Mountain Mania.

The 80 km course of the Montagu Mountain Mania Krakadouw MTB Classic attracts numerous top cyclists from all over South Africa, as well as some overseas competitors, and the competitive spirit is sure to be running high. The route starts at the Avalon Springs Hotel, situated just north of Montague, and cyclists will proceed along the base of the majestic Langeberg Mountain range, traverse the Keisieberg and head for the little Karoo village of Pietersfontein. From Pietersfontein, the route starts to get even more interesting – and challenging – as riders follow the winding path through magnificent kloofs, sandstone cliffs and gorges, until they reach the water point at Doringkloof farm – a critical point in the race as riders prepare to embark upon the toughest climb of the trail, the top of which is the halfway mark of the course. This is where competitors will enjoy a brief break before tackling the fast downhill on the Wagon Wheel 4X4 track along the base of the Moedverloren Mountains to Krakadouw farm. The next water point is at Patatsfontein, after which riders will enjoy some exhilarating downhills, followed by a tough, but short, climb to Skilpadsfontein. At the last water point on the Oude Muur Farm, riders can expect to be greeted by friendly local farmers who will provide refreshments before sending competitors off on the last stretch of the course back to the Avalon Springs Hotel. Riders are warned that the 80 km, approximately 4,5 hour route, is not for the faint-hearted, but the route is ridden regularly by local MTB enthusiasts and is definitely do-able. The 55 km and 30 km routes on the Montagu Mountain Mania program incorporate a part of the 80 km route and have been designed to ensure that riders will have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

For running enthusiasts, the Asics X-Treme 17 route consists of a single loop of mountain trails within the breathtaking Montague Mountain Reserve. Starting off at the Avalon Springs Hotel and weaving through Badskloof Gorge before joining up with the Cogmanskloof hiking trail, the bulk of this interesting route consists of well-defined pathways, with a few challenging dirt roads, inclines and a bit of “boulder-hopping” terrain. Runners can choose from the 17 km route, which is recommended for very fit off-road runners, and the 10 km route for the less fit runner who simply wants to enjoy an off-road race in stunning surroundings. Montague Mountain Mania will also feature a 4 km fun run and a Kids Duatholon.Certainly, there is every reason for cyclists and runners to head to Montague in May to enjoy Montagu Mountain Mania – one of South Africa’s favorite outdoor events.