Route Maps and Descriptions
Grabouw, situated in the Western Cape atop the Sir Lowry’s Pass, is a mountain paradise for the outdoor enthusiast.
For the Xterra athlete, Grabouw offers the opportunity to mountain bike in widely varying conditions. From gravel fire roads to rough jeep track and technically challenging single track, pine plantation to Cape Fynbos. Surface conditions are also varied, from ragged rocky conditions, pine needle covered trail, loose gravel and of course the ubiquitous sand! Grabouw is NOT flat, you will need to have your climbing legs with you and you will need your descending skills fine tuned. It is, after all, the South Africa XTERRA Championship forming part of the XTERRA World Circuit!
For the Trail Runners, the challenge does not stop. Although you will be able to stretch the running legs initially, it will not be too long before the ‘scramble’ starts. The trail run leg will take the Xterra athlete up slopes and along certain trails that are not accessible to the mountain biker, thus offering spectacular views not normally seen by the casual visitor to Grabouw. After the main climb and the following descent, the trail run will bring the XTERRA athlete along the shores of the Eikenhof Dam, back to the finish line and well deserved refreshment.
TOTALSPORTS XTERRA FULL ROUTES
To view the MTB Route Map & Profile click here
To view the RUN Route Map & Profile click here
Trail run: 11km
The Grabouw Forestry Area – traditional home to the Totalsports Xterra South Africa – with its wide variety of terrain options available, has proven once again that it can deliver one of the best Mountain Bike Courses in the series.
After the start there are enough dual tracks to ensure ample passing opportunity for the Mountain Bikers who are not the fastest in the water, before turning up a steep dual track which will test the legs after the swim. The technical sections that follow will benefit the capable mountain bikers as the terrain continually varies.
Where the fun starts after 2.8km’s!
The first half of the route is mostly climbing to the highest point of 538m, but the tricky downhill sections with a good variety of riding surfaces, including a few sandy patches as well as fast loose pebble covered sweeps, will keep the concentration levels high. Riders will reach the highest point (538m) on the route after 12km of riding – the views from this point are for free.
View from the top!
After 13km the fun starts! By this stage the self identified ‘real mountain bikers’ out there should have been able to pass the strong swimmers in the competition and have a clear ride to enjoy some of the best single track on offer in the area, including 3,7km of new trails – never previously used in Xterra. The iconic rock garden is once again included in the route which will require riders to keep their wits about them as they descend this technical section.
1 of the 8 single tracks of the route!
It is not all downhill from here; you will see from the profile that there are enough short steep climbs in the last half to benefit the stronger riders. When you hit these last climbs the individuals should keep in mind that the new Totalsports Xterra Run route is still awaiting them.
Riders with good technical skills will have an advantage on this route as riders will be required to work hard and concentrate on every part of the route. There is very little room for hesitation, especially on the steep rocky descents and riders will be required to react quickly on corners and changes in terrain- there are lots of surprises!