The inaugural Vines & Views MTB Classic took place on 4 September and the event got off to a roaring start. Riders had the option of a 30 km or a more grueling 80 km route. Both routes were well-balanced, offering a proper cycling experience without being a technical bone crusher – and with very little sand, thankfully! Cyclists enjoyed a ride through two wine cellars and the route showcased different biomes ranging from fynbos to dense riverbanks, wheat fields to lush vineyards, and of course the West Coast’s own wildflowers in full bloom.
With full Covid protocols in place, the organizers opted for staggered starts over three timeslots, and, in addition to this, the 30 km and 80 km routes started at different venues. This did not dampen the riders’ spirits, as they were all too happy to take part in a cycling event again, following the cancelation of most events over the past 18 months. #outsideisfree has never been more true!
Skaapkop Hill, roughly 10 km from the finish line, the Lutzville Vineyards Vasbyt Hill Climb challenge provided an additional challenge for the mountain goats. A Strava segment was created prior to the event and riders were challenged to pedal their way to the top of the virtual KOM and QOM leaderboard. An elevation gain of 79 m over 167 km doesn’t sound like much, but with the sun beating down, an ever so slight headwind, and legs that most likely were already burning, “Vasbyt” proved to be a big challenge for most of the field.
But a year’s worth of wine supply motivated just about everyone to give it their all! Louis Burger took KOM honors, with Yvette Negrine taking the QOM crown. We’d like to thank our staff and their friends who brought the “gees” and made all riders feel like champs.