Eroica South Africa
Warm your pedals: this year’s first appointment in the densely packed international Eroica calendar is arriving!
On March 18th the second South African Eroica will take off in the Cape Winelands district, not far from Cape Town.
In the first Eroica South Africa, the poetry, values and fairness which are part of the Eroica were tightly intertwined with both the wild, uncontaminated South African landscape and the difficulties faced during Apartheid, when sanctions against South Africa prohibited the import of bicycles. A few courageous cyclists had learned how to put together steel frames, and the first 150 participants made no small effort to find these vintage local bikes, fully celebrating “the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of the conquest”.
The founder of the Eroica was there to support the new affiliate: Giancarlo Brocci completed the 90 km route on his bike.
Eroica South Africa 2017
Barone Ricasoli is a Silver Global Sponsor of the Eroica, and this year the organization has decided to bring the race’s date and location closer to another beloved cycling event, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which will be held in the capital the week before the African Eroica.
There will be three routes for the Eroica riders on their vintage bikes as they wind through the breathtaking scenery of picturesque mountains with their free climbers that give way to hot springs and plains dotted with vineyards and orchards.
Kingna – 50 km
The route will follow the Kingna stream, then turn back to the city of Montagu along farm roads and a short asphalted section. There will be a rest stop to “refresh” in true Eroica style with the brandy from the Kingna distillery and the final pit stop at Montagu for the celebration.
Kogman – 90 KM
This tour will follow the first 50 Km of the Kingna tour, then move northwest towards the Baden region with steep climbs and rapid descents on gravel roads. The highlight of this tour is the Pietersfontein dam, where the heroic cyclists will wind their way up to its basin – and have a swim if they like! – then carry their bikes back down on their backs along the narrow paths flanking the dam. From there, the route back to the city can only be “downhill”!
Keisie – 140 km
The most heroic of the Eroica cyclists will instead head northeast, crossing the formidable Ouberg Pass, then pedal westwards towards the Langeberg-Wes mountains. The route follows dirt roads through wild and enchanting landscape, followed by some asphalt through the Rooihoogte and Burgers Passes, then back downhill towards Montagu.
Appointment at the end of the Eroica at the historic KWV distillery in the heart of Montagu, headquarters and registration point of the Eroica South Africa as well as start and finish line. Refreshments will include good food, beer and local wines, with live music and the traditional exposition of vintage bikes.
Eroica South Africa at a glance
Date: 18 March 2017
Where: Montagu, Cape Winelands District, South Africa
Routes: Kingna – 50 km Kogman – 90 km Keisie – 140 km
Official Website: eroicasouthafrica.com
Registration: through the Eroica website
Cost: South African citizens = €45.00; other nationalities = €65.00
Further information: Montagu Travel Information; Airbnb