Cape Town - In its 13 years of existence thus far, the Absa Cape Epic - the leading mountain bike stage race in the world - has only made use of three venues for its Grand Finale.
Owing to its location in the exquisite Paarl-Franschhoek Valley and its landmark setting in the Cape Winelands, Val de Vie Estate - South Africa’s top residential estate - has been announced as the fourth-ever Grand Finale host for the 14th edition of the race, which is set to take place in March 2017.
Comments Ryk Neethling, Marketing Director and Shareholder at Val de Vie Estate: “It is an honour for Val de Vie Estate to be chosen to partner with the Absa Cape Epic, which attracts ambitious amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world. Val de Vie is renowned for hosting top events, and the partnership between these two great brands further adds to the prestigiousness of the Absa Cape Epic. This race is a prime example of the active lifestyle that we promote at Val de Vie, therefore we didn’t hesitate when we were offered the opportunity to be host to the finish line.”
This announcement comes after Val de Vie’s recent acquisition of Pearl Valley, and thus the expansion of its borders. The estate, which now measures 1 000 ha, includes 42km of trails where residents can enjoy the likes of mountain biking, trail running and horse riding.
Neethling adds: “Similar to the Absa Cape Epic’s ‘unmatched splendour’, Val de Vie carries the same essence, surrounded by scenic beauty - making it an awe-inspiring ending to a gruelling race.”
The 2017 route will take riders on an eight-day, 691km journey along some of the Western Cape’s most untamed, yet breath-taking, countryside regions and up numerous hills, with the accumulated vertical gain amounting to 15 400m.
As host of the Grand Finale, the estate offers spectators the opportunity to enjoy a taste of the Val de Vie lifestyle whilst eagerly waiting for participants to cross the finish line of one of the Cape’s most key races.
Having dedicated over 50% of the estate to “green areas” and surrounded by natural beauty, Val de Vie offers outdoor enthusiasts a wealth of activities, including fishing at the eight lakes that form part of the estate, or picnicking on the banks of the Berg River, which meanders along 7km of Val de Vie’s border. In addition, access to two outstanding fitness centres, tennis courts, full equestrian facilities and riding arena, two polo fields and an indoor swimming pool ensures that a healthy way of life can be maintained at the estate.
Neethling continues: “The estate is the ideal home for outdoor enthusiasts as well as families as it sports several play parks and an on-site preschool for little ones. The Paarl-Franschhoek Valley is additionally dotted with excellent schools, superb medical facilities and is in close proximity to the University of Stellenbosch.”
Val de Vie is conveniently located, just 35 minutes from Cape Town and Cape Town International Airport. Furthermore, the surrounding area not only boasts world-class restaurants and a plethora of wine estates, but also outdoor activities and outstanding natural beauty.
Neethling concludes: “As a sporting enthusiast myself, I have great respect for those who will be participating in the Absa Cape Epic and believe Val de Vie is a rewarding finish for the brave individuals who conquer this ‘untamed African mountain bike race’.”