2019 Trans Elands Extreme (160km) route description

Extreme route GPX file

2019 Trans Elands Lite (60km) route description

Lite route GPX file

The race starts from (and finishes at) The Ferry Hotel situated on the banks of the Gamtoos River, near Jeffrey’s Bay.

After the start, the route heads off along a 5,8km tar section in a Northerly direction before turning sharp left and a further 5km of undulating tar road follows to get the legs nicely warmed before the gravel road fun starts.  Riders turn right at Flamingo Lake onto the Padlangs gravel road, with some short-sharp climbs incl. the infamous “Concrete Killer” climb (@ 17,5km) to test the climbing legs for what’s to follow later in the race.

At about 19,5km into the race the route crosses the Hankey tar road and then takes a left turn onto a fast downhill tar road section and a small climb before splitting off to the right (at the 1st water point at ± 22 km into the race).   The route then goes past Loerie Ruskamp and drops down to a river crossing (normally without any water in it) which signals the start of Lex’s Monster climb …a 12.5km ascent with an elevation gain of ± 650m, with the KOM Hotspot at the summit at ± 36km into the race.

After the KOM Hotspot riders are treated to some exhilarating downhill jeep track (NB: REDUCE speed for the deceptive Kamakaze hairpin bend 39km into the race!), before the route turns left onto the Elands River road and reaches the 2nd water point (near Sand River Dam) at ± 48.5km into the race.

The route then winds through the Elands River Valley to reach the 3rd water point at the Cheese Shop ± 76,8km into the race, where riders will be faced with the difficult choice of either stopping to fill up with fuel or continuing past and onto the 2nd major climb of the race (± 7.5km with 250m elevation gain) up to the Mast.

From the Mast to Patensie is fast downhill territory, spiced up with a few short sharp climbs and tight bends along the way, after which riders reach the 4th water point at  +/-100,5km into the race (at Patensie) where it would be prudent to fill up on fuel.

The route then meanders through some lush citrus farmlands and then gradually climbs through Droëkloof before turning left at ± 111km into the race, after which riders will be faced with the daunting task of tackling The Never Ender climb (± 12km with 250m elevation gain). The summit of Never Ender is reach at +/- 122km into the race and followed by a bit more climbing along the Y-Split (TAKE NOTE: keep left at the split!), after which riders can enjoy the next ± 6km down to Zuurbron (at ± 131km into the race) where the 5th water point is situated.

After leaving the Zuurbron water point there’s a short section of single track before crossing underneath the (Humansdorp-Hankey) tar road. NOTE: After exiting the tunnel, the route takes a sharp RIGHT and heads up to a left turn onto a gravel road section (which should be familiar to Trans Baviaans riders). After +/-4km on this gravel road the route turns left (NB: Do Not miss this LEFT TURN!) off the gravel road and through a farm gate onto jeep track which drops down into the valley where the route heads right. A further 1km of jeep track follows before the route turns left and a +/1km rocky jeep track section starts which gradually climbs out of the valley, then takes a right and a left turn and then heads straight along a fence for a 2km jeep track section, before turning right onto the Mondplaas gravel road. NOTE: lookout for cars on the road before turning right!

Once onto the Mondplaas road there’s about 16km left to the finish. The first half of which is a fast stretch of gravel, although somewhat bumpy (especially if you’re the hard core type taking on the Trans Elands on a hardtail).  Riders will be pleased to reach the start of the tar road at just short of 150km into the race and should be even more pleased to know that it’s tar all the way to the finish. Many a race is either won or lost along this final stretch, depending on whether you’ve left your legs behind on one of the many climbs earlier in the race.

The finish is at The Ferry Hotel, where riders can enjoy a cool frosty and something to eat while reliving the memories made in completing the Trans Elands Extreme MTB Marathon, SA’s toughest 100 miler, founded by Lex Holmes.

Actual distance = 156km

The race starts from (and finishes at) The Ferry Hotel situated on the banks of the Gamtoos River, near Jeffrey’s Bay.

After the start, the route heads off along the tar road in a Northerly direction for about 5,8km before a sharp left turn and a further 6km of undulating tar road (note: the route continues straight along the tar road and splits away from the Extreme route where the Extreme route takes its 1st right onto gravel).

The legs should be nicely warmed up for what’s to follow: the infamous Kleinskool (Hankey Pankey reverse) climb (about 4,5km of climbing with an elevation gain of just under 200m).  The 1st waterpoint (WP1) is situated at the top of the climb, afterwhich the route takes a sharp right and drops down to the Padlangs road where the route then turns left (and re-joins the Trans Elands Extreme route).

Continuing along the Padlangs road, riders are faced with the short but steep “Concrete Killer” climb.

The route crosses the Hankey tar road and then turns left and takes a fast downhill tar road section and a small climb before splitting off to the left (after WP2) near Loerie Ruskamp, after which the route descends through the scenic Kleinrivier farmlands and loops back in a clockwise direction to Loerie Ruskamp (where WP3 is situated).

The route then returns in an opposite direction as the “out” route and climbs back up to the Hankey tar road crossing and then onto the fast and undulating Padlangs gravel road (note: the return route doesn’t split right and back onto the “out” route, but continues straight on the Padlangs gravel road) all the way to Flamingo lake, after which the route turns left back onto the tar road for 5km and then right for a further 5,8km of tar road and back to the finish at the Ferry Hotel, where the festivities await.

Actual distance = 62,7km

2019 Trans Elands Mini (30km) route description

The 30km race starts at 07h30 from The Ferry Hotel situated on the banks of the Gamtoos River, near Jeffrey’s Bay.

You’ll turn right out of the grounds of The Ferry Hotel and along the tar road in a Southerly direction. The route takes a right turn at the first T-junction and another right to cross over the Gamtoos River via the old single lane bridge.

At +/- 2,2km from the start, the route turns right off the tar road and onto a gravel road through the Mondplaas cattle farm. The route goes past the main homestead as well as the staff houses where you can be sure to get plenty of support from the local kids. Be on the lookout for cattle heading to or from the milking shed along the way.

At +/- 6,7km you turn right onto a public gravel road (normal road rules apply here!) and about 500m further you turn left and onto the start of a jeep track climb (+/- 800 m in length, with +/- 80m elevation gain). This is followed by a further +/- 3km of jeep track which is fairly fast, but grassy in places.

The route turns left just before reaching the boundary fence and immediately right and onto a public road (watch out for normal traffic here!) with a short section of tar and then gravel to the highest point on the route, where the Waterpoint is located at +/-13,5km into the race.

Lookout for normal traffic as you leave the WP with a right turn onto a somewhat bumpy, but fast gravel public road. At the bottom of the downhill at +/- 16,3km into the race, you take a left out of the gravel road to do a +/- 4,5km loop through another cattle farm and then return back onto the public gravel road. At +/- 22km the route turns left off the public road and heads back through the Mondplaas cattle farm and then left onto the R102 tar road (normal road rules apply here!) and back across the Gamtoos river bridge to the finish at The Ferry Hotel.

With a 3 hour time limit, you might just be finished in time to enjoy a hearty breakfast at The Ferry Hotel after your ride.

Actual distance = 29km