2022 Trans Elands Extreme (160km) route description

2022 160km ``extreme`` route GPX file

2022 Trans Elands 60km Marathon route description

2022 Trans Elands 60km 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 onto gravel to Loerie Ruskamp where the 1st water point is located (at ± 22 km into the race).   After Loerie Ruskamp the route 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 and somewhat technical downhill jeep track (NB: REDUCE speed for the deceptive Kamakaze hairpin bend 39km into the race!), before the route reaches the 2nd water point (AT THE INTERSECTION with Elands River Rd) at just short of 44km into the race. The route then turns left onto Elands River Rd and goes past the Sand River Dam.

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. Just before the tar road at Patensie, the route takes a SHARP right next to the canal, and then a left +/- 1km further, where riders will be relieved to see 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” (if not corrugated) the next ± 6km down to Zuurbron farm. NOTE: the route takes a SHARP LEFT just BEFORE the STOP sign (at the Hankey – Humansdorp tar road) and drops down along a newly cut  short section of single track, then goes underneath the tar road and tales a right UP to the very important Zuurbron WP and Checkpoint (NOTE: cut-off times apply HERE!).

After leaving the Zuurbron WP, turn left onto a gravel road (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 game fence for a 1km jeep track section, before turning right (NOTE: the change here for 2022 same as 2021) for a further 2km between fences and then takes a left and goes past the (Zuurbron 2nd farm house) 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 tar road goes underneath the N2 and then takes a left onto Old Cape Rd (NB: look out for cars on this road!). You will then ride over the Old Gamtoos River (single lane) bridge …where you may start the celebrations :-). Take a left after the bridge, down to the the finish at The Ferry Hotel, where you 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 = 157km

The 60km race starts at The Ferry Hotel situated on the banks of the Gamtoos River, near Jeffrey’s Bay. The first 4,5km is a Neutral Zone (NZ) where your speed will be controlled by a lead vehicle.

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.

You’ll continue along Old Cape Rd and at 4km from the start you’ll take a right turn to go underneath the N2 highway. The NZ ends just after the N2 highway, where the race starts with a fast tar road section which becomes a bumpy gravel road (at 5,7km from the start). 

At +/- 6,8km you turn left and onto the start of a jeep track climb (Bully Hill +/- 800 m long, 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.

At +/-12,5km into the race, the route takes a left turn (away from the 25km route which continues straight here) and runs to the left of and in parallel with a trainline.

At +/- 14,6km from the start the route takes a right turn and enters a privately owned farm. You’ll turn left towards The Cross (which you should have spotted from a distance already). The Cross climb starts at +/-15km into the race, it’s just over 300m in length with 40m elevation gain. After reaching the top, the route turns left and then follows a technical descent before turning right at +/-16km.

At +/-16,5km the route turns right again, onto another short climb followed by some sublime jeep track riding through the farm.

At about 20km the route takes a sharp left and runs along the top of a valley with awesome, mostly downhill (but a bit technical in places) jeeptrack up until +/-24km, after which the route turns right and runs between game fences on either side.

At +/-25km you’ll reach the 1st Waterpoint where it is advisable to fill up for the CLIMB ahead. After the waterpoint, you’ll take a sharp right onto a public road (NB: look out for motor vehicles before turning right here!). This gravel road with an elevation gain of +/- 170m over the next 6km, might look familiar (as it is used during the Trans Baviaans, although in the opposite direction).

At +/-31km the route turns right towards Little Mac (of Trans Baviaans fame), which you’ll fortunately be descending this time and it will be in broad daylight too. Be VERY careful though, along this fast technical descent. And as they say, “after very downhill there’s an uphill”, so you’ll be taking on the Mooidraai climb (+/- 1,5km with 75m elevation gain) next.

At +/-35km the route takes a sharp right (onto the Zuurbron farm) where it joins up with and follows the same route as the 160km “extreme”. NB: Do not miss this right turn!   After going through a farm gate you’ll be on a fast downhill section of 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 before turning right at +/- 39km (into the race) and takes a left at +/-41km after which you’ll descend past a farm house after which you’ll reach the 2nd Waterpoint at +/- 43km. At the waterpoint you’ll turn right onto the Mondplaas gravel road. NOTE: lookout for cars on the road before turning right!  You’ll now be on the infamous bumpy, but fast Mondplaas road which fortunately is mainly downhill from here. From +/-45,5km you’ll be on the same route as the 25km riders, so if you’re a racing snake, please look out for 25km back markers that you might come across along the way!

At +/-48,3km at the bottom of a downhill on the Mondplaas road, the 60km (and 25km) route turns left (away from the 160km route) to do a +/- 4,5km loop through another cattle farm and then returns back onto the Mondplaas public gravel road. You’ll stay on this gravel road which becomes tar at +/- 55km into the race. From here on it’s tar all the way to the finish, so you can go flatbox that’s if you still have something left in the tank. The route turns left at +/-56,5km onto the R102 tar road (normal road rules apply here!) and back across the Gamtoos river bridge to the finish at The Ferry Hotel where the festivities await you.

Actual distance = 61km (incl. 4,5km neutral zone at the start)

2022 Trans Elands 25km route description

2022 Trans Elands 25km route GPX file

The 25km race starts from The Ferry Hotel situated on the banks of the Gamtoos River, near Jeffrey’s Bay. The first 4,5km is a Neutral Zone (NZ) where your speed will be controlled by a lead vehicle.

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.

You’ll continue along Old Cape Rd and at 4km from the start you’ll take a right turn to go underneath the N2 highway. The NZ ends just after the N2 highway, where the race starts with a fast tar road section which becomes a bumpy gravel road (at 5,7km from the start).

At +/- 6,8km you turn left and onto the start of a jeep track climb (Bully Hill +/- 800 m long, 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.

Continue straight on the 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 to do a +/- 4,5km loop through another cattle farm and then return back onto the public gravel road. At +/- 21,5km the route turns left off the public road and heads back through the Mondplaas cattle farm and then left at +/-26km back 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 = 28km incl. 4,5km NZ