HotChillee announces the route for the Cape Rouleur in March this year. Based out of the heart of gastronomy and wine, Franschhoek, the Cape Rouleur covers almost 600km and over 5000m of climbing. HotChillee's Riders' Village is next to the Huguenot Monument and each stage will start and finish here. The Riders' Village will be a hub of everything the rider needs, including massages, mechanics, refreshments, bean bags and picnic areas, allowing riders to relax together after the ride.
The overall route takes riders through the stunning South African scenery in the Western Cape, over mountain passes such as Franschhoek, around Paarl Mountain and through the Perdeberg National Reserve. Riders experience sunrise on Clarence Drive and cycle past the glorious Gordons Bay overlooking the ocean.
On Sunday 3rd March, following registration and the briefing, there will be a 7.6km Prologue, out and back from Franschhoek to Berg River Dam. This time trial will be used to seed riders into the three speed groups.
Stage 1 is a 128km flat route, with lunch at 82km in the Ridgeback Winery. As Stage 1 is relatively flat there is no Red Flagged mountain section, but the Yellow Flagged section for the male and female leaders' jerseys is positioned on the Voorpaardeberg Road. The route then circumnavigates Southern Paarl. The Green Flagged section, for the sprinter's jersey, finishes at Drakenstein Prison, formerly Victor Verster Prison from where Nelson Mandela was released. It's then a steady climb back to Franschhoek for massages, socialising and relaxation.
To view Stage 1 Profile click here
Stage 2 is 146km with 1939m ascent and a max gradient of 8 per cent. There are two Red Flagged mountain sections working in the climbers' favour. The first comes 38km in on a Category 3 climb, Viljoen's pass. It's then down to Houw Hoek Farm Stall where lunch takes place at 66km. The tough Yellow Flagged timed section is 15km after lunch towards Villiersdorp. Last year riders experienced a freak situation of a road full of squashed grapes here. Following Villiersdorp, riders will get a view of the Theewaterskloof Dam before the Green Flagged section on the approach to Franschhoek Pass and the final sting of the day, the Red Flagged mountain section over the Pass.
Stage 2 Profile
To view Stage 2 Map click here
Stage 3 is the longest at 208km with a 2006m ascent and max gradient of 8 per cent. The ride will start at approximately 05:15 due to heavy traffic in Stellenbosch at peak times. As sunrise is not until 06:38 riders will be given high visibility jackets and will need to bring appropriate lighting. All three speed groups will ride as one peloton over Helshoogte Pass and will have police escorts through Stellenbosch. The ride will then stop at Mooiberge Farm Stall for coffee and muffins before the speed groups separate and ride towards Somerset West and Gordon's Bay. The riders will experience sunrise on the spectacular Clarence Drive, Phil Liggett's "most favourite road on the planet". It's an undulating 60km from coffee to the Yellow Flagged timed section, where riders can put in their final push for the leaders jerseys. The ride then passes through the town of Kleinmond before riders are faced with the Green Flagged section for their last chance to take the sprinter's jersey home for 2013. Lunch comes at the 132km mark in Salandra Farm Stall and it's straight onto the Red Flagged mountain section for the King of the mountain's jersey, up category 3 Houw Hoek Pass. The rest of the ride is a tough 60km up Viljoen's Pass, past the Theewaterskloof Dam and back up the Franschhoek Pass before descending for the final time into Franschhoek.
The early start should mean that all rider groups will be home by 3.00pm, enabling some recovery time and relaxation before the Celebration Dinner, which this year will be held under a bedouin tent at the Riders' Village next to the Huguenot Monument.
Stage 3 Map
To view Stage 3 Profile click here
With the official Stages finished, the final day of the Cape Rouleur is a 112km Festival Ride from Franshhoek back to Cape Town. This takes riders under the Taal Monument, past the Fairview winery, past Fisantekraal and around the outskirts of Durbanville. Lunch is at 76km at the Nitida Wine Farm. Here the cyclists will be met by the VIP Escort Division of the Cape Town Motor Cycle Police who will escort one peloton of riders in style, as they get views of Table Mountain before descending on the Cape Town Waterfront. The finish is at the Cape Town Hotel School with amazing ocean views.
Festival Ride Map
To view Festival Ride Profile click here
More information on the Flagged sections