A short, sharp, lung busting effort from the race village to the Berg River Dam and back to seed riders for the stages ahead. Whether you're a race snake, or just racing your mates, this time trial counts towards your overall GC placing.
The Leg Loosener (153km)
Stage 1 takes the peloton out to the rolling farmlands of the Swartland region, after a short stop at the Drakenstein prison, site of Nelson Mandela's release in 1990. Back on the bike, it's a gentle spin on comfy roads until kilometre 39 - the Green sprint section for the race snakes. A 2 kilometre uphill drag just enough to hurt the legs and get the heart pumping. Enjoy the short respite to kilometre 74 - before the racing starts in earnest with the first Yellow GC section of the 2016 Cape Rouleur. Fourteen kilometres of undulating racing lie in wait, followed shortly by a welcoming lunch stop. With full bellies and refreshed legs, the peloton heads back towards the historic town of Stellenbosch, where the climbers get the chance to show off in the Red climbing section, a 3 kilometre grind over Helshoogte pass. From there on it's a false flat cruise back to Franschhoek.
The Scenic One (120km)
At 120 kilometres, Stage 2 is the most scenic. The route takes the peloton back to Stellenbosch over the new Helshoogte pass. The mountain goats will have to make sure they've warmed up sufficiently, as the Red Climb section comes after only 21 kilometres of riding. From there, the peloton heads towards the coast and along the breathtaking Clarence Drive. The imposing mountains on the left and the tranquil Atlantic ocean on the right will provide sufficient distraction as the kilometres whizz by. Back to reality at kilometre 91 and it's the stage's Yellow GC section - 19 kilometres of flat and fast racing. And for the race snakes, this is quickly followed by the Green Sprint section at kilometre 119, while the rest of the peloton can roll gently to the end of the stage.
The stage finishes at Arabella Hotel and Spa (120km) where riders can enjoy a relaxing lunch and take a dip in the pool before transfers back to the race village. The hardcore can continue on a fully supported ride back to Franschhoek for an optional double century - complete with "double century badge" and bragging rights! Climbing legs are needed after lunch as 3 mountain passes and 82 kilometres stand between the riders and the welcoming sight of Franschhoek.
The Climber's Delight (147km)
Stage 3 is relentless, up and down all day long. Right from the start it's up and over Franschhoek Pass to the first racing of the day - the Green Sprint section - next to the inviting waters of Theewaterskloof Dam. Shortly thereafter, the road tilts up again for the first of two Red Climb sections - Viljoen's Pass - a 4 kilometre climb coming after 37 kilometres. The peloton then winds its way through apple country on towards lunch and the now infamous chocolate brownies of the Houwhoek farm stall. Straight after lunch the road heads skywards once again, warming the legs up for the rolling hills of the stage's 14 kilometre Yellow GC section. The mountain goats have one last chance to excel on the final challenge of the 2016 Cape Rouleur - the 7 kilometre climb back up Franschhoek Pass. After enjoying the view from the top, it's a quick roll down to the finish to collect your medal and prepare for the post race festivities.
The Social Day (111km)
A slightly more relaxed ride, albeit still 111km long (414m ascent), in groups from Franschhoek. The lunch stop is at Nitida Wine Farm at 74km. Escorted from there into central Cape Town as one "Festive" peloton by the Cape Town motor cycle police, followed by a celebratory drinks reception on the Waterfront.
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