The first 10km is on reasonably flat gravel roads and jeep track as you meander through citrus orchards and along irrigation canals. A short climb up Dung Beetle Hill will give you your first opportunity to get your heart rate up. Just after Dung Beetle Hill, at the first water point, riders have a few more kilometres of gravel road before the real fun begins or as Oli Munnik puts it, “you hop onto the amusement park rides”.
At the 2nd water point, around the 20km mark you take a sharp turn off the gravel road and enter the first of many singletrack sections through Hayterdale Trails. Wooden bridges, flowing singletrack, challenging climbs and exhilarating downhill's will keep you on your toes. Here you'll encounter some of the new additions to the route: The Rabbit Hole, The Corkscrew and Berm Lane to name a few. We challenge you to come out of there without a smile on your face. After some fun on the Hayterdale XCO track, it's back to the hard work as you begin your climb up the Zuurberg Pass. If you’re not in contention for the KOM title, take a moment to appreciate the panoramic views over the Sundays River Valley.
Not long after cresting the Zuurberg climb, we send you back into singletrack for a 5km white-knuckle downhill after which the route continues over undulating singletrack for several kilometres, at times hugging the Addo Elephant National Park - so keep a look out for elephants and lions on the other side of the fence.
True to its “Extreme” title, the 80km route still has a few physical and technical challenges in store for riders before they re-join the 60km course en route to the finish, including a singletrack climb towards Camp Figtree known as Louis’ Hill and Zorr’s Rollercoaster,
The 80km route join into the 30km route for the final flat(ish) 15km to the finish.
Download the 80km route file: GPX TCX