Rusty Gate is, unquestionably, among The Race That Measures All’s most revered climbs. Usually, the assault on it features a pre-amble, a warm-up; but not so in 2022. Leaving Elandskloof, it’s Rusty Gate from the starting blocks, followed by undulating kilometres along the banks of the Theewaterskloof Dam. The eastern ascent of Franschhoek Pass provides the race’s longest section of asphalt, before a trail new to mountain bikers leads the race into the picturesque Huguenot village. More singletracks await on the banks of the Berg River Dam before the route crosses the river; from there it is uphill once more, first gradually and then steeply, over Botmaskop. The day’s final descent to Stellenbosch hints at the rewarding riding still to come in the Absa Cape Epic.
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