The Delheim MTB Day 25 km race is part of a yearly event called Delheim Outdoor Weekend. It is normally held on a weekend at the end or middle of November. On the Saturday there is trail running races and on the Sunday there is MTB races and an Enduro. The whole event is organized by Dirtopia and is held at Delheim wine farm, near Stellenbosch.
We chose to ride the 25km race, but there is a 7km and 12km option to choose from. There are water points along all routes and the whole event is timed by TrailTag.
At the start, Dirtopia has a great setup, with well-maintained portaloos and an easily accessed registration platform. There is a nice vibe in the start are, you’ve got riders interacting with other riders, music playing in the background and the announcer explaining a bit about the route.
Then the 25km race kicks off with a bang. There is always a bit of a rush as all the riders sprint to get ahead. Then you turn in and cross between two vines on a narrow path. That can get a bit nerve racking, as all riders pile up, looking for a gap to go through the vineyard. But it soon frees up and you find yourself cruising along. For a short while…
The first 8 km of the race, the ground is at an angle (going up) and you have to pedal your legs off to get through it. Then suddenly there will be short sections of single track and would end in a short, steep climb. However, the next 4 kays you simply cruise on down along single track, to the finish line, where you go for a completely different new loop.
This second loop is less technical and more flat, with some steep climbs here and there. It is however, a bit dustier, and sand tends to get your eyes. But you soon find yourself cruising down a hill, crossing over a stretch of vineyards and over the finish line, where you receive a well-deserved medal, because normally you would have just climbed 1000 meters during the entire race!
It was a well orientated and great race experience. We must also state though, that this was the 25km race report for the 2015 event, and every year the routes change, to give riders a good variety and to keep challenging themselves!