Wow, how good was the 10th anniversary in 2017?! So many amazing memories and the perfect way to jump into another 10 years of good times rolling.
Cape to Cape continues its evolution in 2018. You loved the loop course format, so that stays. So do many of the iconic trails which are joined this year by some new, exciting and super fun additions.
So get ready for a tasty mix of flowing singletrack, spectacular coastal trails, a winery, a distillery, a brewery and an iconic lighthouse during 210km of the best riding WA has to offer. Every stage brings epic trails with highlights that’ll have your mates at home plumbing the depths of FOMO over your Insta pix.
Stage 1 is back at the iconic Cape Leeuwin lighthouse. Riders start and finish there, enjoying breathtaking views.
Stage 2 is through the brilliant trail network through Boranup Forest. Sweet flowing trails lead into tracks with coastal views and finish at the beautiful grounds of Leeuwin Estate winery.
Margaret River comes out en-masse to cheer you through town on Stage 3, the traditional Margaret River Special Stage a rider favourite with some of the best trails in the area.
The much loved Middle Earth is back for Stage 4 with around 20km of single track before heading back (via a few more trails) to the Colonial Brewery to complete your journey and celebrate your achievement!
Stage 1 – Cape Leeuwin
Start & Finish: Cape Leeuwin
We’re rolling back the years… returning to Cape Leeuwin lighthouse for not just the start, but also the finish of this year’s first stage. Once the traditional start for Cape to Cape – it’s one of the most spectacular start lines in Australian mountain biking.
A mass start will see you will roll out from the lighthouse and up Skippy Rock Road climb before dropping down into the bush on the western side of Augusta. The infamous Heartbreak Hill reminds you why you’re there, before coming out of the Telstra Tower tracks onto Hillview Road and heading straight for the coast.
Due to some wild weather (or maybe prayers answered), the beach will not be part of Stage 1. We can hear the synchronised whooping from here! Riders will take a right turn where they would have been heading for the beach (to ride tracks some will remember from recent years), you then loop back through Augusta golf course to tackle some testing climbs and one big decent that guarantees the best coastal views the region has to offer.
In the history of Cape to Cape, we think this Stage 1 will be one of the best ever. At just under 47km in distance and 915 meters gained offers a challenging mix of climbs, descents and breathtaking views that gives you plenty to talk about and the perfect selfie backdrop for your first Instagram bragging post.
Pros will complete stage 1 in just under 2 hours. Our last riders to cross the finish line at stage one will do so around 5 hours – but only because they slowed down to appreciate the incredible scenery.
As riders cross the finish line they will be seeded into wave starts for the following stages in order to maximise safety and minimise congestion throughout the rest of the race.
Stage 2 – Boranup Forest
Start & Finish: Leeuwin Estate
Located a short distance from Margaret River, Stage 2 takes you north to the picturesque start / finish venue of Leeuwin Estate. The perfect host for the days racing and relaxing.
Set off in your allocated wave, leaving Leeuwin Estate and heading south on a new section of course down to Jarrahdene. The day’s course takes maximum advantage of the amazing trail network that snakes through Boranup Forest and includes trails that you will not forget. 2 Pints of Guinness, Emu Drive, Tunnel Run, 3 Rocks, Lord of The Rings, The Quarry, and finally… Highway to Hell.
At Conto’s Beach you’ll hit the coastline before a pinchy climb, then north to Bobs Hollow before returning back to the finish line at Leeuwin Estate via a superb section of technical singletrack lined with the famed WA pea gravel.
The beautiful grounds of Leeuwin Estate with world-renowned wine and a wide selection of local food and craft beer is your happy place for an afternoon of relaxation, reflection and storytelling.
At approximately 63kms in total distance with 575 meters gained, stage 2 is one of the longer stages but one of the fastest and most enjoyable, with plenty of sweet, flowing single track and endless coastal views.
Pros will take around 2.3 hours, and with all the riches on offer at the finish line, we don’t expect many on course beyond the 5 hours mark.
Stage 3 – Margaret River Special Stage
Start & Finish: Margaret River
After the rush of rolling out through spectator-lined streets (make sure you wear your best kit for this bit), you’ll regroup into waves at Carters Road before entering a labyrinth of the best singletrack in the whole region.
Why is this stage special? Because it combines all of the best trails in the area… Carters Road, Farm Run, Burnside Loop, Princess Leia, the Pines, Compartment 10 and Warncliffe Mill – it reads like craft beer menu, but all the frothiness will be your own for this special experience!
Did we mention that the closed course format means that you’ll be off road for the whole stage before returning to the finish line back on Carters Road!
What won’t be closed is the Margaret River Distillery the finish line destination making stage 3 even more special. We recommend the Ginversity experience… in moderation of course.
You’ll cover 45km in all, and gain 560m… as well as a much deeper appreciation of the G in G&T.
The first riders will emerge from the goodness at around the 2 hour mark – others will want to savour the mint riding – coming in after 4.5 hours.
Stage 4 – Cowaramup – Middle Earth
Start & Finish: Colonial Brewery
Journey though middle earth, to the party line! You’re now somewhere between 2 and 5 hours away from the famous finish line (and after party) at Colonial Brewery. This is where you start and finish and we can’t think of a better way to complete your Cape to Cape MTB experience.
Before the champagne corks are popped and frothy tops poured, you’ll get to enter the amazing trail network of Middle Earth.
Heading north towards Cowaramup, the North East Margaret River National Park marks the most dangerous section of 2018 Cape to Cape. Wild ostriches. Big and fast… and protective of their turf. Proceed with caution…
Survive the angry birds and Middle Earth delivers 20km of technical singletrack. Bilbo Baggins, Gaylords Leap, Mordor, Rivendell, Fun Park and Fangorn Forest – a sensational combination of trails and not an orc in sight.
After leaving the forest a series of gravel roads present you with your final challenge. A couple of super-fun water crossings between you and the finish line. Nobody knows how deep the second water crossing might be (we’ll have divers on standby) but once safely negotiated, you’re only a short burst away from the famous finish at Colonial.
All that remains is to collect your medal, your thoughts and your composure after conquering four big days of 2018 Cape to Cape. (TIP: You may want to book an extra night’s accommodation for Sunday so you don’t leave the final day festivities early!)
Stage 4 comes in at around 57km with just over 500m gained during a strong test of mind, body and bike. The show ponies out front will be back in about 2 hours – race rules state that you are not allowed a celebratory drink until the final rider arrives, which should take around 4.5 hours … (we are kidding).
All courses are subject to change up until race morning briefing.
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Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
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