Cape to Cape MTB returns with new 'pairs' division

Twelve years ago the vision for Cape to Cape was to introduce a new major mountain biking event to the South-West that not only engaged the community but provided riders with something unique, something they would talk about and could share with mates and family.

At the inaugural event in 2008, 100 mountain bikers set off on the outstanding trails with the simple plan of enjoying some time on their bikes, explore the region's stunning beaches, the historic coastline, the tall timber forests and National Parks, and sample Margaret River's glorious wine country.

Now 12 years later the iconic four day MTB stage Cape to Cape (October 16-20) has developed into Australasia's longest running and biggest MTB multi-stage endurance race.

Starting at Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and finishing four days later at the fabulous Margaret River Distillery, the course makes its way through a network of trails along the coast, through national parks, forest, farmlands, mountain bike parks and bush before finishing back at Margaret River.

Roughly 205 kilometres and 2,500 metres of climbing in total, each day's riding is between 37km and 72km and has its own special terrain and environment keeping things interesting with a mix of fast flowing single trail, farm tracks, groomed downhill trails and fire trails - many on trails that can only be ridden during Cape to Cape.

Brand new for 2019 is the highly competitive and challenging pairs category, bringing a new physical and tactical challenge to the testing Cape to Cape trails.

Pairs MTB racing is fast growing in popularity on the global mountain bike scene and has added a whole new dynamic to the sport.

It provides riders with the chance to race not against, but with a mate, or family member.

Pairs must stay no more than two minutes apart throughout the four days of riding, so the whether you are there to win, or just participate, the dynamics of working together brings a whole new dimension to the Cape to Cape experience.

Cape to Cape race director, Sally Hill said the passion and dedication of the early riders laid down the foundation of a fun event that has become a national mountain biking icon.

"The organising team work hard each year to improve the course and rider experience, while always maintaining the friendly, social vibe synonymous with Cape to Cape," she said.

"Thanks to the assistance of the local community and support from riders from across Australia and overseas, Cape to Cape now holds the title as Australasia's longest running and biggest MTB multi-stage endurance race.

"Again this year we look forward to working with Tourism WA, the local communities and riders to continue to build on the outstanding tradition of this event, maintaining the friendly, social vibe that has become the event's trademark, with everyone 'frothing' about their rider and family experience, spreading the word and coming back year after year.

"Mountain bike's biggest names and avid, dedicated riders with fascinating back stories are what Cape to Cape is all about.

"I invite everyone to come down to feel the passion, experience the event firsthand and grab themselves a beer.

"It will definitely be worth the trip and you never know you might get truly inspired to make Cape to Cape part of your world," she said.

Cape to Cape 2018 - MTB Stage Race, Western Australia 16 - 20 October 2019

Time Trial Wednesday 16 October, 2019

4:30pm Top 20 Elite Open Teams - Leeuwin Estate Winery, Stevens Rd, Margaret River

Stage 1 - Cape Leeuwin 17 October, 2019

Start and finish: Cape Leeuwin - Distance: 40km - Climbing: 840m

Race start 9:00am Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Leeuwin Rd, Augusta

Stage 2 - Boranup Forest 18 October, 2019

Start and Finish: Leeuwin Estate - Distance: 72km - Climbing: 620m

Race start 8am - Leeuwin Estate Winery, Stevens Rd, Margaret River

Stage 3 - Cowaramup - Middle Earth 19 October, 2019

Start and Finish: Colonial Brewery - Distance: 56km - Climbing: 540m

Race Start 8am - Colonial Brewery, 29 Osmington Rd, Bramley

Stage 4 - Margaret River Special Stage 20 October, 2019

Start and Finish: Margaret River Distillery - Distance: 37km - Climbing: 460m

Race Start 8am Margaret River Distilling Co - Carters Rd and Maxwell Rd, Margaret River