In 2019 we saw the Cape to Cape continue its evolution. We saw iconic trails which were joined by some new, exciting and super fun trail additions. What does 2020 have in store for riders? The 2020 course will be released a few months out from the event date.
So get ready for the best riding WA has to offer with a tasty mix of flowing singletrack, spectacular coastal trails, the most epic start/finish venues around at a winery, a distillery, a brewery and an iconic lighthouse. Every stage brings yeeew worthy trails with highlights that’ll have your mates at home plumbing the depths of FOMO over your Insta pix.
Cape to Cape courses can only be ridden in their full format at event time. Locals hero’s open up their gates and allow access to their private land for the C2C riders as the event benefits the community in so many ways. Please respect private property and make sure we are able to continue accessing these tracks by not pre-riding the course.
Stage 1 – Cape Leeuwin
START & FINISH: Cape Leeuwin
It’s one of the most spectacular start lines in Australian mountain biking and it’s back again as the start and finish location for Stage 1 of the 2019 Cape to Cape... the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. A more impressive venue you cannot imagine as the spectacular coastline is only overshadowed by the imposing ridge that extends to the north from Cape Leeuwin.
A mass start will see you will roll out from the lighthouse and up Skippy Rock Road 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.
Returning riders will recognise the course but also discover a couple of extra sections of single track.
At 39km in distance and 856 meters gained it’s a fast and furious stage with a challenging mix of pinchy climbs, fast descents and breathtaking views that’ll give you plenty to talk about and the perfect selfie backdrop for your first Instagram bragging post.
Pros will complete stage 1 in under 2 hours. Our last riders to cross the finish line at stage one will do so in around 4 to 5 hours – but only because they slowed down to appreciate the incredible scenery.
As riders cross the finishline 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.
Each stage will have at least 2 spectator points that will be the best spots on course to cheer on your mates. View Spectator info and maps here.
Start & Finish
Still saving lives from dusk to dawn, Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is the stunning start and finish line of Stage 1. Dripping with history and stories of tragedy and daring rescue it will get you in the mood for an epic 4 days of riding.
Perched on Australia’s most south westerly tip, it will be hard to peel your eyes away from the breathtaking views across the rugged coastline and treacherous ocean. As you head out for 40km of great riding remember you’ll be back to savour that view with a well-earned post ride frothy top.
Stage 2 - Boranup Forest
START & FINISH: Leeuwin Estate
Just a short trip up the road from Margaret River, Stage 2 will start and finish at the picturesque Leeuwin Estate. The perfect host for some riding and relaxing.
Riders will start amongst the vines, and heads south along back roads and the old rail trail before hitting the spectacular Boranup Forest. Sweet flowing single trail will greet the riders for the next 20km through one of the most beautiful locations in the south-west. The course takes maximum advantage of the amazing trail network that snakes through Boranup Forest and includes names that you will not soon forget; Emu Drive, Tunnel Run, 3 Rocks, Lord of The Rings, The Quarry, and finally… Highway to Hell.
Time for something new ... after the thrilling descent down the Highway to Hell to the coastline at Contos, instead of the old leg-burning, lung-busting climb out, this year you’ll head back into Boranup to the north via Point Road, connecting the course through to some old (but still epic) trails at the back of Jarrahdene.
Get ready for some hectic water crossings before you make it back to the finish line at Leeuwin Estate where you can unclip and enjoy some world-class vino and a wide selection of local food and craft beer. It’s your happy place for an afternoon of relaxation, reflection and storytelling.
At approximately 72kms in total distance with 620 meters gained, stage 2 is the longest stage but one of the fastest and is super-fun, with plenty of sweet, flowing single track and endless coastal views.
The front end of the field will take around 2.5 hours, and with all the riches on offer at the finish line, we don’t expect many on course beyond the 5.5 hours mark.
START & FINISH
In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine. With Robert as their mentor, Denis and Tricia Horgan transformed their cattle farm into one Margaret River’s five founding wineries, Leeuwin Estate. Still family owned Leeuwin Estate has a crop of skilled winemakers and consistently produce wines ranking alongside the world's finest.
Top wines meet top riding with Stage 2 of the Cape to Cape starting and finishing at the beautiful estate. You’ll be grinning like a kid as you pedal back though the rows of grapes towards the finish line and an afternoon of great food, stories and vinos.
Stage 3 – Cowaramup - Middle Earth
START & FINISH: Colonial Brewery
When you rock up to the stage 3 start line you may be tempted settle in for the day. One of the region's best craft breweries, on acres of beautiful land, and just outside Margaret River… welcome to Colonial.
To make sure you climb back on the bike – we'll be sending you out to ride the famous and fabulous trails of middle earth.
Backroads and forest trails take riders to Coawarmup and Middle Earth. With a combination of tight twisty sections, creek runs, a few bumps and a some technical rock gardens it’s no mystery as to why these trails are much loved. Our course team delights each year in surprising riders with a new fun course from the endless labyrinth of singletrack; Bilbo Baggins, Gaylords Leap, Mordor, Rivendell, Fun Park and Fangorn Forest – it’s a tasty combination of dirt and not an orc in sight.
Once your wheels are pointed to the finish line, it’s a fast ride on the backroads and forest trails … but before you get to your finish line frothy tops, you'll face your final challenge. A couple of super-fun water crossings between you and the finish line. Nobody knows how deep the second crossing might be (we’ll have divers on stand-by) but once safely negotiated, you’re only a short burst away from the famous finish at Colonial and icy cold brew (or two).
Chill on lawn and celebrate … three stages down, with just one absolute ripper to come.
Stage 3 comes in at around 56km with 540m gained during a strong test of mind, body and bike. The show ponies out front will be back in about 2.5 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).
START & FINISH
Uncomplicated. That’s life in Margaret River. And that’s the philosophy behind the Colonial Brewing Company.
One of the first breweries to open on Western Australia’s wild coastline, the Colonial Brewing Co tapped its first keg in 2004. It was the first step in an incredible journey, and guided by some of Australia’s most talented and passionate brewers.
They do things uncomplicated. That’s why their hand-crafted beer actually tastes like beer should. It’s why their ciders use only cold-pressed Australian apples.
With it’s super laid back vibe Colonial Brewery is always a rider favourite. But then maybe that’s the excellent riding, food and brews.
Stage 4 – Margaret River Special Stage
START & FINISH: Margaret River Distillery
After 3 epic days of riding you might think it can’t get any better, but then there is the Margaret River Special Stage. Before we break out the bling - you’ll ride the sweetest single track in the south-west of WA.
In the bush at the edge of the town, the fabulous Margaret River Distilling Company is your start and finish line for your final day of Cape to Cape 2019. Major roadworks mean we skip the traditional rollout through town, but that just means you get into the trails faster. A couple of leg-busting climbs in the first 5km will break up the field ready for single track ahead.
Yeeewwws will ring though the trees as you hit the trails in The Pines, Compartment 10, Wharncliffe Mill and the Star Wars (Burnside) Loop – it reads like craft beer menu, but all the frothiness will be your own for this special experience! You’ll forget it’s a race as you ride on rails though these crankin’ trails. It’s a closed course which 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 your final finish line destination. We can’t think of a better way to complete your Cape to Cape experience. All that remains is to collect your medal, your thoughts, your composure and celebrate conquering four big days of 2019 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!)
On Cape to Cape stage 4, you’ll cover 41m, with 536m elevation gain… as well as gaining a much deeper appreciation of the G in G&T. The first riders will emerge from the goodness in under 2 hours - others will want to savour the mint riding – coming in after 4.5 hours.
START & FINISH
Margaret River Distilling Company is home to some of the region’s finest spirits, including its flagship brand Giniversity gin.
A relaxed and welcoming venue, Margaret River Distilling Company is the south west’s go-to for delicious gastro-pub cuisine and premium locally produced spirits.
It is the sister distillery to Great Southern Distilling Company, home of Limeburners whisky.
Nestled in the Aussie bush its chilled atmosphere is the perfect place to kick back, share stories and celebrate finishing 4 awesome days of riding.
All courses are subject to change up until race morning briefing.
Cape to Cape 2019 welcomes handcyclists on all 4 stages of the event.
Our fantastic course team have created diversions to ensure the trails with limited space and log roll overs are taken out allowing you to have the best experience possible on your handcycle.
Handcycles will need to bear in mind that there are some water crossings that couldn’t be avoided. Your support rider will be vital to get you through them!
For more information, or to help you be as prepared as possible please contact Sal, our Race Director firstname.lastname@example.org