Distance: 64km
Climbing: 1250m

Max Stage Time: 16:00 at the Finish Line

Start Location
Oak Valley Estate

Finish Location
Lourensford Wine Estate


START TIMES07:0007:1507:2507:3507:4507:5508:0508:1508:2508:3508:45


E-Bike Open
ABCDEE-Bike Tour
START TIMES07:0007:0507:3007:4007:5008:0008:1008:40


START TIMES07:0007:1007:2007:3007:4007:5008:0008:1008:2008:3008:40

Stage 3 of the 2023 FNB Wines2Whales Switchback begins with a farm road loop behind the Elgin Railway Market, into the surrounding farms and towards the Eikenhof Dam where singletracks galore await on the northern shores. Once circumnavigated, Grabouw Country Club’s famous A-Z trails lie in wait, not to mention a surprise or two from Cape Trails. These trails are major league fun, and we’ve done the hard work to get you to the downhill portage of the Gantouw Pass via a shorter, easier climb which will ensure that your GEES levels remain high. No matter your bike portage strategy, be it bike-on-back, side-by-side slide, or a handful of brake shuffle, be sure to soak in the views of False Bay as you make your way down the World Heritage Site and one obstacle closer to your medal. Once safely down the portage, trails of Idiom, Knorhoek and Wedderville will lead riders across the Helderberg Basin onto the extensive Vergelegen farm. From Vergelegen, it is fun galore with a combination of virgin trails and new approaches to existing singletracks and magic, flowing downhill sections on Lourensford Wine Estate. And for those of you who were not stoked with the final climb of the 2021 FNB W2W Switchback… we’ve taken the sting out of the tail and replaced it with the brand new Channel Trail, the Toyota Cruise section, that encounters bridges, spectacular views and interesting twists and turns that will bring huge smiles to the 2023 FNB W2W Switchback finish line at Lourensford.

Noteworthy changes from 2021 SwitchBack: 
Based on rider feedback, we have replaced the three significant climbs on Stage 3; Grabouw Country Club to Gantouw Pass, Journey’s End to Vergelegen, and the Lourensford killer climb towards the finish. From Grabouw Country Club to Gantouw Pass, we have replaced a long section of the climb with a shorter and more mellow climb to allow a gentle warm up to the day. The route from Journey’s End to Vergelegen is the stage’s most dramatic improvement to maximise enjoyment and GEES. With permission from the landowners of Idiom, Wedderwill and Vergelegen Nature Reserves to cycle via their properties, we have eliminated the infamous Journey’s End Climb and route, resulting in a magic new route that is more scenic and offers the possibility of game viewing. In Vergelegen, we have extended the last long gradual climb by 2km to a new Lourens river crossing which delivers magic flowing downhill singe tracks on the Lourensford side of the river. The replacement of the Lourensford Killer climb towards the finish is the most smile-inducing route improvement of the 2023 FNB W2W Switchback. With Lourensford Wine Estate’s permission, we have built the 8km Channel Trail, mainly along a downward running water channel, offering a unique and most interesting MTB experience. It’s a fast and exciting singletrack, with intermittent gravel roads offering sufficient passing zones to maximise your singletrack enjoyment. The Channel Trail experience closes off by crossing the 40m Fair Cape floating bridge to wrap up the magic of the 2023 FNB W2W Switchback experience.

Rider Bag Drop-Off

Oak Valley Race Village: Please drop your rider bag at the designated DHL Rider Bag drop off point. We will transport it to Lourensford Wine Estate.

Rider Bag Collection

Lourensford Race Village: Please collect your rider bag at the designated DHL Rider Bag tent.

Directions to Oak Valley, Stage 3 Start

Directions to Lourensforsd Wine Estate, Stage 3 Finish