Stellenbosch Cycling and university info request


New Member
Nov 16, 2002
OK this is what I am thinking about I might be going to Stellenbosch university next year for SIX months<br /><br />I would like to know, are there many races in that area, How Often and what type(speed, number of participants, length)<br />And in which months of the year.<br /><br />How is the Stellenbosch regio for just training and recreational cycling?<br /><br />What are the requirements for a South African elite license and can someone tell me something about elite races(length speed, pack, difficulty(climb, wind etc..))<br /><br />Which tracks are there in ths area, whats there quality and what does trainig and rent of a track bike cost?<br /><br />Also has enyone of you gone to Stellenbosch Univerity and what was your experience with Stellenbosch.<br /><br />Alreaday my thanks for the hopefull numerous replies
On the university side I don't know that much. I do know it's some of the most areas in the country and the university has a great spirit.<br /><br />I found out thet the university has a cycling club. Contact Stuart Strang [email protected] or on his cell 083 232 6875 (only when you are here)<br /><br />For track racing there's a wonderfull velodrome in Bellville. It's the best the country's got. My best bet is to contact Chris Willemse on his cell 083-640-4823 (again, only when you are here). He also owns a cycle shop in the area so he might be able to help you with the gear.<br /><br />Good luck.
The wester province PPA is a very active group, go to their website at and you should get an idea of all the races on at that time.<br /><br />If you want hill training stellenbosch and its surrounds should be ideal, there are some of the most amazing mountain passes in South Africa around there.
Already visited the PPA site and the site of Maties cyling team(team of Stellenbosch university)<br /> <br />Hope there will come someone from stellenbosch here or that somenone can bring a friend (ex)student for a few enquiries about Stellenbosch University. <br /><br />Now I have to convince my university that I am the One who they have to sent to Stellenbosch and arrange the financial part with my parents. If that seems to evolve in the right direction I'll e-mail the stellenbosch cycling coach.
I have a friend who studied medicine over there, but unfortunately he's not a cyclist. If you have questions, I can ask him.<br />Anyway, if you do come over, you'll be visiting one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Don't forget to bring your bike along, and maybe fit a triple chain ring: ;D<br /><br />
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I&amp;#8217;m from the Stellenbosch area and hope this can help. S/Bosch is not a city but more a local community. Beautiful with lot of trees, water streams and culture. Prominently a student town and wine farming. Very quiet when university closes for holidays.<br />Lots of road and of road rides. Jonkershoek valley is for MTB&amp;#8217;ing, lots of single track and dense bush, but beautiful. Road cycling training rides? The best in Cape Town. Close to Hellshoogte, Sir lowrey Pass, Franschoek Pass and even Du Toit&amp;#8217;s Kloof pass. If you do a 100km-training ride, you will have one of this in the route. <br />Racing in CT now concentrates around the Argus (March 2003), and you&amp;#8217;ll find that a lot of races are planned around the southern suburbs. (S/Bosch is Northern Suburb). Races is around the 80 to 100km long and one or 2 even 110, but there will be a medium route as well (+_ 50 &amp;#8211; 60km). The elite riders will do 40+ km/h but seeing that most races are in the southern suburbs, the averages can come down to the high 38&amp;#8217;s. Our southern suburbs are very hilly and normally 2 mountain passes will be covered in an 80-km race. Our wind season is normally from Oct &amp;#8211; Feb, This is not a light wind, but really strong south easter. <br />The closest track is the Bellville Velodrome (about 30km from S/Bosch). Track cycling is late afternoon or nighttime. Not that popular in CT, but you&amp;#8217;ll always find a group of track cyclist on the track. I don&amp;#8217;t think you can hire a bicycle, so you need to bring your own or buy a second hand one.<br />
Thanx,<br /><br />some extra questions:<br /><br />winds<br />39er is talking about strong winds can you give speeds which will be reached by the wind on average for the time period. Is there a website with wind statistics for the area?<br /><br />Hills<br /><br />You are talking about 2 mountain passes for a 80km race what altitude difference and average gradient are we talking about? <br /><br />Are there also flat races like we have over here in belgium same circuit 2-6km and then a numer of laps to race.<br />(I prefer flat for racing as I am a 1m85 75 kilo who has sprint as his best weapon)<br /><br />Wheels<br />Can I use my 16 Spoke high rim Carbon wheels(Mavic Cocmic Carbone) over there or should I be Bringing only Light wheels with a decent number of spokes and low rim.<br /><br />I 'll be bringing my own road bike and 2 sets of wheels flying it in with the airline or trough the postal services, are the postal services reliable(will my bike and spare parts arrive)?<br /><br /><br />Thanks for all this cycling specific information, I have a Friend who studied a Year at stellenbosch but he has no idea about cycling specific subjets so your info is very handy.
Hi, Yes, the wind average on 40km/h in the morning but it normally drops down a bit later during the afternoon. Some days you'll get the 50 -60 km/h winds as well. Yes, the carbon wheels is fine but I recommend that only in races, where it can be shielded against the wind. You'll definitly struggle with them in the wind, but seeing that you will be here in Jun, that should be the ones to use in the winter league. W/L races starts at 14h00 in the afternoon and the season runs from May to Aug. This races is SACF orginised and not WPPPA. This is the races were you have to be a registered riders with a official club and SACF. We don't have circuit races as in Belguim. Yes, I think the postal srvices is reliable now that their is a free market and lot of smaller overnight parcel delivery componies. 16 Spoke rims, if you brake a spoke, you'll wait for the pickup vehicle or walk home, as seconding is not allowed in a race. 2 Set of rims should be fine. (The mavic Carbone and something else to train with). I also would recommend that you join the WPPPA for a year (about 15 $ us).This will ensure you of a seeding start and a timming chip. After every 3 races you can call them and request a higher seeding (if your previous race results justify it) and that will cost you about 4$ us. Hills???***************<br /><br /> Read this...**************<br />Now it depends not only on the event, but also what stage of the event. <br />E.G. Lets look at the Tour De France. <br />The first week of this 3 week race is always &amp;#8220;flat&amp;#8221; and fast. <br />The sponsor of the Polka dot [White jersey with Red spots all over it] or known as the King of the mountains jersey [KOM] needs to get a leader of this competition as soon as possible so the sponsor can get exposure on the podium after every stage. <br />So, the first hill that resembles a climb that they come across immediately gets given a 4th Cat status. <br />Now, if a similar hill/climb [same length and altitude difference] were encountered in the second week while the cyclists are in the Alps (completely different terrain from week one) it would never get a 4th Cat status. [It would be far too small a climb to warrant any Cat status] <br />There are no hard and fast rules that determine what constitutes a First, Second or Third Category Climb! <br />It depends on the event and what relative climbs that event will encounter! A First Cat climb in the Tour De France, will be a Alpine or Pyrenean climb of note! We do not have any climbs in SA that would compare. [Well maybe God Help Me Pass in Lesotho] **************<br /><br /><br />However, in a Tour of SA, we would have a number of First Cat climbs and possibly even one or two &amp;#8220;Out of Category&amp;#8221; climbs. ****************<br /><br />1. Hekpoort climb- 2nd Cat<br />2. Hill Top Climb [Stage one of the Jock]- 1st Cat<br />3. Boulders Pass [Stage two of the Jock]- 1st Cat<br />4. Robbers Pass- 1st Cat or Out of Cat. [From Pilgrims Rest side] <br />5. Long Tom Pass- Out of Cat. [From Sabie side] <br />6. Outanika Pass- 1st Cat. [From George side] <br />7. Ou Kaapse Weg- 2nd Cat. [As in the Argus] <br />8. Suiker Bossie- 4th Cat. <br />9. Hels Hoogte Climb- 3rd Cat [From Stellenbosch side] <br />10. Hyde Park Hills- 4th Cat [As in the 94.7] ****************<br /><br />Lets look at these ten climbs if they were in the Tour De France; [In weeks two or three of the Tour] ******************<br />1. Hekpoort climb- 4th Cat<br />2. Hill Top Climb [Stage one of the Jock]- 4th Cat<br />3. Boulders Pass [Stage two of the Jock]- 4th Cat<br />4. Robbers Pass- 2nd Cat. [From Pilgrims Rest side] <br />5. Long Tom Pass- 2nd Cat. [From Sabie side] <br />6. Outanika Pass- 4th Cat. [From George side] <br />7. Ou Kaapse Weg- 4th Cat. [As in the Argus] <br />8. Suiker Bossie- No Category status. [It&amp;#8217;s seen as a &amp;#8220;bump&amp;#8221; on the route}<br />9. Hels Hoogte Climb- No Category status [From Stellenbosch side] <br />10. Hyde Park Hills- No Category status [As in the 94.7] **************<br /><br /><br />However, if we had a three day Tour in and around Cape Town; <br />1. Ou Kaapse Weg- 1st Cat. [As in the Argus] <br />2. Suiker Bossie- 3rd Cat. <br />3. Hels Hoogte Climb- 2nd Cat [From Stellenbosch side] <br />I hope these examples above have helped to explain how climbs are categorized in perspective for you. <br />
Thanx I wasn't that happy when I read mountain passes. But I hoped and it came true. <br /><br />Ou kaapse weg being cat 1 for Cape town region made me feel better. Argus map showed me it being 280-300 meters altitude difference for 7km of climbing which means 4% or a little more.<br /><br />In Europe we call this a medium length mountain with easy gradient for belgium(my home country) its a long but easy gradient climb. <br /><br />It 'll be grinding my teeth but I think I can hang on too the Main bunch in such a climb 4-5% climbs you can compensate for weight with power if it gets to 8-10 % for 1000m I'am probabely lost.<br /><br />I'll be in Spain in March for some climbing and I'll race a little more in the southern part of our country to train it. Know only being selected by the university and I'll be able to check if I can hang on up the hills.<br /><br />Thanx again<br /><br />For the postal service I wasn't thinking about Parcel services but about te normal post system It will take a week for my bike but It will be several times cheaper still 110-200 euro/dollars but its worth that for me Parcell at 450 too 600 with dhl is too expensive for a bike and some clothing.<br /><br />So what i like to know are regular postal services a good idea (will also check this with other exchange student)?<br /><br />Does it take long to get a SACF license? Sound difficult to apply for one from belgium but they are cheap U23 license is almost 200$ over here.
One more question which months are racing season for cape region. Are there races all year round or are there periods with none or almost no races?
Hi Maarten.<br /><br />The SACF licence is R80 (11$) for the year. PPA Membership is R140 (15$) a year and race entries is R25 (3$) per race. Summer League is from Jan to May, Winter League is May to Sept and Spring from Sep to Dec.
They announced the intervieuw results today, I got Selected.

I'll be arriving in Cape town July 15th and staying and racing in South Africa for 5 to 7 maybe 8 months.

I am a very happy guy now!!!
Cool !
That means you will probably still be around for the Argus ?

Normally I will have to go home early february. But I'll try for sure to stretch it till after the Argus off course, its only that if my university says come back there is no way around it.

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