Unusually the event took place on a Sunday and shared the limelight with Mother’s day. Despite the clash, the Junior categories were well attended for what was essentially a leg tester for the final showdown on 3 June, at the newly built Tygerberg MTB course at Bloemendal next month.



The course

The Slanghoek course is a favourite among the competitors starting off with a single lung-busting climb in the searing heat before diving into the forest to cool off for a few seconds. Negotiating the rocks and keeping up momentum through the forest section saves both legs and time leading into the second climb.


The second climb is nicely kept under cover of the forest and keeps riders on their toes with wide switchbacks where it is possible to ‘send one up the inside’ if you have the legs and spare heart rate to attempt it.




The descent from the second climb allowed for a quick gasp of air but required concentration to overcome the raft of braking bumps on line. Not particularly difficult but it’s always an embarrassing surprise when you lose the front on standard issue 180-degree switchback.




The flowing berms and spiral descent to the tech zone kept the crowds entertained, but with the addition of a few more jumps, the wow factor of this section could be upped even further.

The final section included a new (for 2018) rocky descent. Apparently, there were multiple lines to choose from but damned if I saw anything other than straight down the middle. It was an excellent test of skill, line choice and a bit of bravery. Organisers joked before the Sub Vets start that they weren't sure the A-line was any faster due to the number of medical rescues they had to make. I don't think there were any serious injuries, however.


The last couple of hundred metres gradually ascended to the finish line and provided a testing sprint for those still in a dice for placings.

Overall the track provides for great racing without over the top technical features that might put new entrants off. The climbing isn't too vicious and the descents are flowing and fun, it's the perfect event if you want to dip your toe into XCO racing for the first time.


The racing

As mentioned above the juniors accounted for most of the numbers with a vastly depleted Elite field. The likes of Sani2C and a few other high profile events of late likely had something to do with the subdued turnout.

The final event is less than a month away and with its proximity to Cape Town and Durbanville and the fact that it doubles up as the Western Cape Champs, expect to see some good racing, along with packed fields as the new track is sure to test everyone. If you have the time, I suggest heading down to practice this track and get confident with the features, the new section is sure to test riders both down and uphill.

Full results available here.