Previously staged over the weekend of the winter solstice, the South Coast cycling spectacle now finds itself nestled into its new timeslot two months later and race organiser Flavio Scarpa believes it is the perfect way for cycling enthusiasts to clear away the cobwebs and get back outdoors.
“Not many people are fans of the early morning cold when they head off to a mountain bike race in winter so our new date, plus the fact that we’re situated right on the coast, is ideal for everyone to get back on their bikes and get riding again!” said Scarpa.
“We had to move the event due to Pietermaritzburg’s hosting of the UCI MTB Marathon World Championships in June and both the Scottburgh Cycling Club and Cycling for Mobility have been hard at work as we look to make this year’s race as enjoyable as possible!
“This year’s Scottburgh MTB Race is the day before Spring Day so I’m sure plenty of riders will get into the spirit of things and add a little piece of Spring to their attire as they to get into the Spring mood.” he added.
With the South Coast journey taking riders through the local sugar cane plantations, CrocWorld and the exciting single track stretches through Sappi’s Cannonbrae plantations, the speed of the course is a notable feature of the event.
“We haven’t changed the route too much over the years as we regularly receive very positive feedback from the participants. We have added a few new features in this time around though which we’re sure will make the ride even more enjoyable!
“Riders will go into a new section of single track as early as the 2km mark and it will be interesting to see just how this affects the pace of the race early on as riders look to get the hole shot into this stretch.
“The last major climb of the day also offers riders a new section of single track called Mamba Alley, for obvious reasons, before you exit onto the best finish of any MTB race in existence – our famous downhill stretch that leads onto the last section of Farmer Glen’s Nedbank Sani2c track and finally pops you out onto the beach of Scottburgh Main Beach!”
Despite an uncomplicated approach to the route’s preparation, Scarpa believes the new additions to the event as a whole will be of great benefit to participants and add even further to the popularity of the race.
“For the first time this year we’ll be offering participants the chance to bring their children along and leave them in the great care of the teachers from Umkomaas Pre-School at the Halfway Toyota Kids Zone.
“Parents can feel relaxed knowing that their children are in safe hands while they enjoy their ride!
“Once again there will be hotspot prizes up for grabs at the top of Sun Rise Surprise courtesy of the Thule King & Queen of the Mountain competitions which always add a little extra spice to the racing at the front of the field early on.
“We’re expecting the weather to be great so make sure you pack your boardshorts and bikinis as well so you can enjoy a swim in our magnificent ocean once you’ve crossed the finish line and then make sure you stay for prize giving as Bobby’s Cycles have donated a brand new bike for our lucky draw!” added Scarpa.
Entries for the 2014 Scottburgh MTB Race presented by Sappi are open and can be submitted via www.roag.co.za for the 10km Fun Ride, 28km Intermediate event as well as the 45km Classic.