Those in the hunt for Mountain Bike Nationals championship points will make their way to the Eastern Cape for the third leg of the CSA-MTB National Cup Series on 26th and 27th May.

Local riders and trail builders, under the watchful eye of event organiser Brad Jackson from Mountain Events, have been hard at work constructing brand new exciting trails and tracks, with the added bonus that both the cross-country (XCO) and downhill (DHI) tracks are in close proximity of each other at the Hayterdale Trails, situated at the bottom of the Zuurberg Pass near Addo.

The XCO course is at the bottom of the Zuurberg Pass and the start of the DHI course at the top of the Pass with the finish line within 300m of the XCO start/finish area. Those who participated in the annual Herald VW MTB Challenge will have an idea of what the course consists of, but those approaching unfamiliar territory can be assured that the Addo area boasts some of the best mountain biking trails in the Eastern Cape with an abundance of singletrack.

Demanding XCO Course Set To Thrill

XCO Course.jpg

The last section on the 5.5km XCO course, Trevor’s Surprise, features a steep natural drop-off between two trees for the third leg of the CSA-MTB National Cup Series cross-country race at the Hayterdale Trails in Addo, near Port Elizabeth on Saturday 26th May. Photo: mountainevents.co.za

Measuring 5.5km, the XCO course has an elevation gain of 180m and can be described as technically challenging and physically demanding. “The course was built specifically for the SA National XCO with the emphasis on challenging the riders’ climbing ability,” says Brad Jackson.

Rock gardens, tight and twisty steep climbs, tricky technical downhills, wooden bridges and drop-offs are bound to keep the racing interesting, and riders might well need their “wings” for an energy boost. Chicken run options are also available for those less confident on the technical parts. The top riders are expected to finish a lap in roughly 18 minutes.

Click here for detailed XCO course description

Short clips of sections of the XCO course:

Speed and Style Guaranteed on DHI Course

DHI Course.jpg

The ski-ramp jump over the bush presents a 2m vertical drop in the top section of the 1.39km downhill course that has been prepared for the third leg of the CSA-MTB National Cup Series downhill race at the Hayterdale Trails in Addo, near Port Elizabeth on Sunday 27th May. Photo: mountainevents.co.za

The 1.39km downhill course might sound short in comparison to some of the other tracks around the country, but this purpose-built track does not lack in technicality with several drop-offs and man-made bridges and ramps encouraging speed and style.

Some features of the course that are tipped to be the most talked about are the ski-ramp jump over a bush presenting a 2-metre vertical drop and a six metre double jump in the top section, and the rocky “bob-sled” part on an old cattle path and a scaffold jump over an 8ft high game fence, followed by a big jump and then the finish line. The estimated finish time is about two and-a-half minutes.

Click here for detailed DHI course description:

Short clips of sections of the DHI course:

Riders and spectators alike will once again feel the presence of Red Bull at the Hayterdale Trails as the official exclusive energy drink partner of the remainder of the CSA-MTB National Cup Series for 2012, a sponsorship that has been extended into 2013 and 2014 with category rights at the MTB World Champs in 2013 and World Cup in 2014.

To add to the mountain biking festivities over the course of the weekend, there will also be a 30km ride at the Hayterdale Trails on Sunday for anyone who wishes to sample more of the popular mountain biking area.

The organisers have put in a tremendous effort building these courses specifically for the third round of the nationals and are looking forward to welcoming the mountain biking fraternity at the end of the month.

Online entries are open – click here to enter the SA Cup Series # 3 XCO/DHI:

A variety of accommodation options are available to competitors and supporters for the weekend of the 3rd leg of the CSA-MTB National Cup Series on 26th and 27th May, and the organisers have gone the extra mile to negotiate special rates with a few of the establishments in the area. For any further information and nearby accommodation options, please visit http://www.mountainevents.co.za/events/csa-national-cup-series-3---xc-dh, or contact Brad Jackson at Mountain Events on 082 651 9182.