The Enduro event starts and finishes at the Karkloof Farmer’s Market (in Howick, on the Karkloof road) and meanders into the Howick trail network.
Leading in the Elite Men’s points log, is local rider Hilton Frost. When chatting about his feelings on the top position, he said: “To be honest I try not to think about it. I just like to get on and ride my bike. Although not necessarily having to win all the time, a podium position should be what I’m aiming for on each ride.”
Supported by Pyga Industries and with an associated sponsorship from ShreddTech, Frost highlighted the importance of not putting too much pressure on himself. “Just go out there, have a good time, be consistent, and try not to puncture or injure yourself.”
Frost’s father, Mike Frost, also sits comfortably high in the Masters’ log, 95 points behind leader Con Malherbe. “It’s super cool to be riding and sharing this experience with my dad,” says 25-year-old Frost. “I grew up riding the KZN Cross-countries with him. Now whenever I practise he comes with and I’m able to show him and talk him through some of the lines. It’s awesome to see the ‘Ballie’ doing so well also,” he added.
The family element of Enduro racing was mentioned many times by Frost. “Its just really cool to be able to race, but also catch up with him and my friends during the rides in between the timed sections. It’s a great discipline and open to anyone. I mean, my dad is 59 and he’s still pinning it down on the trails,” he said.
Twenty-odd years ago, Frost was taught how to ride a bike by his father, who he now is teaching to do gap jumps down hills. “Its like a complete role reversal – our roles have flipped. And now I’m the one nervous seeing my dad do a trick or skill that I’ve just taught him,” he said.
The Howick trail network means a lot to Frost for many reasons, especially that he has never ridden an Enduro there at ‘race pace’ before. “We also have just opened up a shop really close to the venue, so they’re now our home trails. Its special as well to be riding the trails built by Ken Pascoe – the inspiration behind the Pygo Pascoe bikes,” he said.
To download the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Series Log after two events, click here.
This event which takes place in the forests of Karkloof also doubles up as the fourth round of the SA National DHI Cup, with very important points on offer.
Lying second in the Elite Men’s DHI Log, is 2Bro’s Racing’s Jonathan Philogene. Philogene currently lies 58 points behind leader, Tiaan Odendaal.
“I’ve ridden the Karkloof track a few times. It’s a nice track. It’s got quite a bit of pedalling involved, some technical sections - all of the elements of a great Downhill track,” says Philogene. “Last year it rained quite a bit, it was really muddy and made the track a lot harder than it normally is. Hopefully this year it doesn’t rain. It’s a really fun yet challenging track,” he added.
Jonathan and his younger brother, Christopher, have a very tight sibling relationship, and each is very supportive of the other, but when it comes to race day, it’s a different story: “We are pretty competitive. Between us there is a bit of rivalry but we’re still there for each other. We push to beat each other but we will never hold anything back. If we are at a track and there’s a faster line, we’ll share the line with the other. We work together, but on race day we try and beat each other. We do everything the same: we practise together, we do all of the same lines. But when we get to the race runs we try as hard as we can to beat one another. Generally, if one of us gets bad luck the other one excels so its pretty cool in that aspect.”
When sharing his goals for the season, Philogene said: “My goal for this year is to be selected for World Champs.”
The brothers are currently in the process of seeking out and pursuing sponsorship in order to pursue international racing goals. “We are busy pursuing financial sponsorship to get over to Europe. We are looking at going to Austria for an iXS Cup race in Schladming in June and the World Cup in Leogang tbe following week,” said Philogene. He also added that they are hoping to head to Andorra for the World Cup there in early September, just before the UCI DH MTB World Championships in Italy from 8-11 September.
“My brother should hopefully be easily selected in his category, but it has been a bit tricky for me this year,” said Philogene. “The main two races that have counted for the most points I’ve had a bit of bad luck in, so I’ve had to plan and come back from that and do well. I especially have to do well at Karkloof. We would love to be selected to represent the country at World Champs,” he concluded.
To download the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series Log after two events, click here.
The third rounds of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place in Howick on Saturday 21 May and Karkloof on Sunday 22 May respectively. Click here to enter: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1729
For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde firstname.lastname@example.org.