Image source: www.mountainevents.co.za

Mountain bike fever is at an all time high in South Africa with the hosting of the 2013 UCI MTB Masters World Championships at Cascades MTB Park in August, but for most of the young, elite and masters’ contenders there is still one more premier race on the national calendar to get under the belt – the National Championships.

The Mountain Events team together with the owners of Hayterdale Trails and some dedicated volunteers have been hard at work tweaking and improving the already sublime National Cross-country (XCO) and Downhill (DHI) tracks ahead of the championship event.

This year will see the level of competition step up several notches from last year’s SA Cup Series event as riders will be competing for the exclusive once-off title of SA Champion just less than a month ahead of the UCI Elite and Masters World Championships in KwaZulu-Natal.

Race organiser Brad Jackson says that the XCO course is similar to last year’s SA XCO Cup route, but will also feature a few exciting new additions. “We’ve created a new technical switchback climb and the “Rabbit Hole”, which is an over-and-under crossing near the start/finish area. The 4.2km XCO course has approximately 130m of elevation gain and loss.”

Nippers and Sprogs will ride a shorter, but no less exciting, version of the course.

The DHI Course has been extended by 500m, increasing the overall distance to 1.77km, with a vertical drop of 240m. “We expect the winning times for the downhill riders to be around the 3-minute-30-second mark,” continues Jackson. “The new finish area is in close proximity to the XCO start/finish, making the DHI a lot more spectator-friendly. The course will feature a few tweaks and new additions from last year as well.”

Pre entries close on Wednesday 17 July and the Junior, U23 and Elite racing categories require a full racing licence in order to participate. All other categories will need a Cycling SA membership. Visit http://csams.cyclingsa.com/enter-an-event/mtb/sa-mtb-national-xcodhi-championships.aspx to enter.

Spectators are most welcome to attend and support South Africa’s mountain biking stars, and entry for spectators is free.

Click here to download relevant info about the SA Champs including accommodation, course maps, photos and more:

You can also visit our the Cycling SA dedicated web page for the XCO and the DHI.

For any further information regarding the 2013 Cycling SA-MTB National Championships, powered by Frontier Events, please contact Cycling SA MTB Director Brett Coates on 082 774 5821 or event organiser Brad Jackson on 082 651 9182 or email brad@mountainevents.co.za.