02 July 2012 – Mankele Mountain Bike Park, situated near Sudwala Caves on the outskirts of Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, is preparing to host the SA National cross-country and downhill championships on 21st and 22nd July.

With the Olympics just around the corner and with mountain biking holding a trump medal card in the form of Burry Stander, it’s no wonder that the excitement is growing for the upcoming Championships.

It will be the first time that Mankele hosts the National Champs, although the popular mountain biking destination is well known as a prime destination for the country’s top off road racers, and in its short 4 year existence has already hosted a number of National Cup Series events as well as an African Continental Championship.

With its huge expanse of undulating terrain, Mankele has the ability to pull out all the stops and craft some of the most challenging and exciting courses in South Africa; added to this the fact that competitors can stay at the venue make this the ideal location for cross-country and downhill where course practice is paramount to a rider’s success.

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For 2012 Mankele has refined their already world class XCO course to make it more spectator friendly and add the attraction of a back-to-back feed zone, not forgetting some brand new trail features sure to keep the racers on their toes.

As ever the Mankele downhill course is unrivalled in its technicality with long fast swooping downhills and North Shore style boardwalks cutting through wide open grasslands, spitting riders into an indigenous bush tunnel that twists and drops at insane angles before a final rock garden reduces the arm muscles to jelly. Everything a downhill course should be!

Saturday night will see the 2012 Cycling SA-MTB National Cup Series awards being handed out as well as some great festivities.

For further race information and course maps, visit our National Champs pages at the following web links:

Cross-country: http://www.cyclingsa.com/National-Champs-Discipline.aspx?uid=19&fid=14

Downhill: http://www.cyclingsa.com/National-Champs-Discipline.aspx?uid=18&fid=13

You can also visit www.mankele.co.za for further info and http://csams.cyclingsa.com/enter-an-event.aspx to enter.

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