The MTN Rooiberg event will replace the MTN Mabalingwe event that took place in the same region last year.

According to Fritz Pienaar from Advendurance the riding at Rooiberg offers a very similar bushveld experience as Mabalingwe but with the added benefit of purpose built single track to spoil riders.

Rudolph Pretorius, the owner of the Welgedacht Estate in the Elandsberg Nature Reserve, where most of the race will take place said that he has been building mountain bike single track in the area since 2004. “It is the best thing I could have done because it enabled me to get on my mountain bike to parts of my farm which I previously thought was totally inaccessible.”

Pretorius and his team of workers have built a total 75 kilometers of single track in the last few years.

“It feels like I have a totally new farm.” Welgedacht is located between Bela Bela and Thabazimbi in the Limpopo Province. It is nestled between Mabula Private Game Reserve and Meletse Golf Estate on the Waterberg Plateau, about two hours' drive from Johannesburg, near the town of Rooiberg.

The Waterberg mountains are estimated to be several hundreds of millions of years old, with many rock art and geological sites dating back to the Stone Age. Approximately 6 000 square kilometers of the Waterberg is a conservation area with abundant wildlife as well as a bird watchers' paradise.

Fences have been removed between the properties of the eight landowners of the Elandsberg Nature Reserve, within the greater Waterberg, and the game roams freely on the 12 000ha eco-reserve.

According to Pretorius the 20km race is a pleasant mountain bike experience. “The riders will mostly ride through a game farm on jeep track and there are no climbs of note on route. The 40km Nissan National Half Marathon there is nice balance between single track sections and jeep track. There is only one steep climb on route.

“Riders doing the 75km MTN Marathon will do the 40km lap and an additional lap of 35km. The route consists mostly of single track. Riders will be challenged with four steep climbs.

“The MTN Ultra marathon holds true to form and is definitely not for sissies. There are some really nice single track sections on this route.

Wessel van der Walt, from Advendurance gets quite lyrical when he starts speaking about MTN Rooiberg. “I think it is one of the undiscovered jewels of South African mountain biking. “Including Rooiberg in the MTN Series is keeping with our goal to highlight all the different mountain biking terrains of South Africa.

“This will be a true bushveld experience and something totally different from racing through the Western Cape’s Fynbos of the sub-tropical Lowveld or the muddy wet conditions of KwaZulu-Natal.”

The winner of the MTN National MTB series will truly be someone who can excel over all types of terrains

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