Only a stones throw away from Pretoria, riders will get to enjoy some of Buffelsdrift's hand crafted singletrack.

Neither Engelbrecht nor Ralph (Galileo Risk) has won any of the first three rounds, but their consistently high placings sees them topping the points standings, making Saturday’s fourth leg at Buffelsdrift Mountain Bike Park north of Pretoria a crucial one for those with Series-winning ambitions.

Both will be gunning for high finishes again but they’re in for a tough battle considering the riders on the pre-entry list. Maricel Bekker, currently second in the series rankings and Adrienne Moolman, runner-up at the 2015 round at Buffelsdrift, are also likely to be in the hunt for podium positions in the women’s division.

Thersa Ralth (left) who is currently leading the series rankings in the women's marathon, will be gunning for a top podium position to secure her series win.

For Engelbrecht, his primary rivals are likely to be Philip Buys (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing), HB Kruger (Team Telkom), Henry Uys (Complete Cyclist), Arno du Toit (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing) and Thinus Redelinghuys.

The marathon will be run over 69km with 890 metres of ascent. Only 25km of the route will incorporate regular Buffelsdrift MTB Park trails, with the rest of the route on new sections built specifically for the event and by access to neighbouring land. The drought has made it possible to build new singletrack segments along the Pienaar’s River, which are sure to be a hit with the participants.

The Half marathon over 40km has 450 metres of climbing. More than 80% of the route will be different to the one used last year, while the Fun Race (20km) and Fun Ride (10km) also offer stimulating new sections, making the most of the bushveld venue, which is less than an hour’s drive from Johannesburg.