The Dorma SA/PYGA rider is no stranger to challenging races, and has participated in many endurance and short-course cycling events and as he says, he keeps his cycling fresh by “always trying to mix it up a bit”.

ccs-62657-0-49213700-1461588885.jpgCape Town’s endurance athlete Nico Pfitzenmaier will be making the trek to Pietermaritzburg this weekend to compete in the 2016 SA MTB Marathon Championships for the 30-and-over age categories at Cascades MTB Park on Sunday 1 May. Photo: Supplied

“Generally I do more stage races and marathons, but this year I have been doing all WPMTB XCO races, which I won at the end in the Vets category,” said the 44-year-old. “I enjoy the technical XCO races and the stage races. Obviously I like more technically challenging routes.”

Pfitzenmaier didn’t compete in the Absa Cape Epic this year and feels that the eight-day stage race always formed a good base ahead of his season. “I haven’t done any specific big training blocks at all this year. I have however raced in the Tankwa Trek where I finished third, and a couple of other marathon races.”

Competing in the two-day Cell C Arabella MTB Stage Race amongst a very competitive field at the weekend, Pfitzenmaier decided that he is feeling confident to come through to Pietermaritzburg to race for a National Championship title, despite taking a tumble and bruising his ribs.

His cross-training this year has kept him off terra firma yet he feels as fit and capable as he has been in previous years. “I’ve been doing a lot of Stand Up Paddling (SUP),” said Pfitzenmaier. “I find it’s the perfect cross training for me. I did the whole NaishSUP Downwind Dash Series in the summer months and also won that. I was surprised when I came to the MTB races as I only did half the cycling training that I used to, spending half of my time on SUP and half on the bike. With my races so far this year, I couldn’t find that I was lacking in endurance or any power on the bike.”

Feeling confident ahead of this weekend’s Championship race, Pfitzenmaier said: “I’m hoping to win it but I have to see who’s racing. I won the XCO Masters World Champs at Cascades, so it is always special for me to come and race there,” he said.

Online pre-entries for the SA MTB Masters Marathon Championships (30+) close on Tuesday 26 April at midnight:

Other mountain bike events that will be held over the course of the weekend at the PMB MTB Festival are:

Saturday 30 April

UCI Junior World Series XCO

Sunday 1 May

SA Marathon Championships Masters 30+
Development Races

Monday 2 May

Enduro Competition
KZN Inter-Schools MTB Series

The Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival takes place at Cascades MTB Park from 30 April to 2 May 2016 and forms part of the greater Africa Bike City project in Pietermaritzburg. The legacy project and continued development of the venue of Cascades MTB Park as well as staff, cyclists and officials strengthens the local resource pool as we build towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For more information on the 2016 PMB MTB Festival, click here: mtb-festival/.