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The event kicked off an epic dinner on the stoep of the old house. The atmosphere amongst this clan of Africa’s most badass mountain bikers emanated through the age-old sandstone walls. After a warm welcome, a little local language lesson and the introduction of the event’s most coveted jersey “The D@#k of the day award”, Africa’s first ever EWS qualifier was officially launched.

Day 1:


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The vibe at the start. Photo credit: Dominic Barnardt
With all the rain, the first day was shortened to 3 Stages. Everybody loaded their bikes into a truck and jumped into the local taxis for a lift up the road to the start. The top of the 3 witches pass. A brief opening in the weather allowed for riders to get to the Start of stage 1 without rain and take a few snaps on one of the most beautiful liaisons the sport of enduro has to offer.

An inordinate amount of flow, rocks and mud set the stage for the day down “Pressure Cooker. Huge smiles at the bottom confirmed what the organisers had always suspected- the trails in Lesotho for Enduro are awesome.

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Keira Duncan enjoying the liaison to the first stage. Photo: Darol Howes

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Anka Martin getting low on Stage 2. Photo: Darol Howes

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Impressions of day 1. Photo: Darol Howes

Day 2:


With a perfect day forecast, everybody loaded up in the local taxis and headed out to the top of “God-help-me” pass. After a short hike a bike to an iconic start at a cattle kraal in near perfect conditions, racing started.

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Photo credit: Dominic Barnardt

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Photo credit: Dominic Barnardt

A welcome shuttle after God Help Me sent riders twice down from Bushmans pass on 2 very physical trails before a long liaison to lunch.

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Daniel Dobinson bombing Bushman's. Photo credit: Darol Howes

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Loving the liaison- Dominic Barnardt

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Riders at Lunch, Dominic Barnardt

After lunch, the riders were treated to the best trail of the event, called “Love It”. However, riders had to work hard for this as they were in for one hell of a hike-a-bike to the top. The view and trail at the top were simply spectacular!

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At the top of Love It. Photo credit: Darol Howes

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Harry Millar enjoying the sandstone. Photo credit: Dominic Barnardt

Day 3:


After some crazy weather, with loads more thunder lightning hail and general not too perfect riding weather forecast for the afternoon, racing was called off. We did, however, jump in the bus for a shuttle day in the brief 3 hours of no rain for those of us who could still move. The shuttle morning was rad, with riders able to do the hardest trail of the race called “Freefall” and two more trails before the rain set in. The event ended with a rad family oriented prize giving on the old stoep.

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Katja Steenkamp on Freefall. Photo credit: Dominic Barnardt

Despite the cancellation of the final day, it is safe to say that the first EWS event in Africa is now well defined as the most badass race in Africa.

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Open men top 3. Photo credit: Dominic Barnardt