The Monzi Hippo Challenge, the 4th and penultimate race in the fast-growing MiWay Big 5 MTB Series, at the Monzi Country Club on September 2nd, will be followed on September 30th by the Kwambo Lion MTB Race. Online entries close three days before each event.

“The Big5 races are ideal weekend getaways for anyone who wants to swap the dry Highveld winter for some beautiful coastal weather instead,” says Big 5 series organiser Shane Webster of Sky Events. “The first three events have made for amazing cycling, and with participant numbers taking off thanks to exposure on the MiWay mountain biking show on SuperSport, there’s still time left to enter online.”

New this year is a reworked Monzi route: Instead of the usual sugar cane fields, the route follows tree-lined tracks along the Monzi canals and through banana and gum plantations near the southern border of the St Lucia Wetland Park. There is also a section through the natural forest of the Futululu reserve. “The track will be a real delight especially for riders who haven’t quite developed their climbing skills,” says Webster. “This is the ride to choose if you want to get the kids into cycling.”

Details of the Kwambo route are yet to be announced.

“We are also batching the races this year. This means a more organised race for experienced riders and much less stress for the newcomers,” says Webster. “But if riders want to be batched it’s a good idea to enter early – at least three days before each race.”

Each race includes both 25km and 50km distances as well as a 10km fun ride “for the smaller kids and the not-so-fit parents,” says Webster.

For those who want to catch up on the series so far, the Hluhluwe Rhino Charge that took place on July 22nd will be aired on SuperSport in early September. “We’ve teamed up with Max Cluer Sports Marketing and Go-Boy Productions to capture the spirit of these races through some incredible footage,” says Carine Conradie-Haffejee of MiWay.

The MiWay mountain biking show airs every Monday night at 20h30 on SuperSport. “We’re seriously committed to supporting mountain biking in South Africa. We don’t just want to sponsor races, but also to increase participation in the sport,” says Conradie-Haffejee.

More details, including how to enter for the remaining Big5 races, can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/miwaymtb and on the web at mtb.miway.co.za. Email mtb@miway.co.za for more info.