The 2012 South African Elite Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will take place in Wellington, in the heart of the Boland, on Saturday 25th August 2012.

Only 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, Wellington is situated near the Cape’s famous Wine Routes, and the Wellington Tourism & Wine Route of the Western Cape in South Africa is today a major tourist attraction.

In what is fast becoming an annual attraction in its own right at the Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate, the SA Elite MTB Marathon Championship will be incorporated into the popular MTN National MTB Series # 5 (Wellington), Driven by Nissan, where thousands of mountain bikers are expected to make their annual pilgrimage.

The Elite men (aged 19 and up) will race the 105-kilometre Ultra Marathon distance, which takes place on farm roads and jeep tracks heading away from Diemersfontein, through the vineyards and farms of Wellington, against the scenic backdrop of the Bainskloof Pass road, heading towards Groenberg Mountain. Elite Women (aged 19 and up) will be required to tackle the 75km marathon route for championship status.

The well-balanced and fast course is jam-packed with beautiful views, fynbos, historic farmsteads, stream crossings and vineyard settings, passing many of the local award-winning cellars. The 105km race will finish with some tough riding in the Hawekwa Plantation on the slopes of Du Toitskloof.

Men in the ultra marathon can expect to climb 2900m over 105km whereas the women will climb 1850m in 75km.

Age groups outside of the Elite category will also be entitled to race for SA MTB Marathon Championship status, this time at KwaZulu-Natal’s popular mountain biking haven of Hilton, starting at Hilton College, for the fifth annual MTN National MTB Series #7 (Hilton Dirt Festival) Driven by Nissan on Sunday 23rd September 2012.

Sub Veteran Men and Women (30-39 years), Veteran Men and Women (40-49 years) and Master Men (50-59 years) will take the challenge in the 70km marathon race that starts and finishes on the grounds of Hilton College, riding through timber plantations and sugar cane farms with spectacular views over the Albert-Falls Dam and the Umgeni Valley. Riders will encounter a total elevation is 341m with 1650m climbing in 75km.

On the same day, the remaining age categories of Youth Men and Women (15-16 years), Junior Men and Women (17-18 years), Master Women (50-59 years) and Grand Master Men and Women (Age 60+) will tackle the 40km Nissan Half Marathon race, offering “a little bit of everything” for the competitors at an event that is considered on of the most scenic in the country.

For detailed race information, maps and route profiles, visit www.advendurance.com.

Online entries will be done via the Advendurance website http://advendurance.com/nationalmtbseries/hilton. Online entries are not yet open – this will be communicated in due course.

For any further race information, please contact Advendurance Chief Operations Officer Wessel van der Walt on 083 327 2499.