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The course is 4.9 kilometres in length, with 170 metres of vertical ascent. It features two challenging climbs of 660 metres (50-metre ascent) and 350 metres (40-metre ascent), natural rock gardens, gap jumps, drop offs, a pump track and two rather technical downhill sections.

“The track is extremely spectator-friendly, with most points on course less than a 300-metre walk from the start/finish area,” said Raubenheimer. “From just one specific vantage point, almost fifty percent of the race course can be followed and viewed,” he added.

The main features on this course that spectators will enjoy include:

  • A pump track at the start of the lap, a gap jump/drop at 1.3km;
  • Single track switchback climb of 350 metres (40-metre ascent) at 2.2 kilometres;
  • Switchback Hairpin Downhill at 2.5 kilometres;
  • 660-metre (50-metres Ascent) climb at 2.8 kilometres and the main attraction and most popular spectator spot;
  • A 400-metre long downhill descent with a rock garden at the bottom.


“Almost everything in Bloemfontein is about a five-minute drive from the other,” said Raubenheimer. “The venue is very unique, in that it is in the heart of the Bloemfontein City at the Happy Valley Conservancy,” he said.


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Places of interest nearby include the Loch Logan Waterfront Mall, where the not-so-keen cyclists can visit for shopping or refreshments. Franklin Nature Reserve (Naval Hill – where the large statue of Nelson Mandela is situated) is also nearby. This nature reserve is one of the only Nature Reserves in the world to be situated within the perimeters of a city. Other attractions include The Orchid House, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, and Mimosa Mall.

The fifth round of the STIHL 2016 SA XCO Cup Series will take place in the Free State on Saturday 18 June 2016. Entries are open and close at midnight on

Tuesday 14 June 2016. To enter, click here: https://entries.cyclingsa.com/events/6841-sa-cup-series-xco-5.
For more information, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-cup-series/ or contact Dellah Paul on 082 781 5656 for administration info.

To see the STIHL 2016 SA XCO Cup Series Log after four events, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20160520_SA-XCO-Cup-Series-Log-2016-4.pdf.