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In order to be classified for the TREAD Buffalo Category at official partner events, riders need to weigh at least 90kg. For two-rider team events, which is the format used at most South African stage races, the combined minimum weight for the team must be 180kg.

The new weight division, which includes its own podium ceremony and prizes for riders who would never have had a real racing incentive before, will now form part of The Munga, a 1000-kilometre single-stage race from Bloemfontein to Waterford Wine Estate, Stellenbosch.

To celebrate the inclusion of a TREAD Buffalo Category at The Munga, the organisers have made one The Munga entry available to the top TREAD Buffalo Category team at next week’s Isuzu Trucks PE-Plett four-day stage race. At a cost of US$10 000 (about R100 000) entries for The Munga are highly coveted.

“We’re stoked to have The Munga on board as a premium partner event for our TREAD Buffalo Category,” said Sean Badenhorst of TREAD – Mountain Biking With Soul, the company that owns and manages the TREAD Buffalo Category. “We only consider high-quality mountain bike events that offer a serious challenge to the participants for our TREAD Buffalo Category. When the organisers of The Munga asked for partner status, we saw an immediate synergy.”

“We feel that it won’t only be the stereotypical super-lean, feather-light athletes lining up to tackle The Munga. There are many super-strong bigger riders that will be grinding their way across the Karoo that will give the slim riders a real challenge. But now there’s also another incentive for bigger guys (and girls) to enter The Munga,” said Alex Harris, The Munga Race Director.

Harris confirmed that the winning team in the TREAD Buffalo Category at the 2014 The Munga would also receive a free entry into the 2015 The Munga as part of the weight-division category prize.

“We’ve chosen the Isuzu Trucks PE-Plett event to give away that The Munga TREAD Buffalo entry for two reasons: Firstly, the PE-Plett is one of the tougher stage races there is. And with The Munga claiming to be ‘The Toughest Race on Earth’, we feel it’s appropriate. The other reason is that in order to be conditioned for The Munga in early December, you need already be in fairly good endurance condition now and those who are racing strongly at PE-Plett fit right in,” explained Badenhorst.

The Munga, which has a five-day time limit for it’s 1000-plus kilometres, is offering a prize purse of US$1 million, by far the biggest prize in any global endurance event that’s open to anyone. It has already attracted more than 130 team entries (riders will compete as pairs) from around the world and is expected to achieve more than 400 team entries by the entry closing date on 31 October 2014.

The TREAD Buffalo Category has already been successfully incorporated into the following premium mountain bike events in 2014:
  • Old Mutual joBerg2c (Gauteng-Free State-KZN)
  • Nedbank Sani2c (KZN)
  • FNB Magalies Monster (North West)
  • RECM Knysna 200 (Western Cape)
  • BSi Steel Dusi2c (KZN)
  • 36ONE Storms River Traverse (Western Cape)



Remaining events incorporating the first year of the TREAD Buffalo Category are:

2014

  • Isuzu Trucks PE-Plett (Western Cape-Eastern Cape)
  • Pennypinchers Dr Evil Classic (Western Cape)
  • Resolution Health Ride the Rhino (Western Cape)
  • Mankele Three Towers (Mpumalanga)
  • FedGroup Berg & Bush (KZN)
  • Mount Grace Magalies Adventure (Gauteng)
  • The Munga (Free State-Eastern Cape-Western Cape)


2015

  • Garden Route 300 (Western Cape)
  • TransCape MTB (Western Cape)
  • Bridgestone Route 66 (Gauteng)
  • Cradle Mountain Trophy (Gauteng)
  • Lowveld Quest (Mpumalanga)



For more on the TREAD Buffalo Category, or to register (it’s free), visit www.treadbuffalo.co.za. For more on The Munga, visit www.themunga.com.