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  1. Many of South Africa’s top mountain bike stars are set for a two-day battle in the eastern highlands when they contest Round 6 of the 2017 Ashburton Investments National MTB Series at Dullstroom, Mpumalanga this weekend. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za The event will offer two days of high-quality, high-altitude racing in some of the most scenic surrounds and a large field is expected due to the close proximity (3-hour drive) of Dullstroom to Johannesburg and Pretoria. The start and finish venue for each stage is at Dunkeld Country Estate, which is located at 2 067 metres above sea level, making the event slightly more challenging, especially for riders that live at the coast. Series leader, Philip Buys and his Pyga EuroSteel teammate, Matthys Beukes, currently a close second in the total points, will both be on the start line. “I’m not too worried about the altitude. I don’t struggle much with it as I live in Pretoria, which is 1400 metres above sea level. But for Matthys, coming from sea level, it’s a challenge. He has found that it works better for him to arrive as late as possible to altitude races, so he will only fly up on Friday,” explained Buys. “We are both in pretty good shape as we’ve had a few solid weeks of training with no travel and racing. I’m looking forward to two days of high-intensity racing,” added Buys. Top contenders for the men’s podium will include Gawie Combrinck & Nico Bell riding for Team NAD Pro as well as Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes from team Pyga Eurosteel. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za National marathon champion, Nico Bell and his Team NAD Pro teammate, Gawie Combrinck, will both make the short trip up from Nelspruit for this weekend’s showdown. They are third and fourth respectively in the Ashburton Investments MTB Series standings after five rounds. “It’s difficult to say how the legs will be on race day, but Gawie will be looking for a good result following his second-place finishes at Dullstroom for the past two years. The altitude is always a factor. You can’t go too deep into the red otherwise you don’t recover, but the racing will be hard for sure so we hope to be part of it again,” said Bell. Max Knox, the 2016 Ashburton Investments MTB Series winner, who is unbeaten in Dullstroom and currently fifth in the 2017 Series, will be watching from the sidelines as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken collarbone. “It’s obviously very disappointing for me not to be able to race at one of my favourite venues, but I will still be there cheering everyone on. It’s an amazing venue with a wonderful atmosphere and well worth the trip for the weekend for riders and their families,” said Knox. Other potential podium contenders confirmed to start are Wessel Botha, currently sixth in the 2017 Series, and Gert Heyns (Ascendis Health), who will fly up from Cape Town and who says he has no real problem with marathon racing at altitude. “There's usually not much I can do about higher altitude races as there is usually not enough time to go up and adapt beforehand. Although it's a disadvantage, I generally don't do anything different than for any other race. I usually struggle with XCO at altitude but it tends to not bother me too much in marathon racing, so hopefully I’ll be sharp from Dullstroom this weekend,” said Cape Town-based Heyns. South African champion and current 2017 Series leader, Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health) will be conspicuously absent from the women’s race. She is not fully recovered from a bout of bronchitis. However, her decision not to compete should open up contention for the 2017 Series title up somewhat. In contention for the women’s podium, this weekend will be Candice Lill (dormakaba) and Samantha Sanders (Valencia). Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Confirmed to start are Round 5 winner, Candice Lill (dormakaba) and Round 4 winner, Amy Beth McDougall (Valencia), Sarah Hill (Liv), who is currently second in the Series, Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk), Samantha Sanders (Valencia) and Vanessa Bell (Bells Cycling). Because there are two legs this weekend, the opportunities to score points are higher, so expect some interesting position shifts. “Racing at altitude is always a challenge for us coming from the coast. I definitely feel there is less oxygen but I try not let it get to me mentally. I know most of my competitors are feeling the same way,” said Lill. “I’m recovering from flu, so hope to be strong by Dullstroom. Regarding altitude, I’m lucky because at live at 1600m in Joburg. But you can’t really prepare for altitude racing. You have to mentally accept that you are going to feel like you’re breathing through a straw and going slowly. I just returned from Colombia where the base altitude for the stage race I did was 2000m and we frequently climbed to 3000m and even to 4000m, which was ridiculous! So, based on that Dullstroom’s altitude isn’t too bad,” said McDougall. “I went to Dullstroom to train last weekend, which I hope helps a bit. I’m sure the full-time pro’s will go there a few days before to adjust, especially those living at sea level. I don’t have the luxury of acclimatising, but living in Joburg should help a bit,” said Ralph. “I live in Joburg, so the altitude does not affect me as much. I sometimes train at Suikerbosrand, as the altitude varies there and can go up to around 1900m metres, so that helps a bit,” said Bell. There are a range of event options on offer this weekend, but the main focus is on the two-day marathon stage race and the two-day half-marathon stage race. Programme: Venue: Dunkeld Country Estate, Dullstroom Friday 1 September 15h00-18h00: Registration at Dullstroom Reservations Saturday 2 September 06h30-10h00: Registration and late entries at race venue 07h30: Marathon (Stage 1) & Single Day 09h00: Half-marathon (Stage 1) & Single Day 10h00: Fun Race 11h00: Preliminary results Day 1 posted 12h00: Prize Giving Sunday 11 June 06h30-10h00: Registration and late entries at race venue 07h30: Marathon (Stage 2) 09h00: Half-marathon (Stage 2) 10h00: Fun Ride 11h00: Preliminary results Day 2 posted 13h00: Prize giving (Day 2 and Overall)Entries are still open and can be done online at www.nationalmtbseries.com.
  2. Hi I'm going to Dullstroom for the weekend. I am looking for good mountain biking. I've done some searches and come up with references to some good rides, but no specific routes. Can anyone help out with this? I was thinking about Dullstroom - Tonteldoos and back. It's a bit short for what I was looking for, and was hoping there are some actual trails around too. Thanks!
  3. We had 14 Scandinavian mid-distance and cross-country athletes here at the backpackers over Dec'16/Jan'17. They spent 3 weeks working through a grueling altitude training regime, one of four altitude sessions per year for them. I am often asked by our cycling guests what the benefits are of altitude training other than increased red blood cell and oxygen advantages. Answers after a few Google searches have varied. Personally, living at 2100m above sea level makes me feel like a champ when I'm at lower alt. First day/night or two at lower alt, I feel like the Duracell bunny. What is your take?
  4. Did the unthinkable, Sold everything here in GP, bought a log cabin in Dullstroom and starting up a MTB-centric backpackers in Aug/Sept this year. Looking for your valuable input into what you'd expect from such a place when you visit. I backpacked across the globe for some years, but only started MTB'ing again in 2012, so I'd appreciate some suggestions to tip the scales evenly and create a place where MTB'ers would feel at home. Sorted so far: - Local trails and friends with farmers for the "unbeaten track" routes - Bike wash bay + free lubricants - Secure lock-up facilities - Small selection of parts/clothing/accessories - Repair specialist in town - Transportation to/from pic-up/drop-off locations - Emergency stand by - Entertainment, awesome vibe, small bar, super comfy sleeping, great view. - Free additional red blood cells when you do altitude training for your enduro races ;-) (Dullies sits at 2100m above sea level) Any suggestions would be awesome. Happy dayz!
  5. It was the fourth Ashburton Investments National MTB Series win in succession for Knox (Lowveld Tractors), who wrapped up the 2016 men’s Series title with a perfect score of 16000 (riders get 4000 points for a win). The best five results are used after the seventh and final round to determine the final standing, but with four victories, Knox cannot be beaten even if someone else wins, he just needs to finish and score some points to stay ahead of Nico Bell the defending series champion. De Groot’s (Ascendis Health) win was her third in the Series, putting her in contention to retain the title with a good finish at the final round next month. Amy Beth McDougall (Valencia), second at the weekend, still leads the women’s Series with 16514 points, while Samantha Saunders (Valencia), third at Dullstroom, is a close third on 14960. The overall series will only be determined at the final round and any of the top five ranked women can take the title at this point. Max Knox (left) and Gawie Combrinck (right) batting it out on the early race climb. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Perfect weather greeted the riders at Dullstroom on Saturday and with the men’s race 15km shorter than the 2015 edition at 98km, the intensity was expected to be as high as the altitude, which rises in excess of 2200 metres above sea level. The full SCOTT LCB Factory Racing team of Gert Heyns, Arno du Toit, Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes ensured the race started fast and split quite early on. The small lead pack of eight comprised three members of the SCOTT LCB team, Matt Beers (Red-E Cannondale), Gawie Combrinck, Knox and Johann Rabie (Team Telkom). Then, at 55km on the race’s big climb, Knox was setting the pace, which proved too quick for his rivals. He then continued on alone to the finish to clock a winning time of 03 hours 52 minutes 47 seconds. Gawie Combrinck (Team NAD) finished second in 04:00:21 with Beukes claiming third place in 4:01:42. Buys and HB Kruger (Team Telkom) rounded out the top five positions respectively. Combrinck’s podium place made up for the fact that his NAD teammate and Series leader, Nico Bell, had to drop out at 70km after suffering with a virus all week. Bell is still second in the series rankings going into the final round. “Everything went perfectly for me today. The bunch was a bit smaller but it was a quality field. The SCOTT LCB guys were very positive and pushed the pace hard from the beginning. I knew they’d struggle towards the end though because they’ve focussed mainly on XC this year and aren’t used to the longer duration of these ultra-marathons,” said Knox. “On the big climb at around 55km, I saw the guys were hurting a bit so I set a steady pace and managed to get a small gap over the top. I knew that if could maintain a good pace from there and through the rough last 20km, it would be difficult for anyone to catch me. I’m happy to have stayed away,” smiled Knox. “Max has got really good form. I had a bit of a rest and am starting to build up for the last part of the year. I just didn’t’ have the legs to go with Max up the big climb. But I do enjoy this course. I like the long climbs and I seem to do well at altitude,” said a satisfied Combrinck. “I’m quite happy with third place,” said Beukes, “I wasn’t sure how the altitude would affect me and I didn’t feel great initially. For the first hour and a half I held back. As soon as we hit the big climb Max went and no one could respond to that. I held back a bit and then with 30km to go I felt good so I went for it. I trained for this race for the past six weeks so am happy to get on the podium.” Robyn de Groot setting the pace and making easy work of the Dullstroom's higher altitude. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za In the women’s race, the course and the altitude took its toll. A group of three formed at the front early on comprising De Groot, McDougall and Sanders. First Sanders dropped off the pace at around 12km and then McDougall at around 18km, leaving De Groot in the lead for most of the race. The Ascendis Health rider kept a steady pace to finish in a time of 03:12:03.McDougall was second in 3:18:16 with Sanders third in 3:19:35. Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) and Vanessa Bell (Bells Cycling) were fourth and fifth respectively. “This was an important win for myself and my sponsors. They’ve been very patient in letting me take the time to get back after my injury. I’m happy with this one,” said a delighted De Groot. “Coming from sea level to altitude I didn’t know how my body would respond. But I’m pretty happy with how it went and I’m looking forward to the last round at Rooiberg now, which has a challenging course and should make for a great Series decider,” added De Groot. “I definitely surprised myself after quite a substandard performance last week. I’m very happy with second place. With longer climbs and more technical sections, the course suits me. Living in Joburg, we have an altitude advantage over those from the coast I think. I’m looking forward to the last round at Rooiberg where the conditions and terrain suit me,” smiled McDougall. The Ashburton Investments National MTB Series now moves to South Africa’s Limpopo province for Round 7, 15 October. For more information, visit www.nationalmtbseries.co.za. For For full results of Round 6 at Dullstroom, visit: www.saseeding.co.za 2016 Ashburton Investments National Mountain Bike Series Round 6, Dullstroom, Saturday 3 September 2016 Leading results Elite men – 98km Ultra-marathon: 1 Max Knox (Lowveld Tractors) 3:52:47 2 Gawie Combrinck (Team NAD) 03:59:11 3 Matthys Beukes (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing) 04:00:21 4 Philip Buys (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing) 04:01:42 5 HB Kruger (Telkom) 04:02:59 6 Johann Rabie (Telkom) 04:04:30 7 Timothy Hammond (04:05:30 8 Thinus Redelinghuys (Jeep) 04:07:05 9 Matthew Beers (Red-E Cannondale) 04:10:48 10 Arno Du Tiot (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing) 04:11:29 Elite women – 70km marathon: 1 Robyn De Groot (Ascendis Health) 03:12:03 2 Amy McDougall (Valencia) 03:18:16 3 Samantha Sanders (Valencia) 03:19:35 4 Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) 03:22:24 5 Venessa Bell (Bells Cycling) 03:24:33 6 Dalene van der Leek 03:41:14 7 Rozalia Kubyana 03:45:08 8 Bonny Swanepoel 03:48:30 9 Carly Kent 03:59:13 10 Natasha Viviers 04:09:13 2016 Series Standings Elite men 1 Max Knox - 19605 2 Nico Bell - 17748 3 HB Kruger -16185 4 Gert Heyns - 16178 5 Waylon Woolcock - 15862 6 Lourens Luus - 15411 7 Gawie Combrinck - 12671 8 Matthew Beers - 11440 9 Timothy Hammond - 10868 10 Thinus Redelinghuys - 10467 Elite women 1 Amy McDougall - 16514 2 Robyn De Groot - 15474 3 Samantha Sanders - 14960 4 Vanessa Bell - 13240 5 Theresa Ralph - 13147 6 Candice Neethling - 10962 7 Mariette Hattingh - 7460 8 Ariane Kleinhans - 7362 9 Carmen Buchacher - 5694 10 Emily Clarke - 5614
  6. Max Knox and Robyn de Groot continued their winning ways when they claimed the men and women’s titles respectively at Round 6 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series at Dullstroom, Mpumalanga at the weekend. The two current South African champions won in dominant fashion on a tough course at relatively high altitude. Click here to view the article
  7. Knox, overall winner of the prestigious series in 2013 and 2015, won the last three rounds of the 2016 series and sits in third on the total points standing. The Sabie resident also won the Dullstroom round of the series last year, on a course that’s not particularly long, but which takes riders above 2000 metres above sea level to an altitude that’s uncomfortable for some. Knox confirmed his good form when he outsprinted a strong field to win the Nissan TrailSeeker Series event over 63km last Saturday. Max Knox powering up the misty hills of Dullstroom in the 2015 Ashburton Investments Nat MTB Series. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “That Nissan race was quite short and there weren’t any big climbs and nothing really technical. It didn’t suit me much at all so I was very happy to take the win. But the Dullstroom course suits me perfectly and is one of my favourite routes. I’m super keen to race there again this weekend and my goal is to try and defend the title I won there last year,” said Knox. Knox missed the opening round of the series and has accumulated a total of 15605 points from the last four rounds. Ahead of him in the standings are Waylon Woolcock (USN Purefit) who is second on 15862 points with Nico Bell (Team NAD), the 2014 Series winner, leading on 17748. A win is worth 4000 points with subsequent positions allocated based on position, time behind the winner and number of riders in the race. Woolcock will miss this Saturday’s race, but Bell will be on the start line, eager to maintain his lead in the Series and avenge the narrow defeat to Knox in the sprint last Saturday. Bell will have the support of his Team NAD teammate, Gawie Combrinck, the 2015 national champion. The pair live and train in nearby Nelpsruit and are sure to pose a formidable threat to Knox’s aspirations. Defending Champion Max Knox taking the win at Dullstroom in 2015. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Lourens Luus, originally from nearby Sabie, now living in Stellenbosch, is also a strong contender for the title on Saturday. The Team PSG Wealth rider won the race in 2014 and is feeling confident after strong recent results. “I like the course, I think it suits my strengths. But we’ll have to see about the altitude and how it affects me,” said Luus. Another potential title contender is Gert Heyns. The SCOTT LCB Factory Racing rider will have all three of his teammates in the race, namely Arno du Toit, Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys. “My training has been going very well and I like that the route has been made more technical, which obviously suits our whole team with our XCO racing foundation. The only unknown factor really is if the altitude will affect any of us adversely,” said Heyns. Team Telkom’s HB Kruger and Johann Rabie will also be in the mix. It will be Kruger’s first appearance at Dullstroom. “I’m a little unsure of the altitude, but I’m feeling in good form and I’m aiming for a podium place,” said Kruger. Among the women, the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series battle is proving to be a close one. National champion and Series winner for the past two years, Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health), was forced to miss Rounds 4 and 5 due to a shoulder injury. This has opened the title-race up somewhat and African marathon champion, Amy Beth McDougall (Valencia) is the current leader with 12768 points. De Groot, who won Rounds 2 and 3, is in second with 11484 points, while Samantha Sanders (Valencia), winner of Round 5, is a close third on 11366. “I’m excited to race at Dullstroom this weekend. The course looks great! I am still a bit fatigued from racing the Ironbike stage race in Europe last month so I hope to be able to be as competitive as possible,” said McDougall. For De Groot, just racing again is a small victory following almost three months out of competition. But the Ascendis Health rider has won the Dullstroom race for the past two years and must go into the event as the favourite, especially following her victory over Sanders as last weekends’ Nissan TrailSeeker race. Robyn de Groot expertly taking on Meerndal's singletrack earlier this year at the Ashburton NatMTB Series. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Another strong podium contender in Dullstroom will be Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk). “I’m looking forward to another good battle in what is quite a competitive women’s category currently. My form is quite good and I’m looking forward to what seems like a tough course at altitude. It’s also a great mountain biking weekend away and my family will be doing the shorter events on Sunday,” smiled Ralph. The Ultra-marathon will be contested on a course that’s just 98km long, but which has a total ascent of 1824 metres, and which keeps the riders close to an average of 2000 metres above sea level, which adds to the difficulty factor. The marathon course is 70km long with an accumulated elevation of 1411 metres. The Ultra-marathon and marathon races will be held on Saturday. On Sunday the Half-marathon (40km), Fun Race (24km) and Fun Ride (10km) will take place. Entries are still open and can be done online at www.nationalmtbseries.com. Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Round 6, Dunkeld Country Estate, Dullstroom:Saturday 3 September and Sunday 4 September 2016: Friday 2 September 16h00-19h00: Registration and late entries – Dullstroom Reservations, Main Road, Dullstroom Saturday 3 September 06h00-09h00: Registration and late entries 06h45: Riders briefing, leader jerseys handover 07h00: Start Ultra-marathon Pro/Elite 07h10: Start Marathon Ladies A Batch 07h20: Start Ultra-marathon Amateur 07h30: Start Marathon A. Batches + 5 min intervals 13h00: Prize Giving Sunday 4 September 06h00-09h00: Registration and late entries 07h15: Riders briefing, leader jerseys handover 07h30: Start Half-marathon A. Batches + 5 min intervals 08h20: Start Fun Race A. Batches + 5min intervals 08h30: Start Fun Ride all 12h00: Prize Giving For more information, visit www.nationalmtbseries.com
  8. South African champion, Max Knox (Lowveld Tractors) will be gunning for a fourth consecutive victory as he aims to secure the 2016 Ashburton Investments National Mountain Bike Series title at the penultimate round at Dullstroom on Saturday. Click here to view the article
  9. Max Knox (Biogen Volcan) showed that he responds well to pressure when he won the final round and claimed the 2015 Ashburton Investments National MTB Series title in Dullstroom, in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province at the weekend. South African champion, Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health) claimed the women’s race title, but had to settle for second in the series behind Switzerland’s Ariane Kleinhans (RECM). Click here to view the article
  10. Knox’s victory in a time of 04 hours 36 minutes 16 seconds gave him the 4000 points on offer for the win and, importantly, secured him a little more than what he required to pass Swiss racer, Konny Looser (Wheeler iXS), who led the series from Round 2. "Riders in the mist" Knox on his way to taking the KOM. Big smiles and mud as Max Knox realises he has won the series title. Also in the running to claim the series crown was South African champion, Gawie Combrinck (EAI Cycling). He too responded well to the challenge by tussling with Knox at the head of the race for the big points haul, but in the end failed to match Knox in the closing stages and had to settle for second place which, based on his time behind the winning time, gave him 3815 points and put him in third overall, just 22 points behind Looser. Misty, cool conditions greeted the riders at Dullstroom, a town that’s located just over 2000 metres above sea level. The 116km ultra-marathon route took the riders down the escarpment and into in the surrounding valleys before bringing the riders back up to the finish. The conditions, combined with the distance and 2500 metres of vertical ascent, saw a gradual splitting of the front pack in the early stages with a group of eight still in the mix as they reached the climb to the King of the Mountain prime where the race-winning move was to come. Nico Bell (RECM), the 2013 and 2014 series champion, punctured and lost contact with the group just before the climb. Rourke Croeser (Full Dynamix USN) and Knox began to increase the pace at the base of the KOM climb and Combrinck added a big attack, which left the group in tatters with around half of the race remaining. Knox drove the pace up the climb, claiming the KOM prize ahead of Croeser and Combrinck. Croeser managed to get onto Knox’s wheel and the pair rode together at the front with Combrinck chasing on his own. Croeser rode for some distance with a flat tyre before he stopped at the final tech zone to get another wheel. Combrinck passed him in the process and charged on in pursuit of Knox and the coveted series crown. But he was unable to catch Knox and had to settle for the runner-up spot. Croeser managed to hold onto third with a hard-charging Bell recovering well from his early mechanical to claim fourth place. Matthys Beukes (SCOTT LCB) rounded out the top five. “A championship cannot be won in the first race of a series but it can be lost,” said Knox, who was outside the top 10 at the series opener in January. “I had a bit of pressure today. I knew If I could win the race I could win the series, which in my eyes is one of the most prestigious awards... Being the most consistent rider throughout the year is quite difficult to achieve. I’m super stoked to the win the series again!” Robyn de Groot post win interview “It is always hard racing at altitude and Max just had the better legs today. Visibility is tricky in the mist. You can’t always see what’s coming so puncture risks are higher. I sat on the front of the bunch where possible in order to reduce the risk of punctures and it worked out well for me,” said Combrinck. “I’m more used to 90-minute full-out efforts. The last hour of the race hurt me today. I had a flat wheel that I had to ride for 20km that made things tougher. I’ve been through a difficult time in my career recently and took a week off training. Today was about showing face and being back in the public eye,” said Croeser. In the women’s race, De Groot was able to establish herself a dominant lead from early on. The South African champion, winner of the national series in 2013, had no series title to chase, but she was hungry for the win and to defend the race crown she’d won in 2014. De Groot clocked a winning time of 03:23:08 and collected the 4000 points on offer for the victory. That put her 509 points behind Kleinhans for the runner-up spot in the 2015 series. Theresa Ralph (RBS) claimed second place in Dullstroom and third in the series with Vanessa Bell securing third place in the final round of the series. 2015 Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Round 7, Dullstroom, Saturday 12 September 2015 Leading results Elite men – 116km Ultra-marathon: 1 Max Knox (RSA) Biogen-Volcan 4:36:16 2 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) EAI Cycling 4:39:16 3 Rourke Croeser (RSA) Full Dynamix 4:41:51 4 Nico Bell (RSA) RECM 4:48:54 5 Matthys Beukes (RSA) SCOTT LCB 4:56:13 6 Adriaan Louw (RSA) Contego Swift 4:48:57 7 Guylin van den Berg (RSA) iXS Sport 5:01:49 8 Alan Gordon 5:05:07 9 Thinus Redlinghuys 5:05:12 10 Stu Rawlinson 5:05:45 Elite women – 75km marathon: 1 Robyn de Groot (RSA) Ascendis Health 3:23:08 2 Theresa Ralph (RSA) RBS 3:35:11 3 Vanessa Bell (RSA) 3:39:27 4 Dalene van der Leek (RSA) 3:44:08 5 Susan Sloan (RSA) 3:44:18 6 Adrienne Moolman (RSA) 3:49:48 7 Mariette Hattingh (RSA) 3:56:18 8 Bonny Swanepoel (RSA) 3:58:26 9 Wilmarie du Plessis (RSA) 4:01:13 10 Karyn Southgate (RSA) 4:10:46 2015 Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Final leading standings Men: 1 Max Knox (RSA) Biogen Volcan 18419 points 2 Konny Looser (SUI) Wheeler iXS 18203 3 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) EAI Cycling 18177 4 Nico Bell (RSA) RECM 16995 5 Erik Klienhans (RSA) RECM 16302 6 Darren Lill (RSA) 16209 7 Adriaan Louw (RSA) Contego Swift 15989 8 Guylin van den Berg (RSA) (iXS Sport) 14638 9 Alan Gordon (RSA) 14460 10 Thinus Redlinghuys 14158 Final leading standings Women: 1 Ariane Kleinhans (SUI) RECM 19844 points 2 Robyn de Groot (RSA) Ascendis Health 19335 3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) RBS 16805 4 Candice Neethling (RSA) Pam Golding/Freewheel Cycology 16769 5 Vera Adrian (NAM) 16109 6 Vanessa Bell (RSA) 14989 7 Cherise Stander (RSA) RECM 14031 8 Mariette Hattingh (RSA) 11547 9 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) Ascendis Health 10846 10 Michelle Beetge (RSA) 10526 There were seven rounds in the 2015 Ashburton Investments National MTB Series, with the five best results of each rider counting towards the final series rankings. For more information, visit www.nationalmtbseries.co.za. For full results, visit: www.saseeding.co.za
  11. The two-day event gives mountain bikers a chance to escape from the city and make a weekend of the experience with the 75km marathon and 116km ultra-marathon taking place on Saturday and the 41km half-marathon, 20km fun race and 10km fun ride on Sunday. “We have the event over two days because it allows families to fully enjoy the mountain biking. Some of our national series events are held over one day, which tends to make it more tricky for the whole family to compete; but not so at Dullstroom. It’s an ideal way to finish off the series,” said Fritz Pienaar of Advendurance, the company that organises the Ashburton Investments National Mountain Bike Series. Situated at just over 2000 metres above sea level, Dullstroom is a gem of a town in the Mpumalanga Highlands developed around fly-fishing, arts and crafts and fine cuisine. It’s less than a three-hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria and there’s a wide selection of accommodation making it an ideal destination for a family weekend away. Beautiful scenery and exquisite trails to be experieced at #MTBDullstroom. The hot, dry weather during this week is expected to continue into the weekend, with the expected high temperatures peaking in the low-to-mid 20s.These conditions should give riders the perfect riding conditions with trail surfaces that will be largely firm and dry after the recent rains. The event sees the culmination of the seven race series, which is one of the largest and most prestigious marathon mountain bike series in the world, and has gone from strength to strength in collaboration with the new sponsor Ashburton Investments in 2015. Swiss racer, Ariane Kleinhans (RECM), has already wrapped up the women’s series title and will not be at Dullstroom to contest the final event. Her three wins from the five events she contested have given her a sufficient lead to ensure that even if second-placed Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health) wins at Dullstroom, she won’t score enough points to topple Kleinhans from the top spot. De Groot’s only win in the Ashburton Investments Series this year came at Van Gaalen, which doubled as the South African Championships and she will be keen to wrap the series up with a victory at Dullstroom, where she was victorious in the 2014 edition. The battle for the men’s Ashburton Investments National MTB Series title is still undecided going into the final round. Swiss racer, Konny Looser (Wheeler iXS) is the current leader, but will not be in Dullstroom to contest the final event. Only Max Knox (Biogen Volcan) can realistically challenge Looser for the coveted crown, but the South African will have to win the race or finish a very close second to score the 3784 points required to pass Looser’s total of 18203. Knox has only contested four events in the ultra-marathon series so far and the final series points are calculated on the best five results for each rider. The ultra-marathon event on Saturday will be raced over a distance of 116km with 2500 metres of vertical ascent, while the marathon distance that the elite women will contest, is 75km with 1600 metres of climbing. In addition to the Ultra-marathon and the marathon on Saturday, there’s a 41km half-marathon, a 20km fun race and a 10km fun ride on Sunday. Online entries are closed, but late entries can be done before the start at the race venue, Dunkeld Country Estate or on Friday at the Adventure Centre, Dullstroom. While the Dullstroom event marks the final race of the 2015 Ashburton Investments National MTB Series, it’s also the first major race of spring, and many will be eager to see their form after a relatively mild winter by South African standards. It’s also a crucial time of the year for professional riders who are not guaranteed a contract for 2016 yet and many will be eager to impress potential sponsors with a strong performance. Ashburton Investments National Mountain Bike Series Round 7, Dullstroom, Mpumalanga:Friday 11 September 2015: Adventure Centre, Dullstroom 16h00–1900: Registration and late entries Saturday 12 September 2015: Dunkeld Country Estate 06h15-07h45: Registration and late entries 07h00: Start Ultra-marathon Pro Elite and Amateur 07h10: Start Marathon women 07h30: Start Marathon A Batch + 5min intervals other batches Sunday 13 September 2015: 06h30-09h00: Registration and late entries 07h30: Start Half-marathon A Batch 07h35: Start Half-marathon women A Batch + 5min intervals other batches 08h20: Start 20km Fun Race 09h05: Start 10km Fun Ride For more information, visit www.nationalmtbseries.com
  12. The final round of the 2015 Ashburton Investments National Mountain Bike Series will take place in the scenic high-altitude town of Dullstroom in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province this weekend – 12-13 September. Click here to view the article
  13. Good day, we are a group of young people new to Dullstroom and we love mountain biking, we try to head out every Saturday morning and work in a couple of rides through the week. If you are in the area and looking for a ride, let me know and we will see what we can set up, you can phone me at 076 702 6447 or mail me at vince@breatheadventures.co.za Thanx Vince
  14. We felt like Harries Pancakes ... so we left after work on Fri, 8 Aug for Dullstroom and arrived in Dullstroom on Sat 3pm. 22 hours later, 310km. Ride report on Making Trackz link below. http://makingtrackz.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/ride-to-dullstroom-going-beyond-300/
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