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  1. So entries are opening in less than two weeks for next years event. September entries for locals R380 and from October R420 Are there any newbies contemplating doing the down run?Are there any experienced runners who can help the novices out with trying to balance riding and running training without loosing your family?
  2. Hi all. I’m looking for some advice on buying a 29 dual suspension XC/marathon bike. I currently have a Scott scale 960 (2017) and want to upgrade. I plan on doing some stage races like sani2c. Mostly want to compete for the enjoyment and experience but tend to get quite competitive. Looking to spend around 40k and happy to go second hand. Any advice would be helpful and please can you be specific in terms of year and components etc. thanks so much!
  3. Rio Olympic triathlon gold-medalist Gwen Jorgensen took another significant step in her quest to compete in the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by running 31:55 for 10 000m at the Stanford Invitational track on Saturday night: http://www.letsrun.com/news/2018/03/gwen-jorgensen-wins-stanford-10000m-3155-easily-defeating-ncaa-30005000-champion-schweizer/ Her video of the race: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bgQpeuH0k7g She has more videos on her YouTube channel that give some insight into what it takes to perform at her level: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCNQaItQ0LLVu5987SD88s2w
  4. So the name says enough! I'm Still building my Lux CF and will post as soon as the Shimano XT 2 x 11 is fitted Here is my frame
  5. The CyclingSA MTB Selection Panel uses the performance of riders at the nominated selection races, to assess riders in contention. To do this, data from results is evaluated during the selection period, to identify those riders who are in contention. While riders are aware of their general results, it is important that we keep them informed of their performance relative to others. The final SA MTB Marathon team is limited to a maximum of 2 Women and 2 Men, but final selection is, of course, subject to performance and meeting the criteria. The Table below shows current performance levels and assessments: Final team selection will be done immediately after the SA MTB Marathon Championships, which will be held at Cascades, Pietermaritzburg on 21st May 2017.
  6. So a while back me and my dad decided to build a bike,after alot of speculation we agreed on a Carbon,duel-sus 29er with sram 2x10 parts. Thats where the hunt began and after a few weeks of crawling the hub and constantly refreshing the classifieds feed we finally got an amazing frame from a hubber (CraigK) He supplied the frame, fork , stem, bar and a seatpost clamp! Next up is wheels... I will upload pics of the parts as we get them and as the build takes shape.
  7. As in 2015, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano will include nine rounds in 2016. Of particular note: The World Cup will include six rounds for XCO and seven for DHI: The Australian city of Cairns will return to the calendar (XCO and DHI) in what will be a dress rehearsal for the 2017 UCI World Championships. The French round in La Bresse (XCO) and the Andorra round in Vallnord (XCO and DHI) also return to the UCI World Cup calendar Lourdes, FRA (DHI), Albstadt, GER (XCO), Fort William, GBR (DHI), Leogang, AUT (DHI), Lenzerheide, SUI (XCO and DHI) and Mont-Sainte-Anne, CAN (XCO and DHI) will again be part of the series as they were in 2015. The XCO mountain bike events at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil will take place from August 20 to 21, the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Nove Mesto from June 28 to July 3 and the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole from September 6 to 11. The UCI Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will take place in Laissac (France) on June 25 and 26.
  8. The Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI’s) 2016 season of major mountain bike events will be marked by the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the UCI World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic (for Olympic cross-country – XCO) and Val di Sole, Italy (downhill and four-cross – DHI and 4X), as well as the return of Cairns (Australia) and La Bresse (France) to the World Cup. Click here to view the article
  9. With the curtain coming down on a glittering career, South Africa’s most decorated mountain biker Kevin Evans has taken a more subdued approach in preparation for the upcoming Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Van Gaalen, which doubles up as the 2015 South African Mountain Bike Marathon Championships powered by Stihl on 6 June in the North West province. Click here to view the article
  10. With the curtain coming down on a glittering career Biogen-Volcan star Kevin Evans will take part in one last elite South African Marathon Champs at the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Van Gaalen, which doubles up as the 2015 South African Mountain Bike Marathon Championships powered by Stihl on 6 June. // Photo credit: Dave Macleod/
Gameplan Media. Having raced to a disappointing fourth place at the recent Nedbank sani2c Evans has returned to the Western Cape and is focusing on a couple of the local races in the build up to the national showpiece however it seems that the approach to the event will be different for him in 2015. “To be honest I have just been focusing on the local events at the moment and not really putting too much emphasis on SA Champs,” the Biogen-Volcan star mentioned. “The SA Champs has been more of a focus for Max (Knox) and if I can help him get across the line first this year then I will be happy with my effort.”

 The national marathon title is far from unfamiliar for Evans who has four national championship jerseys in his cabinet but the veteran does not feel that 2015 will be the year to add a fifth to his collection. He has promised he will give the event his best shot even though he does not feel that the conditions in the North West province will be suited to him. “The course is quite punchy and lacks those long climbs that I am stronger on so I don’t think that it provides me with the ideal chance to win and it seems like it is going to be catered better for guys like Max and the other Cross Country guys.

 “It is quite a rough course and I managed to get a third place in a race there last year so realistically I am not going out there and putting pressure on myself to win. Evans understands the prestige that surrounds being a national champion and knows that the motivation of the other riders is going to be high heading into the event. With four South African Marathon MTB titles to his name Biogen-Volcan star Kevin Evans has not set his sights fully on claiming his fifth title at the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Van Gaalen, which doubles up as the 2015 South African Mountain Bike Marathon Championships powered by Stihl on 6 June. // Photo credit: Dave Macleod/
Gameplan Media. “Once you have won the title once people are going to refer to you as an SA Champion. That’s a title that all riders want to their name so it is a huge title to hold and the guys all appreciate that which makes it an even more difficult title to win. 
“I think there have only been three of four different winners over the past eleven years which just shows how much people value it and want to hold on to it! “There will be a number of guys vying for the title this year and with a few guys out of sponsors and that it makes this title even more important because it does add to your brand quite significantly and it ups your value if you are in the market for sponsors,” Evans explained.

 With his announcement that he was to retire from professional riding Evans does not see this SA Champs as his last but feels that it is the right time to move on from the elite level of competition and let the younger riders fight it out for the glory. “I will come back and take part in SA Champs again in the age group categories – my elite racing days are over,” he mentioned adamantly. “I know that I have made the correct decision and I have had a great career and achieved all that I wanted to so it is time for other riders to take up the mantle. Online pre-entries for the 2015 SA MTB Marathon Champs powered by Stihl – which doubles up as the fourth round of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Van Gaalen – are now open and close at 06:00 on Tuesday 2 June 2015. To enter, click here. Late entries will be accepted on the day, with an additional nominal fee of R50. This event is not limited to the championship contenders and is open to the public.
  11. Who cycled the 50 miler and how did you find it? It's a deceiving ride, the first 50 odd km are pretty "easy" and then the animal is unleashed with the mother of all climbs a likened to Karoo to Coast climbs. Enjoyed it, thanks to the organisers.
  12. Sam Bull rocketed to his first ever Nationals downhill MTB cup victory and Danish stars Sebastian Fini and Simon Andreassen captured the 20km and 50km marathon titles respectively as the successful inaugural Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at the Cascades MTB Park drew to an end on Sunday. Click here to view the article
  13. For Fini, who finished fourth in a superb field that contested the men's elite cross country race on Saturday, Sunday's 20km marathon was a fun ride to bring down the curtain on the Danish national team's visit to South Africa. Sam Bull blitzes his final run to claim the national downhill title at the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at the Cascades MTB Park on Sunday. // Photo: craigdutton.com. "I enjoyed the mud! Yesterday we didn't have any mud [during the cross country], so it was nice to have it today," he said. "It has been a good trip. We were in Johannesburg for a week and for a race there, and then we have been in Pietermaritzburg, and I would say it's nicer here in Pietermaritzburg. I was at the Worlds in 2013. Maybe we will come back again. It's a nice course here."

 The super-talented Simon Andreassen, a junior world champion in both cyclocross and mountain biking, claimed victory in the 50km Classic after fighting off the challenge of South African star James Reid on a route that had been soaked by rain the previous evening. "It was very slippery and wet, and very slow rolling because it was so heavy, but I am used to it in Denmark, so it was fine for me," he said. "After 15 minutes, I broke clear of James. In the middle of race, after I took a wrong turn, he caught me again. Before the last downhill, I tried to attack and I managed to break away. It was a lot of fun," he added. The thrilling racing for the national title at the downhill course at the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at the Cascades MTB Park wrapped up just before the rainstorm hit the area on Sunday afternoon. // Photo: craigdutton.com. "Watching Simon is quite interesting because he pedals completely differently to other people. You always learn, even from a guy who is four years younger than me. He has got a technique-orientated style, a very complete pedal stroke, and he is pedalling all the time and keeping momentum," Reid said. With a smile on his face, he continued: "We've got a good crop of [south African] juniors nowadays. It is really good. There were a whole lot that were still with us in Hilton and I didn't know these guys. That was really cool." "To have a world champion standing on the podium today was great, and it just shows that people still think of Pietermaritzburg as a very viable, international venue, which I think is fantastic," event organiser Alec Lenferna weighed in. The elite men's podium after the downhill nationals at the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at the Cascades MTB Park on Sunday, (from left) Tiaan Odendaal, (2nd), Sam Bull (1st) and Tim Bentley (3rd). // Photo: craigdutton.com Multisport star Carla van Huysteen was a runaway winner of the women's title. It was her first time back on a mountain bike since she broke her left wrist nine weeks ago, which caused her some pain on the climbs, but it was something that was not going to stop her. "I'm in Seventh Heaven," she grinned. "It was really messy and muddy. There were some descents where I can't believe I stayed on my bike. It was a really good course, though, very pumpy, hard climbing, lots of it. I don't know what the elevation was, but we ascended a lot. It's just an amazing track." The downhill wrapped up the Festival, just in time to avoid afternoon rain, and it came down to the three final riders racing down the hill. Tim Bentley clocked a 4:39.8 to better Sam Bull's fastest qualifying run of 4:40, but it looked as if reigning national champion Tiaan Odendaal might have wrapped up victory when he slashed a massive eight seconds off of Bentley's time. Bull, however, then ran an astonishing 4:28.7 to steal the win. There were plenty of congratulations offered to the man from Howick after a fine effort. With a satisfied look, almost of disbelief, on his face, Bull said: "It's my first National Cup win. I've won quite a few first race [seeding] runs in Provincials and other races, but I have always been pipped. I have had a lot of second places. "I'm happy to finish three seconds ahead of Tiaan. He and I are the same age. We've battled a lot throughout the years and he was always a step above me coming through the junior ranks; he had raced a bit longer than me. Now I am just stoked to be where I wanted to be, especially at a National level. To tick off a Nationals win is really awesome. I am very happy with that." Lenferna, the man behind numerous top UCI events in Pietermaritzburg, including MTB, BMX, track and road, said he was satisfied with how the Festival had played out. "I think this concept is one that can work. It is something that we will explore going forward. I like the opportunity that it affords for people to watch proper racing, like the elite cross country on Saturday, and then be able to ride today. The idea of being a spectator and a participant is really cool. "The multi-disciplinality of the event was something that was interesting and worth exploring more," he concluded.


 2015 Stihl SA National Downhill Cup #2
 (Cascades, Pietermaritzburg

) 1. Sam Bull 4:28.719
 2. Tiaan Odendaal 4:31.928
 3. Tim Bentley 4:39.852
 4. Andrew Martin 4:42.077
 5. Ryan Frerichs 4:46.438
 6. Christopher Philogene 4:50.551
 7. Andre Pretorius 4:53.801
 8. Kelvin Purchase 4:55.302 9. David Hogan 4:55.519
 10. Shane Martin 5:01.235
  14. I am the proud new owner of a Momsen Vipa. Started building it last night, but hit a snag or two so will only be completed around lunch today. For now build kit looks like this: Size:...........Large Fork:..........RockShox SID XX 100mm, 15mm TA Shock:.......Fox CTD (Stock) Wheelset:..American Classic Tubeless Handlebar: Race Face SixC 725mm Stem:.........Sunline 50mm Brakes:......Avid Elixer Grips:........ODI Groupset...SRAM X0 2x10 Seatpost:...Truvativ Noir Saddle:.....Selle Italia SLR Tires:........Schwalbe Rocket Ron / Racing Ralph TLR Pedals:......XT Trail Weight:.....? Build is a bit of a morph between carry over and what I had in the parts bin. Planned changes 1. Not so sure about the white fork. Will wait and see what it looks like when all is done. Might even go 120mm after this. Will add some playfulness to what will be a XC rocket. 2. Once I do fitment the 50mm stem will go. Will replace with correct length Momsen 3. Again, fitment might see the SixC bar go. To be (most likely) replaced by Momsen Up/Down bar Was nice to see frame comes frame protection and how to guide of what goes where. Not the usual stock stuff either. Sized and pre-cut already. Nice touch. Graphics have been changed slightly from pre-production "Epic" model. Looks even better now. TT graphics are more subtle with only Patrick Morewood's signature on there. Rest of the bike is a study in attention to detail. Thanks again to my LBS Cycle Factory who's building the bike with the love and care it deserves! Frame was delivered at the shop yesterday and they're doing their best to get it ride-rady in time for me to take it on leave with me this afternoon. Big up to them. My (close to) favourite little detail on the frame? Internal routing for a Stealth Dropper! Yes, I will be the guy on the XC start line with flat pedals and a dropper post on my 29er race bike! THREAD INDEX (of sorts) Page 2, Post 29 First Thoughts Page 3, Post 47:OE Shock Chat Page 5, Post 79: Kit notes Page 7, Post 97: After a month in the saddle Page 7, Post 99: Frame Details Page 7, Post 103: Suspension Design Page 8, post 116: 51mm Offset Fork Page 17: Downer Stem and Up / Down Handlebar PIcs: all over the place! Guest Contributor NAMIB@RP Ride Review: Page 5, post 66 & 72 Thoughts on the Vipa compared to his Scott: Page 5, post 76 Page 16: Marius Nasilowski - Showing his VIPA with spec details Page 16: marko35s - Demo Ride Feedback Page 17: Percyzn - Demo ride feedback
  15. The Masters category is fiercely contested and the sponsorship was immediately welcomed by legendary Dutch mountain biker Bart Brentjens, who won the Masters division in this year's Absa Cape Epic. “The Cape Epic is something magical and, as a mountain biker, you have to ride the Absa Cape Epic once in your lifetime. For a lot of riders this happens after they have turned 40 and are in the Masters category." “It’s great that Dimension Data have come on board as the Masters jersey sponsor,” said Bart, who also won the Absa Cape Epic overall in 2005 and has won the Masters category twice. “The category has become more and more competitive. It’s the biggest category and the level of competition is as high as the elite men … just at an older age.” Last week it was announced that Dimension Data had joined the Absa Cape Epic as a headline sponsor. The internationally-renowned IT infrastructure provider will be the Official Technology Partner to the Absa Cape Epic. It will handle all technology and communications aspects related to the race, including supplying equipment, personnel and support to deliver the IT service. Absa Cape Epic founder Kevin Vermaak said: “We’re extremely excited that Dimension Data has come on board as the Official Technology Partner for the Absa Cape Epic. We were looking for a partner with proven capabilities in providing IT communications in environments that require a high level of robustness and reliability." "Dimension Data’s proven pedigree in providing the type of connectivity that we require to take the event to millions of mountain biking enthusiasts around the world through the media made them an obvious choice to deliver this crucial service,” said Vermaak. Derek Wilcocks, Dimension Data's CEO for the Middle East and Africa, said: “This is a race that’s really about the triumph of the human spirit, and as a South African-born company, we have a deep passion for the continent of Africa. This is why we continually invest in initiatives that enable us to accelerate the ambitions of its people.” "Dimension Data particularly looks forward to showcasing how technology can connect participants and fans in real time,” said Wilcocks. "Adventure sports have become a showcase for new media with millions of devoted followers.” The eight-day Absa Cape Epic, staged annually in the Western Cape, has become the world’s foremost mountain bike stage race since the first event in 2004. It attracts the world’s leading professional riders and amateurs keen to test their limits in the rugged Western Cape countryside. Dimension Data will provide Race Village bandwidth and connectivity at all the sites for the media contingent as well as riders, crew, operations and sponsors. This involves providing a seamless service to at least 4000 devices accessing the networks at different route locations over the eight days of the race. The route launch for the 2015 race takes place on 22 October in Cape Town, and the race takes place from 15 – 22 March 2015. For more details visit www.cape-epic.com.
  16. Trek South Africa's James Reid's victory in the recent SA National MTB Marathon Champs has left him deliberating as to whether or not to tackle the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships in Pietermaritzburg. Image credit: Andrew McFadden/Gameplan Media Despite the under-23 cross-country star making no secret of his preference for the Olympic discipline of the sport, Reid surged to victory in the SA National MTB Marathon Championships this past weekend to retain the national title he clinched famously in 2013. The pleasing result has however opened up a subsequent can of worms for the Trek South Africa rider who is now re-evaluating taking on the Worlds’ challenge in less than three weeks’ time. “I’ve been really focusing on cross-country this year and I didn’t expect to be anywhere at SA Marathon Champs really so Worlds certainly wasn’t a consideration at all before this weekend,” explained Reid. “It’ definitely is now after winning Nationals though but it’s a really difficult one!” The decision to compete at the Marathon World Champs is complicated by Reid’s XCO preference. After suffering a disappointing and frustrating 2013 season which saw him slide down the national pecking order, Reid has returned to top form in the first half of this year after stringing some impressive results together on both the national and international cross-country scene. So impressive has Reid’s turnaround been, that many of the MTB fraternity believe he is now once again a strong contender for a spot in Team South Africa who will represent the country at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July. Should this transpire, then Reid is unlikely to risk over-extending himself by competing in the Marathon World Champs in PMB at the end of the month. However the appeal of competing on marathon’s greatest global stage, generated largely by South Africa’s unique marathon thirst, has left the young star’s mind frantically working overtime as he looks to make sense of the maze of scenarios he is faced with. “It was great to win this past weekend, a national title always matters! A lot of titles and races matter but a national one really stands out and in a country that is so marathon-crazy definitely added a special touch!” said Reid. “Cross country is still my focus though and so I’ve got a lot to work through in few days.” “As much as it would be great to race both World Marathon Champs and – if I am selected – then Commonwealth Games too, it just isn’t realistic to think that you can be on top of your game and peak for both events.” The situation is further complicated by Reid’s uncertainty of whether he has in fact even qualified to participate in the global showcase. “I wasn’t able to ride in the World Marathon Series events in Sabie or Clarens as I was racing overseas and so I couldn’t qualify that way and I’m not sure if this [victory at SA National MTB Marathon Champs] even qualifies me!” said a bemused Reid. “There is lots to consider and there are two selections – the first being Commonwealth Games and the second Marathon World Champs – so I’ll obviously be in contact with Cycling South Africa quite a bit over the next few days to try and establish what their thinking is, where I stand regarding both events and then try work out what the best option for me is.” Reid, who crossed the line ahead of Kargo Pro MTB’s Rourke Croeser and FedGroup ITEC’s Kevin Evans, was surprised to have clinched the victory, especially after a mechanical in the early part of the race saw him someway off the pace however believed the cross-country nature of the route played a role as well. “It’s funny how often these things come about when you’re not overly expectant. I just took every step one at a time and it was a real blessing to win!” said Reid. “When I broke my chain after 13km I thought that was my race over. Fortunately I managed to catch back up by about 25km or so but even so I thought the extra work I’d had to do to catch up would catch up with me a little later in the race.” “I think the course really suited me though. It was really punchy, fast rolling, rough and raw, had a lot of climbing and heaps of singletrack – very much like cross-country. We even came down one part of the World Cup cross-country course itself! “Rourke (Croeser) and I worked really well together when we got away but when he started dipping just a little I knew I had to go for it on my own. “I basically did exactly what I did last year though – I waited for the final bit of single track and then looked to use my cross-country skills as best I could.” Regardless of the final pathway he eventually follows in the coming six weeks, many a South African MTB supporter will be hoping all falls into place and works out favourably for both Reid himself and the nation as a whole. The UCI MTB Marathon World Championships takes place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on 29 June 2014. More information can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za
  17. Freshly re-crowned national marathon champion, James Reid is faced with a tough conundrum of decisions ahead of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships which take place in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 29 June. Click here to view the article
  18. Race Coordinator Andrew van Rensburg, Event Director Alec Lenferna and globally renowned Course Designer Nick Floros soak up the view of Hilton College Nature Reserve and Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, both of which form part of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships course. Image credit: Kyle Gilham/Gameplan Media Floros and his team are hard at work as they look to wrap things up ahead of the SA MTB Marathon Championships on 7 and 8 June, which will serve as an ideal dry-run for the internationally renowned designer’s creation. “We’ve been working on the course a lot over the past couple of weeks as we look to get things into shape ahead of SA Champs. We are trying our hardest to ensure the full Worlds course is what is used at SA Champs,” explained Floros. “This has been one of the toughest courses I’ve had to put together because it goes through so many different properties however it really will be a fantastic course with such great diversity, features and views!” he added. Starting and finishing at Cascades MTB Park, the course is split into two sections. A 74km first loop and a 21km second loop. The global spectacle’s men’s race will see participants tackle both loops while the women’s title will be decided over the first 74km only. “This is a World Championships and so the standard of the course is obviously at this sort of technical level,” said Floros. “The 95km route includes 3300m of climbing in total and the nature of the climbing, being short and sharp, tends to eat into your legs. “Those who aren’t right on top of their game may be okay in the first loop but they’ll really struggle in the 21km loop!” he warned. The 74km loop takes riders through numerous different ecosystems with the game reserve stretches already being of particular interest. “The first sector of the 74km loop is a 7km stretch through Cascades’ forests and will see riders tackle some forest track, a couple of shortish stretches of single track and one or two sharp climbs before they head up to feed/tech zone one “The forest track allows riders to overtake before they head into the single track stretches while the climbs will see riders jostling for position. A visit to Queen Elizabeth Park is riders’ first game experience of the route before the tough climb up to the Mount Verde estate. “The first climb isn’t steep but the steady gradient will be a good challenge,” said Floros. “The second feed/tech zone is inside Mount Verde before a playful descent should entertain the guys and girls a bit.” “After feed/tech zone three riders head towards Hilton College where the Hilton College Nature Reserve trails offer some typical South African game trail riding. “We’ve had to do very little to these trails as they are used daily by the animals of the reserve!” Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve represents yet another standout feature of the course with spectacular views and a potentially race-defining climb on the cards. “Riders will climb for 20 to 25 minutes on a wide open road so there’s nothing technical about it but it will definitely allow the bigger guys to get into a bit of a rhythm! The return journey towards Cascades contours along Otto’s Bluff before some single track, farm roads and forest track return riders to Mt. Verde. “The views from Mount Verde of the city of Pietermaritzburg, Albert Falls Dam and the Greytown/New Hanover area are incredible! “Riders then head through the start gate of the World Cup downhill course, do a loop of the Hilltop trail before heading past the Umgeni Water waterworks, onto Warwick Road and through the final feed/tech zone of the first loop. A dash down through Cascades’ forests will be fast and furious, particularly for the women who then head for the finish line at the bottom of the hill. For the men, once through the start/finish arch, the second loop has a strong cross country feel to it with numerous descents, none longer than 1000 metres, and frequent short, sharp climbs. “English Road single track – from last year’s Masters World Champs – Forgotten Trail, Muzzlehouts, Fast and Fluffy single track, Bandits Bend, Vandals Valley and Growing Parks are just some of the many features of this short, testing second loop. “A final 1.5km stretch of road then heads into a short single track section and the finish straight where it will be flat out the whole way until the finish line!” added Floros. The UCI MTB Marathon World Championships takes place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on 29 June 2014. More information can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.zaUCI MTB MARATHON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS COURSE DESCRIPTION LOOP ONE (74km) The start/finish line at Cascades is in the same place as it was on the cross country course at this year’s World Cup in April. The riders head up the start/finish straight towards the base of Red Face Hill. Just before they get to the base they turn right, past the bottom of Rapid Rocks rock garden, over the bottom of the World Cup downhill finish area and onto a forest road. The course’s first 7km contour through Cascades’ forests and has a couple of 200-300m stretches of single track as well as some short, sharp climbs – each about 250m long – and eventually brings the riders to the first feed/tech zone. After the first feed/tech zone the riders cross over Nonsuch Road, head into Queen Elizabeth Park and climb for 800-1000m before going through the Queen Elizabeth Park nursery which sees the riders get to the start of the first long climb of the course. This climb takes riders through a private farm and into Mt. Verde. Inside Mt. Verde, riders reach the second feed/tech zone and then face the first real downhill which heads through a few valleys to the Mt. Verde exit point and up the biggest climb of the course thus far, up through a private farm, onto the D494 and to feed/tech zone 3. After feed/tech zone 3 riders start a long descent down to feed/tech zone 4 and on towards Hilton College Estate. Riders have a short portage into the Hilton College Estate before they get onto the game trails of the Hilton College Nature Reserve. The course then winds down to the bottom of the valley and riders head into Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve which brings one of the biggest climbs of the course and sees the riders make their way out of the valley. After exiting Hilton College, riders go into another private farm and through to feed/tech zone 5. After feed/tech zone 5 riders go over the D494 again, into another private farm and back into Mt. Verde’s reserve where they wind their way down to the bottom of Mt. Verde’s reserve to another of the day’s bigger climbs . The end of the climb starts a section of contour riding around to Otto’s Bluff before some farm track, forest track and single track takes riders through to feed/tech zone 6. Some more farm and forest track leads to the World Cup downhill course start where riders go through the downhill start gate and do a loop through to the Hilltop trail . From the Hilltop trail the course heads past the Umgeni Water waterworks, onto Warwick Road and through to feed/tech zone 7. Between feed/ tech zone 7 and the start/finish line is the single track Hairpin Descent and Brian’s Gums before riders head into the dual track above the Amphitheatre, go under the crossover bridge used in the World Cup cross country course and back towards the start/finish line where the women finish and the men begin the second, 21km loop. LOOP TWO (21km) Once through the start/finish line – completing the first 74km loop – the men head back out towards Red Face Hill to begin the second, 21km loop. After the same first 500m as loop one, the men turn right, go under the crossover bridge, head up the World Cup cross country track for 800m and go up English road single track. This is followed by a climb up to Forgotten Trail, Blackjack Socks, Muzzlehout and then Fast and Fluffy single track before riders descend down to an extraction road, climb up to above Muzzlehout, descend down Bandits Bend, head through Vandals Valley, Growing Parks, under two bridges and around the back of Sheraton. As the men make their way through the final stages of the race there is a 1.5km forest road stretch before a short section of single track and the final section into the home straight.
  19. The buzz ahead of the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships continues to build in KwaZulu-Natal’s capital as course designer Nick Floros and his team make the final tweaks to the widely anticipated route for of the global showcase. Click here to view the article
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