Burry Stander worried about cross-country series

2011-06-25 00:00

Burry Stander (Specialized USN), a multiple South African and African mountain bike racing champion and London Olympics medal contender, comfortably won the final round of the SA Cross-country National Series at Rietvlei Farm in Alberton last weekend. After having missed the first three rounds of the country’s most prestigious cross-country series, Stander, currently ranked fourth in the world, had no chance of challenging for the series title.

His reason for competing was purely to add some prestige to the event and help boost cross-country racing in South Africa. Philip Buys (Garmin Adidas), who finished second behind Stander at the weekend, claimed the overall Elite Men’s National Series title. But with fewer than 20 South Africans competing in the 2011 Elite men’s category in the series, Stander’s concerns for his favourite discipline appear warranted. “The National Series is meant to be the pinnacle of domestic cross-country racing. But there doesn’t seem to be much focus on this by SA MTB,” said Stander afterwards, adding that he worries “a lot about cross-country, the only Olympic discipline in mountain biking, and its struggle on a national level”.

Enduro wrap:

CYCLING South Africa has proudly announced that the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships has been awarded to South Africa. This was confirmed last week in a meeting of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) management committee held in Holland recently.

It will be the first time that Africa will be hosting the event, which will determine the MTB world champion across the three mountain biking disciplines of Olympic cross-country, downhill and four-cross for 2013. Professional MTB racing has about seven to 10 “World Cup” events each year in each of which a rider has the opportunity to score UCI points leading to a complete World Cup Series tally and potential World Cup Series title; whereas there is only one World Championship event each year, giving the riders only one chance at one event to be crowned a World Champion in that year.

Like the 2011 triple events held in Pietermaritzburg in April, the 2012 World Cup and 2013 World Championships will once again be triple events, consisting of Olympic cross-country, downhill, and four-cross racing. The 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series will comprise 10 events in nine countries on three continents. There will be seven rounds for each of the traditional mountain bike disciplines: Olympic cross-country, downhill and four-cross.

The 2012 cup will also see the introduction of the cross-country eliminator, in which several rounds will go towards a final ranking.

Unlimited Dusi Mfula this weekend:

The Unlimited Dusi Mfula — a two day mountain bike stage race that follows the route of well-known The Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon — takes place this weekend.

The 116 km route will challenge and excite riders as they chase the great Msunduzi River from Pietermaritzburg into the Valley of a Thousand Hills, following cattle and foot paths, crossing rivers, plunging down deep ravines, climbing strenuous hills and much more.

Many parts of the route are accessible only once a year due to special arrangements with land owners. The race format is two-rider teams in one of three different categories: men, women and mixed.

The first day of the challenge covers 74 km through the Mamba Gorge as well as new trails on the left bank of Inanda Dam, with a finishing point at the Inanda Msinsi Resort. The 42 km route of the second stage starts at Inanda Msinsi, climbing steeply out of the basin before bombing back down to the dam wall.

A last climb leads up to the Inanda Dam Table Mountain for a breathtaking view of the entire valley before plummeting to the finish at the Inanda Msinsi Resort.

Multisport

The Time Freight Multisport Series gets under way at Albert Falls Dam tomorrow morning. Participants choose between the Multisport and the Multix events. The full course comprises a five-kilometre trail run, 20 km MTB and five-kilometre paddle. The short course is made up of a 2,5 km trail run, 10 km MTB and 2,5 km paddle.

The Multix caters for the non-paddlers and comprises a five-kilometre trail run, 20 km MTB and 2,5km trail run. It also offers a half-distance event. The Kids’ Multisport Dash is aimed at youngsters between the ages of seven and 11.

Registration is from 7 to 8.45 am, with the long course events starting at 9 am and the short course at 9.30 am. The Kids’ Multisport Dash takes place at 12.30 pm followed by prize giving at 1 pm.

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