It’s all systems go for the Rainbow Challenge

2014-02-04 00:00

CYCLING South Africa has finalised details of the ground-breaking Rainbow Challenge Series that will afford veteran and masters age group mountain bikers the chance to compete for the Rainbow Challenge jersey on the day before the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg.

The series organisers have finalised all four qualifying events, with one in each major MTB region of the country, with the recent addition of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge as the qualifier in the Western Cape, to supplement qualifiers in Gauteng (The Cradle Mountain Trophy), KwaZulu-Natal (Sappi Karkloof Classic) and Mpumalanga (Sappi Mankele MTB Challenge).

“We are thrilled to have secured four prominent events that will serve as the qualifiers for riders keen to contest the Rainbow Challenge jerseys on the day before the elites ride at the UCI MTB Marathon World Champs,” said series co-ordinator Alec Lenferna.

“Based on the thriving UWCT Final for road cyclists, and the Masters competitions before the 2013 MTB Cross Country and Downhill World Champs, we are expecting an enthusiastic response from the local riders.”

Lenferna said the rules for the series had been ratified and uploaded to the Rainbow Series website, with an effort to make qualification as simple as possible. “To qualify, all you need to do is enter and complete the long ride at any one of the qualifying events.”

He added that any rider who had competed in last year’s Masters World Championships, together with any international rider, would be exempt from the qualification process and would automatically be allowed to enter the Rainbow Challenge Final.

Should riders not wish to or be unable to compete in any of the series qualifier events, but still wish to compete in the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships, they may still do so but they will be exempt from competing in the Rainbow Challenge competitions at the World Championships and will start after all Rainbow Challenge competition groups have started.

Lenferna added that seeding in each age category start group would be afforded to current age group world champions and national champions, after which riders will be called up in the order in which they entered.

“Our domestic MTB scene is heavily skewed towards marathon racing, with some of the finest one-day and stage races in the world that attract riders from across the globe,” said GM of Cycling South Africa Mike Bradley.

Rainbow Series Calendar of Events

Qualifiers

Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge, March 2, www.mtbchallenge.co.za

Sappi Mankele MTB Challenge, March 22, www.mankele.co.za

Cradle Mountain Trophy, April 12-13, www.mountain-trophy.co.za

Sappi Karkloof Classic, May 9-11,

www.karkloofmtb.co.za

Rainbow Challenge Final

June 28, Cascades MTB Park, Pietermaritzburg

More information on www.rainbowseries.co.za.

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