Mountain bike enthusiasts head to Hluhluwe this weekend

2013-07-20 00:00

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Mountain biking action this weekend takes place at the Hluhluwe Rugby Club for the third event in the MiWay Big 5 Series. The RIS Hluhluwe Rhino Charge comprises three race distances; 50 km (starting at 9 am), the 25 km (9.15 am) and the 10 km (9.30 am). Registration and late entries will be open from 6 am to 8 am. Further info on www.big5mtb.co.za.

One of KZN’s favourite races — the seventh event in the MTN National Marathon Series, takes place in Hilton next Sunday (July 28). The event plays host to SA’s top riders fighting it out for honours in the MTN National Marathon Series once again. Variety is the name of the game with spectacular views over the Albert Falls Dam and the Umgeni Valley. The spectacular Hilton College estate serves as the start/finish venue, offering huge trees with open grass for spectators to relax while waiting for the winners to race through the finish. For riders there are showers at the sports centre and medals for finishers.

The route comprises 55% forests, 15% sugar cane, 20% farmland, five percent thornveld, with less than one percent on public roads. The complete range of MTB riders will be catered for with rides to suit their fitness and ability with the MTN National Ultra-Marathon (100 km), the MTN National Marathon (75 km), the Nissan National Half-Marathon (40 km) and the BuyCycle Farm Ride (20 km) as well as the Advendurance 10 km Fun Ride. Entries and further info on www.advendurance.co.za.

The Stihl Ingeli Forest Lodge MTB Classic takes place from Ingeli Lodge next Sunday. This event takes place on a well-marked track in peak condition. It runs from the foot-hills of the Ingeli mountains through indigenous forests and down to the pine and gum plantations of the local farms.

The 45 km ride features 18 to 20 km of superb single track with various obstacles such as a magnificent floating bridge; “spaghetti junction”, where two tracks converge into one; and the “playground”, consisting of loops and ramps.

The 30 km Intermediate Ride consists of a portion of the 45 km ride through breathtaking scenic views. The eight kilometre Fun Walk/Ride takes competitors through the tranquil forest, along scenic trails. Entries on www.roag.co.za.

Next up. It’s the oldest of its kind in South Africa and it happens once a year. It changes people’s lives. It is the fourteenth Imana Wild Ride.

As the full moon waxes on Monday, 160 mountain biking adventurers will make the pilgrimage between the Great Kei River and the Umngazi River, a journey of four days and some 200 km of some of the most spectacular coastline anywhere in the world.

The race at the front of the field will undoubtedly be led by a new team combination of Warren Price and Nick Floros (Team Safire). Price is the defending champion, having clocked a record time last year with his partner Craig Stone. Floros holds the most wins, taking the race honours between 2007 and 2010. They will be a hard match to beat.

But do not discount the likes of Craig Woods, who is back with a new partner Tim Osrin (Team Harvest Foundation). One team to watch out for is that of Siya Njiva and Siphamandla Mtshali (the Imana Boyz), both of whom have Cape Epic credentials. Njiva has ridden the last two Imana Wild Rides and is passionate about the race.

MULTISPORT

The third and final event in the Varsity College Multisport Series takes place at a new venue at Eston Club on August 11 (this has changed from Albert Falls Dam as originally advertised). The full course MULTI-X comprises a five kilometre trail run, 20 km MTB and 2,5 km trail run while the short course is made up of a 2,5 km trail run, 10 km MTB and one kilometre trail run. The stand alone trail run options (five kilometre /15km) and Mountain Bike races (40 km/20 km/10 km) are again on offer for those who prefer to concentrate on one discipline.

Entries and further information on www.maxcluer.com.

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