Sani stage three showdown

2012-05-19 00:00

ANOTHER first for sani2c is the introduction of a third edition to the race, the sani2c Trail.

Combined with the sani2c Adventure and the sani2c Race, this makes the three-day MTB stage the biggest of its kind in the world with over 2 200 competitors taking on the manicured trails between Underberg and Scottburgh.

With the trail having finished in Scottburgh on Thursday and the Adventure yesterday, today will see the race winners emerge at the end of stage three.

It will be an interesting showdown between defending champion Max Knox and his Nambian partner, Mannie Heymans, JoBerg2c winners Kevin Evans and David George, 2011 runners-up Neil MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock and top KZN marathon rider Brandon Stewart and partner Darren Lill.

The three-day event started at Underberg School this week and took riders to McKenzie Country Club in Ixopo.

Day two comprised the toughest stage through the Umkomaas Valley to finish at Jolivet Farm over 97 km,

Day three covers 73 km of mostly downhill racing through to the finish at Scottburgh High School.

The event has attracted a range of participants — from the country’s best to those looking for a challenging three days on a mountain bike. Veteran rugby heroes Gary Teichmann, Joel Stransky and Cabous van der Westhuizen are part of a 14-man Rugby Legends team that took part in the race.

The race is about more than blood, sweat and mud. Figures for the 2011 event show that R5,2 million was paid directly to beneficiaries in surrounding communities, R40 million was gained in tourism spend and, according to Tourism SA, 2 850 community workers were employed before and during the race. Twenty-three charities, schools and environmental groups in nine communities received direct and indirect benefits from the race. Organisers expect revenue from this year’s event to be even higher.

MTB Nationals in PE next weekend

Those in the hunt for Mountain Bike Nationals championship points will make their way to the Eastern Cape for the third leg of the CSA-MTB National Cup Series taking place next weekend (May 26-27). Local riders and trail builders, under the watchful eye of event organiser Brad Jackson of Mountain Events, have been hard at work constructing exciting trails and tracks, with the added bonus that both the cross-country (XCO) and downhill (DHI) tracks are close to each other at the Hayterdale Trails, situated at the bottom of the Zuurberg Pass near Addo.

The XCO course is at the bottom of the Zuurberg Pass and the start of the DHI course at the top of the pass, with the finish line within 300 m of the XCO start/finish area.

Those who participated in the annual Herald VW MTB Challenge will have an idea of what the course consists of, but those approaching unfamiliar territory can be assured that the Addo area boasts some of the best mountain biking trails in the Eastern Cape.

The Husqvarna MTB Classic takes place tomorrow morning from the Mid-Illovo club. The following events are on offer: the 40 km Husqvarna Classic, 18 km Gwahumbe family fun ride, 10 km MTB kids race and 18 km and eight kilometre iNsingizi Trails Runs. Entries and further info: www.roag.co.za

A new and exciting event on the MTB calendar is the Intaba Ridge MTB Classic and Trail Runs next Saturday.

Intaba Ridge is a private game estate situated just outside Pietermaritzburg in the scenic Bisley valley. Mountain bikers and trail runners have the opportunity to discover some virgin trails, freshly prepared by master track builder Jan Abbott of Clearwater Trails.

Participants have the choice of a five kilometre/10 km trail run starting at 7 am or the 40 km, 20 km or 10 km MTB rides which start from 9 am. Salomon T-shirts go to the first 100 entries received in the 40 km MTB race. Entries on www.roag.co.za and more info at www.maxcluer.com

Sunday, May 27, is the Compendium MTB derby, which takes place from the Shongweni Polo Club in Hillcrest. The standard three events on offer are the 40 km, 20 km and 10 km. No late entries will be accepted on the day and pre-entries close on May 23. T-shirts to the first 800 entries, medal to all finishers. Further details: www.roag.co.za

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