Top-class field likelyat HP Urban Rage

2009-12-05 00:00

THE second Hewlett Packard Urban Rage MTB Assault race presented by Jeep Apparel takes place at uShaka Marine World next Saturday.

While official racing for the season is finished, the HP Urban Rage is an event with a difference and has attracted top riders from around the country.

SA’s Olympian and World U23 MTB Champion Burry Stander will spice things up in the men’s field along with Belgian Xterra athlete Jim Thijs.

Defending Super Cat Champions Philip Buys and Candice Neethling will be back to take on a hungry field. Although Buys has gone into rest mode before the start of the new season, he cannot resist the excitement of the HP Urban Rage, saying the highlight for him is racing down the stairs into the aquarium in a unique opportunity to race past the shark tanks at full throttle.

Some major upsets may come from juniors Luke Roberts, Travis Walker and Brendon Davids while last year’s podium — Craig Paul (second), Roan Exelby (third), Nico Pfitzenmaier (fourth) and Andrew Warr (fifth) — will keep the heat on at the front of the field.

Third at the MTB World Championship in the Junior Women, Neethling has matured into a classy rider and is sure to dominate the women’s Super Cat final. Hungarian Xterra athlete Eszter Erdelyi Cluer, now focused on mountain biking and having recently won the MTB National Series 50 Miler, will be giving it her all in an attempt to topple the young speedster. Look out for Amy-Jane Mundy and Melanie Palframan, who will add depth to the women’s race.

With R50 000 in prize money on offer for the top 10 men and top five women Super Cat finalists, the competition is sure to be thrilling over the two-kilometre spectator-friendly course. Event organisers Max Cluer Sports Marketing have been hard at work, creating some mind-blowing obstacles never before seen in SA mountain biking. Names such as radius bridge, skinny bridge, stair ladder, bunny-hop lane, table top, traffic calmer and several water bridges and burms make up the 28 features of the testing 2km circuit.

For spectators, various vantage points are all within easy access of the start/finish arena. Entertainment aplenty will be provided, if not by the riders then by the Hewlett Packard Gig Rig with 5FM presenters Grant and Annele doing promos and give-aways throughout the day. Not overlooking the many attractions available at uShaka Marine World and Durban Point Waterfront.

Various Categories ensure everyone is catered for, from the Kitty Cats, Cool Cats (teams of two), Corporate Cats (teams of three) and the Alley Cats (individuals) who become the Super Cats in the final at the end of the day. The Kitty Cat race caters for youngsters on a special course through uShaka Marine World. Kids’ entry fee of R50 includes entry to uShaka Marine World for one child and both parents for the whole day, as well as T-shirts to the first 50 entries and Nestle handouts on completion of their race. Entries close at 5 pm on Thursday. For entries and all event details log on to www.urbanrage.co.za or contact the race office at 033 386 0815

Being a Saturday, the event is an ideal opportunity for participants and supporters alike to join in the festivities and fantastic facilities available at uShaka Marine World throughout the day.

The event will culminate in a big MTB party after the Super Cats final with slides open in the Wet ’n Wild Park until 10 pm.

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