Karkloof Trail Blazer a scorcher

2010-12-04 00:00

THE Mr Price Karkloof Trail Blazer presented some unprecedented trail riding in the Karkloof Valley last weekend.

Racing at the front of the pack in the 45 km was fierce, and with limited space to overtake due to the kilometres of single track, position was key in dictating the race.

Greig Knox, the overall winner in two hours eight minutes 31 seconds, was pushed hard in the initial stage of the race by up-and-coming south coast multisporter Justin Porteous, whom he ended up beating by two minutes, 10 seconds.

Third place went to Darryn Purtell on the same time as Porteous.

“It was a superb course, and it was great to be back racing hard again,” said Knox, the young man who spent much of his time growing up in Underberg.

The women’s field was led home by Jenni Soutar in 2:40:31, followed by multisporters Sue Chapman (2:41:27) and Kerry Koen (2:44:04).

The Karkloof Valley has established itself as one of the prime riding areas in South Africa now, with two quality events and a year-round facility available to riders.

Just over 800 riders turned out for either the 45 km single-track challenge or the family-orientated 20 km ride.

The longer distance event is based around a superb single track experience.

Small batches and a heap of manicured track, including the now infamous “gauntlet” section, welcomed riders on a balmy day in the Karkloof.

Frankie du Toit and Catherine Lund were the respective men’s and women’s winners of the 20 km ride.

The parent event, the Karkloof Classic (SA’s biggest mountain bike festival which takes place in April, 2011) has funded the employment of a full-time track building and maintenance team under the guidance of downhill rider and local farmer Hylton Turvey,.

After this past weekend it is clear that the events investment is more than paying off.



The annual Sani Transfrontier Epic takes place from Sani Pass Hotel, Underberg, tomorrow morning. Two race distances are the 42 km (to the top) or 26 km (turn at first border post). The race starts at 9 am and registration is open from 7 am. More info at www.roag.co.za

• The final event on the MTB calendar is the Hewlett Packard Urban Rage MTB Assault Race presented by Jeep Apparel, which takes place next weekend.

Taking place at uShaka Marine World, Durban Point Waterfront, the unique HP Urban Rage appeals to a wide spectrum of cycling disciplines and is the only format in which the downhill, cross-country and marathon mountain bikers, BMXes and even the odd (daring) road rider, can get together and compete against each other on the same stage.

An exciting introduction this year is the two-day format to allow partici­pants to make maximum use of the purpose-built course.

Saturday’s events include the new Enduro, which caters for individuals over a two-hour format and teams over a four-hour format, and will be the perfect opportunity for the competitive riders to get in tune with the course ahead of Sunday’s all-out racing for the grand Super-Cat title.

Sunday sees the Teams of 2 (Cool Cats) and Individuals (Alley Cats) competing in a heat format to qualify for the finals.

This is a high-energy, very spectator-friendly event with easy access points throughout the course.

The ever-popular Kitty Cat Race, especially for the youngsters (U10), takes place first thing on the Saturday morning. Entries and further information at www.urbanrage.co. za.

• The Ola Milky Lane Virginia Farm MTB and Run on December 12 promises to be a huge amount of fun.

The organisers have built some fantastic purpose-made track on the farm, near Eston and Mid Illovo, scene of some fantastic MTB events.

The event caters for all with a 40 km for the fitter riders, 18 km for the social crowd, and a 10 km of two five-kilometre loops for the less adventurous.

Registration starts at 5 am, with the trail run setting off at 6 am. The MTB starts at 8.30 am to beat the heat. For info, go to www.virginia farm.co.za or www.roag.co.za for entries.



The final race of the Compendium Multi Series takes place tomorrow morning at Suncoast Casino.

Over 400 triathletes and duathletes will take their starting positions on Durban’s beach front for the final Olympic distance event in the popular series.

This event is the pinnacle of the four-event series, which offers a prize purse of R30 000 in cash to the winners.

Teams or individuals can compete in either a triathlon (swim, cycle, run) or duathlon (run, cycle, run). There is also the Rookie Triathlon, which is a shorter distance event for new competitors, which is open at anyone over eight.

Entrants must register at the Suncoast Sundeck between 5.30 am and 6.30 am tomorrow .

• Inquiries: B-Active Sports at 031 564 4062 or www.bactive.biz

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