Stage is set for Karkloof Classic

2014-05-10 00:00

NEAR perfect cool and dry conditions look set to greet participants of the 2014 Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB Festival at the Karkloof Country Club this weekend as thousands gear up for a bumper weekend of mountain biking action, which started last night.

The three-day festival, the largest of its kind in South Africa, has plenty to offer all ages and abilities and got underway yesterday with the 20 km Peri Night Race which, together with today’s STIHL Karkloof Enduro, adds great variety to the weekend’s programme.

Tomorrow’s main day of action commences with the feature race of the festival, the 60 km Sappi Karkloof Marathon, and will see Trek SA’s Brendon Davids eager to defend the title he claimed last year.

Davids will, however, face stiff opposition in the form of fellow cross country specialists and Kargo pro MTB team-mates Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker while Cannondale Blend’s Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock as well as TIB Insurance’s Andrew Hill will be hoping their ultra-marathon base will serve them well in their top three challenges.

Chasing the pre-race front bunch favourites are likely to be the likes of Quattro’s Tyron Bird, who makes a welcome return to competitive racing after his horrific crash at the recent UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, and Bird’s stage race partner Tyrone White while a[s]g PYcycling’s Alan Hatherly will undoubtedly be a factor in the junior boys’ clash and a top 10 hopeful.

The women’s race sees a welcome return to the Kar­kloof region for Time Freight VELOlife’s Candice Neethling who will be out to reclaim the title she won in 2012.

Neethling will, however, have the tough task of fending off team-mate Bianca Haw and 2013 women’s title winner, USN/Hi-TEC’s Jeannie Dreyer.

Despite the late withdrawal from the race by Sasol Racing’s Ischen Stopforth due to illness, the women’s field still enjoys great depth with the likes of Coffeeberry VELO-life’s Natalie Bergstrom, Pure Adventure Wear VELOlife’s Neden Cahill as well as Enviroshore’s Brenda Potts all likely to be in the mix.

Riders and spectators can follow news and developments via the event’s Facebook page (Karkloof Mountain Bike Club) or on Twitter (@KarkloofMTB). More info can also be found at

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