The Ride & Run Darling MTB race report

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The day started very crisply, for Ride & Run Darling. (Photo: Stefan Hurter)
The day started very crisply, for Ride & Run Darling. (Photo: Stefan Hurter)

April means autumn and the best time for mountain biking in the Western Cape.

With cooler temperatures, lower winds and later starts, autumn is a great time to stack your training riders – and participate in events.

The Living Colour venue hosted its Ride & Run Darling on Saturday.

mountain bike West Coast
Living Colour has established itself as a West Coast activity, in only a few short months. (Photo: Stefan Hurter)

There's a lot more to Darling than wine 

Launched in late 2021, this venue brings a comprehensive outdoor activity offering for the entire family.

Kids can ride the pump track and parents can catch-up on some remote work after a ride. There are showers to freshen-up too, if you need to keep commitments with a social appointment directly after your ride or race.

mountain bike Darling
Riders enjoying the social aspect at Living Colour. (Photo: Stefan Hurter)

It started cool

Located on the Wolwefontein farm, Living Colour welcomed riders with some rather frosty West Coast temperatures for registration.

When riders were in their start chute for the main event, sunlight had cleared the mountain ridgelines and warmed the valley. Lightweight jerseys were discarded, and water bottles checked, as the temperatures went from cool to warm in a matter of minutes.

Darling mountain bike
Young riders were present, too, riding with parents. (Photo: Stefan Hurter)

Race distances for everyone 

Riders had the option of three routes for the Ride & Run mountain bike event.

There was a 14km route for kids and riders of humble fitness. Mountain bikers who wanted to spin the legs but not deal with some technical singletrack descending could opt for the 33km option.

Wolwefontein’s most rewarding trails featured on the full 55km race route, which totalled 1150m of climbing and touched on all the best riding around Darling.

mountain bike
With mountain biking, age is but a number. (Photo: Stefan Hurter) (Photo: Stefan Hurter)

Showing the best of West Coast riding 

Riders of the 55km route were treated to flowing and natural singletrack descents, textured with some rocky sections – to test bike skills and suspension set-up.

A total of 90 mountain bikers took on the 55km Ride & Run Darling challenge. Tony Cornwall took the win (02:25.04), followed by Du Toit van den Bergh (02:27:56) and Stewart Francomb (02:31:16).

Zandri van Jaarsveld won the women’s 55km race and finished an impressive fifth overall (02:32:50).  

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