The U is a singletrack heaven MTB event

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Probably the best ‘real’ mountain biking of any local stage race event (Photo: The U)
Probably the best ‘real’ mountain biking of any local stage race event (Photo: The U)
  • This Piketberg race is a true test of riding skill
  • It also gives participants access to some of the country’s most exclusive trails
  • You have three accommodations options, from utiliarians tents to glamping

Do you know The U? No, it’s not a new music group. Or social media app.

The U is one of South Africa’s most exclusive mountain bike events. Using the renowned Piket-Bo-Berg trail network, The U offers an abundance of singletrack for the purist mountain biker.

Unlike many other events, The U route features a majority of singletrack - both climbing and descending.

The U is ideal for riders who value technical trail riding and inspiring views in a pristine environment.

stage race
The riding is tight and technical, which should please committed mountain bikers (Photo: The U)

Tougher and more rewarding - than the numbers suggest

The race starts with a seeding prologue, covering 15km and 200m of climbing. Although the event’s stages don’t feature huge distances, the riding is highly technical, with a significant percentage of climbing and elevation gain.

Riders will climb over 55km on the first stage, climbing 1400m, with the second and final stage covering 57km and 1100km of elevation.

With its undulating nature and technical singletrack, this is one South African stage race where a dropper seatpost is definitely recommended.

Organisers have capped the entry numbers at only 200 riders, for this fifth edition of The U, which is scheduled for the last weekend of September.

mountain bike
The U routes through some of South Africa’s most inspiring mountain biking terrain (Photo: The U)

Standard and luxury accomodation

The U is an all-inclusive event, which includes all meals, drinks and snacks for the weekend. A standard team entry, with two-person tented accommodation, is R17000. Solo riders pay R9500.

Upgrade to the luxury entry option, with a more spacious four-man standing tent and some convenience amenities, for R23000 (or R15500 as a solo rider).

If you like comprehensive privacy, with dedicated parking and ablutions, the deluxe accommodation option has a glamping tent configuration at R25 000.

Stage race events have become an unpredictable investment during the pandemic. Organisers are mindful of this and if The U is cancelled, riders are guaranteed a full refund of their entry fee.

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