The third round of the Madibaz MTB XCO Series will present riders with an opportunity to try their hand at a challenging new course at the Nelson Mandela University in George on Sunday. Race director Jan Venter said the track, used in the opposite direction last year, was one that would allow participants to test their skills to the limit.
“The race is going to take place in and around the surrounding plantations, so there’s going to be a lot of single-track,” he said. He said there were lots of exposed roots in the forested areas, which would make it difficult to build momentum.
“It means the riders will have to work continuously,” said Venter, who explained they also needed to contend with tight corners, drop-offs and a gap jump. “It’s a track we’ve used in past years, but this time we’re running it in reverse,” he said. “It might make it a little bit tougher.”
He described it as a “tricky” course that could lead to exciting racing as the top contenders looked to gain an edge over their competition. Poor weather during the second round of the series in June means riders who want to challenge for overall series honours have to compete in the final two events.
“It put a spanner in the works because we could only race the nippers and sprogs,” said Venter. “The older groups will now have to take part in both of the last two races to qualify for series honours.” Fewer rounds also meant that the competition would be closer and he felt that most of the categories would go down to the wire. The series opener in April attracted more than 100 entries and, with promising weather in the offing, Venter expected another good turnout this weekend. “The first event went well, we had lots of riders. The weather looks great for this weekend so I think we’ll be on track again.”
Registration starts at 7am with racing getting under way at 9am. The final round of the series will take place on October 29.
Nippers – Roy Fraser-Mackenzie and Gita Hildebrand
Sprogs – Neil Erasmus and Mienke Boshoff
Junior boys and girls – Julian Bunge and Sorina Venter
Youth – Tristan Nortje and Charlissa Schultz
Junior men and women – Adriaan Venter and Britney Wilmans
U23 – Brandon Williams and Jean-Marié Roelofse
Elite women – Robyn de Groot
Seniors – Luke Cocksedge and Rose Bailey
Sub vets – Nico Kruger and Anel Strampe
Vets men – Gerrie Beukes
Grandmaster men – Roy Kruger