The Stihl 2016 SA XCO Cup Series will see its second round take place just outside Somerset West on Helderberg Farms in the Western Cape on Saturday 27 February. As the 2016 Rio Olympic Games inch closer by the day, and with a UCI Category 1 rating status for Pro Elite Men and Women attached to the event, the mountain waits in anticipation for the country’s – and world’s – great cross-country specialists to take to it for all-important UCI points.
South African Downhill superstar, Andrew Neethling and his team have been heavily involved in the process and building of the trails with Van Schalkwyk (builder of Steilte and Hermanus MTB trails) and Duran van Eerden. Combining the skills of some of the greatest course builders, race organisers, business minds, and those of the professional mountain biker, the Helderberg XCO will be a not-to-be-forgotten event.
“It’s within all the regulations of great, short track racing events around the world,” said Neethling. “There are some great singletrack sections and exquisite trails through the trees to warm up the legs before the climb to the highest part of the track. The descent then becomes very technical, but fun. It’s built in such a way that professionals will be able to challenge themselves and their skills’ set, but at the same time those less experienced riders can enjoy themselves as well.”
Not only does the venue play host to wonderful events such as nationals and provincials, but the Helderberg Trails bike park is an excellent venue, which is open throughout the year for newcomers and the seasoned professional in any mountain biking discipline. There have been upgrades on most of the tracks already in place, with more exciting sections added.
“It’s such a great place to ride, especially for the whole family – there’s something for everybody who visits,” said Neethling.
The trail network is also frequented by trail runners who enjoy taking to the tracks on the weekdays and weekends when there aren’t any races on the go. There is lots of parking space, many braai facilities and a great kiosk offering breakfasts, coffee, cold drinks and cakes, as well as fresh produce and snacks. There is even a petting zoo for the younger visitors. Next to the parking bay is a great bike wash facility as well.
Online pre-entries are open, and close at midnight on Tuesday 23 February. Click here to enter: https://entries.cyclingsa.com/events/4441-sa-cup-series-xco-2. Late entries will be accepted at registration, with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.
For event information and route map, please visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-cup-series/, or contact Dellah Paul on 082 781 5656 (for administration info).
For more information about the venue, see the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/helderbergtrails/ or for accommodation close to the venue, mail, contact Anton at firstname.lastname@example.org