Something for everyone at PMB MTB Festival

The legendary Cascades MTB Park will play host to the second annual Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival, providing something for everyone at the world-class from 30 April to 2 May 2016. The three-day mountain bike festival offers a full schedule of races across a variety of disciplines, where some of the country’s – and world’s – great mountain bike enthusiasts and specialists will be seen in action.

Another full calendar of activities and programmes will be in place in 2016 allied to the Bike City Project that was successfully started in 2009 and has proven to be hugely successful thus far. The project sees Pietermaritzburg as the recognised Bike City for Africa and the large number of great national and international cycling events that have been staged over the last seven years in and around the city has seen Pietermaritzburg put on the international sports map.

The legendary Cascades MTB Park will play host to the second annual Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival, providing something for everyone at the world-class from 30 April to 2 May 2016. Photo: Craig Dutton

The legendary Cascades MTB Park will play host to the second annual Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival, providing something for everyone at the world-class from 30 April to 2 May 2016. Photo: Craig Dutton

ELITE XCO (UCI-HC)

The world-standard XCO courses already in place at Cascades MTB Park will see Elite Men and Women competitors taking part in the UCI Elite XCO, which is UCI HC-rated. These riders at the sharp end of the sport will be taking full advantage of the UCI point-scoring opportunity on Saturday 30 April as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games draws nearer.

UCI JUNIOR WORLD SERIES XCO

Junior Men and Women can look forward to their XCO race being part of the UCI Junior World Series, which offers the Juniors the chance to earn UCI points and a favourable seeding for the 2016 UCI MTB World Championships in Nove Mesto na Morave (CZE) from 28 June to 3 July.

SA MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIPS MASTERS 30+

For the endurance specialists, the 2016 SA MTB Marathon Championships for Masters aged 30-and-over will attract all those who have not yet competed as an “Elite” category rider this year. Masters’ Men and Women in their respective age categories will compete for Champion status at this venue for the next three years. Large portions of the routes utilised in the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships, as well as portions of other national events that have been staged at the venue, will be used as part of the route.

ENDURO

Gravity enthusiasts are gearing up for the Enduro race, which has proved extremely popular on the KZNMTB Provincial scene. The point of Enduro racing is to start at the bottom and pedal to the top of the mountain to the start. With no shuttle assistance on the day, trail bikes are more suitable for the uphill pedal. Participants will then tackle “stages” as would happen in a car rally, which are timed. More rally terminology is used when riders take an easy pedal in “untimed liaison” stages, which is where the camaraderie and social aspect kicks in.

KWAZULU-NATAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES FINALE

KwaZulu-Natal Cycling Development Officer, Tyrone Johns, will be showcasing the talent that has been discovered in the KwaZulu-Natal District Municipalities over the past year in a Grand Finale where the best riders from each District will be competing for the Final Series trophy.

KWAZULU-NATAL DEVELOPMENT CLINIC

With the overwhelming success of the KwaZulu-Natal Development Series, Johns will be sourcing his next wave of local youngsters for the popular KwaZulu-Natal Development Series programme at the KwaZulu-Natal Development Clinic. The existing programme is working well as a talent identification process and could very well see a local rider be groomed for the momentous 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted in Durban.

KWAZULU-NATAL INTER-SCHOOLS XCO SERIES

The ever-popular KwaZulu-Natal Inter-Schools XCO Series continues at the prestigious world-class venue. With more schools entering the network, and schools attending from neighbouring provinces as well, the level of competition continuously rises amongst the young talent.

PMB MTB Festival Event Organiser, Alec Lenferna, said: “2016 sees a slight shift in profile of the project in that Cycling South Africa, as one of the premier sports federations in the country that is regularly nominated as one of the sports federations of the year by the Department of Sport & Recreation, has grasped the transformation bull by the horns and in conjunction with the KZN Department of Sport & Recreation has put an events programme that still accommodates some of the major high end cycling events mixed in with a variety of development events and programmes that is set to change the way that cycling is run in the country and can be a blueprint for other federations in the country.”

Whether it’s a wind-down from recent challenging events, or a warm-up for up-and-coming international World Cups on the racing calendar, the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival is the festival to attend to get the heart beating and the blood pumping.

PMB MTB FESTIVAL PROGRAMME:

Saturday 30 April

UCI JUNIOR WORLD SERIES XCO
UCI ELITE XCO HC
KWAZULU-NATAL DEVELOPMENT CLINIC

Sunday 1 May

SA MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIPS MASTERS 30+
KWAZULU-NATAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES FINALE

Monday 2 May

ENDURO COMPETITION
KWAZULU-NATAL INTER-SCHOOLS XCO SERIES

The Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival takes place at Cascades MTB Park from 30 April to 2 May 2016 and forms part of the greater Africa Bike City project in Pietermaritzburg. The legacy project and continued development of the venue of Cascades MTB Park as well as staff, cyclists and officials strengthens the local resource pool as we build towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For more information on the 2016 PMB MTB Festival, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-pmb-mtb-festival/.