SA’s best MTB riders come to Karkloof for Marathon Championships

Mark your calendars for May 25-26 as South Africa’s top mountain bikers gear up for the National Marathon MTB Championships, set amidst the breathtaking trails of Karkloof, KZN, during the annual Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

Renowned for its exhilarating terrain, the Marriott Karkloof Country Club trail park, acclaimed as South Africa’s premier mountain bike destination by Tread magazine, will host this prestigious event. It’s the perfect stage for our country’s elite riders to vie for the coveted national titles.

In 2022, Philip Buys secured the champion’s jersey, triumphing over formidable competitors Marc Pritzen and Tristan Nortje. Last year, the spotlight shone on Michael Foster, clinching victory ahead of Danial van der Watt.

As anticipation builds for this year’s showdown, expect fierce competition from Buys and Foster, bolstered by teammates Pieter du Toit and Jaedon Terlouw. Pritzen and Nortje, representing Honeycomb Pro Cycling, are poised to challenge the reigning champions. Keep an eye on the dynamic duos from Imbuko and Insect Science, featuring Marco Joubert, Wessel Both, Arno du Toit, and Herman Fourie.

In the women’s category, the battle for supremacy will be intense as Samantha Sanders, Danielle Strydom, and Hayley Preen vie for glory. Local favorites Hayley Smith and Joanna van de Winkel aim to leverage their home advantage to upset the competition.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there! The Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival promises an exciting weekend of trail sports. On Saturday, runners take centre stage with challenging 21km and 9km trail runs. Then, on Sunday, mountain bikers face a plethora of choices, including the 85km championship event (exclusive to elite, licensed riders), 60km, 40km, 20km, and a family-friendly 10km fun ride. Additionally, a 9km fun trail run awaits eager participants on Sunday.

For those eager to compete, entries are open exclusively through ROAG at ROAG.org.

Get ready to witness adrenaline-fueled action and witness the crowning of our nation’s marathon MTB champions amidst the stunning landscapes of Karkloof. See you at the starting line!

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