Although most of the national team riders will have already left for Norway to prepare for the 2014 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships by the time the inaugural Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash comes around on Saturday 30 August, such is the depth in the sport at present that an extremely strong group of riders and teams will be on the start line for this new and exciting event.
The event will see three distances being contested with the 42km and 21km races to be fiercely contested – not only for the pride of winning but also for the large chunks of prizemoney that are up for grabs - and there will also be a 10km family race that can accommodate MTB riders of all ages and skills and fitness levels. The start and finish venue for all races will be the Mandela Capture Site in Howick.
The Kargo Pro MTB Team have embraced the opportunity and will have three very strong riders at the event with Travis Walker, Stuart Marais and Siya Njiva all raring to go and Travis’ recent 3rd place in the U23 category and Stuart’s 4th in the elite category at the recent SA Champs show that they have good form at present.
“We are very excited to be present at this event as we believe it will be a day to remember. We have watched the build up to this event and lots of hype around it in memory of Mandela.” said Shaun Peschl of Team Kargo. “Having 3 of our riders not present as they will be jetting off to Norway for World XCO Champs we are lucky we have such a diverse team and with some team tactics and planning we hope to seal the deal with podium spots.”
Stiff competition is expected though as most of the top teams around will be sending riders to contest and racing at the sharp end of the field is bound to be fierce.
Another local stalwart Con Malherbe and his team mates from the Coffeeberry Velolife team have also entered and he will be hoping that he too is the best in the Midlands come the end of the race on 30 August, just like his cappuccino’s at his local coffee shop. Mark Adams is another strong local rider that will be looking to make his presence felt.
Event Director Alec Lenferna said “the courses that have been put in place for the event are able to be ridden by all and what will make it challenging is the pace at which the routes are tackled. With the amount of prizemoney up for grabs and the prestige of winning the first event Mandela Day marathon MTB Dash, it’s going to be pretty hectic at the sharp sweaty part of the group and there’s bound to be some excellent racing”.
Entries are open for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash at www.roag.co.za and will close on 23 August or when the first 600 x entries have been received. General event information can be found at www.kznmtb.co.za.