With the 2016 Olympic year already well under way, Mankele MTB Park in Mpumalanga has added new surprises to the well-known course, as it awaits the entries of top Elite and Junior national and international cross country specialists ahead of the opening round of the Stihl 2016 SA XCO Cup Series on Saturday 30 January.
Mankele MTB Park’s Mark Meyer and his team are in the process of building an additional climb behind the Log Cabins section of the track. “The word climb doesn’t sound great, but it’s the new descent that’s going to get the riders smiling,” he said.
Meyer also mentioned that plenty of new drop offs have been added to keep the riders on their toes. “The course lends itself to very fast riding and we can’t wait to see the pros in action,” he concluded.
Four of the five of the hugely successful Stihl SA XCO Cup Series events carry a UCI Category 1 rating for Pro Elite Men and Women, with one event carrying a UCI Category 2 rating. A Full Racing License is required to participate in the Pro Elite categories.
The event also doubles up as the opening round of the UCI Junior World Series (of which two more will also be held in South Africa), offering 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.
Cycling South Africa has already received responses from four international Juniors – Dario Gemperle (PAMO Racing), Nick Baumann (Swiss National Team), Lucas Strittmatter (PAMO Racing) and Jens Vertongen (Team KTM Bikevision), all eager to earn ever-important UCI points in the World Series.
The Elite race will see Team Scott Skoda rider Calle Friberg and Team KTM Bikevision’s Arnaud Beeckman join in on the action with some of South Africa’s mountain bike stars, to increase their point’s tally towards Rio Olympics 2016 qualification.
Online pre-entries are open, and close on Tuesday 26 January 2016 at midnight. Click here to enter: https://entries.cyclingsa.com/events/3321-sa-cup-series-xco-1. Late entries will be accepted at registration, with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.
For event information, please visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-cup-series/, or contact Mark Meyer on 078 801 0453 (for event info); or Dellah Paul on 082 781 5656 (for administration info).