The second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, which doubles as the second event in the 2016 SA National Downhill Cup Series, takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Sunday 27 March and is set to attract a national field for the point-scoring event.
Downhill course designer, Nigel Hicks, says that the Giba Gorge MTB Park downhill track is the roughest of the provincial season, with its natural, raw rock garden extending for some 250 metres from just below the start. With the inclusion of the round as part of the National Points log, the track has been extended with a new step-up above the rocks and the addition of a new slick rock section high up on the course.
Although labelled “tricky” and “steep”, there are some B-lines for those who are not so confident to hit the hard sections, yet there are still a number of obstacles that will put technical abilities to the test.
“A couple of changes are likely to be made near the bottom too, to aid in the spectacle of the riders sending some big hucks to the finish line,” says Hicks.
The ’Giba track is not known for big airs, with the riders having to tackle the mentally and physically jarring rocks before entering a fast flowing middle section with steep off cambers and natural fade-aways to the finish.
Newer riders fear not, as the track is totally ride-able with B-lines around the one large drop on the course. All other obstacles are designed with safety in mind and are fully roll-able.
Hicks offers a tip of advice: “With Giba being a relatively short track with a steep overall gradient (25% average) and limited pedalling sections, the track requires absolute precision from the riders if they want to lay down a good time. The smallest of mistakes can put paid to a medal as the times are always exceptionally close on this track.”
KZNMTB would once again like to thank both Giba Gorge MTB Park and landowner Brian Zorg of Hillcrest Lawn Mower Centre for their continued support towards Downhill racing and allowing the event to take place on their properties and utilise his access roads.
For the out-of-towners making the trip to earn National Series points, there is also an Enduro race taking part on Saturday 26 March. The family-fun sport of Enduro is an ever-growing discipline, and knits well with the personalities and general way of the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
“Enduro is a really cool and exciting fun thing to do. It combines gravity with the need to pedal everywhere. It’s totally relaxed and fun,” said Enduro course designer Guy Ronaldson. “We have an exciting trail network for the four-stage Enduro to expose the best of what Giba Gorge has to offer our trail enthusiasts, and one or two new pieces of trail are being built as we speak.”
With no separate SA National Downhill Cup Series in 2016, Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal will use two of their provincials to double as a SA Cup event; these events are dated as 28 February and 29 May (Western Cape) and 27 March and 22 May (KZN). The results from these will be used for Selection and towards a SA Cup Series. The downhill discipline will be included in the SA MTB Champs.
Entries are open and close on Wednesday 23 March 2016. Enter here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1728. For any further details, please visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-cup-series/. For any administration queries, please contact Dellah Paul on firstname.lastname@example.org.