Free State’s capital city, Bloemfontein, plays host to the penultimate round of the 2017 SA National MTB Cup Series XCO (UCI Cat 1 and Junior World Series), which takes place at Happy Valley Conservancy on Saturday 6 May. Event organiser Willem Raubenheimer is well on track with the preparations for the second running of the National Series at the same venue in two years.
The significance of this event, like the others in the series, is the UCI Category 1 rating, which allows top contenders in the Elite and Junior categories to earn valuable UCI points at the races. This ultimately improves their rider ranking, which is beneficial when competing in World Cups or World Championship events. This particular event is also part of the UCI Junior World Series, which is made up of 27 races this season, across the globe.
Some very slight changes have been made to the five-kilometre course, which was well received at last year’s race due to the flowing nature of the trail and use of the natural obstacles, never mind the spectator-friendly design and layout. This year’s new addition includes a punchy 100-metre singletrack climb and downhill section on the last part of the lap, as well as some upgrades to the existing pump track and the “Grey’t Drop” at the beginning of the lap.
Measuring five kilometres in length and with 170 metres vertical ascent, the track features hand built singletrack with many overtaking opportunities. Two challenging climbs of 660m (50m ascent) and 350m (40m ascent), plus natural rock gardens, pump (flow) track, gap jumps, drop offs and two technical downhills are all to look forward to.
Two Tech zones are on the lap, with one incorporating a Feed Zone at the Start/Finish area and another just after the Rock Garden Descent.
For pre-race mechanicals, local bike shops Cycle World, Cyclotech and Enduro Planet are close by and will also be at the venue on 5 and 6 May to offer help if need be.
Food vendors will be on site on race day in support of Husky Rescue Bloemfontein and the Woodlands Hills Church. Gourmet coffee will be close on hand for the caffeine addicts. The central entertainment area at the start/finish will be airing the live streamlining of the race as it happens, so you won’t miss out on the action on the track. The Elite Men and Women’s races will be live streamed on streamit360.tv.
The venue is easy accessible and in the heart of Bloemfontein, only 13km from the Bloemfontein Airport.
Online entries are open, and riders can enter here: https://cyclingsa-events.co.za/app/. Pre-entries close on Tuesday 2 May. For more information, visit: https://www.cyclingsa.com/2017-sa-mtb-cup-series/.