Riders gearing up for PE Plett
Scenic bike race starts from Woodridge on Thursday
Mountain bikers from across the country will descend on Woodridge Preparatory School for the start of the seventh Prudential PE Plett stage race which gets under way on Thursday.
The event, the first race in the province to obtain Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) status, will also feature a host of professional riders who are sure to make the heat rise in the field.
The four-day stage race will take off from Woodridge and see riders make their way along some of the most picturesque single tracks to Zuurbron, where stage one will come to a close.
Stage two will see riders make their way through some tricky routes before they call it a day at Suiderland. This will be the starting point of stage three as bikers make their way to Tsitsikamma Falls before the final stage from the falls to the finish line at Nature’s Valley.
Mike Glover of organisers Red Cherry Adventures said the race would consist of a “Tough” and “Lite” race, which would give social riders the chance to rub shoulders with professional riders.
“The race has received UCI status, which gives international riders the opportunity to compete and earn points towards their UCI rankings, which is an added incentive for them to do well,” he said.
Glover said the field would comprise a number of South African teams vying for the top spot, with the likes of Arno du Toit and Gert Heyns of Team DSV. Team Spot Africa riders Julian Jessop and Tim Hammond are also part of the field.
Closer to home, the Plettenberg Bay duo of Aiden Connelly and Regan Smart will race under the banner of Team Bike-Scott, with the pair also looking to compete for top spot.
Glover said the race, now in its seventh edition, had seen considerable growth in the past few years, mainly because of the change in the race date to earlier in the year.
“Being a race that spans over four days, it gives riders of all the skill levels the opportunity to traverse some of the most beautiful mountain bike trails in the province.
“There is huge prize money up for grabs, with a total purse standing at R200,000 which will be split across the various categories. “So that is a nice drawcard for riders as well,” he said...