Breathtaking Herald MTB Challenge beckons
The Herald Cycle Tour Mountain Bike Challenge is arguably the most fun and scenic mountain bike race competitors will ride in the Eastern Cape in 2020.
The purpose-built mountain bike routes of the Herald Cycle Tour Mountain Bike Challenge wind their way through diverse natural terrain, which ensures riders get to experience SA’s best single-track, with breathtaking views over the vast Addo landscape.
The Herald Cycle Tour Mountain Bike Challenge takes place from the Addo Polo Club on February 16, 2020 and race director Brad Jackson said the Addo region was a big drawcard for cyclists from all over the country.
“Addo is world-renowned for its wildlife and biodiversity,” Jackson said.
“One of the unique features of the routes is that they traverse diverse terrain and vegetation.
“Riders can expect to experience citrus orchards, forest, fynbos, Albany Thicket and Nama Karoo.
“In addition, the views over the Sundays River Valley from the Zuurberg Pass are breathtaking.”
The race will have something for cyclists of all fitness levels with 5km and 30km routes that are not too hilly and cater for novice riders.
“These routes don’t require a high level of technical ability.
“The 60km route is a little more physically challenging and includes some great single-track [approximately 20%].
“The 80km route is the most challenging — both physically and technically — with a greater proportion of single-track [about 50%],” Jackson said.
The race village offers another welcome boost to local traders and will in 2020 again include its popular Farmers Market, an assortment of food stalls and the popular Children’s Play Area.
Supporters and fans are encouraged to spend their time at the race village and are invited to camp over and have a braai the night before the race.
“Camping is getting more popular each year and includes luxury tented options.
“Riders have started to see the benefit of not having to leave home at 3.30am to get to the race on time.
“We encourage riders to stay over the night before, as it also helps reduce the traffic to the venue in the morning,” Jackson said.
As with all Herald Cycle Tour races, safety is of utmost concern and during the Herald Cycle Tour Mountain Bike Challenge, medics will be equipped with off-road vehicles that enable them to access the remote sections of the routes.
Radio communications will be provided by the PE Amateur Radio Society to ensure reliable communications where cellphone reception is inadequate.
“We have the support of the Sundays River Municipality traffic department to assist with road closure and traffic control.
“The SAPS also provide great service through a significant presence at the event over the weekend,” Jackson said.
With hospitality, safety and entertainment taken care of, the only thing left to do for the riders would be to have fun and enjoy the view.
“Our routes are spectacular and offer some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Our single-track is hard to beat.
“Riders get to ride routes that are not normally open to the public.
“We offer a great race village, country-style hospitality and efficient organisation, which all combine to create an unbeatable experience,” Jackson added.
Early bird race entrants should hurry before the end of November for a discounted rate.
All race entries will close on January 28, 2020.
For more information or to register, visit www.heraldcycletour.co.za