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SA’s oldest MTB race gets a trails makeover

Organisers have promised to keep changing up the routes for the mountain bike and trail running events.

AS the Howick MTB Club prepares to host the 31st edition of the oldest MTB race in South Africa, the Sappi Howick MTB Classic at the weekend, the club’s trail team has promised to keep changing up the routes for the mountain bike and trail running events.

“While the 40km and 20km races are well established and popular because of their mix of single track on the club trails and the forest roads, we try and change it up a bit every year to keep it exciting. The 40km race has a reputation for being pretty tough and we like the believe that anyone who can handle this can handle any 40km race in the country. The 20km is an important event for newer riders where we offer and easier route that gives a taste of the great single track we have built in the area, and hopefully encourage riders to take on the more technical 40km in the future,” said trail designer, Gavin Ryan.

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Ryan confirmed that the routes for the trail runs and MTB races would feature some changes, partly as a result of harvesting going on in the Sappi plantations and partly to keep freshening up the routes. This will include a new section that runs parallel to the popular ‘Puffadder Pass’ that doubles back on the route to the fire tower and will traverse alongside a dam and offer striking views over the new plantations.

He added that the recent rains had helped settle much of the network of trails that are used for the various races, and with good warm weather and no rain forecast for the weekend of the event, conditions should superb for both the MTB enthusiasts and the trail runners.

The race will once again start and finish at its traditional base at Howick High School. To enter visit: www.roag.co.za.


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