12 April 2018 Read: 159
Magoebaskloof Adventures and Haenertsburg Rotary officially launched the inaugural The Magoeba three-day mountain bike stage race, set to take place from 24 to 26 August 2018. Using Cheerio Gardens, near the picturesque village of Haenertsburg as a base, this will be the first ever stage race to take place in the majestic Magoebaskloof mountains.
“The Magoebaskloof area has some of the best MTB terrain in Limpopo, and in the country, and we feel it’s time to share the incredible routes and scenery that we have to offer,” says Race Director, Marc Noné.
“Together with our sponsors, we also want to set a new standard for mountain biking in the Limpopo Province by hosting a truly premium mountain biking event.”
Entries to the inaugural event will be limited in order to ensure that riders and sponsors get the best treatment and experience. “Our aim is to start small and perfect the recipe so that we can grow the event each year,” says Noné, adding that several sponsors have already come on board, including Insect Science, BF Petroleum, Miami Canners and Spar.
The race format will include three stages over 3 days, using a clover leaf layout that starts and ends at Cheerio Gardens each day. Riders can choose to enter the Magoeba Race, which will cover approximately 70km each day; or the less daunting Magoeba Trail, covering approximately 40km each day. The trails will include a wide variety of terrain, from gentle jeep track hills to rocky pathways, flowing single track and some exciting descents.
The routes will be tough but achievable, with plenty of climbing each day. It will be worth the effort, because, apart from being able to discover this stunning area on a bicycle, riders will also receive a free craft beer from the local Zwakala Brewery on Day 2, and be able to relax and recover in the race village at Cheerio Gardens each afternoon. A bike-wash facility will be available, as well as mechanical support and a wellness area to rejuvenate tired cyclists.
“Mountain biking, and stage racing in particular, is a sport that requires grit and determination, along with a sense of fun and adventure. These are things that we are passionate about at Insect Science and we are very excited to be involved with this much-needed and long awaited event,” says Gerhard Booysen, Managing Director of the race’s main sponsor, Insect Science.
Insect Science also sponsors local pro rider, Alan Gordon, who recently won the Tankwa Trek solo event and finished in the winning group of cyclists at the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Alan and his fellow Insect Science team mate, Timothy Hammond from Botswana, were also the winners of this year’s Knysna Bull team event. “Alan is on fantastic form at the moment and we are delighted that he will be competing in The Magoeba,” says Booysen. “We invite other pro riders to take on the challenge of beating Alan in his home territory!
I have great confidence that this race will grow into an annual event that will gain in strength and numbers as more people realise what they’ve been missing just a few hours away from city life.”
Although the race will put the spotlight on mountain biking in the area, it also aims to empower the local community and build a sustainable event that will have a positive impact on the lives of those in the surrounding areas.
The mountain bike routes developed for the race will become a Tourism Magoebaskloof Association (TMA) product to support the local tourism industry and create jobs for MTB guides, shops, accommodation establishments and restaurants. Much needed funds will also be raised for the Haentersburg Rotary to support a new Leadership Development programme for disadvantaged youth.
The race would also not be possible without the buy-in and support of landowners, who have willingly taken up the call to help create the best possible routes. Major landowners, including ZZ2, Stevens Lumber Mills, Diggers Rest and Merensky, will be providing access to new tracts of lands for the race and opening even more exciting route options.
“Entries to the inaugural event have already started flowing in, and we are delighted with interest there has been from people around the country. We want to attract a wide field of riders from across South Africa to show mountain bikers what Limpopo has to offer, in a venue that is easily accessible to those coming from Johannesburg, Polokwane, Mpumalanga and further north,” concluded Noné.