Riders will face a strong mix of challenges when they take on the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek following some minor changes to the trails for one of the Eastern Cape’s premier mountain bike events next month.
Route director Rob Hayter feels they have managed to create a route which caters for riders of all levels for the race from May 26 to 28, without missing an opportunity to provide a good test.
Starting at the Zuurberg Mountain Village near Port Elizabeth, the stages will take in parts of the Addo National Elephant Park, while also exposing riders to the rugged Karoo terrain.
He said the competitors would need to ride smartly on the second day when the 82km queen stage would include three major climbs.
“I feel riders will enjoy the experience, even with the ascents they will encounter,” said Hayter. “There are views towards the ocean and also north over the Karoo.”
He said a feature of the stage would be the diversity of the trails as the climbs were mixed with long descents and single-track.
Opening with a 67km stage dubbed the Valley Track, the leg will include a scenic section of single-track in the Addo Elephant National Park.
“After 10km on a gravel road, the adrenalin and enjoyment of the next 15km down to and through the riverbed and the single-track under yellowwood tree canopies will be some of the best you can experience.”
Hayter described the final stage as a “single-track haven”, but reminded riders of the 8km ascent back to the finish at the Zuurberg Mountain Village.
He said riders should not underestimate the 50km stage, coming as it did after a challenging second day.
“After the first water point there is a tough climb before you can enjoy the roller-coaster back down into the valley.”
He said the riders should make the most of the last water point at Hayterdale before facing the final climb of the weekend back to the Zuurberg Mountain Village.