Even though they have shaved a few kilometres off each day, organisers of the Liberty Waterberg Encounter say the entrants are still set for a searching test of their fitness next month.
Taking place near Bela-Bela in Limpopo, the mountain bike race from June 9 to 11 is the second in the Encounter Series, following the successful Liberty Winelands Encounter in the Western Cape last month.
With only two race villages, at Sondela Nature Reserve and Elements Golf Estate, being used this time, route director Mel Meyer said they had created a purer mountain biking experience.
“The longer route meant we did quite a bit of road riding, but we have changed that now, creating trails which will give the riders a real flavour of the bushveld in the region.”
He added, though, that the amount of single-track, along with the climbing, would ensure a strong challenge.
The second day will have a clover-leaf route from Elements and Meyer said cyclists would be exposed to a number of new trails over the 54km.
“It is the shortest of the three stages, but 1 100 metres of ascent will make sure the riders still have a proper test.”
Meyer said the final stage of 59km would provide a comfortable finish to the Liberty Waterberg Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB.
“We have a created a new 14km section in Sondela which is quite flat and fast. That should be nice for the riders coming into the finish.”