Saddle up for big mountain bike ride

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MOUNTAIN bike action is kicks into gear at the end of the month as the Daily Dispatch Mountain Bike Challenge takes centrestage at Wings Park.

RIDE OF YOUR LIFE: The Daily Dispatch Mountain Bike Challenge will take place at Wings Park on May 28 at the annual AirFest Picture: DT CREATIONS

This year the Mountain Bike Challenge takes place at the much anticipated AirFest, with the Dispatch and GO! & Express partnering up with the festival to make it a breathtaking day of fun family-filled action.

“The Daily Dispatch is pleased to once again host the Mountain Bike Challenge as part of our 2017 Cycle Tour event,” Dispatch marketing manager Ryan Megaw said.

“The Mountain Bike Challenge promises to be bigger and better than before, with one of the most scenic routes in the region, as well as lucky draw and winners’ prizes.

“This is really an opportunity for cyclists to bring the whole family along for a day of aviation fun and be part of an event that is a favourite on the regional cycling calendar.”

Five distances will be available at the event, that caters for mountain bikers of all ages – and fitness levels. The main race will be the 66km discipline, which is ideal for endurance and physically fit cyclists, who are technically proficient and can handle Jeep track conditions – with long, steep downhills and inclines on district gravel roads.

Border’s best mountain bikers, as well as some top competitors from outside the province, will be battling it out for honours.

Prizes of R5000 for the winner, R3000 for the runner-up and R2000 for the third-place finisher, will also be up for grabs – and should make this race extremely competitive.

The 42km race is over a shorter distance, but the terrain will be harder than that of the 66km event, with long climbs, loose stones and ruts that riders will have to negotiate.

Entrants should be physically fit and technically advanced if they want to take on this distance.

The 18km ride is on a nice scenic section of single and Jeep track that winds through a game park.

BEAUTY: There will be some scenic views on route at the Daily Dispatch Mountain Bike Challenge next week

With long climbs and loose stones lining the route, this course is definitely for the technically savvy rider who has plenty of stamina for sharp inclines and steep downhills.

The final two distances will then be the 10km and 5km rides.

Although these are geared towards youth cyclists, this scenic ride through a game farm, takes riders through the Wings Park terrain and promises to be a challenging course for both young and old, as riders face a single and Jeep track course.

It is the same route for both distances, with the 10km riders doing two loops of the course.

Entry for the distances are R180 for the 66km, R120 for the 42km, R80 for the 18km, R50 for the 10km and R30 for the 5km.

Entries can be found online at www.dispatchcycletour.co.za as well as at local cycling shops.

All participating cyclists will receive free entry into the Air Fest on May 28, while tickets for the rest of the family and support groups will be on sale at registration and throughout the weekend at the AirFest. The Daily Dispatch Cycle Tour road race is still on the cards with the race scheduled for August 27.

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