MTN National MTB Series
Did you know?
South Africa's most popular road race is the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, which attracts more than 30 000 participants each year.
The MTN National MTB Series taps deeply into the South African devotion to the sport of mountain biking.
Billed as 'the most prestigious mountain bike series in Africa', it's a 5-event National Cup series of cross-country and downhill races and a 7-event National Marathon series. All the events hold international status, so those who do well here earn prized overseas ranking points as well.
The venues included in the 2012 MTN National MTB Series include:
- Barberton, Mpumalanga: The legendary gold mining hills called the Makonjwas, on the Swaziland border - misty weather, lots of inclines, challenging tracks;
- Tulbagh, Western Cape: a beautiful, mountainous part of the Cape winelands;
- Sabie, Mpumalang: a country town in the Drakensberg, known for its variety of adventure activities;
- Mabalingwe, Limpopo: near South Africa's powerhouse city, Johannesburg;
- Clarens, Free State: Gorgeous little sandstone village full of artists - and mountain bikers;
- Hilton, KwaZulu Natal: The Midlands, green as Ireland, where the master-crafters of South Africa live and work;
- Wellington, Western Cape: One of South Africa's premier wine and brandy producing towns;
- Parys, Free State: home to several annual adventure festivals, this town is also home to the famous Vredefort Dome.
The postcard-places listed above might just whiz past the athletes as they fight for their places, but the supporters and watching crowds will find them inspiring. What's more, when they're not taking part in a South African bike marathon, many of these riders will come out and visit these destinations for some social cycling with far less stress involved.
Also part of the MTN National MTB Series is a grouping of ultra-marathon races running to distances of 120 kilometres. A mountain bike marathon in South Africa is a great reason to visit these shores.
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