There’s more good news for South African cycling with the news that the 2012 UCI World MTB Marathon series will kick off in Mpumalanga’s mecca of mountain biking, in Sabie on 25 February 2012.
The 14th annual MTN Sabie Classic 110-kilometre marathon route will form part of the 2012 UCI global series, which will be tour the world, visiting countries such as France, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Austria, Italy and Croatia and culminating in the one-off Marathon Championship race in Ornans, France in October.
MTN Sabie Classic race director Brett Coates was ecstatic in hearing the news: ÔÇ£This is the first time an African race has been included in the world series and is reward to our growth and reputation,ÔÇØ said Coates. ÔÇ£The race will attract not only the best mountain bikers South Africa has to offer but will ensure a world wide audience as the best mountain bikers in the world will make the trip to gain valuable UCI points.
“Being that the UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg and the Absa Cape Epic are within the same period we are sure many international riders will spend this part of our summer in SA to race whilst it is winter in the Northern hemisphere.
The MTN Sabie Classic has become a popular season starter for many South African endurance mountain bikers over the past 14 years, attracting not only the country’s top riders, but encouraging all levels of riders from the novice through to the enthusiast with the many race distances on offer. ┬áThe race attracted 3000 entrants in 2011, which not only credits the popularity of the event, but also puts Sabie on the tourism map for social and competitive mountain bikers alike.
The main beneficiaries of the MTN Sabie Classic include the Msiba Mbane orphanage in Sabie, the Lions Club and various local service providers. The race is hosted by the Lowveld Chaingang Cycle Club with the assistance of Advendurance.
2012 UCI MTB MARATHON SERIES
25.02 ÔÇô 25.02 Sabie Classic ÔÇô Sabie ÔÇô Mpumalanga, South Africa
08.04 ÔÇô 08.04 Roc Laissagais ÔÇô Laissac, France
10.06 ÔÇô 10.06 Elsabiketrophy ÔÇô Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland
17.06 ÔÇô 17.06 Endurance Atenas ÔÇô Caldera, Costa Rica
07.07 ÔÇô 08.07 S├╝dtirol Dolomiti Superbike ÔÇô Villabassa, South Tyrol, Italy
29.07 ÔÇô 29.07 MTB Ucka Marathon ÔÇô Lovran, Croatia
19.08 ÔÇô 19.08 Grazer Bike-Marathon Stattegg ÔÇô Stattegg, Austria
26.08 ÔÇô 26.08 MTB Jurmala Marathon ÔÇô J?rmala, Latvia
08.09 ÔÇô 09.09 Val di Fassa Bike ÔÇô Moena ÔÇô Val di Fassa, Italy
09.09 ÔÇô 09.09 O-Tour Bike Obwalden ÔÇô Obwalden, Switzerland
07.10 ÔÇô 07.10 UCI MARATHON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ÔÇô Ornans (FRA)
Meanwhile Mpumalanga stays in the spotlight as entries open on 1 December 2011 for the anticipated South African Elite Road Championships, which will include the Under-23 and Junior categories as well, from 1-4 March 2012.
This will be the first time that Mpumalanga will host the National Road Championships, as well as the first time ever that the SA University champs will be part of the SA championship event; and it will be the first time ever that a Team Time Trial (TTT) will be raced, for the Top clubs and the South African Continental Teams.
Date: Thursday 1st March 2012 to Sunday 4th March 2012
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
Distances: Road Race
Junior women ÔÇô 90km
Elite women ÔÇô 110km
Junior men ÔÇô 110km
U23 men ÔÇô 160km
Elite men ÔÇô 160km
Distances: Time Trial
Junior women ÔÇô 20km
Elite women ÔÇô 30km
Junior men ÔÇô 30km
U23 men ÔÇô 40km
Elite men ÔÇô 40km
Distance: Team Time Trial