Midlands To Host World’s Best Mountain Bikers


Gameplan Media

Pietermaritzburg – The cream of the world’s MTB stars will converge on the midlands for the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships at the Cascades MTB Park starting on 26 August and will be a completely unique event for Pietermaritzburg as the City of Choice will host the biggest cycling event to ever hit the shores of Africa.

Pietermaritzburg is now firmly entrenched as Africa’s “Bike City”, having hosted the BMX World Championships as well as the MTB World Cup and now will be hosting what is seen as the second biggest cycling event in the world after the Road cycling World Championships.The championships begin with the junior Cross-country – for men and women – on Thursday the 28th August from 9:00 in the morning.

On Friday 29th, the Downhill for juniors takes place in the morning and the Under-23 Cross-country takes centre stage in the afternoon.

The weekend sees the serious action kick off with the elite Downhill riders having their first crack at the tough course on Saturday morning from 8:30. The next major event of Saturday is the elite women’s Cross-country World Championships in the afternoon beginning at 12:30.

It will give spectators a chance to see current World No.1 Tanja Zakelj in action as well as South Africa’s Rosalia Kubwana – who was the first black woman to complete the gruelling ABSA Cape Epic cycle race.

In the shadows of Saturday afternoon it is the turn of the elite men as the take to the Cascades course in the Cross-country. Current World Champion and World No.1 Nino Schurter will be hoping to retain the title he won in Austria last year and the South African charge will be led by World No.21 Philip Buys.

Sunday is going to be a treat of a day with the eliminator kicking off the proceedings. This is a new event and will provide a lot of entertainment for the spectators.

The Downhill for women starts at 14:00 and begins what should be an incredibly exciting afternoon of racing.

The final event of the Championships is the men’s Downhill. Pietermaritzburg’s very own Greg Minnaar will be looking to defend his World Championship crown in what has proven in the past to be an exhilarating event.

Trials cycling is another event taking place at the World Championships. It is a foreign concept to South African cycling but should be a huge draw card as the riders wow the crowd with incredible skill and control of their bicycles on tricky jumps and ramps.

The event will be preceded by the masters age group World Championships – the first time ever that the MTB Masters event has been held in conjunction with the elites – from 21 to 25 August, and a special leg of the Spur KZN schools series on Saturday 17 August.

More information and details of ticket pricing and packages can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za