Seasoned mountain biker Tyronne White (pictured above) will be hoping 2018 will be the year he can break his Sappi Karkloof Trail Festival hoodoo and step on to the podium at the 60km marathon on Sunday, May 27.
The Karkloof Classic hasn’t been kind to White in the past and so in the lead up to this year’s event he has changed his approach.
“For some reason I have never had a good race at Karkloof,” the North Coast resident said. “The race always falls just after the KAP sani2c and the Old Mutual joBerg2c so there could be a fair amount of fatigue in my legs.
“This year I have given both of those races a skip so I am feeling fresher but also really good on the bike having won the aQuellé Tour Durban cyclo-cross race as well as a race in Mthunzini recently.”
With the likes of PYGA/Euro Steel’s Julian Jessop on the start line, White is going to have his work cut out to prevail over the 60km route.
There have been a few changes in the route from last year as the event takes a turn back to its original layout. White is looking forward to the challenges and feels that the move back to the old route might play into his hands.
“It’s a proper 60km marathon and with that comes some awesome single track and some tough climbs.
“I have always felt that my single track riding was my main strength but recently I have been working hard on my climbing and I think that is going to be a strength.”
White has made the move in a career that involves a full work week so he has had to modify his training programme, but he has been happy with the results.
“I work six days a week so there is a lot less time to train. I try to train in the early morning and focus more on my diet.
“I have been able to lose a few kilograms and am feeling good both on and off the bike.”
When asked about his chances of winning the race, he was circumspect in his reply.
“There are going to be some strong pro riders there and given my history at the race I would love to finish in the top three.
“Obviously I am going to go hard and will look to win the race but a podium would also be a good result.”
The 2018 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival takes place at the Karkloof Country Club on Saturday 26 and Sunday, May 27. More info at www.karkloofmtb.co.za