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New MTB trails for 2021 Karkloof Classic

Midlands feast of trail running and MTB

A brand new route for the flagship 45km MTB race has been planned for the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on October 9 and 10 taking riders out towards the Howick fire tower and incorporating some of the Karkloof valley's signature trails. Picture: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Mountain bike riders eager to return to the trails around the Karkloof valley at the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on October 9 and 10, 2021, can look forward to a brand new network of trails for the 45km and 20km rides.

Working with the trail builders based at the Marriot Karkloof Club, the recent amalgamation of the club with its Howick compatriots has enabled the race to structure a new ride that connects the Karkloof and Howick trail networks.

“It is the first time that our long race has not headed out towards the De Magtenberg area and instead we are really excited to host a 45km ride that heads towards the Howick fire tower and back and takes in a number of really special sections of trail,” said trail designer Nick Stubbs.

Rewarding challenge

“The long ride used to be 60km, but this 45km ride will be a rewarding challenge for the fitter and more experienced riders,” he added. “There is about 1100 metres of climbing and it links together some of the best riding in the Karkloof valley.

“The route will take in some of the signature sections like Richert’s Realm, Isikhova and the new Prodigal Son and will provide a technical ride that will really be a lot of fun,” said Stubbs.

As the average recreational mountain biker returns to a calendar of events with a semblance of normality, many will appreciate the flagship event being slightly shorter with an emphasis on technical skills, and flowing single track at the expense of the endurance element.

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Stubbs said that the well-supported 20km ride would be less technically demanding but still balance jeep track and forest and farm roads with the flowing single track the club is famous for.

While the club is excited to be able to host the iconic annual event in 2021, they stressed that numbers across all the mountain bike and trail events will be limited to ensure full compliance with the Covid-19 lockdown protocols.

The 2021 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival takes place at the Marriott Karkloof Country Club on Saturday, October 9 and 10.

Entries are strictly limited

Saturday, October 9
7am: 18km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
7.30am: 9km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
8am: 45km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB
9am: 20km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB
1pm: Stihl Karkloof Enduro

Sunday, October 10
7am: 18km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
7.30am: 9km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
8am: 45km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB
9am: 20km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB

Click here for more info 

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MTB and trail running gets physical again in Kamberg