Entries stream in for revamped Silverstar race

Entries are streaming in for the Pennypinchers Silverstar MTB Challenge, which follows a revamped route along the Krugersdorp Ridge on September 5.

According to organiser Wynand de Villiers of ASG Events, there has been a dramatic increase in interest from mountain bikers, with a field of 800 riders already entered. “It seems some of our new initiatives, such as the 150-metre floating bridge and our revamped venue, have been attracting a bit of attention.”

De Villiers said route director Darren Herbst and his team had been building trails for the past six months inside the bounds of the new Hero Adventure Hobby Park. “The park has been open for two weeks and race participants will be the first to try out the floating bridge.”

Herbst said the route was almost entirely changed from previous editions. “The only part that will be familiar to guys who’ve ridden before is the old Hillsnacks climb up from Silverstar Casino.

“It’s always been known as a pretty difficult and technical race but I don’t think it’s any more so than in previous years. If anything, we’ve just added more variety to the types of trails on offer.”

Good technical riding, drop-offs and little jumps would add to the overall rider experience in both the 40km and 20km events, he said. “Even for the short course, we want the riders to enjoy a proper mountain biking experience and feel like they’ve really achieved something.”

Herbst said riders could look forward to beautiful forested sections, open fields and rocky trails with some spectacular views over the West Rand. “On a clear day, you can see all the way to Pretoria.”

From the top of Protea Ridge, participants make a final plunge down through the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden en route to the finish. “The last three kilometres will hair-raising for a few but exhilarating for most,” laughed Herbst.

He said the casino finishing area, with its surrounding restaurants and children’s zone, would keep the whole family entertained for the day.

Enter at www.asgevents.co.za. Alternatively, find Silverstar MTB Challenge on Facebook or follow @silverstarMTB.

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