The 2nd year of PE PLETT and year one for Isuzu Trucks as title sponsor was a resounding success by all accounts . This unique 4 day stage race between the cities of Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay saw the 2014 riders depart from the beautiful Kurland Polo fields in the Crags near Plett and finish some four days later on the Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth.
“The lessons we learnt last year.” says Race organiser Mike Glover “was that the Route is everything and we spent the last 10 months designing and embroidering a track that would not only test and challenge riders but also expose them to the most beautiful piece of real estate in the world. It was a true Adventure and having the opportunity to expose even our local Eastern Cape riders to a whole new world of MTB was for me the challenge and one that we succeeded in achieving.”
Day 1 saw the riders head out from the Kurland polo fields directly into San Parks single track. Unfortunately Timo Cooper was soon sidelined when a branch sliced through his thigh and he was airlifted out. The Kargo boys of Rourke and Travis soon started to take a grip on the race as they tackled the Cape Pine forests and some 125km later summited the R404 to the first overnight stop in Kareedouw on the R62.
Day 2 was a day that no one except the organisers had ridden so there was some trepidation as the 93km stretch unfolded. During the riders briefing it was clearly stated that it was not a day for hard tails and indeed the track was a real Epic day with short sharp climbs and loose rocks. This was the rugged Suurveld and by the time the riders plummeted into Hankey, they knew that they had ridden a tough, hard day.
Day 3 on paper with 76 km and climbing of over 2100 feet was supposedly to be the toughest day of the 2014 Isuzu Trucks PE PLETT. Tough it was but the most enjoyable with kms and kms of new single track cut and the most incredible riding through the Longmore Forest. The end of the day into the new 3 River Trails was exceptional and the finish line at the Woodridge School was special to say the least.
Day 4 and the last leg into the Boardwalk Casino was by no means easy as the beautiful van Stadens Gorge and Yellowwoods at the start was quick wake up call. The route criss-crossed numerous farms and forests with some urban pursuit in-between and the final sting was the single track of the Baakens Valley down to the beachfront and into the Boardwalk Casino complex
The 2015 route is reversed from PE to Plett and with a 3 year commitment from Isuzu Trucks, next year will be even Bigger and Better. Guaranteed!
For more info on the Isuzu Trucks PE PLETT check out www.peplett.co.za