Smith’s absence throws Scottburgh MTB women’s race wide open

Scottburgh – The 2015 Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race’s women’s title challenge has been thrown wide open after double defending champion Hayley Smith confirmed she will not be on the start line for this year’s race on Sunday, 9 August.

With Smith having recently claimed the Under-23 women’s cross country MTB national crown, many had been bursting with excitement in anticipation of the potentially fairytale occasion of a South Coast local challenging to become the first ever female rider to win the race three times in a row, in her own backyard, on her 21st birthday and on Women’s Day.

The young Specialized SA/Bell Equipment rider will however unfortunately be out of town on the day and so will sadly miss out on this unique, historic occasion.

“It is my 21st birthday on Sunday and we have planned to go away for the long weekend,” explains Smith. “The Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race is always such a great event and I hope this year is another fantastic race.”

“I will be thinking of everyone taking part on the day!” she added.

Smith’s absence however opens the doorway for a new champion to be crowned and join the event’s prestigious group of women’s race winners that already includes the likes of Team RECM’s Cherise Stander, Red Bull/Specialized SA’s Bianca Haw and, of course, Smith herself.

In celebration of Women’s Day, the day is thread with special added touches for the female competitors taking part is set to line the day’s activities.

All female competitors will lead the rest of the field through the neutral zone from Scottburgh Main Beach to Renishaw sugarcane farm, there will be a rare all-women front row on the start line while an extra special gift at the finish line awaits all ladies who successfully overcome the challenge.

Both the Cutty Sark Hotel and the Blue Marlin Hotel are also offering incredible long weekend discounts to riders and their families for the occasion.

“The Blue Marlin Hotel is also set to stage a Women’s Day Acoustic Celebration whereby on of KZN’s top bands The Kickstands, together with Home Bru’d and Freddy NL, are set to perform live from 13h00 on Sunday,” explained race director, Flavio Scarpa.

“Presold tickets are R50 and R70 at the door while food and drinks specials will be available all day,” he added.

More top class routes for the 45km Sappi Scottburgh Classic, 28km Dash & Splash Intermediate Ride and 10km Dash & Splash Fun Ride alike together with the day’s festivities both on and off the bike make for another memorable day on KZN’s South Coast.

The 2015 Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race takes place on Sunday 9 August. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the race venue while entries can be submitted via and more information can be found at

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