Berg rid­ing... and with Sharks

The Independent on Saturday - - SPORT -

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CYCLING in KZN is wind­ing down for 2018, but there is a new event which looks to pro­vide some ex­cite­ment for both road and moun­tain bik­ers as well as a chance to meet a few rugby heroes try­ing their luck.

The Drak­ens­berg Ex­trav­a­ganza will be taking place on the week­end of November 24-25 (it was ini­tially ad­ver­tised by CSA as the Bergville Ex­trav­a­ganza).

The whole event is planned as a week­end of cycling (with a bit of trail run­ning thrown in). Based in the Bergville area, the moun­tain bik­ers get their chance to ride a 10 or 20km route at Champagne Sports Re­sort on Satur­day, while on Sun­day the road­ies have the choice of 15, 40 or 84km near Bergville’s Wood­stock Dam with full road clo­sure.

There will also be a trail run on Satur­day, also from Champagne Sports Re­sort.

A week later moun­tain bik­ers could get a chance to in­ter­act with some Cur­rie Cup Cham­pi­ons at the an­nual Stihl Sharks Trail Ad­ven­ture at the Sum­merveld Es­tate on Sun­day, December 2.

The fam­ily-ori­en­tated day in­cludes four MTB races and two trail runs, all based around the leafy Sum­merveld eques­trian com­plex, with the se­ri­ous run­ners tar­get­ing the 18km trail run and the MTB pros keen to win the pres­ti­gious 40km MTB Marathon, won by Andrew Hill last year.

Moun­tain bik­ing has be­come some­thing of a sec­ond home for ex-rugby play­ers with a lot of them turn­ing their com­pet­i­tive in­stincts to tack­ling the trails.

Some, like Joel Stran­sky and Jeremy Thom­son, are reg­u­lar names on age group podi­ums so it is per­haps not too much of a stretch to have The Sharks so closely linked with a ma­jor MTB event in KZN.

The day is in­tended to be a fam­ily event which means the Sharks mas­cot, Sharkie will be on hand to start the short and easy Kids Ride at 11am, a race where par­ents are en­cour­aged to ac­com­pany their young­ster from start to fin­ish.

“This comes at a great time in our year when we have caught our breath af­ter the Cur­rie Cup cam­paign, and we can de­vote quality time to meet­ing and in­ter­act­ing with our fans.” said No­vashni Chetty of The Sharks mar­ket­ing team.

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