All set for 2012 St Francis MTB Challenge

There is only three months to get your entry in for the fifth annual St Francis MTB Challenge, one of the most scenic events in the country. This year a day and night ride as well as a kids MTB fun ride are included in the weekend program that will start on Friday 23 November and the prestigious main event will take place on Sunday 25 November.

On Friday, 23 November Port St Francis will be host to the Balobi MTB Day and Night Ride. “We want to include the entire community in our annual event, so the day ride is an opportunity for our regular cyclists to enter with their workers as a team,” race director Eric Stewart said.

Teams of up to 3 will have to see who can complete the most laps in 60 minutes. The day ride will start at 18:00. It will be followed by the more serious night ride at 19:30 and when the likes of Kevin Taljaard, Heidi Koen will take on locals like Grant Marais, Roland Peacock and Rochelle Kindness.

Saturday morning The Port Hole MTB Fun Race for all under 12 cyclists will take place at 09:00, again at Port St Francis on the same night ride route. “We have partnered with the local Rotary EarlyAct Club for the kids race, so this will be our charity event.” Parents are welcome to ride with their kids but will not be taken into consideration for podium finishes.

The main event will take place from the St Francis Links on Sunday with the 80km, 35km and 15km distances to choose from. The 80km will start at 08:30, the 35km at 08:45 and the 15km at 09:00, giving cyclists from afar the chance to get here without a rush.

Late registration and number collection on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 can be done at the Port Hole between 14:00 and 20:00, where the official pre-race pasta evening will be held on Saturday night from 18:00 with live music and entertainment. Late registration can also be done at the St Francis Links between 07:00 to 08:15 on race day. Late registration fee applies.

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2011 60km winner Roger Pheiffer on the Wildside

Numbers are limited due to the sensitivity of the area, and only 500 cyclists will be accepted for the two long races.

The entry fees are: R150 – 80km, R100 – 35km, R40 – 15km; R20 – 5km (under 12’s only); Day and Night ride R60 per person. Online entries will open on 5 September on www.stfrancissport.co.za until Thursday 22 November at 12:00. Late registration is allowed at a late entry fee of R40. The first 100 online entries will receive a free t-shirt.

Prize-giving for all races will be at 12:00 at the Club House. The first thee positions (male and female) in the main 80km event will receive prize money and medals to all finishers. Lucky-draws will be up for grabs.

This is a CSA sanctioned MTB race and CSA rules apply. Cyclists doing the 35km and 80km races will need their CSA licenses or take out a day license. Positions will be awarded according to CSA age groups.

Accommodation specials are available at Port St Francis through Coast and Country as well as the Cape St Francis Resort. The St Francis Links is also offering a golf special for cyclists on Saturday.

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