Mountain bikers looking for a weekend of single-track riding and multiple game sightings have a small window of opportunity left to enter the Bestmed Sondela Mountain Bike Classic before entries close on Sunday (June 22). The fifth edition of the event, which is presented by ASG, takes place on the 4 700-hectare Sondela Game Reserve near Bela-Bela in the Limpopo province on June 28 and 29. Billed as the biggest mountain biking bash in the Bushveld, the weekend festival starts with the kiddies’ rides and 20km and 40km distances on the Saturday, before culminating in the 60km feature race on the Sunday.
Race organiser Wynand De Villiers said the event provided the ideal mini-break for families in pristine surrounds, “In my experience there is no other mountain biking weekend that is as geared towards the whole family, and the resort does a wonderful job of hosting our mountain bikers. It’s a proper festival of riding combined with quality family time in a relaxed environment where the kids are as happy as the parents.” De Villiers said the event offered a cost-effective and quality racing option, with special combination deals for riders opting to do more than one distance. About a third of the field takes up one of the combo deals, which we offered for the first time last year. It makes a whole weekend’s worth of riding more affordable to the participants.”
He said the event continued to grow in popularity year on year and that would-be participants should not wait until the last minute to enter, “This is again illustrated by an increase in pre-entries to date, which total almost a thousand.” Describing it as a jewel in the crown of ASG’s stable of mountain biking races, De Villiers said the event was all about a balance of great riding and family entertainment, “It offers some long stretches of fast single-track that have no equal in the country.”
Although accommodation at the reserve was fully booked, he said there were still ample alternatives in and around Bela-Bela, “But it’s just under an hour’s drive on a beautiful highway from Pretoria, so it’s ideal for day trippers too. Sondela is right next to the main off-ramp to the town.” De Villiers said shower facilities would be made available for day visitors at the race village adjacent to the caravan park. “Riders can also enjoy a cold one and some live music at the beer garden.”
Enter at www.asgevents.co.za before June 22. R10 from every entry fee will be donated to the Cancer Association of South Africa.