National Champ Aims To Claim Local Downhill Title

South African National DHI Champion, Tiaan Odendaal, will be looking to claim the provincial title at the 2015 KZN Provincial Enduro and Downhill Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on 6-7 June.  Spectators to the park will be able to see some of KZN’s best riders in action in two separate events – the popular and relatively new Enduro discipline on Saturday with the Downhill on Sunday. Both events start at 11:00 and not 12:00 as previously advertised.  Odendaal will be one of many young and not-so-young men and women aiming to claim the provincial titles on offer on a track that has attracted the world’s best downhill racers in previous years.
Highly skilled riders will tackle the seriously technical track, where most sections will be the same as what was used in the World Cup last year.  The National Champion is feeling ready for battle.  He says:  ‘I am feeling pretty comfortable, I mean it’s the same course as the SA Cup and I’m confident about it.  Having said that, I am probably going to get a bit more nervous closer to the time.’  When asked whether or not he would be competing in the Enduro race the day before the downhill, Odendaal said:  ‘I would love to race the Enduro but I’ll just have to see.  If the distance between the timed sections is strenuous and the racing is very technical, then I probably won’t.  For now my major focus is on Sunday’s downhill race – I don’t want to be too worn out before I race.’

Regular downhill podium contender, Tim Bentley, will also be competing in the DHI race and hopes to bring some excitement to the track with his flamboyant style and big air.  Bentley – sponsored by Fox Head clothing and Greg Minnaar Cycles – feels the same way in terms of racing the National and Provincial races:  ‘For sure, a national race is always more stressful although there is still a bit of pressure for a provincial race.  The vibe is a lot more relaxed than a national and there is a lot less tension between the riders on race day.  But when you are in the start gate ready to go off for your run I think most riders would agree that you always feel nervous and feel the pressure of doing well no matter how big the race is.’  Downhill participants will have the morning to practice the technical sections on the track with official practice from 08:30-10:30 on Sunday, and racing starting at 11:00.

Saturday’s Enduro racing is open for anyone to race on any type of mountain bike, and its relaxed and social element have seen this discipline of mountain biking grow with each event on the provincial circuit.  Dave Drummond, event organiser for the KZN Enduro Champs, says that although the track is technical, there is nothing on the course that cannot be ridden on a XCO bike, even on a hardtail.  With the focus being on fun, the Enduro race is sure to see another great turnout of keen riders looking for pure rider enjoyment!

Event details:

Date: 6-7 June 2015
Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Location: Cascades MTB Park
Entries Close: 3 June 2015
Starting Time: 11:00
Registration: Cascades, 08:00-11:00 & Cascades, 07:30-10:30
Late Entries: Yes
Timed By: Elite Timing
ROAG Registration: No
Event Website: http://www.kznmtb.co.za

Online pre-entries are now open, and close on Wednesday 3 June.  Click here to enter: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1469  Late entries will be accepted at registration with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.

Entrance for spectators is free, and all are welcome to attend to watch some spectacular mountain bike racing.  For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za or Dellah Paul dellah@cyclingsa.com