The committee of the Tygerberg MTB Club made a conscious decision in 2017 to recognise the discipline of XCO racing, and what critical role it plays, not only in the youth categories, but also including all riders right up to the grey haired folk, who enjoy testing their abilities, and want to improve their skills and fitness, required for this discipline.
“The XCO format has been embraced by SA Schools, and there’s been year on year growth at the various events throughout the country. Undoubtedly the best place to further enhance your potential and riding experience, is at the WP XCO series, which is hosted annually, at events around the greater Cape Town area, by the Western Province Mountain Biking Commission,” says Morné Veer – Committee Member of Tygerberg MTB Club. According to Morné one of the biggest challenges of regional cycling in South Africa is the lack of funding from government, and the seemingly disinterest from corporate sponsors.
This challenge for the WP MTB commission was further enhanced, with the news that their title sponsor of the last few years, will unfortunately no longer be able to continue their support, which caused great concern among many.
“It was of great concern to the committee that the WP 2018 XCO Series was now facing some very difficult challenges, which in turn, has a direct influence on our club’s riders, who make up a very large part of the annual entries. Among these are our scholars (sub nippers, right up to the matriculants). We could not see this happen, and swift action was needed – as a result, the committee decided to step in as main partner sponsor, and contributed an amount of R75 000 to the WP XCO series for 2018,” Morné adds.
The above sponsorship, is seen by the leadership more as an investment back into XCO, which comes at the back of a specific new hard-hitting and technical XCO course currently being built at Bloemendal and soon to be opened.
“We are devoted to the development of our youth specifically, and future of XCO – we are blessed with some exceptional talented boys and girls in our club, and see great potential in so many other youngsters out there – we are committed to their cause, and are very happy that we have made such big strides this year,” Morné continues.
“We encourage all our parents to get their children involved in this format, no matter what the ability – it is a platform for all to develop, and enjoy themselves, but not just the parents, all members are invited to enter the 2018 series, it is truly a special discipline, with great reward and satisfaction.”
“We wish the Western Province Mountain Biking Commission only the best with their new season, and know it is going to be a huge success,” Morné concludes.
First race in SA XCO Cup series to be held in Stellenbosch
The 2018 national racing season begins with the SA MTB Cross-country Cup Series #1 race, and the Western Cape XCO Cup #1 Series race, hosted by Western Province Mountain Bike Commission on the slopes of the Coetzenburg Mountain at Stellenbosch University on Saturday, 3 February 2018.
The series will be known as the SRAM WC XCO Series in association with Tygerberg MTB, as main sponsors.
This event is a UCI Category 1 race and also forms part of the UCI Junior World Series. The 4.4-kilometre track has its fair share of challenging sections aptly named Varsity Dropout, Pickup Sticks and Wine Barrel and with 180 metres of climbing, will be sure to get the pros racing in the red zone.
With the National Series offering all-important Category 1 UCI points, local and international competitors alike will be looking to garner points to boost their rankings early in the season. This is particularly advantageous ahead of the opening round of the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series opener, which takes place on the same course on 10 March 2018.