It all began in 2014 when Jason Sharrock and Craig Hensberg decided to host a 2-day stage race in the heart of the Sunshine Coast with the assistance of Colin Whitehead and his team, at the Mpekweni Beach Resort.
Multisport Events, back then known as Eventworx, was able to host its first successful race, attracting 120 riders from across the country! The encouraging response of this first event lead to an even more successful sequel and is continuing to grow.
Consistently reviewed as the “best single track” mountain biking experience by just about every rider that has participated, the Mercedes-Benz Mpekweni MTB Classic is certainly cementing its humble presence as one of South Africa’s yearly showcase mountain biking events.
The 5th edition of the annual race will take place from 27 – 29 April 2018 – the first year the event will be hosted as a 3-day stage race. The 180km race, 80% of which will be single track, will take riders through magnificent trails meandering through old derelict farmlands, showcasing the best mountain biking that South Africa has to offer.
Day 1 – Five Valleys: Five Valleys sees the intrepid riders head north on a short district road section before dropping into “Bouncing Bruce’s”, the first single track section that flows down to the Mtati river. After a short river crossing, riders will face a double hump climb called, “The Camel’s Back”. At the top, riders get a short gravel road recovery section, before dropping into the Mgwalana valley with “Tharfield’s Tit” lying just ahead.
The Tharfield Community is one of the beneficiaries of the race and has a “local team” that partake in this epic race. It is time to traverse the top of the Birha river, drop into the “Birha Loop”, crossing the Birha river and up towards the “Pump House”. After a long free wheel section down to the pump station and a beautiful meander back up to the gravel road, riders will link up onto a new jeep track section crossing as they make their way back to Benton.
Day 2 – Saddle Up: Riders head out on the district road for the first 6km before swooping down “Rut Hill” into the first single track section of the day, Benton’s Meander. Riders then hit “Switch Backs”, head towards Benton, past the local school, where the children hand-craft the finisher medals and will be waiting to cheer riders on towards the “The Saddle”.
Participants will ride on the edge of a cliff with vast expanses and immense solitudes.
This will lead riders into the first river bed section which meanders and tunnels through the bush canopy under the cliff overhang. The Jeep-track climb will test those legs, but before knowing it riders will be dropping into the second river bed section – “Collar Bone Creek” with Tharfield just ahead.
After a gravel road section “Wag n Bietjie Valley” awaits, then onwards and upwards to “Bush Buck Ridge” until riders are met by the crew for some much needed nutrition and hydration.
The legendary “Spoke Valley” drop-in has always been one of the firm favourites and give riders valley-riding at its ultimate. A much needed recovery dirt road will get the heart rate down with “Benton’s Best” over the fence-crossing and onto “Mpekweni’s Window”.
Day 3 – Mpekweni’s Showpiece: Day 3 is the “show-off” day with 90% of it being single and jeep-track riding, taking riders along the magical Mpekweni River bank, climbing up “Hoes Hill” and dropping back down over the floating bridge crossing, into “Reservoir” with classic cattle-track riding, snaking into “Cry Baby Kirch’s” and “Pink House” with “Malpit’s Finger” looming on the horizon.
The best is still to come. At “This Is Tit”, riders will be dropping and crossing the Mtati River including “Hensberg’s Coil”, “Python Valley” and “Cycad Alley” tunnel. At the Hotel riders can wag chins and compare notes of the ups and downs – the knocks and the scratches – the triumphant feeling of all that you have accomplished!
The ultimate reward at the end of each day, will be the return to the lap of the luxurious Mpekweni Beach Resort to rest the weary legs.
Here riders will be able to relax and indulge in five course buffet meals on offer before settling into the comfort of your luxurious hotel room for maximum rest before each stage. Spa facilities for the wife, a children’s day care and a spectrum of activities and attractions will keep anyone’s boredom at bay.
The Mpekweni MTB Classic offers a host of services for riders’ convenience such as Bike Mechanics, Bike Storage, Bike Wash, Massages, Airport Transfers, Medical Support Staff and Race Sweeper – adding to the entire experience.
Multisport Events have tailored the hotel and race packages to cater for the individual, teams, the family or the “Dayblazers” looking to race the event and not take the event organizer up on the luxurious accommodation on offer.
Family Package – R 10,350 per rider: Bring the family – Race Entry, 3 Night Hotel Stay, including Spouse (non rider) and 2 Children, All Meals included for you and Spouse, Meals for children charged separately, Bike Wash, Bike Storage, Race Jacket, Optional Airport Transfer R630/pp.
Team Package – R 6,250 per rider: Share and save – Race Entry, 3 Night Hotel Stay (Sharing), All Meals, Bike Wash, Bike Storage, Race Jacket, Optional, Airport Transfer R630/pp.
Team Package – R 6,650 per rider: Own Room – Race Entry, 3 Night Hotel Stay (Own room), All Meals, Bike Wash, Bike Storage, Race Jacket, Optional, Airport Transfer R630/pp.
Day Blazer – R 3,100 per rider: Inclusive is the Race Entry, Lunches, Bike Wash, Bike Storage, Race Jacket, but No Accommodation.
Multisport Events’ secure online payment platform will process your entry, ensuring your spot in the limited placements for 2018.
For more information and online entries visit www.mpekwenimtb.co.za