The 2020 Western Cape XCO Series kicks off on 8 February at the well-known Bloemendal Wine Estate, with events scheduled for 14 March, 2 May and 30 May to follow the season opener. With Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in sight, many South African riders will take part in as many UCI ranked events as possible in order to secure a place at the Olympic Games in July. Alan Hatherly, Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill are the top ranked South African riders currently. To find out more about the qualification process visit the UCI website: http://ow.ly/64Pl30qcS6l
The 2020 Western Cape XCO Series promises to be very exciting as a host of fast riders make their way into higher categories, notably in Junior Men and Women, as well as Youth Men. Luke Moir, currently ranked highest Junior Men in the world, and winner of the 2019 SA Cup XCO Series’ Junior Men’s category will still be riding in the Junior Men’s category this year. Moving into the category is the 2019 WC XCO Champion Luca Ruwiel, Kai von During, Aiden Penfold (2nd and 3rd in 2019 WC XCO Championship), and Justin Chesterton.
Moving up into the Junior Girls’ category is Andrea Schofman, 2019 WC XCO Champion, joining Stefke Tolmay, Nienke Mostert and Julia Marx. “We will see very exciting racing in the Junior Men’s and Junior Girls’ categories for sure!”
“We can expect similar excitement in the Youth Men’s category, as a very strong group of Sub Junior boys move up into this category. The top 3 in the 2019 WC XCO Championship Hendre de Villiers, Luke Kavanagh and Alec Coleske will be joined by SA XCO Champion Philip van Schalkwyk. This is one of the strongest groups coming through the order, and these boys will dominate the category.
Joining the U23 category for 2020 are the highly regarded Daniel van der Walt and Johan van Zyl, who recently signed a contract to ride for Scott. “We can expect spirited efforts from these two. Elite riders such as 2018 U23 World Champion Alan Hatherly, Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill will probably take part the WC XCO Series to hone their skills for the Olympic Games, but they cannot take their eyes off the new riders in the category.
Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club generously made a financial contribution towards the series for 2020, continuing their support for the development of mountain biking. Further to bolster the media coverage of the series, Into Cycling Newspaper will be the Official Media partner for the WC XCO Series. Venues for upcoming events will be confirmed soon.
“We are happy to continue our partnership with the WP MTB Commission, who is responsible for the WC cycling disciplines. As with ourselves, they are also a small group of volunteers at the helm, who need as much support they can get, to ensure they fulfil their tasks as best they can,” – Morné Veer, representative of Tygerberg Mountain bike Club. “Developing the sport and being part of the bigger picture herein, is something that we are passionate about, especially among the youth.The XCO Series is an extension of the already successful Spur schools program, and we have seen first-hand how kids of all ages, members of our club as well as non- members, have progressed in the WC XCO series, and went on to achieve fantastic results outside of the province, and abroad. However, we are not performance driven and for us, participation is the real objective and we’re continuously striving towards this goal.”
“Many of our club members participate in the series, and we look forward to having the first event of 2020 at one of the club’s most iconic venues, Bloemendal Wine Estate on 8 February. The course is of premium quality, and one that hosted the wheels of many international superstars (such as Nino Schurter, Henrique Avancini, Sam Gaze, Alan Hatherly, to name a few) in the past.”
“We invite our members never having done an XCO race before, to bring along a friend and line up – contrary to perception, racing is open to all and not just elite or provincial athletes. Looking forward to again be part of the series this year and seeing the discipline grow,” Morné concluded.