Total Distance: 45.0km, 2hr02min
After the mud of hill2hill, I decided to head up to the Drakensberg for the long weekend of some training and racing. The Riverlea drak challenge is a local classic with HUGE potential and after my win here last year in 2011 I thought I’d better defend my title and have some fun at the same time. Riverlea is a 700Ha farm that caters specifically for the multisport athlete but in our case the mountain biker. The Pristine single track that threads through the property allows the mountain biker to traverse a number of properties and riding conditions. The Riverlea single track links directly into the neighbouring Sani Spoors MTB trails which opens access to over 60km of single track for visiting riders. The 45km race route utilized the superbly constructed and well thought out trail network of the sani spoors and the newly formed Riverlea trail network in the best way it could.
The 90% single track on the race flier I thought might have been an over excited marketing ploy but the race really was 90% single track. From the start to the finish we just seemed to flow and ride over some of the best track I’d ever ridden. The area is well renowned for being the start of the Sani2C but many riders don’t even get to get see the surroundings. It would be a great concept if the Sani2C had a prologue to show case the area and provide some exciting racing for the riders over a 20km route on these trails.
I took the lead of the race with a Tyron Bird who is retuning from a serious crash at Joberg2C and remained at the front all the way to the finish line. The pace was consistent and I had time to take the scenery in and really take note of the efforts the trail builders had made for the event. I must commend Spurgeon and his team on the trails and multiple bridges. The amount of work is paramount to a world class effort from his team and I’ll definitely being coming back next year. If you’re looking at riding in the berg give Spurgeon a call 082 329 7737 or visit www.Riverlea.co.za