Racing amongst Underberg’s mountain biking riches.
45km, 700m climbing 1hr49min
The Riverlea Drak X MTB classic is one of my favourite races on local calendar as it really embodies everything mountain biking encompasses and stands for. This was my 4th year of attending the event and my 4th consecutive win, but the route has evolved of the years to become one of the best routes one can experience on the bike. There is something about arriving in a small town like Underberg and being able to relax and enjoy the country life for a couple of days, but having your bike makes it even more worth while.
The 45km route links up a number of adjoining farms to makeup a ”proper MTB” race, not many races can make the claim the route is 90% single tack but the Riverlea race can. The event organiser and route designer Spurgeon Flemington has purposefully cut over 20km of trails for the 2014 race and these were ridden for the first time only a couple of days before. Normally this would make for a bumpy ride but the trails were brilliantly smooth and felt like they had been around for a while.
I set a hard pace as the race hit the first hill and kept it going on the flat sections of trails to put a small gap between Tyron Bird (Quattro) and Reinhard Zellhuber (Russel white academy)and myself. This gap grew as the kilometres ticked away but both the guys didn’t give up and I could see them pushing hard when I had a chance to look back when the trail looped across the valley.
1st Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance)
2nd Tyron Bird (Quattro Finance)
3rd Reinhard Zellhuber (Russel White Academy )
The end result saw Tyron in 2nd place and the youngster Reinhard in 3rd place a couple of minutes back. The event is always a proper showcase of the Underberg area and what riches it hold for mountain biking.