Mixed challenge awaits riders at Waterberg Encounter
A series of trails which will provide a good diversity of challenges awaits competitors when the Liberty Waterberg Encounter mountain-bike race takes place in June. The three-day race near Bela-Bela in Limpopo will be held from June 7-9 and will incorporate routes in the Sondela Nature Reserve and the Elements Private Golf Reserve. It is the third event in the Liberty Encounter series, following the TransCape MTB race in February and the Winelands Encounter in April.
Route designer Mel Meyer said they were planning another memorable experience for the riders through the bushveld of the area, which had been transformed by the good rains that had fallen recently. “We have had some amazing rainfall in the area so there is quite a bit of work that is going to take place because the bush and undergrowth have become very dense,” he said.
“There is such a difference in the situation that people who were here last year might battle to recognise some of the trails.” Meyer added that their overall objective was to ensure the riders enjoyed a decent test without burning them out too much during the three days.
“We want to make sure they can mark this down as a special experience and that won’t happen if they can’t enjoy the wonderful accommodation options on offer.
“There will be some technical challenges but there is plenty of fast-flowing single-track as well, which they will enjoy.”
Meyer is currently engaging with landowners to ensure they are able to create the best route they can and he said there were a few details they were in the process of finalising. “For instance, we have not quite finalised the first stage because there is a section that we are very keen to incorporate.
“We are in discussions and the signs are looking positive. If we can get that right it will make for an exciting addition to the route.”
Meyer said the second day would be similar to last year, with a few challenges mixed with plenty of rewards during the day. “On the third day we have added a section of 10 to 12km of fast-flowing single-track which will bring the riders back down faster into the Sondela Nature Reserve. “There are some technical sections, but most of the route is manageable and it will be a course all mountain-bikers will be able to tackle.”
He added that the chance to ride through some typical bushveld farms and to view wildlife would make it a race to remember.
For more details, visit www.waterbergencounter.co.za
CAPTION: Good rainfall in the area will ensure a typical bushveld experience when the Liberty Waterberg Encounter mountain-bike race takes place near Bela-Bela in Limpopo from June 7 to 9. Photo: Gerrie Kriel/Twin Productions SA