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Mr Price Karkloof Trail Blazer

vendredi 26 février 2016

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The Karkloof Valley is well known among farming circles as one of the top dairy regions in South Africa.  It is also well known for it's conservation efforts involving the Blue Crane.  However, if you chat to mountain bikers country wide and ask them what the Karkloof means to them, you will always get a consistent answer that includes the phrase "insane single track and some of SA's best riding".

The Karkloof has established itself as one of, if not the prime riding area in South Africa now, with two quality events and a year round facility available to riders.  This past weekend, the newly developed Mr Price Karkloof Trail Blazer was staged for the second time and proved to be a huge success yet again.  Just over 800 riders turned out for either the 45km single track challenge, or the family orientated 20km ride.  The long distance event is based around a superb single track experience.  Small batches and a heap load of manicured track, including the now infamous "Gauntlet" section, welcomed riders on a balmy day in the Karkloof.  The parent event, the Karkloof Classic (SA's biggest mountain bike festival which takes place in April 2011) has funded the employment of a full time track building and maintenance team under the guidance of downhill rider and local farmer Hylton Turvey, and after this past weekend, it is clear that the events investment is more than paying off.

Racing at the front of the pack in the 45km was fierce, and with limited space to overtake due to the kilometers of single track, position was key in dictating the race. Greig Knox, the overall winner in 02h08min31sec was pushed hard in the initial stage of the race by up and coming South Coast multisporter Justin Porteous, who he ended up beating by 2min 10sec.

"It was a superb course, and it was great to be back racing hard again", explained Knox, the young man who has over the years, spent much of his time growing up in Underberg.

15 comment(s)

justin Cope
The singletrack was awesome, the hills at race speed were super tough but i guess you have to get to the top of a hill to ride down it.

Something seriously needs to be done about the starting times! At this time of the year,its not normal starting a race at 9am and having to ride a 45km testing route, that only has one water table, with warm drinks and no ice! There were alot of people asking where the medals were too. But great marshalling and fantastic route!!

My 1st 45k. The single track was awesome! The hills were a killer. The track marking was superb especially for a newcomer. I was so impressed by the courteousness of the riders behind me wanting to pass. No pressure, very polite. It took some of the tension off.

My first visit to the area..relatively new to mountain biking and all i can say is wow!!Such beauty an hour and a bit away from the city.Well done guys.Keep up the awesome work.

Hi i just wane say thanks to all the marchels thy did a great work showing us the route some people can learn from them.just 2 more things, can we please please start the race at 8 next year as it was so hot at 10 oclock.and water points for the 45km please. The hills was realy hard and single track was some of the best i have ever road on thanks will definitly be back next year. Thanks to everyone.

My 1st KK, only the 20km but still what a ride. The organizing and neatness was A1.
As seen on other remarks "Please start earlier" even if it is at 7. Will be back next year. A bit disappointing that there was no medals ??. My 1st Roag event EVER where I ONLY received a batch sticker (and two cable ties) for my number plate :-)

Steve Forster
Awesome route, gruesome climbs and an excellent balance of technical riding and fast flowing single track. One of the best courses I have ridden however just a couple of gripes. Water tables scarce and too far into the race. The start time needs to be looked at. We are all use to getting up early to train so why start at 9.00 especially at this time of year? But excellent marshalling and well marked. Thanks, will be back in 2011.

Enjoyable morning out, do feel it should have started earlier, definately should have batched 20km, and the last big drain was dangerous and should have been marked, feel sorry for gentleman that broke collerbone....very well marked!

Esch 45 km race rather tiring. Just some quiet critisizm - race needs to start a lot earler and more water tables needed. The climb mid way was toooo long.
Otherwise will back.

I enjoyed the route, especially the super tubes and gauntleti think they are called. my first off road race and also found the marking to be good and the track excellent. Temps were soaring on the day and we all pretty much agree that at least an extra water table needs to be added and an earlier starting time. Otherwise hats off to the organisers for the ride. PS loved the bull runs although i nearly ate my bars dropping into the 1st one haha.

Stu Berry
Thansk for all your comments. We certainly will look to start an hour earlier next year, and add one more water table to the 45km. The purpose of the event is to ensure a fun, social ride on awesome tracks, and not too long. The tough climbs are due to the fact that you need to get up to experience the awesome singla track. If we split the climbs, then the race becomes about 10km longer. With regards to medals, you will notice that the event is very cheap for the distances offered, and the approach to this event is simply a no thrilss, no fuss one of arrive and ride. Thanks for all your support, and we will continue to make sure that all the events in the Karkloof are top class, value for money and enjoyable!

Man what a day of riding. I enjoyed riding so hard that I ended up with blisters on my a&%s..... I was loving it so much I just couldn't stop pushing....lol....

Will be back, keen to see some pics as well? Where can we find them, please.

It was an awesome race (22km), very fast and I drastically improved on my times. I am sorry I did not ride the 45km as I ride most of the course every other weekend. What I loved is u could prepare for the race through the website, the graphs illustrated the course. This told me not to ride the 45km due to my fitness level,for me the gaunlet and single track is unbelievable. Love riding it on the weekends. Will be riding the classic and trailblazer in 2011, thank you to all the organisers hard work.

Awsome race, the climbing was tough, but the single track after the tough climbs were worth the sweat. An earlier start and another water table would be great. Will definately be back.......

Awesome awesome track