Some big names will be missing, but there’s still a strong field gathered to contest the first round of the Gauteng Enduro Series, presented by Suzuki, which doubles as Round 1 of the 2022 Enduro SA Cup, at Buffelsdrift, Pretoria this weekend.

After months of rain, the Buffelsdrift crew members have been busy preparing the trails and stages for Sunday’s event, which will have six stages for the Enduro and three stages for the Enduro Lite. Lines 2, 4, 5 and 6 on the main Enduro slope will be used as well as Supertubes and Rocks to Crocs. The total distance is 26.6km with 631m of ascent.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Keira Duncan, Mpumalanga’s Willie van Eck and Gauteng’s Bryce Munro top the men’s entry list, while Gauteng’s Julia Kotze will start as the favourite in the women’s division.

Willie van Eck. | Photo: Culture Collective

Van Eck, winner of both rounds of the 2022 Mpumalanga Enduro Series so far, has raced at Buffelsdrift before at a round of the 2021 Gauteng Series where he finished second overall. He’s familiar with the venue and the relatively high volume of pedalling suits the former XCO racer, who is a member of the Organic Athlete team.

“The racing in Gauteng is always very competitive as there’s lots of good talent there. There are some riders that are very familiar with Buffelsdrift’s lines which is always a slight advantage over the riders from other provinces. My fitness I know is good. I’m just hoping my skills will join the party,” said Van Eck, who confirmed he will pre-ride the lines on Saturday.

Keira Duncan. | Photo: Culture Collective

For Duncan, the 2018 South African Enduro Champion, Buffelsdrift will be a new venue.

“I enjoy rocky terrain so I’m looking forward to that feature on the stages with rocky sections. I prefer racing where there is more gradient, but I don’t mind a pedal. I’ll give it my best shot,” said Duncan

Munro will race in the Sub-Veteran category, but he possesses and ideal blend of skill and power and is always a prospect for the overall podium. Although his last-minute decision to race Sani2c means he won’t pre-ride the course and will race blind.

“I’m flying home from Sani on Friday evening, but I have work commitments on Saturday so will have to just race with some instinct,” said Munro.

Bryce Munro. | Photo: Culture Collective

Other riders that are sure to feature in their category and overall are North West’s Wade Prinsloo (Elite), Western Cape’s Philip van Schalkwyk (Junior), North West’s Charl van Zyl (Sub-Veteran), Gauteng’s Dan Fowler (Veteran), Limpopo’s Tyrone Anders (Junior) and Mpumalanga’s Jo Bester (Elite).

In the women’s division Kotze is the outright favourite at a venue that she has been successful at in the past.

“I always have an extra bit of quiet confidence when racing at Buffelsdrift – it is my home trail after all. Knowing what the challenge ahead looks like calms the nerves a bit. I’m looking forward to it,” said Kotze.

Julia Kotze. | Photo: HD Xion Pics

The event will use the Send It Time pod system, which is used at all Gauteng and Mpumalanga Enduro Series events.

The lines are currently open for pre-riding. Gauteng Cycling has organised a skills session with certified coaches on Saturday for those that want to improve their confidence ahead of Sunday’s racing. You can book here.

The entry deadline has been extended to Thursday 22h00. Entries must be done online here.

New for 2022 for Gauteng riders only, will be a Schools Log and Club Log, which will run throughout the Gauteng Series across both the Enduro and Lite events.

Suzuki is the presenting sponsor the 2022 Gauteng Enduro Series. Other brands that have invested in sponsoring the Gauteng Enduro Series are SOX Footwear (socks) EcoLogic (bike wash products), 100% (eyewear products), 32GI (performance supplements), Med Guys (medical support) and SHRED (media partner).

For more information, contact Paola on 083 2523752 or