Round 2 of the Sox Footwear Enduro Series, presented by SHRED takes place at Buffelsdrift, Pretoria on Sunday, 17 October and early indications are that there will be a stacked field contesting both the day’s racing and Gauteng Series points.
Winner of Round 1, Sam Bull, has confirmed his entry. The former South African Enduro champion dominated the first leg at Grootfontein in August and is keen to race on the more craggy sections of trail at Buffelsdrift.
“Buffelsdrift has very raw, loose, rugged and natural trails. The stages that are going to be used are a lot of fun. There’s not the most gradient there, but they have made the most of what they have. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a hard day. The stages are very physical and longer than the stages at Round 1. I think it will be fun and I’m looking forward to seeing a nice big turnout,” said Bull.
Chris Pearton, overall runner-up and Sub-veteran winner at Round 1 will also be in action at Buffelsdrift.
“There are some nice technical rock gardens but also some awkward ones – there’s a lot to remember at Buffelsdrift. I do enjoy rocky, technical trails so will just have to ‘ride light’ and try avoid pinching on the rocks,” said Pearton.
A rider that must be considered a strong challenger for the overall title is Francois Theron. The former professional mountain bike racer is a co-owner of Buffelsdrift and he built all the Enduro Lines. He also holds the Strava Segment KOM for each one.
Lauresian Brett, winner of the women’s division at Round 1 in August, has confirmed she’ll be in the race mix on Sunday. There were 15 female entries at Round 1 and with more XCO racers showing an interest in Enduro events, the organisers are hoping to attract even more females at Round 2.
Another category that’s likely to have a good entry field is eBike. The continued number of eBike sales confirm that this is the fastest growing category in mountain bike racing in South Africa and enduro events are ideal for skilled eBike riders, especially those from a motorcycle background.
The wide range of rock is a key feature at Buffelsdrift. From slab rock sections to widely spaced smooth, baby-head-rock sections to chaotic, loose, sharp rock sections on four of the five race runs, rock-riding skill and tyre durability will be challenged for sure.
Enduro Lines 2, 4, 5 and 6 will be used for the race runs. All of them start on the ridge of the same hill, which is essentially at the summit of the Concrete Road climb. Each line has its own interesting features, but have an overall similar look and feel.
To mix things up a bit, the organisers have included the flowy, smooth Supertubes descent as the fifth race run for Sunday. It has no rocks or steep pitches, but includes a gradual gradient with snaking wide singletrack supported with low berms. There are some small jumps lower down the line on the straight bits.
The event is organised by Gauteng Cycling who will be using the iTime system for the timing to ensure immediate, accurate timing.
“We have had a reasonably good number of pre-entries so far. With entries closing on Friday night though, there’s likely to be the usual late rush,” said Paola Damilano, Gauteng Cycling MTB Chairperson and series organiser.
The event is online-entry only. Online entry can be done via this link. For more information, join the Gauteng Cycling Gravity Group on Telegram, here; or contact Paola Damilano on 0832523752 or firstname.lastname@example.org