Top South African Enduro racer, Matt Lombardi, has confirmed that he will be competing at Round 2 of the Mpumalanga Enduro Series at Trailworx, Nelspruit on Saturday, 5 June, headlining what is likely to be a strong field.

The Specialized racer from Somerset West won the Giba Gorge Enduro on 10 April, which doubled as Round 1 of the Enduro South African Cup Series. The Trailworks Enduro this weekend is Round 2 of the SA Cup Series, which is what prompted Lombardi to enter.

Matt Lombardi headlines the field for Round 2 of the Enduro SA Cup and the Mpumalanga Enduro Series Round 2 at Trailworx, Nelspruit. | Photo: Specialized

“Unfortunately I will miss Round 3 of the SA Cup Series in my backyard at Jonkershoek as I will be racing overseas then. Having won the first round in Durban, I am trying to score as many points as I can in the Series rounds that I can do,” explained Lombardi on Monday.

“I was quite surprised to win the first round  and I’m sure there will be a few fast locals to contend with, so I’m just going to race my own race and see where I end up.”

Lombardi has been competing internationally in Enduro racing since 2017. Second place at Trans Madeira and third place at an EWS qualifier in New Zealand, as well as a few Top-10s in the EWS Under-21 category count among his highlights so far. His best EWS Elite category finish was 62nd, confirming the significant depth of the international Enduro racing.

He’s racing as much as possible in South Africa in preparation for his upcoming international three-month racing stint which will see him compete in the Enduro World Series, eBike Enduro World Series, World eBike Series and possibly the eBike World Champs.

“Can you tell I’m a fan of eBikes?” smiled Lombardi. “But this weekend I’ll be on my Specialized Enduro in Nelspruit. It’s the bike I’ll be racing the EWS on so it’s ideal to get some racing time on it now.”

Also confirmed for this weekend’s event is Willie van Eck, winner of Round 1 of the Mpumalanga Enduro Series at MTB White River on 17 April. Coming from a XC racing background, Van Eck, has the speed and the skill for Enduro and will be keen to see what he can do against a bigger field of competitors.

Other names on the entry list that stand out include Sam Bull, a former top downhill racer and runner-up to Van Eck at Round 1 in White River and Zandri Strydom, women’s winner and fourth-placed overall at Round 1.

Entries close on Thursday, 1 June and can be done online here.

Event Director, Schalk Potas has urged all entrants to get in at least one practice run on each of the five race lines before racing begins on Saturday.

“We urge all competitors to get in one full practice this week. There are some huge features and we don’t want anyone to be surprised on race day. If riders can’t get in a practice run before race day, we recommend they rather only ride B-Lines during racing to reduce the risk of drama,” said Potas.

Mpumalanga Enduro Series Round 2 schedule:

Friday 4 June: Practice opens from 07h00. R50 per rider or R200 per rider for the guided full-route session (limited to groups of 6) – ideal for those new to Enduro.

Saturday 5 June: Race day!

06:00: Number board collection

06:45: Race briefing

07:00: Start (1.5-2-hour climb, almost all the climbing in one go)

08:45: Summit (coffee bar and snack bar available at the top of the Blue Cheese trail – cash only)

09:30: Elite category Start

10:15: Lite category start

12:00: Expected first finishers

12:00: 14:00 Lunch and beers @Friends Cafe

14:00: prize giving

14:30: more beers!

Sunday 6 June:  Air DH (an optional extra fun stage on one of the jump trails)

08h00-10h00 meet and finish @Friends Cafe


Elite Event: R350 – Full Enduro 5 stages

Lite Event: R300 – Lite Enduro 3 stages. The Lite Event is a better choice for riders that  don’t want to compete in the National event and don’t want to ride anything too technical but still want to get the  full experience, the routes are easier with clear markings to choose easier B-Line options.

More information and online entry over here.