After a long off-season, the country’s top Enduro racers will open the 2024 South African Enduro Series with a Round 1 contest on the rocky terrain at Thaba Trails, Johannesburg on Sunday.

Racers from the host province, Gauteng as well as KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga are on the entry list for what promises to be a tight contest that will be run over six relatively short, but testing stages in the hills south of the city.

Matt Lombardi | Photo: Chris Taylor Media

South African Elite men’s champion, Matt Lombardi of the Western Cape tops the names on the men’s pre-entry list. Lombardi has never raced Enduro at Thaba Trails, so will be encountering an entirely new venue. His primary rival is likely to be last year’s SA Cup winner at Thaba Trails, KwaZulu-Natal’s Keira Duncan. Duncan won all but one national enduro event last year, confirming his ability to race fast on any terrain.

The terrain at Thaba Trails has a high volume of rocks and there’s very limited flow, which means a combination of good line choice, efficient suspension, robust tyres and intuitive rider weighting are essential for those with podium ambitions.

Rory Kirk | Photo: Dominic Barnardt

Rising star gravity racer, Rory Kirk, who just completed a strong Downhill domestic season, will be Gauteng’s top racer in the Elite men’s division on Sunday. Kirk finished runner-up to Duncan at the same event last year and will be looking to go one better on Sunday.

Others that are sure to be racing for at least stage wins, if not overall success include Western Cape’s Jason Boulle (Elite Men), Marc Fourie (Elite Men) and Luca Zietsman (Junior Men); KwaZulu-Natal’s Keagan Brand (Elite Men) and Omar Wilson (Junior Men); North West’s Wade Prinsloo (Elite Men); and the Gauteng trio of Bryce Munro (Sub-veteran Men), Danny Fowler (Veteran Men) and Joshua Kanis (Junior Men).

Top : Frankie du Toit | Photo: Chris Taylor Media + Bottom left: Amber Cole | Photo: Chris Taylor Media + Bottom right: Arielle Behr Photo: Dominic Barnardt

South African Enduro champion, Frankie du Toit, heads up the women’s field. The Western Cape racer will also be competing at Thaba Trails for the first time and will no doubt find the rocky terrain a fresh challenge after having completed a dominant Downhill season this past summer.

Du Toit’s main rivals for the overall win are expected to be Gauteng’s Arielle Behr (Junior Women) and Phillipa Spies (Sub-Veteran Women) as well as KwaZulu-Natal’s Amber Cole (Junior Women).

There will be six stages for the Full Enduro, each of which is relatively short, but intense as the steep gradient and rocky terrain feature prominently in most of them. Timing will be done by Send It timing, which records accurately down to one-thousandth of a second.

The event doubles as Round 1 of the 2024 Gauteng Cup Series. The presenting sponsors are Suzuki and Balwin Sport, with supporting sponsorship from the following brands: 32Gi (nutrition support and prizes), 100% (prizes and sound system); Thaba Eco Hotel (accommodation); Complete Cyclist (tech support); Med Guys (medical support); EcoLogic (bike wash and prizes) and SHRED (media).

Online entries can be done here and will close at midnight on Thursday 28 March.

For more information, join the Gauteng Cycling Gravity Group on Telegram, here; or contact Paola Damilano on 0832523752 or