After his victory at Round 1 in March, Willie van Eck is keen to extend his good form at Round 2 of the 2022 Mpumalanga Enduro Series, presented by Bike Market, which takes place at a new racing venue near Lydenberg on Saturday, 7 May.

The event will be held at Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve and will once again offer a Full and a Lite Enduro option. The Full Enduro has four stages, which cover a total of 23km with 800m of ascent, while the Lite Enduro has two stages, covering 16km with 550m of ascent. Both events will begin with a shuttle to the start of Stage 1.

Van Eck, a member of the Organic Athlete Race Team, secured a relatively comfortable win at Round 1 at Tranquilitas. Although the trails at Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve are a lot more natural, Van Eck will start as favourite in the men’s division. Runner-up at Round 1, Junior Tyrone Anders (pictured above), is also on the entry list and will undoubtedly be putting Van Eck under pressure.

In the women’s division, Julia Kotze, the 2021 Gauteng Enduro Series Champion, will start as favourite. She suffered a broken derailleur before the start at Round 1 at Tranquilitas and was unable to race, so will be eager to make up for that disappointment.

Julia Kotze will start as the favourite to claim the women’s title.

“All the stages are in the Nature Reserve and are mostly on flowy game trails and old ox wagon routes. There’s no hero soil at all so expect loose shale rock for the most part,” said Schalk Potas of Trail Awareness Crew, the organising company.

“Riders will need to pick their lines carefully as these trails are renowned to be hard on wheels, from sidewall cuts and snake bites to damaged rims and spokes. If possible, run tyre inserts. There are no berms, so expect off-camber and technical descents. There are some pedally bits but the generous gradient elsewhere balances it out nicely,” added Potas.

Rounds 3, 4 and 5 will be at established gravity trails venues, MTO, White River; Trailworx, Nelspruit and York, Sabie. Those doing the final round will be able to race the Mpumalanga Champs the following day. Round 4 doubles as the 2022 South African Enduro Championships as well as an Enduro World Series qualifying round.

Mpumalanga Enduro Series, presented by Bike Market 2022:

12 March – Tranquilitas, Waterval Boven

7 May – Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve, Lydenberg

18 June – MTO, White River

17 September – Trailworx, Nelspruit (SA Enduro Champs)

29 October – York, Sabie

30 October – Safcol, Sabie (Mpumalanga Champs)

For more information or to enter Round 2 online, click here.