MTB trails lead to new-look Magoebaskloof

All mountain bike trails in Limpopo and Gauteng lead to Magoebaskloof for the renamed Insect Science Classic on November 2.

The old Magoebaskloof Classic, one of the gems on the upcountry mountain biking calendar, has had a facelift and a rebranding with the main event sponsors taking over the naming rights of the event which starts and finishes at the Stanford Lake College in Haenertsburg, near Polokwane. With four races over 82km, 45km, 20km and 10km distances there is something for everybody from the unfit and inexperienced looking to take their early pedal strokes in the sport, up to the elite racing snakes who are hoping for intense high-speed racing action.

Included in the field will be Alan Gordon, the recent winner of the prestigious eight-day Crocodile Trophy event in Australia. Despite his recent heroics against an international field in one of Australia’s toughest events, Gordon will not have things all his own way in Magoebaskloof with a strong field of local riders, and visitors from Johannesburg and Pretoria, sure to provide a stiff challenge.

Among the local challengers hoping to unseat Gordon will be the current leader of the Limpopo Provincial Series, Respect Ramashia, and Heinro Malan, who is currently second on the log standings, while Carel van Wyk, who finished ninth in the Crocodile Trophy, is also sure to be in the mix.

The event also doubles as the Limpopo Provincial Championships, which will add an extra level of competitiveness, particularly for the local riders as they chase provincial titles.

As one local rider described the Magoebaskloof area, “there is not a lot of flat terrain here” which makes for a perfect venue for a mountain bike event.

Alan Gordon, pictured here on his way to winning the Crocodile Trophy event in Australia earlier this month, is the rider to beat. Photo: Crocodile Trophy

The route for the blue riband 82km race is a mix of forest roads, firebreaks and custom built singletrack, including sections of purpose-built trail by Hylton Turvey, a world-renown trail builder who is best known for creating the famous Karkloof Trails in KZN.

“We are so excited about the new-look Insect Science Classic this year,” said Race Director Marc None this week. “We have revamped the event and thanks to the generosity of Gerhard Booysen from Insect Science we are aiming to take this race up to the next level, and the change in name of the event is simply the first step in that.

“Along with Copper Moon Events and Stanford Lake College we have made some great improvements with upgraded routes, increased prize money and a good vibe. We will also have a big screen up to show the Rugby World Cup final, so after enjoying their day on the bike riders can watch the Springboks win a third World Cup title with their mountain biking mates. What could be better?”

The racing starts at 7am on November 2. Entries are via and online entries close on Tuesday October 29.

The event is timed by FinishTime and results will be at after the event.