Professional cyclists HB Kruger and Catherine Colyn are gearing up to tackle the fast and punchy mountain bike trails at the Greyt Middelplaas Escape at Middelplaas Farm, Greyton, on April 10.
The single-day, action-packed MTB event will offer distances of 60km, 40km, and 20km.
Kruger, 29, said with a year filled with uncertainty, as athletes they felt very grateful for events picking up and when the Greyt Escape was confirmed, it was a no-brainer to try and get on the start line.
“I’ve raced through the town of Greyton during the Cape Epic and Transcape, and on both occasions, it was quite a blast,” said the Alfa Bodyworks-Titan Racing MTB rider who resides in Paarl.
The 24-year-old Colyn, who had a stint with Maaslandster International Women’s Cycling Team, is looking forward to forming part of this exciting day.
“With the race having such a great reputation, I couldn’t give it a miss. This is also a great way to test the form ahead of Marathon National Championships.”
The Greyt Escape used to run over three days, but organisers have opted to change the format from a stage race to a one-day event, which Kruger applauds them for.
“In these difficult times I think organisers have to be a bit flexible to adjust to regulations and to make an event happen, even if it’s on a smaller scale, which I think they’ve done well here,” said Kruger, a former Stellenbosch MTB Challenge winner.
He added that there were a few specific elements that were highlights for him.
“Definitely the location and the route profile. It will be a tough 60km with a couple of big hills on the route, and with that will come amazing scenery.”
Greyt Escape is also a Cycling South Africa (CSA) sanctioned event, as well as a qualifier for Overberg Regional Colours.
“It’s comforting that all governing bodies are involved and supportive of the event.
“I like to know that there will be trained event officials to ensure compliance with rules for racing and technical support for the organiser regarding their safety files.”
He added that it also made it easier for license holders to enter and participate.
“If license holders participate in non-sanctioned events they could be fined or sanctioned for one month.”
Kruger said Greyton was not far from the main cities and people were still able to drive through and enjoy a day in the little town and all it has to offer.
“They can easily come through for the day, or make a good weekend out of it by racing the Saturday and having a rest day the Sunday, and just stroll through the town and have a home-grown beer or family lunch before heading back home.”
The former Transcape winner encouraged the public to come to join the fun on April 10 at Middelplaas.
“It will be a tough but rewarding 60km MTB race – a proper race like back in the old days before Covid-19!”
Colyn, who also lives in Paarl, said she expected the racing to be aggressive amongst the professionals.
“I’m looking forward to racing the 60km. With challenging climbs, it also gives one a chance to check out the terrain for next year’s Cape Epic.”
Riders can expect some serious climbing and thrilling downhills with some gnarly edges in places – sure to provide enough adrenaline to keep them glued to the handlebar.
The route includes breathtaking views from Middelplaas and across farm landscape with a wind farm in the distance near Caledon.
If you are up for the challenge against Kruger and Colyn, enter here: www.entryninja.com/events/76226-the-greyt-middelpaas.
Online entries will close on March 31. Late entries will only be available at registration on the Friday afternoon.
Enquiries and bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org.