In the run-up to the opening 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup starting in Pietermaritzburg on March 17-18, South Africa is hosting several UCI-categorized cross country races. KwaZulu-Natal will be home to no fewer than four UCI cross country events in February and March of next year.
The first of the three events in the KZN XCO Provincial Series - at the Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park on February 18 - will be held on courses designed by Nic Floros, who already designs many of the country's top marathon and cross country tracks. Competitors are guaranteed challenging trails to test their technical skills, whilst enjoying Floros' signature flowing trails.
The second event will be held Karkloof on March 4 while the final round will happen on March 11 in Cascades, the same area that is hosting the World Cup opener.
All three events are within 100km of each other with Pietermaritzburg as a more or less central location for those competing in all three events.
Furthermore, the opening round of the 2012 UCI Marathon Series will happen in Sabie on February 25. The race is also the first round of the South African national marathon series.
And finally, some of the top World Cup racers and marathon racers are expected to stick around for the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race from March 25 to April 1.
Given the UCI status of these events, the races are bound to attract a number of riders from other provinces, as well as an international field, especially since UCI points will be on offer for the junior, U23 and elite racing categories.
For more information on the KZN series, visit www.kznmtb.co.za. Online entries will open on December 5.
2012 KZN XCO Provincial Series UCI Categorized events (all Cat. 2)
February 19 - KZN XCO Provincial #1 - Giba Gorge
04.03 KZN XCO Provincial #2 - Karkloof
11.03 KZN XCO Provincial #3 - Cascades
2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in South Africa
March 17-18: UCI MTB World Cup XCO/DH - Cascades
Other top South African Events
February 25 - UCI Marathon Series and South African Marathon Series - Sabie
March 25 to April 1 - Absa Cape Epic