The Illovo Wartburg MTB Classic

Online Entry Flyers Club Contacts Rated Race
Date: 28 February 2015
Time: 06h00
Organisers: Wartburg Kirchdorf School MTB Race Committee
Distance: 65; 45, 25, 10
Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Start: Wartburg Kirchdorf School
9 Fountain Hill Road
Contact 1: Marie du Toit
(Work) 033-5031197
(Cell) 076-6557080

Contact 2: Barbara Love
(Work) 033-5031416
(Fax) 033-5031205
Entry Details:
Pre-entries: Late entries are accepted the start from 05h30 to 08h30, at a premium.
Route Description:
Difficulty Rating: 0. Route Type: Lap
The best riders will confirm that while there are not too many technical challenges presented in this tough race, there is enough to keep even the most experienced bikers on their toes. The race is a feature of big hills, stunning views, dramatic single-track and a relatively fast finish. The 2015 edition will include dual single-track sections and possibly a batched start to prevent any congestion thus assuring a free-flowing ride.

The route is set out as a two lap figure-of-eight. At around the five-kilometre mark there is a section of single-track that heralds an intimidating drop-off into a quarry. As daunting as this may appear, it is relatively benign and should get a squeal of delight once you have done it. Go on, fortune favours the brave.

The first watering table is at the 10-kilometre mark. Here the competitors riding the Classic turn-off for a loop of 20 kilometres. This section will prove rougher, tougher and more exposed than the rest of the route, but includes spectacular views and breathtaking cliffs as a consolation.

There is a massive climb up to the repeater tower, which has watering tables and a few 'flattish' sections to preserve your sense of humour on the way. The tower is the highest point in the race and is about 28 kilometres into the ride. A new section of track has been added to take the Classic riders through an avocado farm before joining up with the intermediate riders for the last 15 kilometres.

The final stretch is pretty fast and has some interesting sections. The first being a single-track section that is used by pedestrians traversing between farms. This track almost never dries out and can be as slippery as a politician. There is a small drop-off down a dam embankment that all but the very timid will ride comfortably. One more watering station and then a charge to the finish.

The bottom loop of 25 kilometres is shared by both the Classic and intermediate races. The race is evolving each year and each edition gets some new sections to keep up the novelty value and yet retains enough of the old route to make returning riders feel at home.

*Latest from the organisers: The Wartburg Classic is a genuine MTB challenge in all the race distances, so do not come ill prepared. We pride ourselves on cutting track that is interesting, varied, ride-able but challenging. All the race distances offer genuine mountain biking, and the shorter races are not just watered-down dirt road tracks, they offer single-track challenges that will hook the entire family.

This year’s edition has some minor changes to what has always been a winning recipe for us. It is not often that small races get compared head to head with the big budget events and still come out smiling. You could not swipe the smiles off our faces with an old bibshort and a bottle of chaindegreaser after our race popped out in the top three at the ROAG awards evening.

Our surprise for 2015 is the direction reversal of the mid 20km section of the 65km race route. This also affects the 45km race, but all in a good way. Think of this year as a down run, if you like. The brutal Zig-zag climb from previous years has been replaced with Hochland Heaven: superb single track descents. Of course, descending is never for free, so this year Collar-bone drive will claim no victims. The route now goes up Collar-bone drive, not down, and it is an honest ascent of around 10%, which is best done without extra Christmas Kilos. Visit the organisers website to see the track assessment video.

Wartburg MTB Classic
Course Records:
Name Time Year
Editor's Notes:
This race will be staged for the 11th time in 2015. There will also be a 10 kilometre fun ride. Contact the organisers for details.

In addition to the various weekend events the organisers offer a very popular add-on option for riders in their final stages of preparation for longer stage races such as the Sani2C or Cape Epic. This takes the form of an untimed, unmarshalled ride on any of the routes after the main race.

To cater for the growing community of multisporters, a 12 kilometre trail run staged before the mountain bike races is also under consideration. The Wartburg achieves a semi-cult following due to its great reputation for delivering value for money mountain biking in a pristine setting.

The school has been closely associated with the growth of the German community in the district which has its roots among the first settlers who came to Natal in 1848. The Wartburg Kirchdorf School has undergone many changes over the years and has grown from its very humble beginnings into a school with a proud reputation for consistent academic excellence.
Finishers: 1300 Time Limit: 05:00
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