Whether spectating or participating, the Hewlett Packard Urban Rage MTB Assault Race taking place at uShaka Maine World this weekend (11-12 December) is the place to be. Now in it’s third year, the event has become an icon on the calendar and offers thrilling racing to the contenders and worthwhile spectator entertainment.
Athletes from around the country are expected to race and participate in the various categories. With both men’s and women’s defending champs back on the start line, the pressure will be on for the big R50 000 prize purse. Philip Buys (Team Garmin Adidas) has taken the honours two years running but will face tough opposition from runner up Craig Paul (Team Jeep), Luke Roberts, Tyrone White, Ryan Ellis, Brendon Davids and Evan van der Spuy. World Xterra Champion Conrad Stolz will be up from Cape Town and will be sure to spice things up amongst the top contenders. Candice Neethling (DCM chrome) will be out to defend the women’s title while Eszter Erdelyi (runner up 2009) is in top form and sure to put up a big fight for top honours. Amy-Jane Mundy, third last year, is a classy contender who raves about the HP Urban Rage and will keep the top girls under pressure. The top ten men and top five women will qualify for the Super Cat final which starts at 17h20 on Sunday evening and is sure to be an exciting finale to the weekend’s racing.
Event organisers Max Cluer Sports Marketing have been hard at work creating some mind-blowing obstacles never before seen in SA mountain biking. Names such as radius bridge, skinny bridge, stair ladder, bunny-hop lane, table top, traffic calmer and several water bridges and burms make up the twenty-eight features of the testing 2km circuit. While most competent riders will opt for the ‘Crazy Cat’ obstacles, there are ‘Skerdy Cat’ (chicken runs) for the less daring. Rider’s can expect a course similar to last year which comprised nearly forty obstacles over the 2km route. There will be some minor logistical changes and a few surprises thrown in, including some more water obstacles and technical sections as well as a new start area.
An exciting introduction this year is the two day format to allow participants to make maximum use of the purpose built course. Saturday’s events include the new ENDURO open to individuals and teams of 2 or 4. The ENDURO caters for individuals over a two hour format and teams over a four hour format and will be the perfect opportunity for the competitive riders to get in tune with the course ahead of Sunday’s all-out racing for the grand Super-Cat title. Entries will still be taken at registration between 8h00 – 9h30, with the racing starting at 10h00. The all new URBAN JUMP ‘Expression Session’ starts at 15h00 – bikes are provided and there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs. Sunday sees the Teams of 2 (Cool Cats) and Individuals (Alley Cats) competing in a heat format to qualify for the finals. Registration and late entries between 8h00 – 9h30 and the racing starts at 10h00.