Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

Mountain-bike enthusiasts can once again look forward to the ultimate endurance challenge when they tackle the 240km Trans Karoo MTB Challenge between Ceres and Sutherland on Saturday, 26 April 2014.

The gruelling one-day endurance event sets off from Eselfontein farm in the Western Cape town of Ceres at 07h00 and riders will traverse through the Breede River Valley and the Tankwa Karoo before facing the vicious upclimb at the Ouberg Pass and descend to the finish line in Sutherland. 

Considered as one of the longest single stage endurance mountain bike races in South Africa, the distance, including 4 compulsory check point stops must be completed within 17 hours to avoid elimination.  With a total ascent over 3300 metres during the race, it is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but riders will also be spoilt with the amazing scenic beauty of the Tankwa Karoo.

The event is hosted in partnership with the Northern Cape Tourism Authority and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.  According to the Mr John Block, MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, this is just one of the exciting events on the ever-growing sports calendar of the province, which includes events such as the Kalahari Desert Speedweek, Green Kalahari Canoe Marathon and the Bloodhound Landspeed Record Attempt.  “The Northern Cape was recently named the leading sports destination in Africa during the prestigious Business Destinations Travel Awards and events such as the Trans Karoo MTB Challenge definitely help to further cement our reputation as the preferred destination for adventure and extreme sports.  This is also an ideal opportunity to showcase the extraordinary tourism offerings of this region to participants and supporters,” mentions Block.

MEC Block encourages visitors to experience the natural beauty and hospitality of the Northern Cape.  The quaint little Karoo town of Sutherland is home to the South African Astronomical Observatory as well as the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and offers the best stargazing in the country.  The Tankwa Karoo National Park is one of six national parks located in the Northern Cape Province and riders are bound to be overawed by the panoramic views of the dramatic landscapes.  Experience the warm hospitality of the people of the Northern Cape at several farm stays in the region and enjoy authentic Karoo cuisine.

Race registration takes place at the Cape Union Mart Adventure Centre in Canal Walk on Wednesday, 23 April between 18h00 and 20h00.   Entries can be done online at www.transkaroomtb.co.za.  MTB enthusiasts can enter either as individuals or as 2-member male, female or mixed teams.  The entry fee is R1000 for individuals or R2000 for a team or tandem entry.  The entry fee includes a goodie bag, supper and breakfast in Sutherland as well as an official race finisher T-shirt and medal.  A bus shuttle service is available and hostel accommodation and camping facilities are available in Sutherland.

For more information, visit www.experiencenortherncape.com.