Eight Bells MTB Enduro to heat up Mossel Bay

2009 Eight Bells Enduro winner Marthinus Esmeyer (left) with organiser Johannes Bisschoff.

Mossel Bay’s annual mountain bike race – the Eight Bells Enduro – will take place on Saturday the 20th of August, and the town is ready for the event. 

The race forms part of theSouthern Capemountain bike league, and previous winners include Marthinus Esmeyer, Ischen Stopforth, and Nedbank Team 360 Life rider, fives times MTN Marathon Series winner and four times South African Marathon Champion, Kevin Evans. 

“We’re very excited that the race has already attracted top ranked athletes, and we’re looking forward to a bumper field on the day,” said organiser Johannes Bisschoff. 

He said that it was difficult to predict the size of the field as many local riders waited for short-term weather forecasts before deciding whether or not to ride. 

“But that’s a pity, because it really is an awesome route that traverses a particularly beautiful part of theSouthern Cape.” 

This year’s route, he said, is about 10 km longer than last year’s, and should provide riders with a “lekker challenge. 

“The ride will pass through Leeukloof, Friemersheim, Botlierskop (which should provide some fine sightings of wild game) and Pine Grove, as well as through plantations and areas of untouched forestry reserve.”  

Entries will be accepted for three divisions of 80, 35, and 15 km, and every participant who completes the event will receive a unique stainless steel medal. 

“Mountain biking has grown by leaps and bounds in our area since the Eight Bells was founded nearly four years ago – and this race has done a lot to achieve that,” said Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm. 

She said that holding a mountain biking event at Eight Bells Mountain Inn, at Ruiterbos nearMosselBay, was a stroke of genius because the hotel offers facilities that allow the families of riders to enjoy a day in the mountains. 

“Eight Bells, which is just 30 km from Mossel Bay on the R328 to Oudtshoorn, has open play areas, a restaurant, and various facilities for children – as well as birding and marked walking and horse riding trails for everyone to enjoy.” 

Entry to the Eight Bells Enduro costs R90.00 for the 80 km, R70.00 for the 35, and R40.00 for the 15. Online bookings can be made at www.dryland.co.za, and on-site entries will also be accepted from 06:30 on the 20th of August. 

More information from Johannes Bisschoff (082 416 5069), Klasie Lategan (082 441 7198) or Cyril Knottenbelt (083 624 2796).

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