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Back You are here: Home Sports MTB E-Cape MTB: Mountain Bike Action in East London
Friday, 30 August 2013 12:34

MTB: Mountain Bike Action in East London

The second East London leg of the Eastern Cape 2013 Spur School Mountainbike League will take place this Saturday, 31 August at 3 Silo Park in East London.

 

According to Luca Fanicchi, transformation and development co-ordinator of East Cape Cycling, the region has shown steady growth.  “Although we started small with only 42 participants at the first East London event earlier this year,  we are expecting more than 100 cyclists for this weekend’s event,” says Fanicchi.  The Port Elizabeth league has had an average of around 40 cyclists per event for their two events held earlier this year. 

Fanicchi is also very excited about the cycling development initiative spearheaded by Eastern Cape Cycling in association with Spur School League facilitator, AMARIDER.  “We actually started the local leg of the Spur League in East London as mountainbiking is already a popular sport in our region and our children can only benefit from us being part of the larger organisation,” says Fanicchi.

Eastern Cape Cycling is supporting a group of 20 PDI riders with some of their transport costs from Somerset East for this weekend’s event in East London.  The organisation has also purchased ten bikes for the development of youth cycling, with ten helmets part sponsored by Cycle Torque in East London.  Six of these, with helmets, have already been delivered to Gonubie High school who will be offering cycling as an official school sport and are currently enlarge catering for children from previously disadvantaged communities. They will have twenty cyclists at this weekend’s event, sharing the available bikes.

The Spur School Moutainbike League was launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Spur Steak Ranches and Amarider.  It aims to create a national platform for school kids to have fun by participating in dedicated mountain biking events, while increasing the footprint of the sport in South Africa.   Races are run on the same lap-racing format as Olympic mountain bike competitions with a strong emphasis on making the races accessible to all in terms of route difficulty and race distance.

As mountain biking is predominantly an individual sport, the points’ structure of the league focuses on team participation at school level.   Schools compete in different age categories in regional events, including sub-junior boys and girls (13-14 years), youth men and women (15-16 years) and junior men and women (17-18 years).  In each race, riders are allocated points according to their finishing positions earning a position on the log.  In some of the regions including Eastern Cape there are also categories for primary school participants, although the emphasis is on fun and introducing youngsters to this great sport.

School teams that finish their regional competitions within the top three positions in each category will automatically qualify for the Spur High School National Finals.   A portion of the Spur Steak Ranches sponsorship funds has been also allocated to provide all qualifying school teams with free entries, accommodation for qualifying riders and officials, free meals as well as travel assistance in an effort to make this amazing opportunity accessible to as many schools as possible.

The league culminates with the Spur High School Mountain Bike national league finals on 21 September, which will again be hosted at Bekker School in Magaliesburg.  Schools will compete in three categories namely best girls, best boys and best mixed team. 

Registration for Saturday’s race in East London will take place on the day from 11:00 and racing starts at 12:00. For further information, please contact Luca Fanicchi on 083 777 3326 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .