Glacier by Sanlam, Dryland Event Management and Avianto were thrilled by the success of the inaugural Glacier Cradle Traverse mountain bike stage race, which took place in May this year. For 2018, the event has been moved to a more favourable slot on the calendar and entries to the event, which takes place from 5 to 8 April next year, are now open.
Many stage races in South Africa rely on the support of fantastic sponsors, but few boast the intimate engagement which Glacier by Sanlam brings to the Glacier Cradle Traverse. Much of the finer detail, which sets the Glacier Cradle Traverse apart in terms of rider experience is driven and implemented by Glacier.
Head of Marketing for Glacier by Sanlam, Zaida Essop – though not a mountain biker herself – has grown to love the Dryland events they sponsor and her, and her team’s, passion for the event matches that of any rider’s. “Glacier by Sanlam was overwhelmed by the success of the inaugural 2017 Glacier Cradle Traverse. It was a soul-enriching family weekend that enhanced relationships with our clients, intermediaries and new participants – many of whom have extended their gratitude for this superb Gauteng stage race. We believe this event will grow from strength to strength and we look forward to a bumper race in 2018,” Essop enthused.
Hosted at the beautiful Avianto Hotel – which is best known as a luxury wedding venue – in Muldersdrift outside Johannesburg, the Glacier Cradle Traverse blends the famous relaxed atmosphere of its sister event, the Glacier Storms River Traverse, with the scintillating mountain biking on offer in the Cradle of Humankind. The three stages may be short but they are jam-packed with exciting trails which ensures that novice stage racers do not spend an unduly long time on their bikes, while experienced riders are treated to entertaining riding throughout.
Avianto’s owner, Trevor D’Oliveira, recently took part in the Glacier Storms River Traverse in the Eastern Cape and is excited to implement some of the ideas he witnessed while riding the event with his daughter, on a tandem. “While Avianto has access to a vast collection of beautiful singletrack MTB trails through the neighbouring farms and the Cradle of Humankind, having recently enjoyed the over-subscribed Glacier Storms River Traverse, we are now more aware of the target market that Glacier is looking to attract to the Cradle Traverse. The Glacier Storms River Traverse is geared towards families, the weekend warrior and mixed teams, and our selection of trails for the 2018 Glacier Cradle Traverse will therefore need to take this into account. We plan to work closely with both Glacier and Dryland in tweaking our course to offer that perfect blend of scenic singletracks, while keeping the technical challenges within everyone’s reach,” D’Oliveira reflected.
From a Dryland Event Management point of view, the location in the packed mountain biking calendar is as important as the riding and off-the-bike offerings for which the Glacier Cradle Traverse is sure to become renowned. “Early May comes on the back of a busy period in the calendar,” Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Event Management noted. “So we took the decision to move the 2018 event a month earlier, which placed the Cradle Traverse ahead of a number of big events and also allows us to catch the last of the summer warmth. Though the days warmed up nicely the Gauteng mornings were a little chilly in May, so hosting the event in April will take the bite out of those 08:30 starts.”
Entries to the Glacier Cradle Traverse include three days of amazing mountain biking, dinners from registration on Thursday 5 April through to Saturday the 7th, lunches from Friday the 6th through to Sunday the 8th, a unique First Ascent race garment; medical support throughout the event, Dryland’s famous water points and entertainment in the evenings. Riders can enter as individuals or in teams of two and entry package options include non-accommodation, standard camping, luxury camping and a platinum upgrade to stay in the beautiful four star Avianto Hotel. Entry fees start from R5 500 for solo riders and R10 300 for teams.