Underberg – The 2016 edition of the KAP sani2c is approaching and with yet another fully subscribed event race founder ‘Farmer Glen’ Haw and his team have refreshed the signature trails and tracks that have made the event one of the most popular mountain bike events in South Africa.
2015 saw the organisers focus specifically on the overnight stops as they converted the start venue at Glencairn as well as the two overnight stops into luxury venues for riders which meant that Haw has made sure that they addressed the route in the build up to the race this year.
“We have made a few changes here and there along the route – no wholesale changes,” Haw mentioned. “There have been the inclusion of a few new sections which will make the riding slightly more technical however the level of technicality still remains with the riders.
“If they want to fly through the sections of single track then they are welcome to and the riders who are a little more circumspect can take it a little slower – we are catering for all abilities once again,” added Haw.
The route, which took around eight years to set up before the first sani2c, has undergone some minor, yet interesting, changes for the 2016 event and Haw believes that even the most hardy of sani2c rider will be surprised by some of the new elements.
“I have always maintained that good trail can be ridden forever which is something that our routes have been able to live up to which has meant that the need for big changes has never been there but with a few tweaks here and there we have made enough of a change to give everyone something new.
“Our trails have to be right and they have to be fast and flowing and well-presented which is something that is vitally important for us so these slights changes have definitely added value to the route,” he explained.
The biggest changes have come on the opening day of the race along the stretch from the start at Glencairn to just after the first watering table.
“We have had to change the Acutt’s single track and have added about two kilometres to this section as well as just shake up the Oak single track section and then just after the first watering table we have had to change the route due to harvesting.
“We have also changed the decent in Chestnut Valley and the riders who remember this section will be in for a nice little surprise,” Haw said.
The iconic descent into the Umkomaas Valley on the second stage has also undergone a face-lift.
“There is a new section along a contour path going into the valley on the second day which will add a bit of time to your day but will make it more enjoyable for sure,” said Haw.
The Umkomaas Valley ascent is one of the toughest yet most memorable parts of the sani2c and Haw has tried many different approaches to this tricky ascent however he has been unable to find a suitable alternative.
“We have searched for ways to change the second days approach to the finish but we realise if we go further into the valley then it’s just going to be more difficult to get out,” he mentioned light heartedly.
“Having a race that is created on trail that cannot be ridden any other time of the year, besides for joberg2c, means that most riders will only see these trails once a year which makes the race unique and getting our trails right is the most important element of the event,” Haw concluded.