Exciting Karkloof Classic on the cards

Karkloof – Following a Covid-19 induced change in 2020, the famous Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival is back and the runners and riders will turn out in their numbers at the Marriot Karkloof Club this weekend to take on the famous trails.

The weekend’s action starts on Saturday with a number of non-timed mountain biking and trail running events with riders and runners offered a gilt-edged opportunity to enjoy the fabled trails through the Sappi plantations and midlands farmlands.

Saturday afternoon’s Stihl Enduro will be the first competitive event of the weekend’s programme and as is always the case it’s expected to be another exciting showdown as the adrenalin seekers take on a revamped course through the Karkloof forests.

The event always attract a number of additional entries on the day and the current entry list includes the young Sabine “Beanie” Thies.

A revamping of a number of the stages of the Stihl Enduro will pull a number of riders who enjoy testing themselves on Karkloof’s popular enduro routes.

Sunday’s action is set to be hot with a number of crucial Quattro ROAG Series points on the line during the rejigged 45km marathon as ROAG Series regulars throw their names into the hat for another shot at the popular Sappi Karkloof crown.

Stuart Marais, Tyronne White, Andrew Johnson and defending champion Brenden van Eeden are all on the entry list for this year’s race and will all be looking for those all-important ROAG Series points.

Marais recent history at Karkloof has seen him finish second in 2020, third in 2019 and a second in 2018 so the Howick resident will be hoping to get that runner-up monkey off his back this weekend against a strong field.

Marais is currently in the driving seat of the series with two wins from the two previous races however last year’s Karkloof winner Van Eeden could close that gap should he go back-to-back this weekend.

White is also well in the running sitting fourth in the Series going into Sunday’s race but there will also be a challenge from current ROAG Series runner-up Michael Foster.

Foster has come second and third in the first two races of the ROAG Series so far this season so will also be in the mix at the sharp end of the race on Sunday.

Women’s ROAG Series leader Rouxda Grobler has also put in an entry for the 45km marathon on Sunday but she will be chased down by a number of other riders who are chasing her in the series.

Sanchia Malan, Belinda Mason and Shireen Swart are all on the entry list for this weekend’s race and it’s expected that there will be a few on the day entries that will spice up the field even more.

Young Brenden van Eeden (front) is back to defend his 45km MTB Marathon title at the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on the 9th and 10th of October. Photo: Anthony Grote / Gameplan Media

The 21km trail run on Sunday will also be an exciting affair with ROAG Series leader Brett Gray amongst the entrants along with current second place runner John Wasserfall.

Ian Dickinson, who won the previous race of the series in the Kamberg, is also on the entry list and will be looking to continue his strong form.

Women’s ROAG Series leader Sarah Gray has also entered the 21km trail run along with Alison Wasserfall, who’s currently in second on the log, along with third placed Hayley Mackinnon will all be out to claim the overall win and the series points on offer.

The 2021 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival takes place at the Marriott Karkloof Country Club on Saturday 9 and 10 October.

More info can be found at https://www.karkloofclub.co.za/events/sappi-karkloof-classic-trail-festival-2021/
Entries are strictly limited at https://roag.org/events/event-info/3677/sappi-karkloof-classic

Saturday, 9 October
07h30 – 21km Trail Run
07h50 – 9km Trail Run
08h00 – 45km MTB
08h30 – 20km MTB

Sunday, 10 October
07h30 – 21km Trail Run
07h50 – 9km Trail Run
08h00 – 45km MTB
08h30 – 20km MTB

Exciting Karkloof Classic on the cards
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