Steel Drak Descent Media Release
Drak Descent - it is never meant to be easy
Underberg - As entries for the signature two-day 84km Euro Steel
Drak descent in partnership with FNB approach sold-out status
the organisers of the race have vowed to stay true to its ethos
of providing a tough but technically manageable test of mountain
The route takes in single track, cattle paths and a little
district road shadowing the course of the N3TC Drak Challenge
canoe marathon that meanders down the uMzimkhulu River as it
passes through Underberg and is typical rocky Southern
“Our philosophy is that the ride should be a tough one
technically even if it isn’t that far distance wise,” said event
organiser Derek Christie. “So, please don’t expect all tailored
and manicured trails!”
“We believe that ninety percent of the riders should finish this
race ninety percent of the time,” he elaborated.
“It is not meant to be an easy ride. It is what the fans of this
race call ‘real mountain biking’ and we try to live up to that
reputation,” he said.
Part of the first stage moves through trails used by the Sani
Spoors MTB Park, which provides well groomed trails, year round,
but most of the single track on the route is only ridden once a
year, for the Euro Steel Drak Descent.
While the route follows the river valley, there is still around
900 metres of climbing across both days, and some technically
demanding rocky sections that will ask questions of even the
most skilled mountain bikers.
KAP sani2c founder Glen Haw agrees, and says it is one of the
most technically demanding stages races on the calendar.
Andrew Hill, who won the race last year as a solo rider, holding
off the PYGA Euro Steel team of Julian Jessop and Philemon
Sebona, says it is precisely the untamed nature of the route
that makes this ride unique.
“It is almost taking us back to where mountain biking started,”
said TIB Insurance’s Hill. “As riders we look to be tested by
the trails that we ride, and this race has some sections of
rocky trail that make it unique.
“There are some sections where we ride down onto the rocks
alongside the river, and if the river comes up like the paddlers
are hoping for, we will be riding through the river,” Hill
Hill made it clear that while it was more technically
challenging that most race courses, it was still very
“It is a good workable course. There is nothing dangerous at
all, and the sections of rocky single track that are technically
demanding are not long,” said Hill.
Euro Steel Drak Descent
Day 1: Saturday 19 January 2019 - 41 Km from Restmount
Children's Home to Swartberg Road Bridge
Day 2: Sunday 20 January 2019 - 43 Km from Glencairn Farm to
Umzimkhulu River Lodge
Team R1500, Solo R750 (substitutions at a cost of R200)
Euro Steel MTB Challenge
Day 1: Saturday 19 January 2019 - 25 Km
Day 2: Sunday 20 January 2019 - 18 Km
R400 per rider for both days
There is currently no closing date for the Euro Steel MTB
information can be found at
Entries are being taken at
Glencairn accommodation can be
(click to download
Click HERE to download
Drak Descent Logo - Horizontal on white (JPeg)
Adventure Weekend Logo - Horizontal on white (JPeg)
"The Euro Steel Drak
Descent is not meant to be an easy ride. It is what the fans of
this race call ‘real mountain biking’ and we try to live up to
that reputation,” says race organiser Derek Christie.
“It is almost taking
us back to where mountain biking started,” said TIB Insurance’s
Andrew Hill of the Euro Steel Drak Descent trails. “As riders we look
to be tested by the trails that we ride, and this race has some
sections of rocky trail that make it unique."
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