MTB Classic & Enduro Media Release
Written by: Kathryn Fourie
Enduro to debut at 2016 Sappi Howick MTB
Howick – Organisers of the 2016 Sappi Howick MTB Classic are relishing the
inclusion of the first ever Sappi Howick Enduro as part of the now
weekend-long programme of events as the popular ‘raw and unplugged’ KZN
Midlands mountain biking event celebrates its 30th anniversary on
Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 March.
The newly added Sappi Howick Enduro will take place on Saturday, 5 March –
the day before the traditional Sappi Howick MTB Classic – with the Howick
Mountain Bike Club (HMBC) confident their recent release of the official
Enduro stages on social media will aid in attracting a wide range of
riders on all types of bikes to the fresh event.
“Enduro is a different kind of racing which allows friends to ride
socially together while at the same time still enjoying the thrill of
timed racing,” Gavin Ryan, HMBC Trail Steward explained.
“Moms and dads can ride up liaison stages with their children and then
race down the timed sections knowing their children will be waiting at the
bottom for them with the time keepers, it’s quite unique being able to
ride an event in that style.”
The 2016 Sappi Howick Enduro comprises of three stages, all of which
descend from the iconic Shafton Fire Tower.
Stage 1 is a selection of fast and flowing trails on steep terrain which
then enter into tighter trails with bar catching potential, stage 2
directs riders towards the Karkloof trail networks down the well-known
“Sheep’s Pass” while Stage 3 is the longest collection of trails that has
a number of surprising technical sections with the race ending at the
Karkloof Farmers Market.
The HMBC’s selection of trails for the event also means that riders will
need to be committed to smooth, fast riding through tight corners in order
for them to be competitive.
“We’ve been mindful of making the stages doable for those on big, mid and
small travel bikes alike, so anyone can give it a bash confidently!” said
“We want to grow the discipline of Enduro racing and hence we’ve created
fun but still challenging sections!”
“While we’ve made it beginner friendly, there are still some tricky
sections where those with skills to pay the bills will benefit!” he
Kim Westbrook, overall ladies winner at the KZN MTB Provincial Enduro held
at St Ives last weekend, is one rider to have already confirmed she is
keen to try her luck on the Howick trails at the new event.
“I’m really excited because Howick has natural, rugged, tight trails that
are always challenging to ride fast and are so satisfying when you read
the lines right and hit them at speed!” said Westbrook.
PYGA rider Hilton Frost, who came second to World Cup Downhill racer Greg
Minnaar at the recent St Ives Enduro, is another looking forward to being
part of the 2016 Sappi Howick Enduro’s action.
“While I’ll be setting up our PYGA stand in the morning, I will definitely
be racing later in the day!” said Frost.
“I’m not missing this event; I’ve never had a chance to race Enduro on the
Howick trails and they are perfect for this kind of riding so I’m sure it
will be an awesome race!”
Title sponsor Sappi will also be running a social media competition during
Between their timed runs, riders are encouraged to snap a photo of
themselves at the new Sappi Photo Frame and post the image to the HMBC
Facebook page, with #HMBC and #InspiredByLife included in the post, in
order to stand a chance of winning several prizes such as an Apple iPod.
“Built at the Shafton Fire Tower, the frame presents a fun way to take a
brief break from pedalling and create a few digital memories of the Sappi
Howick Enduro adventure!” said Matthew Drew of the Sappi MTB Project.
“The idea is that riders will stop and do something fun like a hand stand,
yoga pose or just showing off their Enduro steeds on the two meter wide
platform behind the frame.
“Hopefully this will enable us to capture the fun of the Enduro event
through the competitors very own photos!”
The Sappi Howick MTB Classic & Enduro takes place on Saturday, 5 and
Sunday, 6 March 2016. More information can be found at
while entries can be submitted at
Click to download the hi-res
Sappi Howick MTB Classic
Logo SQUARE - JPEG
MTB Classic Logo HORIZONTAL - JPEG
Mark Millar (pictured) and his
fellow Enduro enthusiasts from throughout KZN and abroad are relishing the
code's Sappi Howick MTB
Classic & Enduro debut on Saturday, 5 March.
Paul Botma/ Gameplan Media
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