MTB Classic & Enduro Media Release
Written by: Kathryn Fourie
Talented men’s contenders seek 2016 Sappi Howick MTB success
Howick – Sappi Howick MTB Classic defending champ Alan Hatherly is looking
forward to being part of the Howick based event’s 30th anniversary
celebrations on Sunday, 6 March as well as the opportunity to take of the
race’s testing, technical single track and flowing descents.
“The Sappi Howick MTB Classic is one of the most enjoyable and fun races
on the calendar,” said Hatherly’s Kargo Pro Cycling team manager, Shaun
Peschl. “I used to ride it back when I was racing professionally and now
we encourage our riders to take part, especially our younger riders!”
“It’s one of the more fun Classics in KZN because it has technical
elements and tough terrain that make it really exciting,” he added.
While Kargo Pro Cycling’s Brendan Davids and Andrew Warr won’t be
attending due to ongoing preparation for the ABSA Cape Epic, Hatherly and
Marco Joubert are expected to take to the Sappi Howick MTB Classic’s start
line, with Hatherly keen to defend his 2015 title.
Hatherly brings great momentum with him into the clash as he comes fresh
off an excellent result at the second leg of the STIHL SA XCO Cup Series
at Helderberg Farm and Trails in Cape Town over the weekend where he
placed second overall and first South African home in the challenging
Pro-Elite Men’s category despite a field studded with top international
“Unfortunately the second KZN MTB Provincial XCO Series event takes place
the day before the Sappi Howick MTB Classic, so we will need to see how
Alan and Marco’s races go there before we can confirm their attendance for
sure,” explained Peschl.
“Hopefully all will go smoothly on Saturday though as the plan is for them
to be in Howick, ready to race, on Sunday!”
Callan Deacon of Callan’s Bike Tech in Hilton took second place in 2015
and the young rider is also eager to tackle the 40km event on Sunday.
“I’m feeling pretty good going into the race and I enjoy the technical
aspect of the trails and rock gardens,” explained Deacon.
“I’m happy with the change of the date of the race calendar too, it’ll be
a bit warmer than it was when it was held in June!”
Another youngster to watch out for is Jedson Tooms (Team ROAG) who was
among the top five last year.
Tooms knows the trails well and has been training hard going into 2016 and
with the caliber of top contenders that is expected, Sunday’s race looks
to be extremely tight.
“The 40km Classic spans some of the Howick Mountain Bike Club’s most
iconic trails!” said HMBC Trail Steward, Gavin Ryan.
“This year we have included more forestry road though, giving plenty of
opportunity for overtaking!
“We’ve also included some trails that haven’t been ridden by participants
of the event for a long time, such as Duza Nghulube – a steep flowing
trail which will also be used in the Enduro event the day before!
“By no means easy, the 40km will challenge you but also be fantastic fun
for those who want a good day out on the trails,” added Ryan.
Participants are also reminded of title sponsor Sappi’s social media
competition during the event.
While the racing snakes battle it out at the front of the field, less
serious riders are encouraged to snap a photo of themselves when they pass
the Sappi photo frame en route.
Built at the Shafton Fire Tower, the frame is a fun way to take a break
from pedalling and create a few digital memories and, by posting the
images on the HMBC Facebook page using #HMBC and #InspiredByLife, riders
then stand a chance to win one of several prizes including an Apple iPod.
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
Kargo Pro Cycling's Alan
Hatherly hopes to return to the Sappi Howick MTB Classic's trails on
Sunday, 6 March to defend the title he clinched in 2015.
Grote/ Gameplan Media
Conditions of usage of photographs:
All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of
charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The
photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be
cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The
photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and
may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on
any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or
promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements,
commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or
any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at
the details below.
For any further information, or if you
cannot access the images, please contact:
(031) 764 3017