Classic Trail Festival
Embargo : None
Written by : Nick Tatham
Jessop out to break his Karkloof duck
Karkloof Ė The Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival continues to be one
of the most prestigious one day marathon titles on the mountain biking
calendar, and with two second place finishes in the last two years
Julian Jessop is hoping to claim his first win at the race on Sunday, 27
Having been pipped at post by Brendon Davids and Max Knox in the past
two years respectively, Jessopís drive to win this yearís event is
evident as the student prepares to juggle his text books and mountain
bike over the next few weeks.
ďI have been doing a lot of riding on the weekends and since Epic I
havenít done too much so fatigue isnít a problem. Itís just managing my
studies and my riding thatís key,Ē the PYGA/Euro Steel star mentioned.
ďI just want to go out there and make it right this year! You canít
concentrate too much on what the other guys are doing and just try and
manage what you can control and hopefully I can get the win this year.Ē
Having ridden to the African Jersey title with Matthys Beukes at the
Absa Cape Epic and the two joining up for the three-day KAP sani2c just
two weeks before the Karkloof Classic, itís going to be a busy period of
riding for Jessop.
A busy few weeks of marathon riding coupled with the pending
international season, his focus will also shift to the cross country
discipline as he eyes a spot at Septemberís UCI MTB World Championships
ďI am aiming to ride in the Val de Sol and Andorra World Cupís in July
which will hopefully help me qualify for the World Championships but
that is later in the year; Iíve got exams to write first!Ē
Marathon and cross country have many elements in common despite the
difference in length and Jessop has refined his training style that he
does not have to change what he does depending on the discipline he is
ďThe interval training and speed training are important for both
disciplines and itís important that I donít neglect one discipline so my
training is geared towards making me a better all-round rider.Ē
Sundayís 60km marathon course is one that has been enjoyed by thousands
over the years including some of the nationís top marathon and cross
The Karkloof region is synonymous for its flowing, exciting track and
Jessop is looking forward to getting back out onto some of his favourite
track country wide.
ďThe trails at Karkloof are insane!Ē he said. ďI definitely think that
the trails in the Karkloof are some of the best in the country and they
do suit my style of riding.
ďWith the three climbs in the middle of the race and fast single track
descents it plays into my hands coming from a cross country background.
ďIt is always such a fun race for me and the trails are so well
maintained that I look forward to taking part every year,Ē he added.
It is often a title that KZN riders want to put on their championship
lists and with Knox coming to KwaZulu-Natal to take the title in 2017,
Durbanís Jessop is hoping that he can claim back the honours for his
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PYGA/Euro Steel's Julian
Jessop will be hoping to finally get that elusive 60km Marathon win at
the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival over the weekend of 26-27 May.
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