Classic Trail Festival
Embargo : None
Written by : Nick Tatham
Karkloof will crown a new enduro champ in 2018
Karkloof - With four wins from four attempts at the Sappi Karkloof Trail
Festival's STIHL Enduro, Tiaan Odendaal's absence in 2018 will pave the
way for a new winner at the event when loyal enduro riders take on one
another on Saturday, 26 May.
Odendaal has retired from competitive mountain biking following a
successful career on the local racing circuit. This news hands the
riders that sat in Odendaal's shadow the chance to get their name on the
One such rider will be Greg Minaar Cycles' Tim Bentley. The
Pietermaritzburg local has been a stalwart on the national downhill
scene and is looking forward to taking on the 2018 STIHL Karkloof Enduro
"I would say that the Karkloof track is right up there with the best in
the country," he mentioned. "There are some big mountains and the stages
are a lot longer than your normal enduro stages, like six or seven
"They are a bit harder than other tracks but it is super flowy and fast
which is what I really enjoy."
The 2018 showdown promises to be particularly exciting as the discipline
of enduro is enjoying a boom time in KwaZulu-Natal, with races
attracting large numbers.
"We have seen enduro grow from about 60 riders to around 180 riders at
events which is great to see,” said Bentley.
"The reason for the growth, I think, is that it provides riders with
cool middle ground between cross country and downhill. It's a bit easier
than cross country but it not as hectic as downhill and it has such an
appealing social element to it as well.
"The tamer downhills mean that you don't have to be a professional
downhill rider to enjoy it and the relaxed climbs between stages means
that there is time to catch your breath and enjoy the company of
friends," Bentley added.
Bentley's sees enduro's as the perfect opportunity to hone his skills as
he prepares for the big downhill races around the country.
"I do suffer a bit on the uphill’s because I am not the fittest rider
around!" he joked. "We enjoy having a shuttle that takes us to the top
of the hill before we ride down but enduro is great for my training and
preparing me for the downhill races.
"It's great to see enduro catching on amongst your everyday rider and I
think it will continue to draw riders in from around the
Pietermaritzburg and Midlands area.
"We have Cascades, Karkloof and Howick all within half an hour of each
other so there are plenty of options for riders which is a massive plus
for us in the area," he commented.
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Greg Minaar Cycles' Tim
Bentley will be back to try and stake a claim to the vacant STIHL Enduro
title at the 2018 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on Saturday, 26
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