Classic Trail Festival
Embargo : None
Written by : Nick Tatham
Keep gradually gaining Karkloof experience
Karkloof - Young, up-and-coming mountain biking and road racing star
Tiffany Keep will be lining up for the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon at the
Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on Sunday, 27 May as the seventeen
year old patiently builds up her racing experience.
Keep, who recently finished second in the aQuellé Tour Durban road race,
has been taking the road cycling world by storm, but was quick to
clarify where her priorities lie on the bicycle.
"Mountain biking is definitely my main discipline," the Silverback Volvo
athlete said. "This year there have been a lot more road races than MTB
races so that is why I have been on the road a lot more.
"As much as I enjoy road racing, I am using it to gain experience in
racing against older women."
The Thomas More pupil could quite easily take on the top ladies in the
60km Sappi Marathon at the Karkloof Classic, but despite being tempted
she felt there was no need to rush into the full marathon at her age.
"I am always up for a challenge and racing in the 60km marathon would
have been a huge challenge - it is probably one of the toughest
marathons in KZN.
"The 40km half marathon is also going to be tough and I think that it also
includes a lot of the same features as the full marathon so it will be a
Keep's pedigree speaks for itself when you look at her MTB record which
includes both marathon and cross country victories around the country.
At the 2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge, one of the last major marathon
events of the year in KZN, it was just the might of Bianca Haw that kept
Keep from the top step of the podium against a field that included
defending Sappi Karkloof champion Natalie Bergstrom.
Her record at Karkloof has been a stifled one due to her absence over
the last few years, with sickness preventing her from getting to the
Despite never having won a Karkloof title, Keep knows the trails well
enough to understand where her strengths and weaknesses lie.
"The single track at Karkloof is incredible and that is an area where I
am going to be the most comfortable.
"There are some tough climbs but I don't really mind that as long as
there is a nice downhill section on the other side," she laughed. "I
don't really enjoy the district road sections, I would much rather be
riding over rocks than on a road!"
Keep saw the jump from the 20km aQuellé Fun Ride to the 60km marathon as
quite a serious leap so settled on the 40km half marathon, a race that
she should get through without too much competition. Testing herself
becomes the next challenge so an overall top 10 is the simple goal.
"I like to race against the guys and see how I can do. They race a lot
more aggressively and that is something that I enjoy and need to get
used to so the guys ahead of me will become my targets at Karkloof.
"It gives me good motivation when I race so I always look forward
to testing myself," she added.
The 2018 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival takes place at the
Karkloof Country Club on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May 2018. More info
can be found at
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Young Silverback Volvo star
Tiffany Keep is hoping that she can continue her growth as a mountain
biker when she takes on the aQuellé 40km Marathon at the upcoming Sappi
Karkloof Classic Trail Festival over the weekend of 26-27 May.
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