Himeville – As riders and organisers gear up for the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, ‘Farmer’ Glen Haw and his team of trail experts have had to continuously evolve the trails that take riders from the race start at Glencairn Farm to the Indian Ocean at Scottburgh main beach over three days in May.
With over ten years of developing and maintaining trails along the 263km route that takes riders through Ixopo, the Umkomaas Valley, Highflats and to the ocean on the KZN South Coast, Farmer Glen is always on the lookout for new ideas that will shape the sani2c experience into an unforgettable one for riders.
“The days of miles of single track through forests are done,” stated Haw fairly candidly.
“Mountain bike trails need to evolve continuously which means we need to stay on our toes to create something that is always fun, new and exciting for the riders.
“We have always wanted to create track that flows nicely, so riders don’t always have to be on and off the brakes.
“But with that said, we don’t want it to be ‘bike parky’, which is quite a fine line.”
As Haw and his team invite riders from across the world to take part in the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, he uses post-event rides and chats to work out how he can improve the event the following year.
“I am always thinking about which sections of the trail I can improve each year so they add to the experience for the riders.
“Sometimes it’s quite drastic, like taking riders through a completely different valley – I always think that there is something that can be improved,” he stressed.
Haw has made adjustments to the course for 2017, and riders will have to deal with a different challenge to previous years on the demanding second day of the race.
"For the 2017 event we have a new route out of the Umkomaas Valley.
"This comes at a cost, in the form of 'Iconic Climb'. It is a test for the best but will be an achievement for those who reach the top without having to put a foot down.
"After passing the trig beacon, you wind through the African bush on Out of Africa 2 and pop out on a 3km section of district road. Let the strong guys in your group pull you through to the Spur Table where you can refuel and recharge the body for the last third of the stage.
"On leaving the table, two new sections of fast single track (still to be named), will lead you back down into the valley. Enjoy this decent and prepare your head for a 5km valley road climb.
"The Black Mamba riders with a good memory may recognize their surroundings and the climbs of Haaibo 1 and Haaibo 2 which were used way back in 2005 to 2007," added Haw.
As he is always looking for new and inventive ways of improving the riders’ experience at the sani2c, Haw has added something a little bit extra on the opening day of the race.
“We have always had the single bridge that runs across the Mossbank Dam on day one but this year we have decided that we are going to make that a duel PG Bison Bridge.
“The bridge has always been very popular but to give it something a bit extra will give it a new lease on life,” Haw mentioned.
This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh during the second week of May. There are three races which form the event. On May 9, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo.
Then on the next day, while they are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on stage one. As the Trail riders dash to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville.
For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za