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The South African stage-racing community has a fresh challenge for 2024. Glacier by Sanlam in partnership with Dryland Event Management, organisers of the Cape Pioneer Trek and Tankwa Trek international stage races have announced the launch of the Glacier Waterberg Traverse Race. This solo-entry three-day event with a racing element, will take place close to Gauteng from 3-5 May 2024 and is aimed at competitive racers. “As naming rights sponsor, we are extremely excited to have concluded a three-year sponsorship”, said Khanyi Nzukuma, CEO, Glacier by Sanlam.

We launched the Glacier Waterberg Traverse in June this year, a three-day team stage ride, similar to the successful annual Glacier Storms River Traverse. Similarly, this race is aimed at social mountain bikers keen for a fresh challenge not far from Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“The large number of competitive racers in Gauteng that invest their money and time in travelling to compete in stage races far from their home province inspired us to add a race option to the Glacier Waterberg Traverse. The race option is a solo race, where the distances are longer and will offer a true endurance and skill challenge to more ambitious, experienced racers,” said Henco Rademeyer, co-founder of Dryland Event Management.

“So, there will be one event and race village, but with two distance options. This makes it possible for all those who love mountain biking, no matter what their fitness or skill level, to participate in and share a Dryland stage-race experience,” added Rademeyer.

Traditionally, most stage races require teams of two to enter. This stems from when stage races were first launched over two decades ago. There were few, if any, mountain bike trails and the riders had to negotiate some difficult terrain in remote places. Communication was also limited back then, so pairing riders up in teams ensured that if one rider had a health or mechanical issue, the teammate would be able to assist and/or summon help if necessary.

“With almost the entire route on the mountain bike trails network at Summerplace Game Reserve, we feel that rider safety is not at increased risk and introducing a Solo race is something fresh and will allow competitive racers the freedom to race their own pace and not be bound to the pace of a teammate. Mountain biking continues to progress and we feel that a tough Solo stage race will be a welcome addition to the calendar,” said Carel Herholdt, co-founder of Dryland Event Management.

Summerplace Game Reserve, one of South Africa’s premier mountain bike destinations, is the venue for the 2024 Glacier Waterberg Traverse. It has hosted rounds of the Cycling SA XCO and Enduro Cup over the past few years and has the infrastructure and trails network to host a high-profile stage race.

The Glacier Waterberg Traverse Race and Ride will comprise three stages as follows:
Stage 1 Race: 57.7km | 702m ascent Ride: 39km| 550m
Stage 2 Race: 81.1km | 1150m ascent Ride: 44km | 850m
Stage 3 Race: 45.9km | 638m ascent Ride: 28km | 400m

TOTAL Race: 184.7km | 2490m ascent
TOTAL Ride: 111km |1800m

The Summerplace Game Reserve trails are built using the natural features of the Waterberg to create flow, which is one of the reasons the venue is so popular with mountain bikers. But there is a high volume of singletrack, some steep climbs and sections with rock (all rideable), all of which combine to increase the difficulty factor and make the distances deceptive.

Here is a more detailed route INFORMATION.

In addition to the solo-racer format, the Glacier Waterberg Traverse will also offer prizemoney for top performers in selected categories. Although they will race with the Elites, Under-23s will also be given their own category. There will also be category recognition in five-year age increments from 30 years to 60 years.

There will be daily video edits of each stage as well as a full race summary to run on SuperSport.

For more information, or to enter, click HERE.

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