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Sunday, May 28, 2017


Cycling all-rounder Cochran won’t miss St. Ives XCO

5 April 2017 – KwaZulu-Natal’s Vet cyclist Ewan Cochran has his bike ready to race ahead of this weekend’s second round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series, which takes place at St. Ives along the Midlands Meander on Saturday 8 April.

The Giant Cyclesphere rider loves to mix it up on his bicycles throughout the year. As a keen campaigner of the provincial cross-country series each year, Cochran also competes in road cycling events, and his most recent accomplishment is his silver medal that he won at the KZN Road Championships in the Time Trial.

“I would like to have competed at SA Road Champs as well, but I was working at the event so decided to give it a miss,” he said. “I haven’t really had too much time to race this year. In the first XCO race in February, I finished 10th in the A-Batch, and was the first Vet at that event.”

The new format of batch starts this year has been a great talking point amongst the competitors and spectators alike. Normally, the races are categorised in age groups, where riders compete against others in the same age bracket. KZN MTB found that some of the age classes had very few riders and of varying levels of fitness and ability, and in the interest of challenging the riders against those of similar strength – regardless of age – the batch-racing concept was born.

At 21 going on 44 years of age, Cochran agrees that the competitive levels have been raised this year. “Batch racing certainly puts more people on the course and makes you race harder. The batches are way bigger than the age group starts and it feels more like a big race. It definitely makes for exciting racing when competing against the same level of rider and against more of them. I think in the long run it will help improve everyone’s riding. For us now, we are chasing the youngsters, and some of them are chasing the elites and even some vets,” he laughs.

Talking about the popular St. Ives venue, Cochran recalls last year’s race. “It was a very fast track, no big hills to climb but with some nice gentle uphill sections. There is a lovely downhill section through the trees, and the climb back is twisty and you have to keep momentum through the tress. There’s not too much there that’s technical. The St Ives track has ability to introduce new riders as there is nothing frightening about it.”

Course designer Nick Floros says that the track is aligned with the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) vision for XCO tracks. “The UCI are leaning towards more natural terrain, and not overly technical like we’ve had in the past. The St. Ives track utilises the natural lie of the land and obstacles well. Even though the track is the same as last year’s, there has been some harvesting in the area and a lot of cleaning up and preparation to do ahead of Saturday’s big day.”

Entrance to watch the provincial XCO race is free and spectators are welcome to enjoy the new racing format, which promises much excitement. St. Ives Boma also offers fantastic catering and great ablution facilities as well.


09:00 – C Batch start – 1 hour
10:15 – B Batch start – 1.5 hours
12:00 – Nippers & Sprogs start – 30 minutes
12:45 – A Batch – 1.5 hours

The St. Ives track is the ideal way to test your skill at a cross-country race. Pre-entries for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series on Saturday 8 April are open, and close at midnight tonight. To enter, click here:

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Redecker reflects on exciting Provincial XCO format racing

30 March 2017 – St. Ives on the Midlands Meander will play host to the second round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series on Saturday 8 April. Entries for the event are open and close on Wednesday 5 April 2017. Cherie Redecker, who took part in the first round of the Cup, looks back on what she felt was a very successful race.

Having recently relocated to Germany, former hometown honey Redecker said: “I was super nervous at the beginning, not knowing what to expect with all the changes I have had. I was happy to start in the B batch for this reason, and I also had a wedding to attend.”
Before rushing off to other commitments, Redecker managed to bag the Elite Women’s win, as well as third place in Batch B.

She had found the race a tough one, regardless of it being ‘not too technical’ for her, and said that the batch concept created much more spectator involvement, which helped to motivate her out on the track.

After rather enjoyable ride, Redecker gave nothing but praise to the new format. She said: “I think the new system has so much potential and will really help those athletes wanting to race in internationally,” she said.

Redecker said that she would have loved to have been there for next weekend’s race, but will already be back in Germany. With Redecker not competing, the playing field widens ahead of the competition for many of the women taking part.

Major contender Henry Liebenberg will also be out of the equation as he takes part in various national cups in Europe. Other Under 23 riders such as Komborero Bere, Dean Wortmann, Ryan Naude and Christie-Leigh Hearder (to name a few) will be pulling out all the stops as they compete against not only themselves, but all men and women across all categories, with similar skill sets.

There is no entry fee to support these riders at St. Ives and the ever exciting new format promises great racing action from the morning until the afternoon.

09:00- C Batch- 1hr
10:15- B Batch- 1.5hrs
12:00- Nippers & Sprogs (30 minutes)
12:45- A Batch- 1.5hrs

There is fantastic catering available at the St. Ives Boma, and great ablutions as well.

To enter, click here: or for more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde at : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


2016 Mandela Day MTB Dash - Route profiles

Please note that these routes are for you information ONLY and may not be ridden prior to the event as they cross private land.






KZN Mountain Bike Commission
PO Box 153, Merrivale, 3291
T 082 896 6864

F 033 387 6377

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