It was off to Delheim, just outside Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, for the 4th running of the Dirtopia Enduro this past weekend. 140 very enthusiastic riders took part in this one-day, 5 stage event, racing roughly 16km overall. It was a very hot day with the mercury reaching 30, and no wind whatsoever, making the climbs that extra bit more challenging.
The 5 stages ran across a mixture of surfaces including some super soft and unpredictable off-camber stuff. With the exception of a couple of riders getting it wrong on the 4th stage, the course markings were great overall. Stage 1 was the most tricky with plenty of rocky, technical sections. Thereafter, the stages were fast and flowy with a few good climbs thrown in for good measure. The stages provided an overall fair contest for both XC and DH riders.
This was a blind Enduro with zero practice before the event, the only knowledge riders had of the course was that provided by the race brief’s. Timing was done using the trailtag system, allowing riders to start and stop their own stage timing by electronically ‘tagging’ at the beginning and end of each stage. This allowed the whole event to flow without any bottle necks as the front runners could pin it through the liaison sections and onto the next stages and the slower riders could complete in the event at their own pace.
Thanks to Delheim for hosting the event, and to Meurant Botha and the rest of the Dirtopia team for putting in all the effort.
Words & Photos: Ewald Sadie – www.esphotography.co.za