Elevation, gradient, new trails and new faces… what more could an enduro racer ask for.

Parked at the coffee shop the energy was palpable, not only from the 118 expectant riders, but from the mountain that looms large, disappearing into the clouds. Helderberg is one of the few places in Cape Town where riders can gain access to private land (thanks Jan and Wimpie) that has a trail network that starts just below the rock face.

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The Enduro marked out for the day incorporated 2 stages. Stage 1 started at the highest point, after a good 50 minute liaison 1 up from the Helderberg hiking trail coffee shop. Here riders were welcomed by a bitterly cold breeze, forcing a few to layer up. The stage consisted of raw trail, cut specifically for this event and featured some fast flowing singletrack, clay and g-out sections, rocky sections with multiple line options and a million off-camber turns that wound their way down to the dam. It was a good mix of technical terrain, physicality and on-site navigation.

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From the bottom of stage 2 it was a far shorter trek up the same climb to the start of the queen stage SS2. Dropping close to 500 meters over 3.5 kilometre, it was the longest Enduro stage that many of the riders would have ridden in the Western Cape. It started on the familiar to some DH course, and then went off-piste onto a 4×4 route where speeds of up to 70kph where clocked before diving into some old singletrack from back-in-the-day. Following that was a few tight and tricky Jeep track turns with a short sprint to the finish.


Top times dipped just under 6 minute mark and smiles where broad with riders perched on heckle log watching the final sprint.


Special thanks to WP Gravity Enduro, Five Ten, Leatt, Diald Bikes, Jan van Schalkwyk and Helderberg hiking trail for putting together another solid Enduro event. The unique opportunity to ride blind at race pace is a life affirming experience that should not be missed. A good blind run always leaves you feeling like you had more in the bag but you come away unscathed, the only damage being torn tire knobs from involuntary drifts into blind turns…happiness.


All in all a good days riding.

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The top 5 overall:

  1. Jonty Neethling 10:00.708
  2. Gary Barnard 10:01.674
  3. Matt Lombardi 10:10.500
  4. Darryn Stow 10:11.181
  5. Theo Erlangsen 10:12.184

See you guys at the next one – WP Gravity Enduro – Round 3


Words: Myles Kelsey, Gary Barnard, Edwald Sadie | Pictures: Ewald Sadie

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