The race route for Saturday’s Asishove mountain bike race just outside Durban has been finalised and it’s a tough one! That’s the word from Ian Wilson, route designer and event co-ordinator who says the participants should make sure they’re prepared for a “tough, but fair challenge”.

The Asishove mountain bike events form part of the Pick ‘n Pay Amashovashova Cycling Festival, which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year.

“The route for the main race is a little shorter than the 45km advertised (43.3km), but the riders are going to be grateful,” said Wilson. “The reason being, there is a total of 1600 metres of climbing! It’s going to be interesting to see if anyone breaks two hours.”
That’s a lot of climbing for a race of that distance. Most 100km road races don’t even have that much elevation. Wilson said he didn’t try to find as much climbing as he could, but simply made use of the land that was available in what is a very hilly area.

“The race ventures into the beautiful lands at Shongweni. There are no laps, but one big loop. Thirty percent of the route is singletrack, and there are some open gravel roads, dams, waterfalls, indigenous forest, cane fields, river crossings and ocean views,” explained Wilson. “It’s very balanced and should be a great experience.”

The Asishove long race also doubles as the 10th and final event in the 2007 Fritz Pienaar Cycles Half-marathon Series. It’s the country’s largest mountain bike series, having already attracted close to 3000 riders this year.

For those not quite up to the tough long-race challenge, there is also a 24km family fun ride and a 6km kids ride. There will also be ample off-the-bike entertainment for children too.

Schedule of events on Saturday 20 October:
•    43km Asishove Mountain Bike Race – 08h00
•    24km Asishove Ride – 08h15
•    6km Asishove kiddies ride – 08h30

Late entries are still open for Asishove events and will be taken at on Thursday (13h00-19h00) and Friday (09h00-19h00) at the Suncoast Casino Colony Conference Room. Riders can also enter on the day from 06h30.

Other events making up the weekend cycling celebration are the Pick ‘n Pay Amashovashova 106km road race, the East Coast Radio 40km Fun Ride (both on Sunday) and the Mini-Shova 1km and 5km kiddies rides and the Elite and Veteran men’s Kermesse (all on Saturday)