The inaugural Hermanus Cross Country Olympics (XCO) mountain bike race for youngsters took place on Saturday 2 November in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. This event was organised by parents from Hermanus High and Curro Hermanus.

Before the event began at 13:00, both parents and participants were able to enjoy the Rugby World Cup final at Village Cycles Hermanus, who sponsored a full bike service worth R750 as a prize for the winner. The races started with the Sub-Junior and Youth age group (13 – 16) and ended with the Junior Men (17 – 18). The club is very excited to be promoting the sport among boys and girls.

The course consisted of an uphill jeep track called the Aftjop Challenge, which then went into a single-track called Real Mountain Biking – a fast, downhill section with a short jeep track section. At the bottom was a sharp turn into another jeep track called Snakes & Ladders with a slow, uphill section for roughly 200m and then into a fast single-track.

PHOTO: Taylum Meyer

From there it was into River Radness all the way down to another sharp turn and into Pipeline where there was a short, uphill jeep track for 300m. The last single-track section was full of turns and short uphill sections, ending with a 30m jeep track.

Building the 5.3 km track took a lot of sweat and blood as berms (corners with a banked outer edge) and jumps had to be created. The hard work paid off though, as the young riders thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Apart from the main prize, five lucky winners also received a Giant & Liv Bicycles SA goody bag with a bottle cage and bottle, control blast with canister, and a phone stand from Nicol Carstens (who rode in the Wine 2 Whales which finished in Hermanus over the weekend).

This event would not have been possible without the hard work of all the parents and organisers involved. Hermanus XCO would like to thank their sponsors Rola Volkswagen (main sponsor), Oasis Water Hermanus, Seeff Hermanus, Coastline Flooring, Engen Hermanus, Buco Hermanus, Nautilus Decorators, Enduren, Ocean Creek Spur Hermanus and KAD Construction. Special thanks to OTI (Overstrand Training Institute) especially Peter and Debby for making the event possible.

Hermanus XCO plans to grow the event substantially next year after the success of this inaugural race. View more about the event on https://www.instagram.com/hermanus_xco/.

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