USN Cup hots up with new race route
Round 4 of the 2012 USN Cup Mountain Bike Series, which takes place on Saturday 16 June, will be held on a fresh new route, starting at finishing at the Big Red Barn in Midrand, Gauteng.
This is the third venue in the popular series, which uses Base 3, Midrand and Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria as its other venues, giving Gauteng mountain bikers varied, stimulating race routes close to the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
“Each venue offers a different challenge. It’s important to vary the challenge in mountain bike events because by nature, mountain bikers relish new experiences. So we’re very excited about the Big Red Barn route and venue,” said Andrew Grobler, USN Cup Series organiser. “We have a completely new 50km route over a single lap for the main race as well as a 30km route and a 10km route on offer for the shorter events.
“The land owner of the Big Red Barn, Dominic Cullinan, has been very involved with the building of some really exciting singletrack in the area. The routes are very balanced in that they’re ‘family-friendly’ but also stimulating for the serious racers. The venue itself is geared for family entertainment, so we’re expecting a big turnout.”
After winning Rounds 2 and 3, Ben Melt Swanepoel leads the 2012 USN Cup Series in the men’s division, while Nicci Grobler holds the women’s series lead after also winning Rounds 2 and 3. Both are expected to be present at Round 4 where they will face strong opposition in what is becoming an increasingly prestigious series.
Swanepoel has accumulated 400 points for his two wins (200 each), but it’s a narrow margin over Delaney Impey (370) and USN ambassador Paul Cordes (320), who are lying second and third respectively. Grobler (also on 400 points) has a bigger cushion in the women’s rankings ahead of Petruschka Constancon (290) and Nicky Booyens (270).
In the shorter distance event rankings, Nicholas Popich (600) has a strong advantage after winning all three rounds so far, while Philippa Hutton-Babb (290) and Suzette Roode (285) are in a tight battle at the top of the women’s series in first and second respectively.
A batch starting system will also be implemented from Round 4 in order to ensure the higher rider volumes don’t lead to trail congestion.