New race category for 'big guys'
The 2014 Old Mutual joBerg2c international mountain bike stage race in South Africa will feature a new race category created specifically for big guys.
The TREAD Buffalo category was announced this week as an official category by the organisers of the nine-day, 900-kilometre stage race, which starts just south of Johannesburg and finishes in the east coast town of Scottburgh next April.
Riders compete in teams of two, so where the team’s combined rider weight is at least 180kg, they will able to enter the TREAD Buffalo category at no additional fee; and will be eligible for daily stage prizes as well as final General Classification recognition. The same will apply for the solo division, where mountain bikers that weigh 90kg or more will qualify for Tread Buffalo status.
There will be an official weigh-in at the race registration, the day prior to Stage 1 to confirm rider weights. TREAD, South Africa’s only mountain biking magazine, will ensure the new category is given consistent media exposure both in the magazine and on its website.
“I’ve always felt that the bigger guys really get a raw deal in mountain bike racing. Firstly they’re generally slower on the climbs due to their bigger size and then, after all their efforts during the race, they just make up the numbers in the crowd at prize giving, with no chance to ever compete for a podium,” said Sean Badenhorst, the (72kg) editor of TREAD magazine.
“I decided to create this concept for South African stage races and selected single-day races so that the bigger guys have something to aim for; to incentivise them to actually compete and not just ride to complete events. I took the idea to all the major stage race organisers over the past few months and Craig Wapnick, Race Director of joBurg2c was the most excited and asked to launch it at his next edition,” added Badenhorst.
“It’s still in the early stages, but the framework is in place and we’re looking for the appropriate brand to come on board as the presenting sponsor of the category. We have to be quite selective with regards to the sponsor because it must be one that fits the theme perfectly, especially with the associated TV, print and online media exposure the category will generate,” added Badenhorst.
“With joBerg2c we are all about innovation. Last year we became the first stage race to introduce enduro-style Red Bull Run segments into certain stages, which was really well received by the skilled riders that aren’t quite conditioned to compete for the overall stage wins.
The TREAD Buffalo category in 2014 will once again add depth to the event and introduce a new energy. It’s very exciting,” said Craig Wapnick, Old Mutual joBerg2c Race Director.