The defending champion Karien van Jaarsveld (USN) on her way to recording her 2011 SA MTB Marathon win. Being the first SA rider home, Van Jaarsveld scooped the title after finishing second behind British rider Catherine Williamson, who finished first in the women's race. Photo: Zoon CronjeAs the 2012 UCI MTB Marathon World Championship draws near, local mountain bike marathon athletes have a last opportunity at qualifying for the national team that will be travelling to Ornans, France in October.

The Sabie Classic marathon in February was one of the first events held as a MTB marathon selection race, with the Karkloof Classic and The Big Induna held in April and June adding to the riders’ points tally as well.

The remaining single event to count toward the selection process is the upcoming SA MTB Marathon Champs, the Gravel Travel, which will be held in 2 weeks time on 25-26 August in Wellington, Western Cape.

Just outside Cape Town nestled in between the orchard-filled valleys, lies the town of Wellington, hosting this prestigious event. With countless kilometres of snaking hand built single-track surrounding the valley, there’s no doubt why this race was voted in favour of hosting the Elite  men and women’s SA MTB Marathon Championships.

Pieter van Wyk and his crew put in hundreds of hours each year hand building some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Diemersfontein is known for its beauty, informal elegance, and grace – an idyllic country destination only 45 minutes drive from Cape Town and is situated near the Cape’s famous Wine Routes.

The spread of Mountain Bike Marathon events listed above was designed to allow a race every 2nd month, and also to avoid some of the major MTB Stage Races such as the Cape Epic and Sani2C.

Nominated XCM Selection events 2012:
Women: Distance 60 – 120+ km:
Sabie Classic – Marathon – February 2012
Karkloof Classic – Marathon – 22 April 2012
The Big Induna – Marathon – 9 June 2012
SA XCM Champs–Marathon–Gravel Travel–25 Aug
 
Click here for the 2012 Mountain Biking Selection Criteria.