Great Zuurberg Trek (GZT)

Thursday, 23 May 2019 - Sunday, 26 May 2019
Eastern CapeZuurberg Mountain Village
  • Distance
    72 km
    24 May 2019
  • Distance
    88 km
    25 May 2019
  • Distance
    50 km
    26 May 2019



Experience three days of boutique-style mountain biking in the heart of the Eastern Cape from 24 to 26 May, 2019. Enjoy four-star luxury accommodation, fine dining and world-class riding, while making a difference to the surrounding rural communities.


Zuurberg Mountain Village, Eastern Cape
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UnclePolli, May 27 2019 01:07

A there has not been any action on this forum:


All i can say is this personally was tougher than the sani overall.

The distance is manageable, but what the youtube and photos dont show is the terrain.  jeep track rocki non stop.  There is no manicuring here, they say they compacted some corners on day 3, but that probably was heresay for some.

Sure there were a couple of free miles thrown in, but that was probably just done so that you dont quite the event and to get you back will be difficult in a lorri. 

The little tar road section was pure bliss for my back-end when we descended from the karoo veld only to be destroyed on what played ahead after it became gravel again.  Does small thumb size rock count as gravel i wonder.  At dinner that evening we sat down with the one of the route builders and he said they thought of cutting a bit of single track again to break up the tar road section, but that was met with please dont by an unanimous table decision.


The thing is that it felt like you never stop peddling ever.  for every meter you got down double will be paid back up.  Where many mere mortals got broken was the sadistic element to make you climb back up the zuurberg pass to the finish 8.7km of it on day1 and day3.


I must complement the race organizers with route markings and Ciska's briefings - the danger places was there where she said spot on.  The route is clearly marked and if you got lost or off-route you need to get binoculars to see.  You are also only greeted with "Caution" when really needed.  The "Slow down now" meant there is a sharp corner so if you dont want to yield to the sign we will be picking you from a bush.  the down arrows where there where they were needed and as far as i am concerned the choice was yours to ignore and pay the price.  The severity of the amount of errors was spot on for me.


Warm water showers where available after your ride, Canves tents with beds, proper beds yes.  Chalets in the addo park you really could not use that as excuses im sorry.


The thing is that although it is not as smooth precision driven like the Sani or the other big ones it does feel more intimate, you bump into the same new faces multiple times and its not a vertrapping op bodies.  Its not so small that you get tired of each other also and i hope the event doesn't grow bigger (sorry organizers).


As race organizers always boast about the amount of singletrack they have, they sometimes forget that it is very frustrating if you have the skills and are stuck behind someone that is fitter uphill, but struggle down and as it then becomes single track hell.  In SA we dont pull over even when politely asked.  The whole route over the 3 days sorted this out before we hit the 40km trails on the last day.  Thanks the the ladies that let me pass you are awesome without me asking.  To the lady that i ended up behind, women you can ride a bike and left me for dead at some places.  You were my guardian angel and i know when i came to close to quick i had to slow down NOW!. cause you only slowed down because you had to.


Shout out must also go out the all the sponsors you did a great job without being in my face so the subtle marketing is working for me.  The land owners that opened up their places for these crazy licra clad people that throw WRAPPERS on our land - i do apologize for the mtb community, but not the punks that can eat it, but not stuff it.  It seems more and more that this happens at the sharp end of the field cause a mid packer like myself always see this its not the weekend worriers, but wanna be racing pricks - you are disgusting point.


Would i do it again - Yes and its only Monday.

To the rider that had the bad fall and was airlifted - speedy recovery


My only only gripe was that we that stayed in Addo chalets needed a after race hangout place with some bean bags or something like that.  Apart from that the fact that the addo park opened the restaurant way earlier in the mornings etc must be applauded.


Keep those wheels on the ground or rocks and if you must fly, be sure to check there is a landing spot. !

Skubarra, May 27 2019 01:31

Nice race report UnclePolli - one day...

Eugene, May 27 2019 05:54

Every year I say I'm going to do it and every year I end up working at a watering point. We have just as much fun helping the riders.

It's an awesome event.

taito, May 27 2019 07:50

My 2cents.
Having ridden this event for most years I must say that the event has progressed so well over the years.
The Zuuberg mountains are rugged and the single track they cut by hand is world class.Day 1 and 3 really is a party with twists and turns on downhill single track .
I do feel that some of the route is better suited to the slightly fitter rider but still manageable for the weekend warior.
Having 2 camps does make it logistically hard to have 2 big chill zones and that is a minor issue.But staying in those lovely cottages in ADDO park is really nice.

I have stayed at the hotel on the mountain and at the base camp ,the Hotel seems slightly better for the social side during the afternoons.But the evening events are all the same.

if you enjoy real Mountainbiking you will love this event.The real bonus is no moving around with boxes and bags---and free wine and beer for the weekend.

Nick, May 27 2019 07:55

I absolutely loved this event last year. Glad to read the reports echo the same for this year.  :thumbup: