The idea comes from the fine tradition of baseball in the USA where a World Series is held with teams from Canada and the US competing. As joBerg2c attracts more than 150 foreign riders from more than 20 countries, the event is well-placed to now offer the World Mixed Team Championships to the global mountain biking community. It’s another reason to ride the beloved country from Heidelberg outside Johannesburg to Scottburgh in KwaZulu-Natal.
After years of growing numbers in the mixed category, the Old Mutual joBerg2c has decided to honour their mixed field with the World Mixed Team Championships title. It’s an unprecedented move that is sure to attract even stronger mixed teams to the event.
While not billed as Africa’s toughest mountain bike event, the nine-day ride across South Africa is a gruelling test of physical and mental ability, with long district roads, rocky climbs and single track sections that test the very best. Once completing a day’s riding, participants also have to manage themselves at the infamous Notties Brewery Pig Rig, which has scuppered many a challenger’s PB thanks to its fine selection of ales.
Organiser of the Old Mutual joBerg2c Craig Wapnick says, “We realise that the UCI does not award points to the mixed racing categories at UCI sanctioned events, so we have seen a gap and from now on we will be calling our mixed category the World Mixed Team Championships. This will also help get more female riders into the sport in general. We have had a real struggle finding women-only teams but we get loads of mixed teams, so clearly there is an appetite for this category in endurance cycling. There is growth in women’s cycling, and we want to be at the forefront in encouraging more ladies onto bikes.”
To make the category even more exciting, joBerg2c has increased the prize purse of this new category to reflect it’s new, lofty status.
Wapnick adds, “As an event and event owners, we have spoken amongst ourselves and we all agree that this mixed category is fast and fun, and it should get recognition. Last year we had incredibly strong riders in this category - Candice and Darren Lill, Amy Beth McDougall and Grant Usher, Yolandi Du Toit and Ben Melt Swanepoel to mention a few - and we are certain that the new World Mixed Team Championships will push these and other teams to even stronger performances in the future.”
World Mixed Team Championships prize money:
1st R100 000
2nd R30 000
3rd R20 000