The Cycle Lab Maluti Double 90 powered by Biogen is a 180 km team time trial that’s now in its fourth year and, given its growing entry numbers, it is clearly becoming an increasingly popular event for SA cyclists.
The team time trial format puts a different spin on the usual bike race, giving amateur cyclists the unique experience of racing as a team. The format brings tactics into play that you won’t find in any solo-rider event with teams strategising around sharing the workload and controlling the pace to get at least six of their riders across the line in the fastest possible time.
There are 12 riders per team, each team starts 30 seconds apart, and has up to nine hours to complete the event.
Challenging and scenic route
The 180 km distance alone makes it a proper endurance event, but add 2200 metres of climbing into the equation and a decent result not only requires good teamwork, but commitment and preparation.
As its name suggests, the race takes place among the Maluti mountain range, starting and finishing in the picturesque Free State town of Clarens. The teams get their starter’s orders at the town’s President Square, then head out to Bethlehem before turning right onto the undulating R714 towards Warden and Eenzaamheid. Thereafter it’s a right turn towards Kestell before the last stretch on the R712 that includes a tough hilly section for the final 40 km through the awe-inspiring Golden Gate National Park.
Great weekend away for the whole family
It’s not always easy to convince the family to come along to bike race you’re doing, but Clarens is tough to say no to. Situated in eastern Free State Highlands, on the northern-most point of Lesotho, the town is famous for the spectacular sandstone mountains that surround it and is regarded as one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
Clarens is also a foodie heaven and respected travel website, Tripadvisor, lists some 31 restaurants, coffee shops and farms stalls within a 20 km radius. There’s plenty of accommodation too with roughly 1 000 beds in Clarens and 4 000 in the immediate district.
With the help of two new major sponsors on-board – national retail chain, Cycle Lab, along with wellness and nutrition brand Biogen – the 2019 edition of the Maluti Double90 promises to knock it out the park. This exciting team trial format is a unique, challenging and fun event that is becoming one of the “must do” events for many South African cyclists.
Key event info
Date: Saturday, 13 April 2019
Length: 180 km
Format: team time trial, 12 riders per team
Entry fee: R9 300 per team
Entries close: 28 February 2019 or as soon as 120 teams have entered
Start time: 6:30 am
Cut off: 16:30 pm