Africa’s end-of-enduro-season showstopper is fast approaching. The Motul Roof of Africa, notoriously known as the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’, will put riders to their paces in the spectacular mountains of Lesotho from 5-9 December.
The event has unveiled enduro riding paradise for 50 years with dizzying altitudes and over 400km of unrelenting terrain to offer.
While participants have become familiar with the pounding trails, infamous climbs and popular ‘Round the Houses’ seeding event; the 2018 Motul Roof of Africa will come with some exciting changes.
The hard enduro action will kick off at a brand-new start and finish venue this year at St Andrews School in Ha Raboletsi, approximately 55 km from Maseru.
Route director Peter Luck said, “We needed to get new routes away from the Bushman’s area and this was the ideal place to access those routes. It is very difficult in Lesotho to find enough flat land to accommodate the Roof of Africa start, and we are very lucky to have found this spot which will also give spectators great viewing of the ‘Start and Finish’ stages in the valley below!”
The ‘new routes’ that Luck refers to have given the Roof of Africa a complete make-over. An impressive 65% of the event will comprise of trails that have never been used in this event before, and the remainder of the route will take riders to sections of Lesotho that have not been ridden in the last eight years.
While the 2017 edition was deemed by some Gold riders as ‘too easy’, Luck explains that this year’s event will be quite the opposite:
“It will be a tougher route than last year. The routes in Lesotho are never easy, but that is what makes the Roof so unique and enjoyable for hard enduro riders.”
Another change set to shake the Roof of Africa is a break away from the traditional ‘Round the Houses’ route. In attempt to avoid the ever-increasing congestion at the centre of Maseru and make the event more accessible, the race will now take place at Maseru Mall.
Instead of using familiar tar roads, Luck announced an exciting twist:
“Round the Houses will be held on mostly dirt paths this year, and we’ve also thrown a few obstacles in! It will be a lot more accessible to competitors, service crews and spectators and bring an exciting new element to the Roof! Spectators and crews will also have access to many food and refreshment outlets.”
Motul South Africa is excited to announce that Cross Country legend Kenny Gilbert will be doing a recce of the Roof of Africa route in the coming weeks.
“I’m am really looking forward to riding in Lesotho again especially being able to pre-ride the actual route of the 2018 Roof of Africa. I’ve raced and finished the 'Mother of Hard Enduro' 13 times. I will do my best to get as much information for the organizers and riders as possible. Fun times ahead!” said Gilbert.
Entries looking very positive for the Tork Craft Global ASP Legends, Heroes and Two Stroke Motocross Challenge at Terra Topia on Sunday 25th Nov
“Judging by the entries in the past few events, and the large number of motocross veterans practicing at the various tracks around the country things are looking very positive for our line-up for the VMX Class at the Tork Craft Global ASP Legends, Heroes and Two Stroke Motocross Challenge at Terra Topia on Sunday 25th Nov,” said Gavin Williams CEO of Global ASP.
“UK based Neville Bradshaw hero and individual winner of 2017 Des Nations who did the impossible in winning four heats against the best in the world - John Dowd, Mike Brown, Doug Dubach and many top European riders. Bradshaw is confirmed and will be riding Yamaha for this event, he will also be a key team rider along with Ryan Hunt in the SA Team for the 2019 Farleigh Castle event next year the balance of the team will be announced later,” said Williams
Former American 125 Supercross Champion Todd de Hoop could still be a possibility as could many of the top SA riders based overseas in the UK and the States, invites have been put out to all these riders, along with the huge number of active riders in South Africa that are still racing.
According to the track owners Dave White and Rob Bowen many of the past SA champions will enter the event or will certainly attend the event. “If you are a Motocross fan you certainly don’t want to miss this event as you will get to see all the local current champions, past multiple SA champions, Springbok Motocross riders, legends like Neville Bradshaw, Ryan Hunt, Tony Riddell all in action in the various classes. Also, all the old famous super quick two strokes in action again, this promises to be a special event and certainly not to be missed,” said Dave White.
“It’s a must ride event for me as I will back racing against my old mates and competitors from the past, plus all the young local riders which will be an interesting test for us all,” said SA multiple National champion, Springbok MX rider and co-sponsor of the event, Ryan Hunt.
The Tork Craft Global ASP Legends, Heroes and Two Stroke Motocross Event will cater for the following classes: 65cc and 85cc juniors, Open Snr (Unrestricted capacity modern bikes), MX3 for over 30 & 40 and over 50 & 60 age groups. The main attractions will be the VMX class and the open 125 Challenge class which will be open to all 125 – 150cc two strokes for riders from age 13 plus. This will see the kamikaze kids and the best 125 Snr riders and past heroes accepting the challenge to race against each other for the 1st time ever.
Full multi-vendor catering & bar services will be on offer for the enjoyment of the public.
Entries ONLINE via: www.vsevents.co.za
Terra Topia - Rob Bowen: 083 401 5319
In an unforgettable season finale, the National Motocross Championship drew to a close at Dirt Bronco this weekend.
For the first time in Husqvarna South Africa’s history, a motocross rider managed to bring home both the MX1 and MX2 Championship title.
It’s been a glorious season for 24-year old Caleb Tennant, who was actually recruited by Husqvarna in 2017 to replace an injured Maddy Malan – the teammate he now calls both arch rival and friend.
Grabbing the opportunity to fully pursue his motocross dreams, Tennant has brought home victory after victory this season with a firm hold on two red plates.
He took his place at the MX2 start line on Saturday with an impressive 34-point lead, and only had to finish seventh in the first moto to secure the championship. With a third place finish, however, Tennant achieved more than what he had set out to do and withdrew from the second moto to focus on the next job at hand. “Things were slightly tighter in MX1 with my 16-point lead. I managed to finish third in the first moto, and just kept my composure to bring home a fourth in the second moto – and that was that! I can’t even describe the amount of pressure I’ve been under racing to secure not just one, but two championship titles!” explained a relieved Tennant.
Overwhelmed by the milestone achievement, he added, “The season has finally come to an end! I was up against a talented group of riders this year, and each race felt like a long, hard-fought battle. To come away with both championships has been huge for me.”
Teammate Malan had also been eyeing the MX2 Championship.
While some unfortunate mishaps left Malan out of contention for the title, he was determined to end the season on the best note that he could – which was right behind Tennant.
He was off to a tough start when he crashed in the first moto, but with a true ‘never say die’ attitude fought back into fourth.
With competitors like Tristan Purdon also looking to finish the season off strong, Malan explained:
“Tristan won the first moto, and that meant that unless I did the same in the second moto he would finish ahead of me this season. My options going into the next heat were win, or nothing.”
Fans breathed a heavy sigh of relief as Malan blazed his way to victory in the second moto, finishing the season second overall.
Satisfied to have the Husqvarna squad dominate the MX2 podium, Malan commented, “If there was going to be anyone that was going to beat me this season, I’m glad it was my teammate. It’s game-on in 2019 though!”
Another promising rider on the motocross radar is the rising Neil van der Vyver.
Having only made his 65cc debut this year, the youngster snatched up yet another podium spot this season with a third place for the day.
Van Der Vyver has proven to have more than enough speed to keep up with the top riders in his class, and will certainly enter the 2019 season swinging as he attempts to win another championship title in his still very young career.
Husqvarna South Africa has come painfully close to winning National titles this season, but has finished in second place four times in other disciplines.
Brand Manager Fred Fensham finally got to put the number one plates on his bikes that he had been waiting for, and with great pride and a lot of emotion gave a parting shot:
“This is an incredible moment for us - I am so proud of the riders, teams and sponsors that made this double victory happen.”