The third edition of The Bridgestone Route 66 MTB Experience took place from the 15th to the 17th of February in sweltering conditions. Organised by Rob Jackson of the Leverage Corporation, The Bridgestone Route 66 MTB Experience is now regarded to be a platinum event in terms of both the experience it offered the riders and its ideal timing so early in the race calendar. It is also considered to be the largest 3-day stage race in Gauteng.
With a record field of just on 700 riders, all were put through their paces in temperatures reaching, at some stages, in excess of 45 degrees celcius. But judging by all accounts, the riders were extremely happy with the route and the organisation.
Riders had the option of registering for either the three-day, two-day or one-day event and the rugged route began at Monaghan Farm near Lanseria on Friday the 15th of February. From there they passed through the historic Cradle of Humankind, on to the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm. From there is was off to Maropeng, and all riders ended up at Kloofzicht Lodge, also in The Cradle some three days and 210km later. It was a well-timed race on the racing calendar providing a great opportunity for all serious mountain bikers looking to prepare for some of the popular endurance events taking place in March, April and May.
In 2011, the inaugural event had just over 200 riders take part. In 2012, just on 600 riders arrived at the start line to test their skills and fitness. In 2013, there were almost 700 riders, so the event has grown in leaps and bounds and promises to be even better in 2014.
By all accounts it was an extremely successful event, and a number of key Bridgestone stakeholders also took part playing their part and flying the Bridgestone flag.
After the heat and dust had settled, the line honours went to Paul van Zweel of Europcar in a total time of 8 hours and 36 minutes.
Taking the overall Ladies win was 2012 Olympian, Robyn de Groot, in a time of 9 hours and 46 minutes.
There were a number of team and age category winners as well in the The Bridgestone Route 66 Weekend Experience and The Bridgestone Route 66 Mini Experience. For more information, please have a look at the webstie: www.route66mtb.co.za.
“After Bridgestone’s inaugural sponsorship of the 2012 event, we saw the potential for growth in the event, and at the same time, we saw a perfect fit with mountain biking and Bridgestone as it reflects the Bridgestone Tread Smartly values.
We at Bridgestone feel that all participants made a smart choice when they chose a high-quality event such as The Bridgestone Route 66 MTB Experience. It gave them the assurance due to the safety factors taken into account, the environmental aspects that were considered and health and performance that is synonymous with the Bridgestone brand.” said Jan Maritz, Promotions and Advertising Manager of Bridgestone SA.