Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone Route 66 MTB Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Feb 27, 2020
Bridgestone Route 66 Mountain Bike Experience start
Bridgestone Route 66 Mountain Bike Experience competitor
Bridgestone Route 66 Mountain Bike Experience medals

Bridgestone's challenging annual Route 66 Mountain Bike Experience is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year and in addition to this, offers some new innovations and a brand new venue. 

The event, which has constantly gained popularity since it first took place in 2011, will run over three days from Friday the 28th of February to Sunday the 1st of March offering a tough 85km on Day 1, 75km on Day 2 and 60km on Day 3.  It starts and ends at Kloofzicht Lodge, situated in the beautiful Cradle of Humankind west of Johannesburg. 

"This is definitely our 2020 flagship race, and we are really excited to see the kudos Route 66 has received in being voted one of the Top 12 MTB events in SA. It is great  to be sponsoring the race yet again, and to be part of the event’s 10th year anniversary celebrations " said Bridgestone’s CEO, Jacques Fourie.  "We have over fifty Bridgestone riders taking part, and I’ll be giving the 45km route a go to experience this event first hand." says Fourie.

Route 66 is the largest 3-day stage race in Gauteng, and offers a tough and challenging experience for riders from as far afield as Botswana, UK, and Germany.

Baseline Training for Hardcore Riders

Some of the more hardcore riders with ambitions of taking on some of the ‘big one’s’ later in the year treat Route 66 as a training event for some of their preparations. These events also include The Leverage Corporation’s premier event, The Great Kei Trek, taking place from the 30th of April to the 2nd of May in the spectacular Eastern Cape. The 3-day Route 66 MTB Experience is the perfect foundational event to get in some good base-line training.

“Logistically, this is one of the more challenging events to organise as there are so many ‘moving parts’, but we are really looking forward to the race this year, and to stay on top of things and innovate, we have also introduced some exciting new changes,” says race organiser, Rob Jackson of The Leverage Corporation. “And we are even more excited that The Bridgestone Route 66 was voted as one of the top 12 multi-day stage races in a survey recently. It seems as if all the hard work over the years is starting to pay off. And in spite of what is happening in the economy, our entries for 2020 have increased by just over 10%. Something unheard of in today’s economic climate”.

Previously the race used to make use of Maropeng as the second race venue. This has now changed to Happy Acres, situated on the outskirts of Magaliesburg.

“We felt that in order to engage more with the local businesses and communities of Magalies, it made sense to move closer to the town itself. Plus Happy Acres is part of our routes, so there are no significant changes to the route or the overall riding experience” continues Jackson.

The Addition of a New 45km Mini Route

2020 will also see a brand new 45km Mini Route for the Saturday. “Over the years Route 66 has gained a reputation of being tough and challenging, putting it out of reach for most leisure cyclists. We felt that by introducing a new 45km route, it would allow more riders the opportunity to experience the wonderful vibe and atmosphere of this outstanding event. Our aim is always to give our riders the best riding experience possible,” says Jackson.

Introducing Route 66 All Stars

In honour of celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the organisers have introduced the Route 66 All Stars, a select group of approximately 20 riders who have either been a previous winner over the years or who have played a key role in the growth of Route 66. Plus we also have a number of celebrities taking part. A key celebrity is none other than John Smit, former Springbok Rugby Captain and 2007 Rugby World Cup winner and also CEO of SSG Holdings, a new sponsor to Route 66. John will be riding for his foundation called Barney’s Army, and will ride alongside his long-time cycling partner, Shane Chorley, and two other riders who actually rode their bicycles from London to Tokyo to get there in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 

What to Expect at the Event
All entrants will receive a goodie bag for the event with special gifts from Bridgestone. There will be food, coffee, and craft beer and gin. Vendors will be selling their wares at Happy Acres on Friday and Saturday to riders and spectators, and on the Sunday, a complimentary lunch will be provided to the riders at Kloofzicht Lodge. There will be showers at the finish and a free shuttle service, compliments of LuxLiner Coaches to take riders from the finish back to the start to collect their vehicles on Day 1 and Day 3. The finish at Kloofzicht Lodge is always a fun experience, with a special lunch for all competitors and invited guests. 

“We are really excited to have Bridgestone as our title sponsor, and without their support, this race would never have grown to the size that it has.  Hopefully we will see Bridgestone’s support last for another 10 years” concludes Jackson.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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