Ashburton National MTB Series Van Gaalen #NatMTB5
Van Gaalen really does its job to show off what the Magalies area has to offer for mountain bike thrill seekers, without disappointing results. Over the years, hand built single track has been put together which meanders through the Magalies ravines and gorges, as well as along river banks and over bridges. The trails at the cheese farm switch between varied terrain and include river crossings, bush tunnels and spectacular views, with occasional tough climbs.
You can look forward to a great day out, supporters are able to see some of the race from a hot air balloon at Bill Harrop’s Balloon Safaris. Routes features with hand built single track, uncongested routes with little overlap, well stocked water points, an expo area, local food stalls & craft beer, massages, bike wash and VIP Area.
Venue: Van Gaalen Cheese Farm, R560, North West
GPS Location: S 25° 47′ 271” E 27° 46′ 327”
Terrain: Single Track, Jeep Track, Gravel Road, Savannah, Rocky, Hardpack, Indigenous Forest, Bushveld
Features: Hand Built single track, Bridges, River Crossings, Bush tunnels, Spectacular Views, Floating bridge
Van Gaalen Cheese Farm is found in an area known as Skeerpoort, which lies 24km south of Brits, 32km north east of Hekpoort and 7km south west of Hartebeespoort Dam. Legend has it that Skeerpoort received its name from the leader of the Voortrekkers, Hendrik Potgieter because the group stopped in between the mountain pass to spruce up but another explanation is that a commando under Casper Kruger purchased soap and shaving equipment from a trader to clean up before entering Pretoria. In 1990 Annelies van Gaalen immigrated from the Netherlands to Skeerpoort, which was a small farming community. Living in the peace and quiet of the countryside, she soon released that it was the ideal setting to begin making cheese like her Dutch “voorvaders.” What began as a hobby, soon turned into a big demand, as well as an incredibly successful venture and ‘Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij” was officially registered in 1994.
FUN RIDE (10KM)
A short up to 10km route to ride is available on the Sunday. This will take place on open roads and will be laid out to be as flat as possible, area permitting. This distance is recommended for kids between the ages of 3 – 11yrs. As always we allow parents to accompany their kids.
FUN RACE – (20KM)
This race is aimed at riders who are young or novices in cycling or mountain biking but is not recommended to children under the age of 12 years. The routes are between 16-20km, with an ascent of no more than 300m, depending on the venue.
HALF MARATHON (40 – 50KM)
Relatively fit, intermediate, skilled and recreational riders will find the climbs and some of the rocky, rutted surfaces challenging. The terrain and descents can be dangerous, therefore it is recommended that riders be cautious while on the route. The distance varies between 40-45km, with an ascent of 400-1000m, venue depending. Riders are encouraged to make use of water points.
MARATHON – (70 – 80KM)
The Marathon route should not be underestimated. It’s a challenging distance with rough terrain, consisting of a 70-75km distance with a 1000-2000m ascent, venue depending. Riders are encouraged to study the route profile before a race and make themselves familiar with water point locations.
* Subject to change
This is a preliminary programme, to give a general idea of the weekend schedule.
Please note* Your batch and start time will be emailed to you in the week leading up to race weekend.
06:30 – 09:30 Registration & Line entries
07:30 75km Marathon
08:15 45km Half Marathon
09:00 20km Fun Race
09:30 10km Fun Ride
12:00 Prize Giving