The U

 

Now in its fifth year, we have worked hard with our amazing event partners to UP the premium lifestyle offering to go with the spectacular riding. The event is limited to 200 riders and is all-inclusive to all entrants (regardless of what accommodation you choose). This means everything is already covered in your entry fee. Thanks to our handpicked partners, every aspect, from morning coffee through race nutrition, bike wash, post-ride beers, meals and night cap, is the absolute finest.

 

Online entries close on the 20th of August 2021

THE ULTIMATE STAGE RACE EXPERIENCE

• Baristas serving any hot beverage of your choice
• Complimentary La Chouffe beers on Friday & Saturday evening
Hope Gin & Fitch and Leedes sunset cocktails on Friday and Saturday evening
(including a Hope Gin and Liefmans Fruitesse beer and gin cocktail)
Cadence Nutrition during Episodes 1 & 2
• As much DAY Water as you need (sustainable canned water)
• The official custom trail top for The U 2021, designed and manufactured locally by Enjoy.
• A complimentary recovery massage on Saturday by the EPT team, and full access to the EPT Recovery lounge on Friday & Sunday to try the latest gadgets in sports recovery.

ALSO INCLUDED

  • Custom medals with your race number
  • Team pics fridge magnets which are also used for seeding
  • Namgear bike washes
  • Complimentary beer tasting from the Belgian Beer Company
  • The friendly support from the Tech Zone team
  • Amazing goodies from our event partners
  • Personalized Number board and Medal
Read More
  • A Parting Gift when you leave which includes: Custom Distilled Hope Gin (using organic Buchu from the farm); Fitch & Leedes Bespoke Mixer; a bunch of fresh flowers from the farm, local potatoes and preserves.

We’re not about prize money but we haven’t forgotten about the racing snakes!

The Venturescapes Segment Challenge offers R5000 for both the K&QOM (King & Queen Of the Mountain) on both Episodes 1 & 2 (R20K in total over the weekend).

ACCOMMODATION

Choose from 3 different options

Team @ R17 000 or Solo @ R9 500

  • Includes: All meals, drinks and snacks from the Friday evening until Sunday lunch, including light snacks on the Friday afternoon
  • Your own two-man tent & mattresses. (Bedding excluded).

Team @ R23 000 or Solo @ R15 500

  • Includes: All meals, drinks and snacks from the Friday evening until Sunday lunch, including light snacks on the Friday afternoon.
  • A four-man tent for you and your partner (if team entry) with two single beds, a bedside table, shaded seating and ground cover in front of your tent with 2 camping chairs & a solar light, (Bedding included)

Team @ R25 000, no solo options

  • Fully equipped luxury serviced accommodation with comfortable single beds for two evenings (double beds available upon request), bedding & towels included.
  • Includes:
  • All meals, drinks and snacks from the Friday evening until Sunday lunch, including light snacks on the Friday afternoon.
  • Complimentary Drinks & Snacks.
  • Exclusive access to the permanent ablution facilities.
  • Designated parking area.

RACE DETAILS

It’s going to get ‘real’ out there. Real in the sense that you are going to feel the challenge in the legs and the lungs. Most importantly though, the rewards are real good in the ‘real mountain-biking’ sense. Think magically flowey sections that weave audaciously over, through, between, and under rocks. Think places fast, technical descents and a wide variety of terrain. Here is what’s in store:

DISTANCE: 15KM | ELEVATION: 200M | START TIME: 14:00 UNTIL 17:30

Short, but sharp, this 15km is designed so you can earn your Friday evening beer and get the car trip out of your legs. See it as a loosener to prepare you for the two days which lie ahead. The prologue has doubled in distance from previous years but without the addition of too much more elevation gain.

The route includes a few short stings called ‘Mermaids Pool,’ ‘Death by Porcupine’ and ‘Crow’s Nest’ but as with all the climbs in our trail network – what goes up, must come down. And, quite spectacularly at that.

Your finish time here will determine your seeding…

DISTANCE: 55KM | ELEVATION: 1400M | 4 TOTAL PIT STOPS | START TIME: 8:00

Episode 1 is a mix of The U exclusive sections, original Piket-Bo-Berg trails and spectacular new additions. Most of the day is spent on the trails of Bugler’s Post. Don’t let the distance fool you, you will feel that elevation and it starts early on as riders leave the race village and follow the jeep track up Levant Hill until the first singletrack of the day: ‘Yellow Cliff Road’ – a 1.3km switchback climb with an ascent of 100 meters.

One of the many highlights of Episode 1 is the epic 5km downhill ‘Livingstone & Stanley’. This track was famously built by John Ince and LeRoux Rossouw – John, building from the top of the mountain and Le Roux, from the bottom.

War stories from the old Ox Wagon Pass are bound to be shared over post-ride beers – built in 1889 the 5km ascend is a lung buster, which brings you back up the mountain to Bugler’s Post. From there it’s dirt-surf time on ‘Blaaukop,’ ‘Jakkelskloof,’ ‘Owls Corner,’ ‘The Bug,’ ‘Fairy Meadows’ and another U exclusive ‘Ek is Lara’!

Rondekop marks the return to Mouton’s Valley farm and by then you will be able to taste the finish line, but, not before the epic ‘River Run’ and ‘A Bridge Too Far’ downhill sections.

DISTANCE: 57KM | ELEVATION: 1100M | 4 TOTAL PIT STOPS | START TIME: 8:00

Episode 2 takes in the finest of the trail network on the Starke’s farm, Mouton’s Valley. The riding is technical (both on the climbs and descents) but fast and flowing if you have the skills and the legs. In some sections, it’s almost impossible to comprehend how the trails were imagined, let alone crafted. Criss-crossing the hills above the race village, the trails weave audaciously over, through, between, and under rocks to create a near perfect flow on terrain.

Make no mistake – it’s no manicured bike park (or walk-in-the-park, for that matter) the trails are physically and technically challenging, but generous in their rewards. These include U exclusive singletracks: ‘Sonop,’ ‘Sunshine,’ ‘Castle Rock,’ ‘Looking for Moses,’ ‘Finding Moses,’ ‘Greystones’ and ‘Greystones Express.’

It’s real mountain-biking in the ‘proper’ sense of the word. The U is all about baggies and beers and chilled vibes.

RIDER RESULTS

THE U

Frequently Asked Questions

Substitution

Substitutions close on 15 September 2021 and can be done via the Entry Ninja Platform. Any substitutions after the 15th will be processed on Friday 24 September. These late substitutions will get the complimentary kit in the sizes ordered by the original entrant. Please note a substitution fee of R500 is payable online up until 20th of August, when online entires close, with R1000 thereafter. Visit the Entry Ninja Help Desk for more info or use the online chat functionality.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations (and substitutions) need to be done via the Entry Ninja Platform

OUR CANCELLATION POLICY:

• Up to 3 months before the event – 75% (25 June 2021)

• Up to 2 months before the event – 50% (23 July 2021)

• No refunds in last 2 months & no carryovers (24 July 2021)

Entries are all-inclusive and cover all meals, drinks, snacks and accommodation. You will also receive a survival kit and parting gift. Read more about the full experience, here (insert hyperlink).

No. This is for your own safety. This is a working farm and trail maintenance is not done throughout the year, and although we like it rough and natural we would not sleep at night wondering what could go wrong if there were riders out on the trails. In addition the trails span remote areas which are challenging to access with vehicles in case of an emergency – when we host events we take the necessary precautions to mitigate that risk. There is also not cellphone reception everywhere.

The prologue sorts the racing snakes from the weekend warriors. The Prologue is a short loop done in a time trial format (hyperlink to routes), which gives you a taste of all the good things to come for your weekend in MTB paradise. The Prologue opens at 14:00 with the last riders hitting the trail at 17:30. You do your lap whenever suits you. If for some very good reason you cannot be here in time to complete your Prologue lap you’ll have to start in the last batch for Episode 1. We’ve also been persuaded to bump riders up a batch or two thanks to a donation towards our charity.

It’s not about the money, honey. If youre ‘racing’ The U for the Prize Money then we’re afraid youre doing it for the wrong reasons. That being said, there are loads of great prizes sponsored by our amazing event partners. These include spot prizes the likes of Chatty Cathyawards to the Bier, Boep and Baggiesaward among others. You don’t need to be in the front bunch to win them. Quite the opposite… We do also cater for the Aaaai batch though, with prize for all category stage winners on Saturday and Sunday. In addition there is the Venturescapes Segment Challenge: With R5000 for both the K&QOM on the Venturescapes Segment Challenge on both Episodes 1 & 2 (R20K in total over the weekend).

We have Standard, Luxury & Deluxe Options available that range from a standard dome tent with a mattress to a fully furnished deluxe tent option with all the bells and whistles including a wake-up call with coffee served at your tent – click here to read more [add a link to Accommodation Section on event website]

Can be done via the Entry Ninja Platform – visit their Help Desk for more info or use the online chat functionality for assistance to process your substitution

  • Obviously your bike, helmet & shoes – remember no e-bikes allowed due to CSA regulations
  • If you booked Standard Accommodation, your sleeping bag and pillow  – we supply you with your own nifty tent & mattress
    • Bedding is included for Luxury and Deluxe Accommodation
  • A flashlight or headlight
  • Toiletries, towel, earplugs
  • A Power Bank and your own charger
  • Bug spray and antihistamines
  • Water will be supplied but if you’re a serious water guzzler bring some
  • Some extra layers, it gets rather chilly as the sun sets on our beautiful race village
  • Finally, a sense of humour and a thirst for adventure (some skill and a little fitness will also go a long way!)
  • No spectators or their pets allowed as these are working farms with no public access roads to trails.
  • In addition, the race village infrastructure and catering is geared for rider numbers as part of the premium all-inclusive experience. (There is food or drinks for sale to the public)

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Stay up to date with all the latest news about our events.