This year’s tenth anniversary edition of the Sappi Scottburgh MTB & Trail Run Weekend from July 21-22 will see 2017’s runner-up Tyronne White looking to reclaim the title that he last won in 2014 against what is expected to be a stacked field.
With the South African Cross Country Championships taking place in Bloemfontein on the Saturday, there will be a scramble down the escarpment by riders that are hoping to claim their share of the valuable Quattro ROAG Series points on offer on the KZN South Coast on Sunday.
White, who won the Holla Sugar Rush Classic this past weekend, is finding some good form on the bike and despite a disappointing Sappi Karkloof Classic recently he feels that he is developing the right formula to get him results.
“I find that if I don’t put any pressure on myself, like I did at Karkloof and I battled there, then I perform so much better,” the Ballito Bicycling Company rider said.
“Finding that enjoyment again has been the key to me doing well I think. I am just really having fun on the bike during training and when I race which is helping me perform better at race time.
“I think training with Andrew Johnstone has also helped and we look forward to training and that attitude is taken into races too.”
White currently leads the ROAG Series following his victory this past weekend, however he believes that the competition that he is up against will put him under a lot of pressure if he wants to claim the overall series crown.
“There are some really strong riders in the ROAG Series and they are all searching for some points so I think they will be back for Scottburgh.”
When asked about the quality of riders in KZN White confidently said they were amongst the best in the country.
“Some guys talk about how few opportunities they get when the top guys are back in the province but I think that can only be good for riding in KZN.
“Historically we have had some of the top mountain bikers come from KZN and to be able to learn from them is a bonus for us guys who might not travel anymore for races outside the province.
“It keeps you on your toes because you are always racing against fast riders,” he explained.
The Scottburgh MTB tends to hold a soft spot in the hearts of a lot of the top-end riders and White is no different as he looks forward to another exciting 45km dash along the South Coast.
“Flavio (Scarpa) and his team put in so much effort to put on the race every year and we know that he has had his battle with the weather in the past,” White chuckled. “But the single track is always great and it isn’t a walk in the park, there are some tough sections which make for hard, honest riding.
“There is something that will challenge all riders from your beginner to the elite which is what you want from a mountain bike race,” White added.