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MBABANE – Cyclists are expected back on the trails for one of Eswatini’s most exciting off-road races.

That is the Nedbank Imvelo Mountain Bike (MTB) Classic. With things opening up following disruptions caused by the advent of COVID-19, Nedbank and Big Game Parks (Mlilwane) announced the return of the family race. The last race was staged back in 2019. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the exciting race which attracts cyclists from the country and beyond. Xolani Gama, Sales Manager at Big Game Parks, confirmed the latest developments. The full logistics of the race, especially the actual date, are still to be released. However, entries for locals opened in the past week. The rest of the cyclists from the region can submit their entries from this week.

Starting as the Ngulube MTB Classic - the first mountain bike race in Eswatini in 2000; Mlilwane’s annual bike race changed its name to Imvelo MTB Classic in 2004. While accommodating both the old and the young, the race is usually headlined by the 65km Classic, which is the toughest event. The distance belies the total climb and intensity of the race.  It is technical, tough and extremely rewarding. “At the moment we are looking at dates though they might change depending on the response with entries. The eagerness for people to involve themselves in physical and outdoor activities has risen at an alarming rate,” he said. Meanwhile, the forceful South Africa’s Christo Carelsen clocked 03:08:14  hours to cruise to a win in the last edition in 2019.

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