Heavyweight riders can breathe a sigh of relief, as South Africa’s first competitive category created specifically for larger riders has been introduced in The Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike event.
Small, lightweight riders have typically dominated the sport of cycling, says organiser Craig Wapnick. “It’s almost impossible for someone weighing more than 90kg to compete for overall victory in multiday cycling races at any level. In marathon and cross country mountain biking the same general rule applies.” Wapnick elaborated that a significant number of larger riders physically in peak condition could not equal their slighter counterparts on the inclines, and were alienated due to this bias in events. “What about those guys who love mountain biking, are as strong as a buffalo but just too heavy? What do they have to aim at?”
In order to improve equality in this event, the organisers of The Old Mutual joBerg2c welcomed an exciting new division initiated by TREAD magazine, South Africa’s leading mountain bike publication. “The category will be known as the TREAD Buffalo category”, said Wapnick.
He said the nine day mountain bike race would be the first event to officially launch the category, with other stage races expected to follow suit. Wapnick said men and women would be able to register for the category and view their results for different events on the TREAD website. This will include a TREAD Buffalo ranking, providing recognition to the cyclists that excel throughout the year.
Wapnick warns riders of an official weigh-in prior to the event, as an expansion of the riders and the division may be a possibility due to the delicious food served at the race villages.