The Van Loveren Java MTB Challenge has been singled out by the Pedal Power Association (PPA) as Best Overall Event for 2015/16. The accolade follows just three years after the Van Loveren Java MTB Challenge was voted the PPA’s Best Newcomer.
Founded in 1976, the PPA is a Public Benefit Organisation established to promote cycling and the interests of cyclists. With some 16 000 members, it is the largest recreational cycling organisation in South Africa.
The Van Loveren Java MTB Challenge took place in October last year, with a range of family-focused activities hosted at Van Loveren Family Vineyards, near Robertson and some 90 minutes from Cape Town. The wine and related beverages company is the producer of amongst others Van Loveren and Tangled Tree wines. It is also an active promoter of wine tourism through the support of events such as the Java MTB Challenge, with current investments injecting R5,9-billion into the South African economy.
The event last year saw adrenalin-seekers from across the country gather once again to tackle one of four MTB routes, or a trail run across scenic farmland and mountains. As usual, all entrants received medals upon completion, while prizes and lucky draws to the value of over R 40 000 were up for grabs.
In announcing the PPA awards, the organisation said the prize-winning event in its July to June evaluation period was notable for its “amazing atmosphere” and “smooth running”. It received a score of 98% on the PPA’s comprehensive scoresheet used to evaluate each event on their calendar. In addition to its exceptional performance across categories, the Van Loveren Java MTB Challenge scored full marks for marshalling; venue lay-out and management; start; water points; support vehicles; finish; lucky draw; and, general administration.
The Van Loveren Java MTB Challenge has built up a loyal following over the years with regulars using the race to train for the Wines2Whales; Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek; and, To Hell and Back championships. Last year, its most gruelling track covered 85km over 1600m of elevation and covered virgin territory after the commissioning of a new route, and custom-built single tracks.
Money raised at the Van Loveren Java MTB Challenge is used for very worthy causes. The event is a fundraising platform for local schools and charitable organisations that assist with organising and logistics on the day. Beneficiaries for last year’s event were the Robertson Primary School, Robertson Preparatory School, Goudmyn Rural School and Wakkerstroom Rural School.