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Following a successful launch year in 2023, Summerplace Game Reserve is pleased to confirm the continuation of its mountain bike racing team for 2024. There will still be a firm XCO racing focus, but the team members will also add some stage racing for variety and to gain experience.

The team members are Inus du Preez, Lilian Baber and Respect Ramashia, all of whom raced for Summerplace Game Reserve last year. They’re all employed by the reserve but are supplied with bikes, gear and the appropriate support required to train and race in pursuit of their goals.

Respect Ramashia

Respect will once again focus on the regional marathon races including those in Limpopo, North West and Gauteng. He secured a few podium positions at Limpopo events last year and will be looking for improved performances at the larger events this year, particularly the Ford Trailseeker Marathons.

Lilian had a very successful final year as a Junior last year, where she focused primarily on XCO racing. She was dominant in local events, including winning the South African Championship, the African Continental Championship and South African Cup Series. She also contested several international races in Europe and the World Championships in Scotland.

Lilian Baber

“This is my first year in Under-23 so I don’t have any significant goals. I will do a variety races, but XCO is still my main discipline. I will use this year to find my feet and see where I am in relation to the other Under-23 and Elite racers. I plan to gain more experience at international races in Europe and it’s also a chance for me to get more settled in marathon races, which I haven’t done many of,” said Lilian.

“I feel my base training in the off season has been good and has helped improve my strength and stamina. I’m so fortunate to live at Summerplace, which is the perfect place for mountain bike training. Not only is there more than 100km of singletrack ranging from tame to technical, but there also surrounding gravel roads,” added Lilian.

Lilian Baber and Inus du Preez

Among the races planned for Inus and Lillian in 2024 are: The Tankwa Trek, Cape Pioneer and Wines2Whales stage races, the South African XCO Champs, the African XCO Champs, the World XCO Champs (based on qualification) and four UCI XCO World Cups in Europe.

“Being supported by Summerplace to be able to travel around South Africa to race as well as compete in Europe has given me so much and I’m looking forward to making the most of that in 2024. Last year was my first full year of racing and I improved so much. I learned to race smart and my power improved significantly over the course of the year,” said Inus.

Inus du Preez

“My main focus for this year it so see how well I can do at the four UCI World Cup races in Europe and also to qualify for the South African Under-23 team to compete at the UCI World Champs in Spain. I have other races on my schedule, but those and the relevant South African qualifying races will be priority,” added Inus.

The Summerplace MTB Team do all their training at Summerplace Game Reserve. With an established trails network that includes more than 100km of singletrack, an altitude of 1400m above sea level, a wide range of trail types, several measured routes and beautiful bushveld scenery with wildlife, it’s the ideal destination for mountain bikers.

It’s easy to book your own mountain biking stay at Summerplace Game Reserve. Check out the various accommodation options here.

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