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eNewsletter 2022 #1


Hi Rider!

We have already spoken to the riders that are carrying entries over and so now we can officially open entries to all riders wanting to ride the 2022 Euro Steel Drak Descent!
2022’s race is going to be another exciting edition and we know that you, as much as us, cannot wait to get back out there in the pristine summer conditions of the Southern Drakensberg! We have two options for riders; the full Drak Descent and then the shorter MTB Challenge. Euro Steel Drak Descent & MTB Challenge entry fees: Descent Team R 1900
Descent Solo R 950
Challenge R 650


After missing out last year we are aiming to make this edition of the Euro Steel Drak Descent ultra-special!

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Underberg and onto our new network of trails!

Got any questions? If there is anything you need to know, or if we can help you with anything at all, drop us an email by clicking on the button below, and we will get back to you a.s.a.p.
Send us an email

Train hard, keep the rubber down and we will see you at the end of January!

Take care of yourselves and your families!

eNewsletter 2022 #2

Hi {name}!

The Spoors Team has completed the preparation for what is surely one of SA’s most spectacular MTB and Trail Run races. The single tracks are sure to challenge and thrill the most widely travelled cyclist and runner while the distances of the days are not huge and the single track will traverse terrain that is spectacular and challenging! You are guaranteed to feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach the finish!

The Euro Steel Drak Descent and Run the Rivers are fully subscribed and entries are now closed.

The shorter MTB Challenge still have entries available and can be entered online until Friday 21 January.


Euro Steel
Our principal sponsors, Euro Steel have been absolutely amazing once again in their support of this event and thus mountain biking and trail running in general in our area. We as the Sani Spoors team and the Euro Steel organising committee would really like again to thank Colin and David Wilson and their team for assisting us in making this event a possibility.

First National Bank
We are pleased to have FNB on board once again as a sponsor for 2022 and we hope we can continue the partnership into the future as they have contributed so much to various Charities and organisations in our area.

To all our other sponsors, we would like to thank the following:
- Case Construction
- Tip Top Dairies
- Underberg Superspar
- Tiger Wheel and Tyre
- Pyga
- Dairy Maid
- Aquellé
- Nu-Eco

Some important news regarding the 2022 Euro Steel Drak Descent and the MTB Challenge

Race Information

Registration for the MTB:
Friday 28 January
12:00 – 20:00
The Olde Duck
This will be followed by a meet and greet with local landowners and Sponsors at the Olde Duck.
Feed stalls and bar facilities will be available from 18:00.

Emergency Registration: – if you REALLY could not make it to normal registration!!
Saturday 29 January
07:00 – MTB – at Restmount Children’s Home (23km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)

Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB:    
Day 1 – Start @ 08:00
Saturday 29 January
Restmount (23km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)

Day 1 Finish
Swartberg Bridge (at the R617/Drakensberg Gardens Road turn off intersection)

Day 2 – Start @ 07.30
Sunday 30 January
Thukeyani Farm School – Drakensberg Gardens Road

Day 2 Finish
At Early Mist /Hopewell Farm, along the second Coleford Road

Euro Steel MTB Challenge:  
Day 1 – Start @ 09:30
Saturday 29 January
Restmount (23km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)

Day 1 Finish
Swartberg Bridge (at the R617/Drakensberg Gardens Road turn off intersection)

Day 2 – Start @ 07:30
Sunday 30 January
Glenhaven Camp along the first Coleford Road

Day 2 Finish
At Early Mist /Hopewell Farm, along the second Coleford Road

Restmount - 29°45’31.41”S  29°20’41.89”E
Swartberg Bridge - 29°46’30.35”S  29°27’40.18”E
The Olde Duck -29°45’56.35”S  29°27’40.18”E
Thukeyani Farm School -29°45’39.81”S  29°27’58.59”E
Early Mist Farm/Hopewell Farm - 29°53’05.25”S 29°34’47.17”E

Cut – Offs: 12.30
Cut off for day 1 will be at 12.30 at the Euro Steel’s waltzing bridge and 11:30 at Glenhaven on day 2. We request that riders who are stopped or redirected onto the shorter course respect the decisions made. It will be for your own health and safety.  Please note that our sweeps are familiar with the course and the physical demands required, they have our full support to arrange for competitors, that they know are not going to complete the event or may be putting themselves at risk from a health perspective, be removed at various other selected cut off points along the route.

GPS Files and Limited Route marking :
These route files and final distances will be distributed early next week. Please note some distances may vary slightly from originally advertised due to route adjustments resulting from the huge amount of rain we have been receiving.

Friday 28th January – 6.00pm: “Meet the Sponsors” and Landowners Evening
“Meet the Sponsors and Landowners” evening will be held at The Olde Duck on Friday 28th January at around 6.00pm. It is hoped that after Registration, which is at the same venue, riders and runners will stay and mingle with our sponsors, landowners and other riders and runners and enjoy a few drinks and food that will be for sale.

S.A. Seeding will be doing the batching for Day 1. It is for this reason that we encourage all entrants to make sure that if you have changed or plan to change your partner that the substitution is completed by midnight on 24 January 2022.
Batches will go off at 5 minute intervals.
Should you feel that you are batched incorrectly please will you bring proof to substantiate your claim, to the registration on Friday so we can consider your concern.  NO changes will be made on race day.
Any rider moving up a batch without prior approval will have a 1(one) hour time penalty added to their team time.

Late Substitutions
Substitutions after the 24th will cost R300. It is critical that should you change your partner that the substitution is done on the system as the full race entry file containing Medical and Ice numbers are given to the medical team.

Medical and Safety
Underberg Medical Emergency Services under Doctor Grant Lindsay will be handling any medical issues.
ICE arm bands with contact telephone numbers will be issued to all competitors at registration.
We must stress that the race is challenging and technical in nature and we request that riders ride at speeds suitable to their capabilities. We really want to avoid any accidents.
Prizes and Prize Sponsors
As advised on the Sani Spoors webpage there will be no cash prizes awarded.  There will however be product prizes handed out at the end of day 2 for the top Men’s, Women’s and Mixed winners, and second and third places.

The good news is that the Pyga Team will be joining us again for the race. They will have three roving mechanics to assist riders who have mechanicals during the race and will also have a limited number of bikes available should a rider have a serious issue with their bike which cannot be repaired on the day.

Emergency Spares and Bike Repairs
Good news is that Hattons will be present at Registration, Starts and Day 1 Finish to assist you with bike maintenance and repairs. They will have a whole shop setup, workshop, spares and accessories.
Farm Equipment and Garden Centre (033 - 701 1119) in Underberg also stock basic cycle spares and equipment.

Water Tables
We will have two water tables on day 1 and 2 for the MTB, as well as the river along a large portion of the route. This is a lot for the distances but once again we must stress it is a challenging route.
We do warn that we have in the past experienced days of extreme heat and request that riders and runners take their own liquid and not to rely solely on the water tables.
The river is also a real option for filling up water bottles if desperate, and a real way to cool down if you feel you are overheating. (Just watch out for canoeists who definitely have the right of way in the river)

Vehicle Shuttles

We would like to encourage participants to once again make use of the Shuttle Service offered by Noah’s Ark Pre-School. It alleviates traffic and contributes to the bursary fund for less privileged Learners that attend the School.

For more information: Felicity Champkins 0748226071

Alien Plants
The Sani Spoors team would like to thank all competitors who have made a contribution towards eradicating alien plants along the route. We would also like to thank Mike Streatfield at Farmers Agricare for the chemicals he has donated

The Euro Steel organising committee would like to appeal to all riders / runners to refrain from riding or running on any of the route other than the tracks forming part of Sani Spoors.
We have got permission from landowners along the route to use the tracks on the race days only and persons using the tracks illegally are putting the whole race in jeopardy.

Saturday Night Entertainment
The Olde Duck will be having live music and food for sale on Saturday evening. Entrance for participants who can present their race bangle will be allowed free access. The entrance fee for everyone else will be R 40.00.

In conclusion
Thanks to you all for the wonderful response to the Euro Steel Drak Descent and Run the Rivers. Interest in the ride and run has been fantastic and we are sure that all will be in for a great two days of riding, running and fun.

If you hear that your team mate has not received an email Newsletter please ask him/her to email me their correct email address. We have had a fair amount of difficulty with some of the emails coming back “Undelivered”.

Otherwise, a few days to go (no festive season excuses anymore!!) and watch your emails, Instagram and Facebook and websites for more updates. We are looking really forward to hosting you in Underberg for a ride and run that promises to be challenging, exciting and beautiful. Our target again at the start of preparation for this year’s route was to prepare a route that we felt 90% of riders and runners would be able to ride or run 90% of the way. We think we are achieving this!

The Sani Spoors Team

Ride, Run and Paddle with purpose when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never drop out!

Local Charities supported through your involvement in this event:

Noah’s Ark and Asifunde Sonke Teacher’s Training College:

Family Literacy Project -
Clouds of Hope -
Restmount Children’s Home -
Pevensey Place –
Noahs Ark Early learning Centre -

2021 Newsletter #1

Hi there!

We are all very grateful to have received our first summer rains, to help river levels rise and to allow the summer crops to be planted.

We are also thrilled and grateful at the incredible response to the entries received already and thank every one of you who has committed to the event next year in these crazy times. We are heading towards a full field at record pace, so don't miss out if you want to be part of the events on the weekend of 30 & 31 January 2021. Please remember that the Euro Steel Drak Descent entry numbers are capped.

If you have ridden either of our rides before then you will have access to a pre-entry right now.

Entries will be opened to the general public this Sunday (1 November). First the names of those on our waiting list will be given access to the available entries and then the remaining places in both races will be filled by online entries. And from what we are hearing, they will go fast.

So if you have yet to take up your pre-entry, or if you are excited to be riding our races for the first time, the button below will give you access to the online entries.

Our website has had a total make-over, which we hope you will enjoy. Check it out at

While we are working on the trails right now, they will be largely based on the trails we used in 2020, for which we got a lot of positive feedback.
Euro Steel Drak Descent Day One
Euro Steel Drak Descent Day Two
Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB Challenge Day One
Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB Challenge Day Two

We remain particularly proud of our team of riders and runners whom we have identified from our local community to be participants in the Drak Descent and Run the Rivers again next year. They are all honing their skills out on the trails, hard at work and gaining fitness every day. If you can assist these riders and runners in any way with helmets, bike shoes, pumps, spare parts, tyres, running shoes or any accessories which you may have extra, then we’d be most happy to pass them on.  If you would like to donate items, please could you bring these along to Registration.  Our event is inclusive for all riders and runners who wish to be part of something unique, spectacular and special and this happens through the wonderful group of people who assemble for the ride each year. Let’s keep this momentum going and growing.

We are delighted and proud to continue our relationship with Euro Steel, FNB and the other sponsors listed below. They have all loyally backed our events and we are committed to supporting them in return wherever we can!

Got any questions?

If there is anything you need to know, or if we can help you with anything at all, drop us an email by clicking on the button below, and we will get back to you a.s.a.p.

The Sani Spoors Team is really looking forward to hosting you all again at the Euro Steel Drak Descent and MTB Challenge in 2021!

Ride safely through 2020!

2021 Newsletter #2

Hi again {name}!

Entries are pouring in for the 2021 Euro Steel Drak Descent and MTB Challenge, and we are hard at work with preparations of the trails to ensure that it is a memorable weekend of riding for you!

As you may have read already, we have finalised the exciting new start to Day Two that will take you up to a spectacular view of the mountains before heading into the Superbowl segment that leads back into the uMzimkhulu valley.

Entries are flying in!! Right now we have only 74 entries for the Euro Steel Drak Descent left, so, please, if you plan to ride in January, get your entry in sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

Our trail planners have done their work on what we believe will be the best rides ever.
-        Day 1 Start - Descent and MTB challenge: – Restmount Childrens Home
-        Day 1 Finish - Descent and MTB challenge:– Swartberg Bridge

-        Day 2 Start – Descent: - Swartberg Bridge
-        Day 2 Start – MTB Challenge: - Glenhaven
-        Day 2 Finish – Descent and Challenge:- Early Mist/Hopewell farm

Andrew Hill back for a shot at a fifth title

Having won four, TIB Insurance's Andrew Hill's entry is in, and he is really looking forward to the race, which he says is the perfect kick-start to the racing year.

We continue to make goods progress in our ongoing drive to eradicate the Black Wattle alien invaders from our valley.

A big thank you to to Mike Streetfield from Farmers Agri care for the donation of chemicals that we use to combat the Wattle invasion.

Remember that our Registration and the Meet and Greet with the local landowners is now at the Olde Duck on the Drak Gardens road, from 12 midday on Friday 29 January.

Got any questions?

If there is anything you need to know, or if we can help you with anything at all, drop us an email by clicking on the button below, and we will get back to you a.s.a.p.

Keep up your training. We are really looking forward to seeing you again at the Euro Steel Drak Descent and MTB Challenge in January!

2021 Newsletter #3

Hi again {name}!

We are in lockdown as the country deals with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and tougher measures are being announced to try and curb the spreading of the virus.

As an event that attracts thousands of visitors to Underberg each year, this has put us under serious pressure. There was already a superb entry in for this years race.

The Sani Spoors organising team has agonised over this, and we have decided that we simply cannot place the lives of any rider, their families, and the welfare of our helpers and staff or any of the Underberg residents at risk by hosting the event this year. The virus is spreading around Underberg and Himeville and the Harry Gwala district is now a national hotspot.

This is a call we are not enjoying making...

We have reluctantly decided to cancel the 2021 Euro Steel Drak Descent.

There are many reasons for this decision. Almost all the participants and their families come into Underberg from long distances and book overnight stays. The risk of the event turning into a super-spreader is real, and we feel strongly that we, and our sponsors, cannot let that happen.

There are serious medical considerations as well. Our top notch medical and ambulance team is a long way from any hospital, all of which are totally overstretched and understaffed right now. In the unlikely event of a serious medical emergency happening, prompt treatment and a bed cannot be assured!

If you have entered already you will get an email outlining three options:
- Defer your entry to 2022 (and get an entry before any possible increase in entry fee), or
- Donate your entry. All of this money will go to the charities and community organisations we support, or towards the continued employment of the track building team or to the alien plant and wattle clearing initiative; or
- Apply for a refund.

Most of all, during this testing time, stay safe and stay well.

Take care of yourselves and your families!

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