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Forest to Falls MTB Race returns to Graskop

Frieda Paton


The 19th Forest to Falls Mountain Bike Race was held on August 31st, returning to its original home in Graskop.  This popular race is the biggest fund-raiser of the year for the Shalom Christian School.  With the assistance of York Adventure Club in facilitating the race, this year’s event was a great success.


Participants could enter either the 60Km or 33Km official races or a 15Km Fun Ride. The tough but scenic courses offered spectacular views over the escarpment as they wound along York and Safcol forestry roads, passing both Lisbon and Berlin Falls.


The winner of the 60Km event was veteran cyclist Burger Bester in a time of 2 hours 19 minutes. He was followed by Lammert Oosthuyzen and Hannes Nel in second and third places respectively. The first lady home after 60Km was Samantha Sanders.


The 33Km race was won by junior cyclist Leonard Brugman in a time of 1 hour 29 minutes and the winning lady was Ali Emery.  Jowan Pelser was the first to complete the 15Km race, and the first lady in was Eiwet Nel.


The Forest to Falls MTB race started in Graskop 19 years ago. As the race grew in popularity, space at the start and finish became limited. The event was moved, first to the MacMac Forest Retreat, and then to Sabie for a few years. It returned to Graskop this year with the starting point at the Graskop Holiday Resort.


All proceeds of the race go to Shalom Christian School and they would like to thank in particular York Timbers, Safcol (Komatiland), Graskop Holiday Resort, Phoenix Flying Squad, Graskop Spar, Mpumalanga Medical Services, Graskop Traffic and Graskop SAPS for ensuring the success of the race.  They also wish to thank all the local business which generously sponsored watering points and prizes.

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