The 2021 Attakwas Extreme, one of South Africa’s most iconic mountain bike races, has been postponed due to the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases on the Garden Route.
Henco Rademeyer of Dryland, the event organisers, said the upsurge in Covid-19 cases in the area in recent weeks and the move to localised restrictions to combat the spread of the virus contributed to making it impossible to stage the race – which starts just outside Oudtshoorn and finishes at Great Brak River – on January 16.
“We were working towards hosting a safe and successful event, in accordance with Cycling South Africa and the national government’s directives, but the decision was effectively taken out of our hands by the increased restrictions the Garden Route has now been placed under.
“I’m sure everyone who had entered the sold-out 2021 edition share our disappointment but also understand that we cannot host an event in contradiction with government regulations.”
In the statement, Carel Bosman of Momentum Medical Scheme, one of the sponsors, said health came first.
“I share the disappointment of my fellow mountain bikers. The decision was really hard and heart-breaking.
“We had so much hope for the start of the year; we explored every option at our disposal, looking for ways to host the event and restructure it to adhere to the new regulations.
“Sadly, the only viable option was to postpone the race as it is important that we all do our bit to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.”
According to the statement, the race will now take place in August 2021.
“Taking place about two months from the [rescheduled] Epic, it will be the ideal test of form and training for local and international mountain bikers alike,” said Rademeyer.