Despite the widely publicised current downturn in the economy and general tightening of the belt, 36ONE Asset Management is giving value back to riders. With an awareness that people are cutting back on their leisure spend during this time, the company was prompted to invest in the longevity of mountain biking.
The first initiative was a 50% sponsorship of the entry fee for The 36ONE MTB Challenge – a race that challenges riders to cover 361 kilometres within 36.1 hours. The deal gave early birds maximum value in their commitment to tackle ‘The Ultimate Race’ and these entries were sold out in seconds.
36ONE Asset Management’s CEO Steve Liptz commented, “The sport of mountain biking lies close to our heart. We’ve seen this event unite people with the common cause of conquering an extremely demanding route – and that is something worth investing in. Keeping with the theme of ‘the degree of difference’, our main objective will always be to put our riders first.”
True to their “degree of difference” ethos, 36ONE Asset Management didn’t just leave it there. The company has now offered a 36.1% discount across all race categories for the next batch of highly sought-after entries, which will be released at 12:00 on 1 August 2019.
The start venue will also change to Langenhoven Gimnasium, a high school next to the Kleinplaas Holiday Resort. The biggest surprise, however, is the completely new route between the start and first checkpoint.
With a focus on rider safety, route directors have decided to cut out the long tar road section shortly after the start and replaced it with breathtaking trails past Buffelsdrift Game Lodge on the Vergelegen road. Riders will also no longer travel through Dysselsdorp, but head straight to Louvain with two brand-new waterpoint locations.
The route will now be more evenly balanced with a similar distance of 100km’s for stages one and three, and 80km’s for stages two and four. Without giving away too much, Dryland Event Management’s Henco Rademeyer commented:
“The major changes we have implemented for 2020 has one objective – to increase the quality of the rider experience. First and foremost is safety and the limiting of tar road sections. The move of checkpoint one to Louvain Guest Farm will also have a major impact on event experience and provide better facilities for the spectators and competitors alike.”
“We are very excited about the increased focus on the gravel bike category. This market is growing at an astonishing rate and The Half offers some of the best roads and scenery for this,” said Rademeyer.
The changes for the 2020 event have not just revolved around riders. To make the arduous trip easier for spectators, back-up crews with special services will be provided. These include complimentary coffee and snacks as well as dedicated seating at spectating points.
Considering the popularity and stature of The 36ONE MTB Challenge, which appeals to both local and international riders, these announcements come as monumental news andwill only amplify the event’s ability to offer athletes unparalleled value.