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Terms & Race Rules

Terms & Race Rules

Sabie X

Race Rules


At the discretion of the Race Director and CSA Chief Commissaire the rules and regulations pertaining to the Sabie Xperience 2024, it may be necessary to change them slightly in the weeks leading up to the race.

Mountain Bike racing is by nature a self-reliant sport and is often held in remote areas.

All Sabie Xperience 2024 competitors must participate with an understanding and acceptance of this ethos.

PLEASE NOTE: A R600 admin fee will apply when cancelling your entry.


  • Entrants participating in the Team Challenge event must be at least 19 years of age as at 31 December 2024.
  • Entrants for the Team Lite event must be at least 15 years or older on 31 December 2024.
  • All riders must be healthy and in a fit state of training.
  • All riders must have good technical bike skills for off-road cycling conditions.
  • All riders must be in possession of a valid Cycling SA license to take part in the event, or a temporary license can be purchased for R50 per day at the Sabie Xperience 2024. This is applicable for all categories.
  1. Categories Allocated

    1.1 Team Lite Event (three days racing of 42km/45km/32km – a total of 120km)

    • TEAM ENTRIES (Categories):

Team Lite Open Men – Two male riders 15 years and older as at 31 December 2024

Team Lite Open Women – Two Female riders 15 years and older as at 31 December 2024

Team Lite Open Mixed – A male rider and a female rider 15 years and older as at 31 December 2024

Team Lite E-Bike – Two riders of any gender 15 years and older as at 31 December 2024 (no prize money or podium medals)

      • Team Challenge

Team Challenge Event: (three days racing of 65km/65km/35km – a total of 165km)

  • Team Entries (Categories)

Team Challenge Senior Men – Two male riders aged 19 -29 years of age as at 31 December 2024

Team Challenge Open Women – Two female riders aged 19 years of age and older as at 31 December 2024

Team Challenge Sub Veteran Men – Two male riders aged 30 – 39 years of age as at 31 December 2024

Team Challenge Veteran Men – Two male riders aged 40 – 49 years of age as at 31 December 2024

Team Challenge Master Men – Two male riders aged 50 years and older as at 31 December 2024

Team Challenge E-Bike – Two riders of any gender 19 years and older as at 31 December 2024 (no prize money or podium medals)

Team Challenge Mixed – Two riders of different gender 19 years and older as at 31 Dec 2024


  1. Prizes will be paid via Internet Transfers to participants.
  2. Participants receiving medals or trophies have to attend the final prize given in person. If you are not there to receive your prize – you will forfeit your prize money, medal and/or trophy.
  3. Categories having less than 5 participants/teams will be allocated to the preceding age category.
  4. Allocation of Category Prizes – The following rules will apply:
  • Medical Condition

  1. Participants may start any stage of this race only if they are in good physical and medical condition.
  2. During the Sabie Xperience, the Senior Medical Officer reserves the right to withdraw any participant whom he/she may deem physically or psychologically incapable, endangering themselves, or other participants by continuing with the race.
  3. A race official or commissaire may stop and refer a rider during the stage to the medical team for assessment with regards to the capability to continue.
  • Registration

Registration for the Sabie Xperience will take place at the venue – Sybrand Van Niekerk High School, on Wednesday 1 May 2024 from 14h00 until 18h00.
Limited late registrations will be allowed by prior notification application between 05h00 and 06h30 on 2 May 2024 before the start, but this needs to be communicated and arranged with the Race Office.

  • Entry Fees

    1. Team Challenge @ R3700 p/rider (R7400 p/team)
    2. Team Lite @ R3150 p/rider (R6300 p/team)
    3. Solo Challenge @ R 3700 p/rider
    4. Solo Lite @ R3150 p/rider
  • Race briefing

Riders Briefings

  • Wednesday – 1 May 2024 (18:00-19:00)
  • Thursday – 2 May 2024 (16:00-17:00)
  • Friday – 3 May 2024 (16:00-17:00)

Race Briefings will be just prior to the start each day while riders are on the start line.

Important information pertaining to changes to the stage and any pertinent safety hazards will be announced.

  • Event Program

  • Wednesday: 1 May 2024

Registrations (14:00 – 18:00)

Limited late registrations will be allowed by prior notification application between 05h00 and 06h30 on 2 May 2024 before the start, but this is not advisable.

Riders Briefing (18:00 – 19:00)

  • Thursday: 2 May 2024

Challenge – Team/Solo/Ebikes: (07:00 – Start Chute Opens)

Race Starts (07:30)

Lite – Team/Solo/Ebikes: (07:30 – Start Chute Opens)

Race Start: (08:00)

Kiddies Race (14:00)

Riders Briefing: (16:00-17:00)

  • Friday: 3 May 2024

Challenge – Team/Solo/Ebikes: (07:00 – Start Chute Opens)

Race Starts (07:30)

Lite – Team/Solo/Ebikes: (07:30 – Start Chute Opens)

Race Start: (08:00)

Kiddies Race (14:00)

Riders Briefing: (16:00-17:00)

  • Saturday: 4 May 2024

First Start (07:00) (30 sec intervals – slowest riders first)

Start times will be communicated the day before

Final Prize Giving (13:00)

  • Prize Giving

Final Prize Giving – 4 May 2024 – 13:00

An award ceremony will be held after the Time Trial at the Race Village at the start/finish line area for the Overall results as soon as possible after the finish of the Time Trial on Saturday 4 May 2024. Time TBA.

Out of respect for the sponsors, all riders receiving an award are requested to attend.

  • Bicycles

      1. Only mountain bikes, in good, safe working order, (at the discretion of the Chief CSA Commissaire), will be allowed to start the stage each day. Unprotected bar ends, inoperative brakes, etc. will not be permitted.
      2. The safe condition and maintenance of the bicycles used in the race is the responsibility of each participant, and the Chief CSA Commissaire reserves the right to insist that a participant repair or attend to a bicycle should the Commissaire deem that it is unsafe or dangerous for the participant to continue in the event.
      3. Riders may not change their bike without the permission of the Chief Commissaire. Change of a frame will only be allowed in the case of breakage.
      4. Rims, spokes, tubes, tyres, wheels, gears, hangers, sprockets, cables, brakes, forks and shocks and other spares may be replaced without approval.
      5. Bike maintenance and spares will be sold by a local bike shop (on site) at participants’ cost on registration day and after each of the stages.
      6. No outside assistance (including at refreshment stations or tech tables) for bicycle repairs will be allowed along the route during the stages.
      7. Participants may accept assistance from their team partner or any other registered participant in the Sabie Xperience.
      8. Riders are expected to complete the full distance of each stage within the cut-off times at pre-determined distance points along the route and at the finish. These will be provided at the race briefing, amended at the discretion of the Race Director if weather conditions require an extension. Repairs to bicycles during the stage must be also carried out within this time limit.
  • Team Event Rules

    1. Each team consists of two riders.
    2. The team will start, ride and finish each stage and the Time Trial together, with a maximum of 2 minutes interval between the team riders at any point.
    3. No towing between riders by means of any mechanical or physical devices is permitted.
    4. If one team member is, for any reason, unable to complete or start a stage or the race, the remaining team member will be permitted to complete the event, as an individual rider. He/she will be allocated a race time, classified as an “Individual Out of Race Finisher” of the Sabie Xperience Team Lite event on condition that all other qualifying criteria are met.
    5. Where a team breaks-up, for whatever reason, the Team will not qualify as a finisher of the Team Lite event.
    6. E-Bike Category Teams will be timed but will not be eligible for a position in the race results.
  • Helmet & Riding Attire

    1. Only recognized hard shell cycling helmets, complying with recognized standards will be acceptable. The Chief CSA Commissaire will rule on the permitted use of any questionable helmets.
    2. Any riders, wearing their helmets, with the retention strap NOT properly fastened, at any time during the race, will be disqualified.
    3. CSA accepted cycling clothing must be worn by participants at all times during the race. Sleeveless shirts are not permitted.
    4. Proper, fully enclosed cycling shoes, (or at least trail shoes) must be worn.
    5. It is strongly recommended that protective eyewear be worn.
  • Compulsory equipment

  • Although paramedic and medical services will be provided during the race and for a period after the completion of each stage, the remote nature of a mountain bike race requires that each team or rider carries the following items to be prepared to deal with emergencies they may experience:
      1. A multi-tool per team or rider to effect repairs to bikes.
      2. One spare tube per team or rider.
      3. At least one pump, or inflation cartridge(s) and adaptor, tyre plugs and/or a puncture repair kit per team or rider.
      4. At least 1,5 litres of hydration liquid per rider at the start of each stage – (2 x 750ml water bottles) At least sufficient water for 25km/or 2,5 hours riding in hot/humid weather.
      5. Preferably one cell phone per team. (Please keep your phone off to conserve battery life. Switch it on only in an emergency).
  • Optional Recommended Equipment
    1. A windbreaker, or preferably a lightweight rain jacket.
    2. A sterile First Aid dressing
    3. Adhesive plasters
    4. Sunblock with a minimum factor of 30 SPF
    5. Foil survival blanket.
    6. Riders who react to allergies must carry their own medicines to treat bee, wasp, insect stings, pollen, stinging nettles and or Epi-pen to prevent anaphylactic shock.
  • The Race & Stage

    1. Note: The organizers reserve the right to change route distances, actual profiles and the ascent totals leading up to the event due to circumstances beyond their control, and if so, important updates hereof will be given at the official race briefing prior to the stage.  The data reflects actual GPS recordings. Distance measurements typically vary between 5-7% between devices, as well as the method of measurement (GPS or rolling measurement) Ascent gain may vary 10-20% between devices.
    2. The Sabie Xperience 2024 Team Challenge and Team Lite events will consist of two stages of various distances and a Time Trial on day three. All allocated stages days will count towards the overall race results for the Team Lite, and Team Challenge events.
    3. All stages will start and finish in the grounds of the Sybrand van Niekerk High School, initial tar roads, then forest roads, jeep track and single track, including some extended climbs, downhills and undulating terrain, ranging in distance from 35 to 82km depending on the race option. Road and trail surfaces range from good to rocky, rutted and slippery, especially if wet climatic conditions prevail.
    4. At least three refreshment stations will be provided at appropriate points on stage 1 and 2 for the Team Challenge, and two for the Team Lite. The Time Trial will have two refreshment stations.
    5. The Time Trial stage on day 3 will start and finish at the same venue, with teams starting at predetermined intervals. Teams will be allocated start times by the race organizers. The route will follow short steep climbs, single tracks, and fast downhills on rocky, loose and slippery surfaces. The distance will be approximately 40km. The total Sabie Xperience Team Challenge race distance will be between 175 and 190km over 3 days. The Sabie Xperience Team Lite event distance will be approximately 130 – 140km over 3 days
    6. Riders must complete the full distances of all stages allocated to the event entered to qualify as “Sabie Xperience Official Finishers” and record an official result.
    7. The cut-off at RS3 on Day 1 will be 13h00 and the finish cut-off time will be 14h00. Cut-off times for Day 2 at RS3 will be 14h30 and 16h00 at the finish, and the cut-off time for the Time Trial will be 12h30, (unless advised otherwise by the Race Director and approved by the Chief Commissaire).
  • The Start

    1. The start chute will open at 07h00 for stages 1 and 2. The Challenge starts at 07h30 (Team, Solo and E-bikes), the Lite (Team, Solo and E-bikes) starts at 08h00 unless the Commissaire requests a change in start time.
    2. Pro and expert riders will be allocated in Zone A under the start banner on stage 1.
    3. From stage 2, the leading riders on GC will have the option to start just in front of Zone A, if present at the start as from 06h45
    4. The start zones close 10 minutes before the start.
      Note: All riders must ensure that they enter the start chute via an Official entry gate and have their race number recorded by an official as having started the stage. This is to ensure safety on the route, that the organizers are aware of who started the race and can be accounted for after the cut-off time. Riders not having their number recorded before the start may be given a DNS, and no result for the stage.
    5. Any riders not in their start zones 10 minutes before the start will be required to start in the last zone at the back. It is also the team/riders’ responsibility to ensure that they are at the start on time even if the start is delayed for whatever reason.
    6. The start will remain open for 10 minutes after the start for any late starters. Late starters must advise the Chief Commissaire of their late start so that official sweep and other vehicles can be advised accordingly.
    7. The Time Trial will start from 07h00 (first team to leave) until approx.10h15 (last pair to leave), depending on the number of teams. A start list will be provided on Friday afternoon. Teams are to report to the start officials 20 minutes before their allocated start time. Late teams will be allowed to start, but they may not move past riders already loaded into the start chute, and their starting time will still be recorded as their allocated time.
  • Individual & Team Times

      1. Only team times and official entries will be regarded as official results, published as such. Individual times will, however, be recorded for team riders who have lost a teammate but finished the event.
      2. The team time will be determined by the time at which the last team rider crosses the stage finish line.
      3. Timing for the various events will start with the start signal at 07h30, 08h00 each morning on Stages 1 and 2, and with the allocated start times for teams the Time Trial on stage 3.
      4. Team Lite and Team Challenge events will be timed separately.
      5. Riders who start later than 10 minutes after the designated start time will not be included in the stage results and will be responsible to follow the route on their own, and to catch up with the sweep vehicle.
      6. Any rider/team not able to make the start deadline must report to the Chief Commissaire before 07h40 for permission to make a late start.
      7. The cut-off time will not be adjusted for any rider permitted to make a late start.
      8. The finish line timing (cut-off) closes at 14h30 for day 1, 16h00 for day 2, and 12h30 for the Time Trial.
      9. Cut-off times applicable at points along the route and at the refreshment stations on the routes will be confirmed at the race briefing, as weather conditions may influence a change in this time.
  • Separation Time Penalties (STP’s)

      1. Team Riders must ride with their partners at all times.
      2. Team rider separation will be measured at the finish of each stage, but may also be measured at various checkpoints/refreshment stations anywhere on days 1 to 3.
      3. More than one STP may be enforced on each of days1 to 3.
      4. Riders who are separated by more than 2 minutes from their partner at any point on any of the stages may receive a Separation Time Penalty (STP) of 30 minutes for a first infringement.
      5. A second STP during the stage or race will result in a further 60 minutes penalty.
      6. Three STP’s over the duration of a stage or the race could result in disqualification.
      7. STP’s will be applied to both stage results and the overall results.
  • Rider Identification & Timings

    1. No timing chips are required for the event.
    2. Both riders in a team must display their Sabie Xperience race number on their handlebars at all times during a stage.
    3. Riders not displaying official race numbers will be regarded as non-participants and will be prevented from proceeding on the route by marshals. Race numbers must be properly attached to the handlebars of the bike with cable ties provided and must be placed in front of cables etc. so as not to be obscured in any way. Riders will be required to remove and reaffix numbers if they are found to be obscured.
    4. Riders must not cut, modify or mutilate their race numbers in any way. No stickers may be added to or removed from the board.
    5. It is each riders’ responsibility to keep their race numbers relatively clean and legible.
    6. Riders may not start a stage with a dirty number. Lost race number boards will cost R50 to replace.
  • Nutrition & Hydration

    1. The Sabie Xperience will take place over the cooler, autumn season in Mpumalanga. However, temperatures of up to 32 degrees Celsius can still be expected, and, cold, misty conditions, down to 8 degrees Celsius can also be experienced along the river or at high altitudes. Ensure that you wear appropriate clothing.
    2. Riders must ensure that they keep themselves properly hydrated and carry sufficient liquid and nutrition for at least 2,5 hours of strenuous riding between refreshment stations.
    3. The Sabie Xperience will provide water, limited volumes of energy drinks, and fruit at refreshment stations on the route.
    4. Riders may not use drinking water to wash their bikes at refreshment stations. Riders reported doing so, after being warned not to do so, will be time penalized at the discretion of the Chief Commissaire.
  • Seconding & Support

    1. Riders may not receive outside assistance or help, other than from their team partners or fellow participants, at any point along the route.
    2. Participants may NOT accept outside assistance, repairs or feeding other than the water, refreshments and/or products provided by the Sabie Xperience at an official refreshment station. Participants MAY tend to their own repairs, apply supplied products to their own bikes or that of fellow participants, but not allow outsiders, marshals, medics or officials to do so.
    3. Bike repairs may be carried out on the route without outside assistance, but care must be taken not to obstruct other riders whilst doing so.
    4. No towing between riders by means of any mechanical or physical devices is allowed.
    5. Riders are not permitted to draft behind cycles not participating in the Sabie Xperience, but may however draft behind their own Team partner on Stages 1 and 2. During the Time Trial riders may also only draft behind their own official partner. Teams observed or reported to be following closely behind other teams for extended distances (300m plus) on open roads, during the Time Trial, will be deemed to be drafting, and may be penalized at the discretion of the Chief Commissaire. Riders may not consciously assist riders in other teams or categories in any way to gain an advantage over riders in another category ie. Stronger male riders pushing or allowing a female rider from another team or solo category to draft to gain an advantage over an opponent. The Chief Commissaire will impose an appropriate time penalty (30 to 60 minutes) to BOTH riders if he deems it necessary.
    6. No drafting is permitted behind any other vehicles on the route, including private motorcycles and race support vehicles. No assistance or hinderance to riders on conventional MTB’s allowed whatsoever by riders on E bikes.
    7. Supporters are not permitted to follow, or drive ahead of riders, or be on any section of the course whilst the race in its progress, on any of the stages, but may access vantage points and public road crossings to vocally support their teams.
    8. Cyclists not participating in the Sabie Xperience event are not permitted to ride on the course or any sections of the course. If any such riders are found to be on the course and they can be linked to a participating team or rider, that team or rider will be penalized at the discretion of the Chief Commissaire.
  • Withdrawals During the Race & Formation of New Teams

    1. Any team or participant not able to continue/withdraws from the stage or race, for whatever reason, must inform the Race Office immediately. This can be done at the start of any stage, at the finish, at a refreshment station, or preferably by mobile phone (Race Director (Denzil) 082 455 7153 or Sandy 083 799 4458).
    2. In the event of a search and rescue operation being activated for a rider or team who has not had his number recorded at the start or has withdrawn, but has not informed the Race Office, the cost of such an operation will be for the team or rider concerned.
    3. In the event of one member of a team being incapable of continuing in the race, this must also be reported to the Race Office.
    4. The formation of new teams may only take place between stages and before 06h30 each morning before the start. The details of the new team must be supplied to the Race Office and Chief Commissaire at the start.
    5. Newly formed teams will not qualify for team rankings or as “Sabie Xperience Official Finishers”, but individual riders who complete all four stages within the required cut off times will be allocated a race time and will still receive a finisher momento or medal.
  • Protests

    1. Any protests must be submitted in writing, on official protest forms available from the Chief Commissaire, by the team/rider concerned within 15 minutes after crossing the finish line.
    2. A deposit of R300.00 must accompany the protest before the protest will be considered.
    3. If the protest is upheld by the Commissaire, the deposit will be refunded. If it is not upheld, it will be donated to the Sabie Xperience Home of Hope Community Fund. Race protests must be submitted within 15 minutes of the team crossing the line or within 15 minutes of the results being posted respectively. Race results will be posted no later than 15h00 for stage 1, 17h00 for stage 2, and 13h30 for stage 3.
  • Ethical & Environmental Considerations

    1. Littering on the stages, damage to property, lighting or causing fires, or damage to the environment will not be tolerated. Offending participants will be subject to a 1 hour time penalty for a first offense and a disqualification for a second offense.
    2. Physical and/or verbal abuse of Sabie Xperience Crew and Officials, medics, marshals, or fellow competitors will not be permitted.
    3. Infringements of the above rules will result in disciplinary action and possible disqualification.
    4. Limited littering by riders within 10m of the refreshment stations will be allowed, but riders are requested to use litter receptacles provided.
  • Traffic Regulations

    1. The Sabie Xperience will not have exclusive use of any public or private roads during the race, due to forestry operations, harvesting and log transport operations which may occur along the stage routes.
      For safety reasons, all riders are expected to stop or give way to machines, transport vehicles and forestry operations, if necessary, until the road is clear and a forestry official or marshal waves the riders on their way.
    2. Riders must ride with due regard for other road users, and all traffic signs and regulations must be adhered to unless a traffic officer instructs him/her to do otherwise,
    3. Riders are not permitted to ride on the opposite (right-hand) side of the centre line on a public road.
    4. Due care must be taken when negotiating “blind corners” on forestry roads where vehicles and machines may be operating.
    5. Infringements of traffic regulations may result in time penalties or disqualification.
  • Basic Race Rules & Etiquette

    1. All riders must complete the entire distance of the event entered.
    2. While utmost care will be taken to mark and marshal the route, the responsibility for following the official route lies with the rider.
    3. No rider is permitted to take any shortcuts, or take advantage of any similar nature over other participants.
    4. Riders who leave the route for any reason whatsoever must return into the route at the same place from where they left it.
    5. Any walking, running, or riding by any rider, with the intention of short cutting or not directly re-joining the course, or any other activity in breach of the regulations, which takes place outside the demarcated stage area, can result in disqualification or a time penalty.
    6. Riders must act in a polite manner and permit any faster rider to pass unhindered as soon as conditions allow.
    7. Riders must respect the environment, and ride only on the official demarcated route.
    8. No pollution of any kind is permitted.
    9. No glass containers are permitted.
    10. Riders must not use abusive language, act in an unsporting manner, be disrespectful to the Sabie Xperience officials, crew, marshals, medical attendants, supporters, the media or the traffic officials.
    11. Riders must obey the instructions (including withdrawal from the event) of any Medical, Search and Rescue Official, Paramedic or Race Official when instructed to do so in the interests of injury, medical condition, safety, or life-threatening circumstances.
    12. Riders are expected to administer basic first aid to injured team partners and other competitors, and if required, take necessary steps to summon assistance in the case of a serious injury.
  • Doping & Illegal Substances

      1. The Sabie Xperience reserves the right, in terms of UCI/CSA/SAIDS rules and regulations, to implement doping tests on any riders.
      2. Positive results will result in immediate disqualification, and forfeiture of any result or prize money or award by the rider or team concerned.
  • Penalties & Disqualifications

The above penalties serve as a guideline for transgressions of the rules, but where any additional rule interpretation is required, or where specific provision for any incident has not been made in these rules, the decision of the Chief Commissaire will be final.

Also See our Privacy Policy


Applicable to all stage race options

Riders wanting to cancel their entry will forfeit the following part of their entry fee:
R600 of entry fee per rider will be retained for admin costs, bank charges etc.
The balance will be refunded if written notice is received before 27 February 2024
40 % of entry fee will be refunded if written notice is received before 27 March 2024
0% will be refunded after 28 March 2024, but goody bags may be collected by riders.


A R400 admin fee will be charged for each change made.
An entry is transferable to another person before 27 March 2024
Riders may downgrade from Team Challenge to Team Lite but will forfeit the difference in entry fee. Team Lite riders losing partners must try to find a substitute, but will be permitted to ride solo (non-competitively, and not assist or jeopardize the result of the other competitors in any way), if they wish.


All entries for a sanctioned Stage Race require a CSA MTB racing license, currently R175 per annum. If the rider cannot produce an annual license, her/she will have to pay R50 per day for a temporary licence, ie. R150 for 3 days.

NB!!! Please Note Terms and Conditions:
In the very unlikely event of the event being cancelled, shortened, or affected by extreme weather events or other circumstances which are deemed necessary by the Race Director, SACF Commissaire, Medical Joint Operations Command, appointed Safety Officer, or South African Police Services to be life-threatening for participants, and beyond the control of the organizers, the Sabie Experience will not be in a position, or liable, to refund any entry fees to participants.

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