Tried and Tested by Julian Rapp of RappRacing in 2017, 2018 and 2019…..
In 2017 we went to the SDCJ to test things out so that we can advise you with the full knowledge of having taken part. Julian rode Expert. The classes available are Standard, Expert and Pro. There is also a Women’s class that is actually free and runs on the Standard route. We’d say that the Standard class is almost “Iron”, Expert Class is close to Bronze and Pro looks to between Bronze and Silver. If it rains, that could change instantly.
A kind of low-key event that’s much tougher than it appears at the outset. Amazing riding on barely used tracks which requires really good GPS skills. The great thing is the friendliness of the other riders some of whom were pretty well known. Martin Freinademetz, Karl Katoch etc.
Thankfully the temperature in the mountains is a bit lower than lower in the valley and is typically around 28 degrees. But the sun is intense.
The tracks are a mixture of rocky single track, flowing forest track and undergrowth. The ups and downs go on forever. Quite a few fallen trees in some very inconsiderate places add to the occassional carnage. The prologue should prepare you for this. There is not a great deal of fast open riding, but there is some….probably about 10%.
The average daily ride is 4-5 hours. Or 6 if you have lost your mojo.
The organisation is a little “relaxed” but it is 100% there and as long as you don’t stress the information will come to you eventually.
There is a mechanic (Andy) with tyres and mousses on site. He also does a supplementary service package at €50 for a little extra peace of mind. If you don’t utilise his service you will need to take your own 10 litre fuel can.
No competition licence is required. This is a mixed blessing so we would urge you to get medical and repatriation insurance.
The local town of Kazanlak is a not Sibiu! However there are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs in the evenings. And its cheap.
The Hotel is stuck in a very shallow time warp and the lift doesn’t always stop flush with the floor, but it grows on you and we all felt very settled after a few hours. The air-con is awesome and there are on-site bars and restaurants. The swimming pool is just brilliant and a great way to cool the muscles at the end of the day.
The countryside outside the town is pristine and amazing.
The transport generally takes about 5-6 days either way.