uBhejane Xtreme MTB
Challenge Media Release
29 Nov 2019
Pietersen out to re-conquer uBhejaneX
Durban – After a successful debut at the uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge
last year, former Cell C Sharks rugby player and conservationist Joe
Pietersen will return in 2019 with his brother Willem to take on the
Baby Horn – 110km of riding on Saturday, 7 December.
Pietersen is in the twilight of his rugby career and represents the San
Diego Legion in America’s Major League Rugby competition, but is
currently in his pre-season phase so the opportunity to take part in the
uBhejaneX came up and he didn’t hesitate.
“I had such a fantastic time last year even though I am not a cyclist at
all!” Pietersen said. “The cause is incredible and this year I am going
to be doing it with my brother so we are both looking forward to the
“The weather was very kind to us last year but this year I know what to
expect and growing up in Zululand I know how hot it can get this time of
“With that said I have been doing a bit of training. I have to be back
in the States in the new year so I have been doing some running and
riding so I am in fairly good shape, I think!”
Conservation has been close to the 35 year-old’s heart for a number of
years and he believes that the uBhejaneX is an event that fits
hand-in-glove with what he and his brother are trying to achieve with
their business in Hoedspruit.
“We run a non-profit organisation where we promote safari tourism and
use that money raised to assist in anti-poaching efforts and projects
very similar to those of the uBhejaneX.
“We like to support the people on the ground making the difference and
so this event excites me in the part that they play in the fight against
With 80km completed, the riders will take on the 30km stretch from the
famous bronze rhino statue to Hilltop Rest Camp. This section of the
ride put the entire event into perspective for Pietersen when he rode it
“I found that final stretch in the park the toughest but we saw rhino
and elephant which made the entire event hit home and you realised why
you were doing it.
“Seeing those animals made everything worthwhile and I am ready and
excited for the event this year,” an enthusiastic Pietersen mentioned.
The uBhejaneX includes five different events that fall under it. They
all fall along the same route with a three day ride, a 330km ride, 250km
ride, 110km ride and then a 30km ride inside the Hluhluwe Mfolozi Park.
can be found via the event’s website, www.ubhejanex.org.
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uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge
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A man with conversation at
heart. Former Cell C Sharks rugby player Joe Pietersen will take part in
his second uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge next week in a bid to raise
funds in the fight against rhino poaching.
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