The Gem Diamond Kalahari Challenge is open to professional and amateur mountain bikers alike and in order to ensure that the race is accessible to riders from around the world there is no qualification required.

The rules and regulations pertaining to the event may change slightly in the weeks leading up to the race. The final version will be communicated at the race briefing.


  1. To be eligible to ride in the full distance race participants must be at least 18 years old on 31 December of the year of the race.
  2. To be eligible to ride the lite distance event participants must be at least 16 years old on 31 December of the year of the race.
  3. The Gem Diamond Kalahari Challenge is deceptively tough and must not be under estimated. It is every rider's responsibility to ensure that they arrive at the start with the necessary fitness level to participate.
  4. All riders must be healthy, and in a very fit state of training. We suggest that each rider has a full medical checkup by their doctor before taking part in the Gem Diamond Kalahari Challenge and to supply the race organisers with the rider's medical history for the race doctors to have on hand
  5. Each rider must also sign a personal indemnity form before they are able to compete.

Age Categories

 Full Distance:

  • Open Men Team - A team of two male riders of any age 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Open Women Team - A team of two female riders of any age 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Mixed team - A team of one male and one female rider 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Sub-Vet Men Team - A team of two male riders, 30 to 39 years old as at 31 December 2017
  • Vet Men Team - A team of two male riders, 40 to 49 years old as at 31 December 2017
  • Masters Men Team - A team of two male riders, 50 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Men Solo – One male riders of any age 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Women Solo – One female riders of any age 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Single Speed – One rider of any gender and any age 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017 riding a single gear ratio. 

Lite Distance:

  • Junior Team - A team of two male riders, 16 years to 17 years old as at 31 December 2017
  • Junior Solo – One rider of any gender, 16 to 17 years old as at 31 December 2017
  • Men Team - A team of two male riders of any age, 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Women Team - A team of two female riders of any age, 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Men Solo - One male riders of any age 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017
  • Women Solo - One female riders of any age 18 years or older as at 31 December 2017

NOTE: The age category of any team will be determined by the age, as at 31 December 2017, of the youngest rider in the team.

Medical Condition

During the event the Senior Medical Officer reserves the right to withdraw any participant who he/she may deem physically or psychologically incapable of continuing with the race.


  1. Both partners must preferably report at the same time for registration of their team. It is NOT required that bikes be brought to registration.
  2. No late registrations will be accepted, unless arranged with the Race Office.

Race Briefings

Race briefings will take place daily. Riders are expected to attend these as important information related to possible changes to the following day’s stage and particular hazards could be announced. Riders who do not attend the race briefings and are not aware of changes made will not be accommodated if they miss their start time, or any similar issue related to their not attending the race briefing.

Prize Giving and Award Ceremonies

Award ceremonies for each stage will take place daily at times to be announced.


  1. Only mountain bikes in safe working order, at the discretion of the organisers, 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.
  3. The participants must start and finish the event with the same bike. 
  4. No outside assistance for bicycle repairs will be allowed during the stages. Participants may only accept assistance from their partner or another competitor in the same race. 
  5. Riders are expected to complete the full distance of each stage within the time allowed. Repairs to bicycles during the stage must be carried out within this time limit.

Kalahari Challenge Full and Lite Events

  1. Each team consists of two riders or one solo rider, as applicable.
  2. Teams will start, ride and finish each stage together, with a maximum of 2 minutes interval between the riders at any point.
  3. Team members may assist one another with bike repairs and maintenance, and with first aid
  4. No towing between riders by means of any mechanical or physical devices is allowed
  5. If one team member is, for any reason, unable to complete a stage or the race, the remaining team member will be permitted to join up with another rider or team to complete the race, or continue as an individual rider. He/she will be allocated a race time, but will be classified as an unofficial individual finisher on condition that all other qualifying criteria are met

Helmets and Riding Attire

  1. Only hardshell cycling helmets complying with recognised international standards will be acceptable.
  2. Any riders not wearing their helmets, with the retention strap properly fastened, at any time during the race will be disqualified.
  3. Generally accepted cycling clothing must be worn at all times during the race.
  4. Proper, fully enclosed cycling shoes, or at least running shoes must be worn. 
  5. It is strongly recommended that protective eyewear be worn.

Compulsory Equipment

It is recommended that each team or rider carry the following items to be prepared to deal with emergencies they may experience:

  1. A multi-tool per team to effect repairs to bikes.
  2. 1 spare tube per rider
  3. At least one good pump, 2-3 inflation cartridges and an adaptor, and a puncture repair kit per team 
  4. A minimum of 200ml of tire sealant per tire and 1x 100ml spare in a bottle
  5. At least 1,5 litres of hydration liquid per rider at the beginning of each stage. (2 x waterbottles)
  6. At least one cell phone per team. (Please keep your phone off to conserve battery life, and only use it in an emergency).

Stages Cut Offs

Cut-off time may be announced for each stage and these will be confirmed at daily stage briefings.

The Start

  1. The start chute will open one hour before race start time.
  2. Teams will be allocated to start zones according to their accumulated overall team time for all stages.
  3. The start will remain open for 15 minutes after the start for any late starters. Late starters must advise the organisers of the late start so that official sweep and other vehicles can be advised accordingly.

Individual and Team Times

  1. Only team times and official team or solo entries will be regarded as official results, and be published as such. Individual times will however be recorded for riders who have lost a teammate during the event.
  2. The team time will be determined by the time at which the second team rider crosses the stage finish line.

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 checkpoints anywhere along the stage.
  3. Team Riders who are separated by more than 2 minutes from their partner at any point on any of the stages, and observed by the officials, will receive a Separation Time Penalty (STP) of 30 minutes for a first infringement.
  4. A second STP during the stage or race will result in a further 60 minutes penalty.
  5. Three STP’s over the duration of a stage or the race will result in disqualification.
  6. STP’s will be applied to both stage results and the overall results.

Rider Identification and Timing

  1. Timing chips will be attached to bike race number boards.
  2. Both riders in a team must display their race number at all times during a stage.
  3. Riders not displaying official race numbers will be regarded as non-participants, and prevented from continuing on the route by marshals.
  4. Race numbers must be properly attached to the handlebars of the bike with cable ties, and must be place in front of cables etc so as not to be obscured in any way.
  5. Riders must not cut, modify or mutilate their race numbers in any way. No stickers may be added or removed.
  6. It is each riders’ responsibility to keep their race numbers clean and legible at all times, and no rider may start a stage with a dirty number.

Nutrition and Hydration

  • Riders must ensure that they keep themselves properly hydrated and carry sufficient nutrition for at least 2 hours of strenuous of riding.
  • The organisers will provide water, limited volumes of energy drinks such as coke and fruit and food at neutral feed stations on the route.

Seconding and Support

  • Riders may not receive outside assistance or help, other than from their team partners or fellow competitors, at any point along route.
  • No outside seconding, assistance or feeding other than that provided by the organisers at an official refreshment station is permitted.
  • Bike repairs may be carried out on the route without outside assistance,--other than at designated Technical zones- but care must be taken not to obstruct other riders.
  • No drafting is permitted behind any motorised vehicles on the route, including private motorcycles and race support vehicles.
  • Supporters are not permitted to follow or drive ahead of riders or be on any section of the course, while the race in is progress, on any of the stages, but may access a number of vantage points and public road crossings to vocally support the teams. These points, if applicable, will be explained at the stage briefings. 
  • Cyclists not entered in the event are not permitted to ride on the course or any sections of the course. Refer to Rule 15.2. If such riders are found to be on the course and they can be linked to a participating team, that team will be penalized.

Withdrawals and Formation of New Teams

  • Any team not able to continue the stage or race, for whatever reason, must inform the Race Office immediately.
  • 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 so that the remaining rider may be assisted to form another team, if possible. The formation of the new team however remains the rider’s responsibility.
  • Newly formed teams will not qualify for team rankings or as "Official Finishers", but individual riders who complete all four stages within the required cut off times will be allocated a race time.


  • Any protests must be submitted in writing, on official protest forms available from the Race Office, by the team/rider concerned within the allocated time period after crossing the finish line. 
  • A deposit of P500.00 must accompany the protest, before the protest will be considered.
  • If the protest is upheld, the deposit will be refunded. If it is not upheld, it will be donated to charity.
  • Race protests must be submitted within 15 minutes of the team crossing the line or within 30 minutes of the results being posted respectively.

Ethical and Environmental Considerations

  • Littering on the stages, damage to property, or damage to the environment will not be tolerated. 
  • Physical and/or abuse of race Crew and Officials, or fellow competitors will not be tolerated .
  • Infringements of the above rules will result in disciplinary action and possible disqualification. 
  • Littering by riders, with the exception of within the neutral feed zones is not permitted. Riders are requested to kindly use litter receptacles provided.

Traffic Regulations

  • The event will not have exclusive use of any public or private roads during the race.
  • Riders must ride with due regard for other road users, and all traffic signs and regulations must be adhered to unless a traffic officer or designated Marshal instructs him/her to do otherwise,
  • Riders are not permitted to ride on the opposite (right) side of the centre line on a public road.
  • Infringements of traffic regulations may result in disqualification.

Basic Race Rules and Etiquette

  • All riders must complete the entire distance of each stage and the race.
  • While utmost care will be taken to mark and marshal the route, and provide GPS routes, the responsibility for following the official route lies soley with the rider.
  • No rider is permitted to take any shortcuts, or take advantage of any similar nature, over other participants.
  • Riders who leave the designated course, for any reason, must return into the course at the same place from where they exited the course.
  • Any walking, running, or riding by any rider, with the intention of not directly re-joining the course, or any other activity in breach of the regulations, which takes place outside the demarcated stage area, may result in disqualification. 
  • Riders must respect the environment, and ride only on the official demarcated route.
  • No pollution of any kind is permitted.
  • Riders must not use abusive language, act in an unsporting manner, be disrespectful to officials, crew, marshals, medical attendants, supporters, the media or the traffic officials.
  • Riders are expected to administer basic first aid to injured team partners and other competitors, and if required, take necessary steps to summons assistance in the case of a serious injury.

Drug Testing

The organisers reserves the right, in terms of SAIDS to implement drug testing on any rider/s.  

Penalties and Disqualification

Where rule interpretation is required, or where specific provision for any incident has not been made in these rules, the decision of the organisers and the Race Commissar is final.