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Vol 13 No 6

Spring classics! KIA Val de Vie Estate MTB Challenge The FedGroup Berg & Bush The Bestmed Campus2Campus Moon to Noon Endurance Race Sondela SuperClassic

EE

SEpTEMBER 2012


Contents

CANSA MIlESToNE AT 15th loST CITy FESTIVAl I had the privilege of again being part of the organisational team at the Powerade/Bestmed Lost City Cycling Festival at the end of last month. It was a special year for all of us. The event, now in its fifteenth staging, surpassed the R3 million-mark in funds raised for the Cancer Association of South Africa. In its historic 15th year, proceedings went off like clockwork with my friend and colleague Johan du Toit doing a fantastic job of coordinating the weekend’s festivities. More than 4000 cyclists enjoyed a fun-filled weekend at Sun City. While the road race has a long history, the mountain bike event only took place for the 6th time, and I believe we’ve finally shaped the route into something that will stand the event in good stead for many years to come. I’ve been tasked with the mountain bike event from the outset and it has evolved from a 25km circuit lap to a fully-fledged 60km (okay, 54km this year!) challenge. The short route still remains 25km and it’s a lovely ride around some of the most picturesque spots on the Sun City grounds. We tweaked the route for the long ride and had no bottlenecks with riders zipping through the Valley of Waves with spectators cheering them all the way! Thanks to everyone who has made a contribution to the event and to our sponsors, Bestmed, Powerade and Sun International. After 15 years the event is still very special and remains close to my heart.

Wynand de Villiers

CoVER pIC: There couldn't have been a more deserving winner of the Olympic road roace than Alexandre Vinokourov. In his monthly column, In the Bunch, Coetzee Gouws puts Vino's victory into perspective on page 8. REGulARS

Editor wynand de Villiers wynand@cyclingnews.co.za

Consulting editor Gerhard Burger

2

phil’s Brew: British riders pumped up my 40th Tour celebrations

Contributors

6

Nutrition: Choose proven supplements

8

In the Bunch: Cycling explodes in Britain

Phil Liggett, Wilhelm de Swardt, Teresa Harris, Chris de Beer, Rod Knight, Coetzee Gouws, Andrew Mclean

12

phil’s Brew: British riders pumped up my 40th Tour celebrations

20

pulse pages: The Polar H7 heart rate sensor: Smarter and smarter

30

product review: New Rudy Project collection crystal-clear leaders

32

Technical: Size is everything when you select a bike frame

FEATuRES 18

BikePlus in Constantia: One-stop super-shop

22

Legends of the Pedal: Von Ruben – a master cyclist

RACE REVIEwS 14

Yes, it’s true what they say about the Jock

24

Brandon burns off the rest to win KIA Walkerville Classic

26

Everyone’s a winner at the Lost City

RACE pREVIEwS 34

KIA Val de Vie Estate Mountain Bike Challenge: Neethling splashes out

36

The FedGroup Berg & Bush: Join the Great Trek for a taste of history

38

The Bestmed Campus2Campus: Tribute to Ertjies

40

Moon to Noon Endurance Race: Aim for the Moon to Noon on the Garden Route

42

Sondela SuperClassic (presented by ASG): Fast, flat and perfect fine tuning

pictures Photosport International, Michelle Cound, Frank Bodenmueller, My Picture

printer Colorpress pty (ltd) Ryan Lotter – 011 493 8622/3/4/5

Design Cinnamon Graphix C.C. Chris Dawson – chris@cgraphix.co.za

published by ASG Events 116B, Glen Avenue, Willow Glen, Pretoria. Tel no: 012 751 4130/31/32/33 Fax: 086 730 3099

SuBSCRIBE If you’d like to join our ever-increasing subscriber base, there is no better time than now. Simply log onto www.asgevents.co.za and click on the subscribe button The magazine remains free of charge at major bike shops and races throughout the country, but because our print run is limited we inevitably get readers that miss out on some of the issues. If would like to ensure that you don’t miss an issue, a subscription charge of R85 for ten issues will secure a copy of Cyclingnews Magazine in your postbox every month.

Cyclingnews September 2012

01


phil’s Brew with Phil Liggett

“Africa is Froome’s first love and when he retires he intends to return to help Africans take to cycling in larger numbers and to achieve success as professionals.”

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Cyclingnews September 2012

picture: Photosport International


phil’s Brew with Phil Liggett

British riders pumped up my 40th Tour celebrations THE 2012 Tour de France was the 40th that I attended. As always, it unfolded in a delightful way. For instance: on the second rest day, in Pau, with the final stage still five days away, Bradley Wiggins had already lived up to his status as race favourite – the first time a British rider had started the Tour in that position. The Tour organisers had made a special presentation to me in Pau, where I had to say a few words in which I thanked Wiggins for leading the race. It was a pleasant change

after I had spent 39 years praising riders from every other country except the UK. We did not know yet that Wiggins would win the greatest cycling race on earth, but by then the four British stage wins were undeniably the highlights of the opening days. The first came from the Isle of Man’s Mark Cavendish, the second from Nairobi-born Chris Froome and then two from Belgiumborn Wiggins and Malta-born David Millar. But all hold British passports, so loyalties were never in doubt!

Froome was the find of the Tour at that stage. And it was no surprise after his second place in the Tour of Spain last year. He had said he could one day win the Tour, but this year he would race at the side of Wiggins. At times he was clearly stronger than his leader. Africa is Froome’s first love and when he retires he intends to return to help Africans take to cycling in larger numbers and to achieve success as professionals. The 99th Tour took a step back in time when someone threw tacks and nails on the

Cyclingnews September 2012

03


phil’s Brew with Phil Liggett

David Millar added to the British Le Tour celebrations this year by snatching a stage win for the Garmin squad.

road during the 14th stage. It was nothing short of disgraceful. It almost ruined the race that day until Wiggins stopped the attacks and waited for everyone to catch up. In all, 48 riders had flat tyres. Television motorbikes limped home and team cars were left behind, all with flat tyres. The damage was estimated at over R90 000. In 1904, the second year of the race, there was a similar incident on the stage to Nantes. Henri Cornet was forced to ride the last 40 km with both tyres flat. Only 20 years old, he eventually became the youngest winner of the race after the 1903 winner, Maurice Garin, was disqualified for taking a train. Lady Luck was not smiling on Robbie Hunter, the South African road race champion. Hunter was riding in his ninth Tour; the only SA rider to have won a Tour de France stage, which he did in Montpellier in 2007. This year he spent the first week of the race on the floor. On stage 6 another heavy fall left him unable to start the next day. But he was not alone. During this opening

date: 29 and 30 September 2012 racing format • Rhodes opener: Night-ride on the Friday, starting at 18:30. It is a 15km festival ride around the village and a fun ride only. It won’t count towards anyone’s overall time in the Saturday’s “Grandmother” event. • The Grandmother: It starts at 06:00 on the Saturday and consists of 85 km of extreme alpine ascents and thrilling downhill racing.

entry fee: R2 500 (entries limited to 200 riders)

week this year, more than 20 riders were forced out with broken bones. One of 37 first-timers was another South African, Darryl Impey. With five days to go he was looking good to finish strongly in Paris. His job was as a super domestic on the new Australian Orica-Greenedge team and he was riding stronger every day. Let’s get together in Sandton Something very special I’d like to bring to your attention is a weekend with Tour stage winner David Millar, recently retired Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen and other celebrities who will be in Sandton for the Mind,Body,Bike conference. The dates are November 3 and 4 and the occasion is a must for anyone interested in cycling. UCI president Pat McQuaid and top coach Heiko Salzwedel will also attend. Everyone should bring a bike for a communal ride. To find out more, go to www.mindbodybike.co.za I’ll see you there. •CN

Included In your entry • • • • • • • •

Customised special edition Rhodes Xtreme Rudy Project helmet Rhodes Xtreme fleece jacket Rhodes Xtreme cycling shirt Bike light and saddle bag Draw-string bag stocked with ample energy aides to get your through the journey Well stocked refreshment points with eats and drinks. Famous Rhodes hospitality including healthy meals, clean spring water and free beer after each event Membership of the Rhodes MTB Club for 12 months, enabling you to ride the trails and routes described on www.wetu.co.za • World-class disaster management support, including a helicopter route escort. • The satisfaction of testing your body against the elements like in no other mountain-bike event.


phil’s Brew with Phil Liggett

oVERAll RESulTS YELLOW JERSEY:

GREEN JERSEY: Country Team

Time

Gap

Country

Team

Points

1. Bradley WIGGINS

GBR

SKY

87h34'47''

00''

1. Peter SAGAN

SVK

LIQ

421

2. Christopher FROOME

GBR

SKY

87h38'08''

3'21''

2. André GREIPEL

GER

LTB

280

3. Vincenzo NIBALI

ITA

LIQ

87h41'06''

6'19''

3. Matthew Harley GOSS

AUS

OGE

268

4. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK

BEL

LTB

87h45'02''

10'15''

4. Mark CAVENDISH

GBR

SKY

220

5. Tejay VAN GARDEREN

USA

BMC

87h45'51''

11'04''

6. Haimar ZUBELDIA

ESP

RNT

87h50'28''

15'41''

7. Cadel EVANS

AUS

BMC

87h50'36''

15'49''

Country

Team

Points

8. Pierre ROLLAND

FRA

EUC

87h51'13''

16'26''

1. Thomas VOECKLER

FRA

EUC

135

9. Janez BRAJKOVIC

SLO

AST

87h51'20''

16'33''

2. Fredrik KESSIAKOFF

SWE

AST

123

10. Thibaut PINOT

FRA

FDJ

87h52'04''

17'17''

3. Chris Anker SORENSEN

DEN

STB

77

4. Pierre ROLLAND

FRA

EUC

63

POLKA DOT JERSEY:


Nutrition

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Cyclingnews September 2012


Nutrition

Cyclingnews September 2012

07


In the bunch with Coetzee Gouws

Vino a worthy winner of olympic road race WHEN Mario Cipollini won the world championship on a flat course in Belgium in 2002, I was more than a little confused. Was the flamboyant Italian really the best rider in the world, or merely the fastest sprinter? The wearer of the rainbow jersey should, in my mind, embody the best of what the sport has to offer. He should be able to hold his own against anyone, on any terrain and in all conditions. He should always be a factor; always be feared. When he wins, it is with panache. When he loses, it is with panache, too. Mario the Magnificent (one of his many self-proclaimed nicknames) retired a few months before the worlds championships that year after one of his fall-outs with the organisers of the Tour de France. But he was

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Cyclingnews September 2012

coaxed back by national coach Franco Ballerini who spotted loopholes that could lead to gold. Pointing at the unchallenging course in Zolder, Ballerini promised to build a team around Super Mario, who, known for his keen fashion sense, accepted quicker than one could say “Armani”. So, exactly as planned, the Italian TGV delivered The Lion King, first class, to the finishing straight at the head of the field and he became champion of the world without breaking much of a sweat. The tactics were “all for one” and Mooie Mario was basically a spectator until asked to finish off the job, which, granted, he could do better than anyone else of his generation. Execution of the plan was beautiful to watch, but, for me, it felt a bit like a guest arriving late at a party and stealing the show

picture: Photosport International


In the bunch with Coetzee Gouws

“pointing at the unchallenging course in Zolder, Ballerini promised to build a team around Super Mario, who, known for his keen fashion sense, accepted quicker than one could say “Armani”.”

Cyclingnews September 2012

09


In the bunch with Coetzee Gouws

when the rest are under the influence and unable to fend for themselves. The question is whether he would have been equally impressive had he been knocking back cold and short ones with his mates for hours? In cycling terms: Can he go mano-a-mano with his rivals and be the last one standing? Cipo had won more than fifty Grand Tour stages in his controversial career, but he was equally famous for abandoning as soon as these races tilted upwards. He simply had no interest in competing on playing fields that were not literally and figuratively level. When Tour organisers failed to invite Cipo during his reign as world champion, basically because they felt he was good only for the first week, I thought accusations of disrespecting the rainbow jersey were extremely rich coming from him. Ten years on, while watching the British team’s tactics fail to unfold at the London Olympics road race, I found myself asking the same questions.

Should Mark Cavendish (who, incidentally, became world champion with a carbon-copy game plan last year) take gold in a sprint finish designed by his team, would he be a worthy champion or just a phenomenal sprinter backed by a sacrificial team? As it turned out, that question, mercifully, did not need answering. Alexandre Vinokourov, on a course that barely suited his strengths, took the race by the scruff of the neck and throttled the life out of the competition in the front lines. Always a factor and always feared, Vino’s victory had panache written all over it. •CN Coetzee is a cycling fanatic whose PR company specialises in sports communications. Visit www.inthebunch.co.za or follow @In_the_Bunch.

Alexandre Vinokourov presented himself with the perfect retirement gift by winning the Olympic road race.

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Cyclingnews September 2012

ne Vos claimed The Netherland's Marian ic conditions. rrif ho in title n's the wome


phil’s Brew with Phil Liggett

picture: Photosport International

Cycling explodes in Britain CYCLING has become the hottest pastime in the UK following the success of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the Tour de France which was followed a week later by the success of the British cycling team in the Olympic Games in London. In all, Team GB won eight gold medals, equalling their triumphs in Beijing four years earlier and along the way, Wiggins became one of an elite group of athletes to win seven medals in all, while Sir Chris Hoy added to his total to make him the most successful British athlete ever with six historic gold medals.

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Cyclingnews September 2012

The success written into these two paragraphs has led everyone to turn to riding a bike, and as a sport, all of Britain now talks about the athletes in the same breath as Premiership football. In short, who needs me, as everyone is an expert now! Good funding, expert coaching and top facilities has led to the unprecedented British success and, says British Cycling, two million people are now riding their bike at least once a week. More than 4000 have joined British Cycling since Wiggins won the Tour in July. With the retirement of Olympic Keirin champion Victoria Pendleton and Hoy, there will be no gaping hole left in the squad, just

a heap of youngsters waiting to get their chance to ride in a World Championships or Olympics Games. Thousands more will be found before Christmas as BC moves ahead with its “Go Ride” plans to introduce hundreds of under-16s to cycling first hand. The British system is working and South Africa should follow, as here is a country that has the talent waiting to move forward. Look at Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg who has had an amazing season with MTNQuebeka. He has won races from March to August. He ranks third in the world as a winner and he doesn’t look like slowing down. He has done it without great support (apart


phil’s Brew with Phil Liggett

from his professional team) so how many others are there waiting to join him? At the Olympics, where I worked for Australian television, I found myself feeling very British, as I called gold after gold for the home nation. But while working for a far-off land, I was conscious too of the South African participation, as small as it was. Darryl Impey, after finishing his first Tour de France rode a solid Olympic road race making this his most successful year, while Burry

Stander was absolutely brilliant in his failure to win a medal in the Mountain Bike event. Stander had a terrible start but fought from 19th to the three leaders only to pay for his efforts later on a course that took no prisoners. He sagged over his bike at the finish, where he was fifth, and left us in no doubt that this great talent will progress to be the very best in the seasons ahead.

I am looking forward to my return to the RSA in October and with a number of events planned - not least another Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge - I am hopeful that I will see more and more cyclists filtering out on to the roads and fields of your beautiful country. With warmer weather around the corner it is time to start enjoying yourselves again! •CN

“The British system is working and South Africa should follow, as here is a country that has the talent waiting to move forward.”

Cyclingnews September 2012

13


Race review

MTN-Qubeka on the attack at the famous Boulder from which the Boulders climb on the Jock derives its name.

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Cyclingnews September 2012

words: Coetzee Gouws • pictures: Action Photo


Race review

yes, it’s true what they say about the Jock THIS year’s BESTmed Jock Cycle Classique once again lived up to its reputation as South Africa’s toughest one-dayer for riders and organisers alike. About 1 500 riders, supported by scores of hardy officials, braved extreme temperatures, a veld fire and seemingly endless climbs in the 29th running of the 154km three-stage race, presented by ASG, through the Mpumalanga Lowveld at the end of July. Pieter Seyffert of Westvaal BMC took the first stage between Barberton and Nelspruit, but the superior muscle of MTN-Qhubeka and Bonitas came to the fore as the course took its toll. Jacques Janse van Rensburg won stage two from Nelspruit to Kaapmuiden, with his MTN-Qhubeka teammate Ferekalsi Debesai first on the final stretch between Kaapmuiden and Barberton. In the end, it was Janse van Rensburg and Debesai who stood on the top steps of the podium, with Darren Lill third overall for Bonitas. In the women’s race, Toyota CSA Academy rider Lynette Burger took overall victory by a mere two seconds from MTN-Qhubeka’s An-Li Pretorius, with the latter’s team-mate Karien Alberts third.

After the race, cycling forums were abuzz with communal groaning about the freezing start at Barberton, the suffering on stage two’s notorious 7km Boulders climb and the agony of the final stage. However, the general consensus was that the event was once again well organised and many riders promised to return next year. For race organiser Wynand de Villiers, now in his third year at the helm of the country’s second oldest classic, this is validation indeed. “The most fulfilling thing for me is seeing the Jock take its rightful place on the local calendar. Our move back to its traditional three stages is paying dividends.” De Villiers says the massive logistical feat required to achieve this success can sometimes be more challenging than riding the race itself. “The challenge with the Jock is that it comes down to organising three races simultaneously. We have three sets of start/finish areas and three different routes. We also have three separate crews because things happen too quickly for one team to handle. “But I have a passionate and very loyal crew that help us throughout the day – and four race controllers that are all race organisers in their own right.”

Cyclingnews September 2012

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Race review

De Villiers says it has been great to see how things have improved from an organisational perspective, “with everyone just getting slicker as the years go by.” Timing is of the essence in a race such as this and the timing company especially is under huge pressure to deliver results as quickly as possible. “We advertise cut-offs, but very rarely enforce them. Stage starts are set up in such a way that riders can still finish while we start the batches for the next stage.” Naturally such an extensive operation also becomes more expensive than an ordinary one-day race. “There are many costs involved, with too many line items to mention. It wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors. “Catering for the cyclists on the day, for example, amounts to more than R150 000.” De Villiers says the breakfast and lunch stops, arranged by the parents’ committee at Bergvlam High School in Nelspruit, operate on an “all you can eat” basis. “The food is absolutely delicious. The only complaints we have every year is that riders eat too much and are too full to take on the next stage!” The stopover points all have easily accessible ablution facilities, but extra portable toilets are just one of the additional items that must be provided en route. The major organisational challenge is planning for every potential risk, says De Villiers. “We have the best medical events disaster management company in South Africa on board. They (MMC Event Medical Specialists) have protocols for every eventuality, which includes having a helicopter on standby to

perform medical evacuations. “Then our fifteen Road Rangers, or motorbike marshals, are all trained in life support and play a massive part in keeping cyclists safe. We also have physio stations at each stop.” Crashes do happen, especially when riders race down Boulders, but the most treated problems include dehydration and a sudden drop in blood sugar. “The most common incidents are riders who simply suffer and depend on the medical crew to help them get their Jock medal. “I suppose you can’t be ready for every eventuality,” shrugs De Villiers. “But after doing this for many years I don’t think many things can surprise us anymore.” This year, the organisers had to contend with a massive veld fire on the final stage that caused some delays for riders but it was quickly brought under control by the Barberton fire department. “We also have wonderful support from the local and provincial traffic authorities, with ample pointsmen on duty and more than enough escort vehicles to control proceedings on the road. The Jock is an institution in the Lowveld and everyone supports it.” Despite the positive involvement of participants and community, De Villiers says the Jock is still his single biggest logistical effort of the year. “We try our best to leave nothing to chance. The weeks leading up to the event involve fifteen-hour workdays and on race day we start at 3am and finish around midnight.” But, like the majority of the field, De Villiers will be back to do it all over again. •CN

“we try our best to leave nothing to chance. The weeks leading up to the event involve fifteen-hour workdays and on race day we start at 3am and finish around midnight.”

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Cyclingnews September 2012

STAGE RESulTS STAGE 1: 1. Peter Syffert

Westvaal BMC

2. Jaco Venter

MTN-Qhubeka

3. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg MTN-Qhubeka STAGE 2: 1. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg

MTN-Qhubeka

2. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg MTN-Qhubeka 3. Hanco Kachelhoffer

Bonitas

STAGE 3: 1. Ferekalsi Debesai

MTN-Qhubeka

2. Darren Lill

Bonitas

3. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg

MTN-Qhubeka

OVERALL RESulTS 1. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg

MTN-Qhubeka

2. Ferekalsi Debesai

MTN-Qhubeka

3. Darren Lill

Bonitas

4. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg MTN-Qhubeka 5. Hanco Kachelhoffer

Bonitas

6. Tsgabu Grmay

MTN-Qhubeka

7. Dennis Van Niekerk

MTN-Qhubeka

8. Jaco Venter

MTN-Qhubeka

9. Jani Tewelde Weldegabir

MTN-Qhubeka

10. Peter Syffert

Westvaal BMC


Feature

BikePlus in Constantia

one-stop super-shop SPEAK to any owner of a bike shop and he’ll tell you the most important characteristic one must have to be successful in the business is passion. A passionate owner is exactly what adventurer and mountain biker Xavier Scheepers is. Scheepers represented South Africa in cross-country cycling on many occasions and also won the SA sub-veteran cross-country title more than once. His résumé includes the Absa Cape Epic, with a best overall finish of 13th. And he won the gruelling Camel Trophy in Tonga and Samoa at the turn of the century. Off the bike, Scheepers found his niche when he opened BikePlus in Constantia, Cape Town. “I love the sport and the lifestyle that goes with it. I love meeting people and creating the environment and opportunities to share the lifestyle with as many people as possible,” he says. He used to arrange events and travel packages before moving to Switzerland, where he lived with his wife Judy until 2010. They returned to South Africa for him to set up and run Weiss and Appetito, a Swiss telecommunications group. “It got too much; it was not at all in line with my passion,” he says. I decided to change when our first little girl, Kayla, was born last year. “In the previous business I was never at home. I was unable to pursue my passions and there was a lot of stress. I battled to get up at 7am to go to work. Now I have the energy to get up at five and go riding before I open the shop at seven.” Travel will form a large part of the business. “I’ve taken groups to the Tour de France for the past seven years, and will keep doing this as part of BikePlus. “There are also other tours, such as the Joburg to Maritzburg trek we do in October every year to go to the Amashova. We will also offer mountain-bike tours in the Swiss Alps,

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Cyclingnews September 2012

pictures: Slingshot Media


Feature

which is a great alternative to the Epic from a cost and experience point of view.” Bookings for the tours can be done on the BikePlus website at the end of September. The BikePlus shop is open from 07:00 until 18:00 during the week and from 09:00 to 15:00 on Saturdays and public holidays. They are also open on some Sundays, depending on cycling events and also pick up and drop off bikes. “We have a professionally kitted out workshop,” says Scheepers. “Chris de Wet, our main mechanic, has completed various courses in the UK at Cytech. He is really a professional. “And he’s not just a nice guy. He is a very good road racer with huge ambitions.” BikePlus stock all the major brands in spares and accessories. Their clothing brand is Pearl Izumi. Among the bikes they stock are Pinarello, SWIFT and GT. They are also the warranty and service centre for Fulcrum wheels in the Western Cape, with resident expert De Wet at the

helm. They also stock Rudy Project and are looking at having prescription lenses for Rudy Project done through their partner optometrists in Constantia. The BikePlus website allows people to book in their bikes on a live booking system for major services. “We also have a live on-line bike rental capacity. People can select from our range of good bicycles,” explains Scheepers. Road bikes for rent have a minimum of Shimano 105 componentry and mountain bikes are kitted with an XT and SLX mix. The online shop offers all the bikes and main parts, components, accessories and clothing, as well as secure online payment. The shop also offers group rides. Mountain bikers leave the shop at 16:00 daily, cycling to Tokai and back. The times may vary, depend-

ing on the season. On Saturday mornings they do a road ride from the shop, starting from 06:30 and riding towards the Peninsula. The shop has been operational from the first week in August, but the grand opening is on the weekend of 31 August to 2 September – just in time for spring. During these three days the shop will offer various specials. There is also a competition with a major prize. Follow their facebook page (www.facebook.com/bikeplus.sa) for details. •CN Find BikePlus at: Corner of Constantia Main Rd and Groot Constantia Rd Constantia (Cape Town) Telephone: 021 794 7973 Or email Xavier at xavier@bikeplus.co.za


pulse pages

The Polar H7 heart rate sensor

Smarter and smarter

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Cyclingnews September 2012

words: Wynand de Villiers • picture: Photosport International


pulse pages

ALMOST 20 million mobile sports and fitness training applications were downloaded to smartphones in 2011. It has been predicted that the number will double this year as cyclists (and gadget lovers) strive to get more information about their training. There is also a real demand for a proven and reliable heart rate sensor that connects with smartphones. With a Polar H7, you can get your live heart rate on your mobile training application to make the most of every session. It enables you to see your training intensity while you work out and to analyse and share it later. Bluetooth smart is the first truly open wireless standard for sports and fitness. The next generation of Bluetooth standard offers low energy consumption, robust and reliable performance and fully open compatibility with Bluetooth smart ready devices. This will enable the comfortable H7 heart

rate sensor to relay your heart rate data wirelessly to a mobile training application in your smartphone, tablet or any Bluetooth smart ready device. In addition, the heart rate sensor’s battery will last longer. Worn around the chest as you exercise, the H7 adapts to your body shape, providing full freedom of movement while you train. A chest strap remains the most reliable heart rate measurement method. It performs consistently even during the most intense workouts. Thanks to its hook mechanism, the soft textile strap is just as quick to put on as it is to take off. The Bluetooth smart transmission ensures

that the mobile application picks up your heart rate signal and not someone else’s. A replaceable battery increases the ease-of-use. And in addition to Bluetooth wireless technology, the H7 uses coded 5 kHz transmission to connect with most of the Polar training computers on the market. The Polar H7 heart rate sensor is a great addition to the product portfolio. It gives ECG-accurate heart rate to any Bluetooth smart ready device. This greatly expands the possibilities of heart rate tracking, including fitness assessment. And, according to Polar, it will even add new dimensions in video games in the near future. •CN


Feature

words: Coetzee Gouws

Legends of the Pedal

Von Ruben – a master cyclist AFTER almost three decades of podium finishes in road and track races, lifelong cycling aficionado Theo von Ruben finally laid his hands on what he considers the ultimate and, to him, the most elusive prize – a national champion’s jersey. The former Springbok and 1993 World Masters Games champion, who started cycling as a 15-year-old in 1967, counts 22 national championship medals in his collection. But it was the green and gold strip that plagued his dreams until he finally pulled it over his head after winning the individual pursuit at the national champs in 1995. He prized that jersey more than his Springbok jersey. “It had always just eluded me; I was always the bridesmaid,” he explains. On paper, his gold medal two years earlier in the 10km scratch event in Perth, Australia, was the highlight of his career. He also claimed silver in the road race, but his achievements felt incomplete. “Here I was, aged 41, winning internationally, but I’d never had a national title.” Von Ruben had begun to feel increasing desperation and in 1994 his hopes faded even further when he fell and broke his right collarbone in a crash with Jack Lester in the 5km in Port Elizabeth. The local rider was so determined to take gold in any event that he got on his bike with his arm strapped for the 3km individual pursuit. “The officials called it off and awarded me the silver.” But years of hard work finally paid off when he got his jersey the following year, the first of four national titles. In true Von Ruben fashion, more drama was to follow on the eve of the ’95 world masters championships in Manchester, England. While

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Cyclingnews September 2012

working on his track bike as he prepared to pack it, he sliced off the top of his finger. Emergency surgery and an international flight later, he was at the competition, still in immense pain. “Two days later I started feeling terrible; the thing had turned septic.” Undeterred, he sought treatment, strapped up the hand and came sixth in his event. Fiercely competitive to this day, the 60-yearold admits that he still wants to win his age category in every race he enters. “I started riding in the golden era of track cycling when the whole grandstand was packed on a Friday night. Mass participation wasn’t the thing it is today; it was competition and nothing but first, second and third counted.” Von Ruben says it wasn’t natural talent that saw him represent Eastern Province from Under-16 level to the present, and win all the senior provincial track titles barring the sprint. “I was always a little guy, so I developed a keen sense of tactics. I learnt not to be physical and to ride through the bunch; I could see where a race was going to go.” Although his size was often an advantage in cycling, it did not help him on the rugby field. He was almost expelled from school because of his lack of interest in the game. “The headmaster called me into his office and said I wasn’t playing any sport, which was compulsory those days. I said, ‘Really? Because I just captained EP to the Tour de Jurgend.’ “I was in the newspaper almost every weekend!” Participation in cross-country saved his school career and also helped him with his fitness for cycling. He counts former Springbok Henry Smith and Olympian Rowan Peacock among his friends and mentors. “I rode both road and

track. Because I enjoyed it so much, I rode everything from sprints to 1 500 metres.” Off the bike, Von Ruben also immersed himself in the administrative side of the sport. “I’ve spent lots of time on committees, since the age of 17. I don’t like things being badly organised or run; I’d rather just get in there and fix it myself.” He has been a member of the PE Cycling Club since he first started riding. Established in 1880, it is South Africa’s oldest club and when numbers started dwindling, Von Ruben decided to do something about it. “I had this terrible sense of responsibility to keep such a historical organisation alive. We’ve probably produced more Springboks than any other club in the country, including Wayne Pheiffer, Blayne Wikner, Anriëtte Schoeman and John-Lee Augustyn.” Last month, the club relaunched with a new strip bearing the traditional Maltese cross design featured in its logo. “The response has been good and hopefully it will snowball. I’ll stay on as acting president but we need people with fresh ideas to take the club in a new direction.” In 1990, Von Ruben also co-founded the Masters and Ladies Cycling Club, which is the biggest in the Friendly City today. “It’s great,” he says, “but the downside is that people are competing far longer than they used to and now we don’t have officials!” Von Ruben, a father of two, runs his own biochemical solutions company but he still trains at least twice or three times a week. “I still ride road and I do mountain biking, but poorly. I fall off too much. Your bones get fragile as you get older.” Given sufficient time and encouragement, we suspect this particular Legend of the Pedal will add an off-road win to his wish list... •CN


Feature

“I started riding in the golden era of track cycling when the whole grandstand was packed on a Friday night. Mass participation wasn’t the thing it is today; it was competition and nothing but first, second and third counted.”

Cyclingnews September 2012

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Race review

Brandon burns off the rest to win KIA walkerville Classic BRANDON Stewart turned on the afterburners to claim his maiden victory in the KIA Walkerville Mountain Bike Classic in sub-zero conditions in Johannesburg in July. The FedGroup-Itec Connect pro, from Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal, made an early break in the 60km main event and was later joined by RE:CM’s Waylon Woolcock. They matched each other all the way to the Walkerville Showgrounds, where the 15th edition of Gauteng’s largest and coldest winter race, presented by ASG, finished on a slippery speedway circuit. Stewart duly outdragged his breakaway companion to take line honours in a fast 1 hour 55 minutes and 55 seconds. Woolcock, a former Old Mutual joBerg2c champion, finished three seconds back. Neil MacDonald, a team-mate of Woolcock, finished in 2:02:02 to take third place. Stewart said the shale surface, which is meant for motorbikes to slide on, had made

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the final stretch particularly challenging – and exciting. “It was almost like a mini-ParisRoubaix finish.” The victory rounded off a successful weekend for the 31-year-old, who also took third in the Nissan TrailSeeker Series race in Cullinan on the Saturday. “It’s always fantastic to win, especially when the event is backed by one of our team sponsors,” said Stewart. “Obviously, Walkerville was my big focus but I think it was good for me to do the Cullinan race because it loosened me up a bit.” He felt his form was good enough to make an early break on the big Platberg climb, which came after just 10 km of pedalling. “Neil and Waylon were always going to be my strongest competition, so I thought I’d give it a go while everyone’s legs were still a bit cold.” The gamble paid off and Stewart opened a gap. “Then I was on my own and I just carried on making the race really hard.”

MacDonald, riding alone in extremely windy conditions, managed to catch up on the renowned fast single-track sections through Eikenhof. “So then it was just the two of us who worked together for the rest of the way,” said Stewart. The former national cross-country champion described the route as well balanced. “It had that big climb at the beginning, some tricky rocky downhill sections, nice sparse single track, open sections and a bit of tar.” Nicci Grobler of bizhub-FCF won the women’s race in 2:18:22. She was followed by Carolyn Smith of Complete Cyclist in 2:28:24 and Nataly Barbosa in 2:45:26. Walkerville was the first of five mountainbike races in the new KIA series. The next is the KIA Val de Vie Classic near Paarl on September 15. Contact ASG Events on 076 621 1807 or eventsupport@asgworld.co.za for more information, or follow @CyclingnewsZA. •CN


Race review

words: Coetzee Gouws • pictures: Action Photo

Everyone’s a winner at the lost City THE Powerade/Bestmed Lost City Festival certainly wasn’t a lost cause for the 4000 cyclists that took part in the road and mountain bike races on August 18 and 19. With over R3 million now raised over the past 15 years and many lives saved in the ongoing race against cancer, race director Johan du Toit says the weekend is about more than just great riding. “I believe everybody must be a winner – from the Cancer Association of South Africa to the people who work on the event, the local Bafokeng community and the riders.” Although Du Toit is the mastermind behind the event, which he has been running

since 1998, he is quick to reject sole credit. “I look good because my team makes me look good.” The anchor events are the 115km Powerade Lost City Cycle Classic on the Saturday and the 60km Bestmed Lost City Mountain Bike Challenge on the Sunday, with shorter distance options and kiddies’ races in each discipline. An indoor spinathon also took place on the Saturday. “We give participants free entry to Sun City and the Valley of Waves on race days and there are special accommodation packages on offer, so families make a whole weekend of it,” says Du Toit.

“we give participants free entry to Sun City and the Valley of waves on race days and there are special accommodation packages on offer, so families make a whole weekend of it,”

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Cyclingnews September 2012

The top men’s pro teams turned out in force with defending champion, MTNQhubeka’s Arran Brown, again claiming the win in the road race. Neil Macdonald (RE:CM) won the mountain bike event. Changes were made to both the road and off-road routes to improve the safety aspect and the results were brilliant. “On the road, we had only two falls out of 2 500 people. “The most dangerous ride was the kiddies’ event because they rode into the parents’ ankles!” Du Toit says, laughing. The 115km feature race took riders past the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, the palace and rural villages and into the mining area.


Race review

Neil Macdonald races through the Valley of Waves on his way to victory in the MTB event.

Cyclingnews September 2012

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Race review

A capacity field of 1 500 mountain bikers took to the fast course. Among them were a number of international riders who used the Lost City event as a warm-up for the following week’s UCI mountain-bike masters world championships. The 60km event does a 30km loop in the mines across the main road and then joins up with the 25km route to do a spectacular loop around the Sun City Resort. Heartbreak Hill is the big obstacle in the long ride, taking riders up and down into the Valley of Waves.

Race winner Macdonald managed to ride all the way up and down this year without getting off his bike once. “The shorter distance is perfect for the guy who is just starting out. It’s not technical and it’s great for sightseeing. We go through the Letsatsing Game Reserve and riders often stop to take photos of the elephants, rhinos and giraffes,” says Du Toit. Keeping it interesting has become Du Toit’s speciality. After starting with just the road race, he added the mountain-bike

component six years ago and has never looked back. “Some people said it wouldn’t last, that it was just too far to travel, but it’s become one of the biggest events in the region. We’ve had to limit numbers to 4 000 riders across all events, just to keep it safe and manageable.” Du Toit says the “Cycle 4 Cansa” weekend is something all cyclists should support because most people have been touched by the disease in some way, either personally or through someone they know. •CN


product review

New Rudy project collection crystal-clear leaders RUDY Project’s new 2013 collection, which is being launched next month, makes it crystal clear why the company is one of the leaders in the design and production of sports eyewear. Combining technically cool design with exceptional craftsmanship has become a hallmark of the brand, and the latest concept continues this tradition. The limited edition “The Will To Win” Diamonds Artist Series will comprise selected products incorporating luxurious design with Swarovski crystal elements. Included in this series are the Hypermask Performance sunglasses, new-model DeeWhy sunglasses and the Wingspan aero helmet. The latter was the helmet most participants wore at the 2011 Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. It is also the equipment of choice for riders of the Liquigas-Cannondale cycling team. The sunglasses are available in dramatic

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Cyclingnews September 2012

black gloss and the helmet features a stealth matte black finish. When it comes to designing head-turning concepts and products, Rudy Project is always a few steps ahead of the competition, says Steyn du Plessis, CEO of local distributors ASG Sport South Africa. “A few years ago we introduced fluorescent colours into our product line and it turned out to be immensely successful. “This time, Rudy created something that, until now, consumers had to custom make – a stunning concept incorporating fashionable, edgy skull designs with Swarovski crystals.” Since its inception in 1985, Rudy Project has used the most advanced materials to offer sportsmen and women performance, durability and lightness in everything from eyewear to helmets and more. The newly unveiled eyewear collection also features a number of mid-range models such as the Spaceguard, Stratofly and Stratofly SC with Rudy Project’s famous photochromic clear lens at an affordable price.

ASG Sport Solutions director Heinrich Dannhauser says this is good news for budget-conscious consumers. “These models share most of the great characteristics that have made the ImpactX photoclear lenses so popular but they are made from a polycarbonate-based material and will retail for almost 40% less than the ImpactX range.” Rudy Project’s innovative ImpactX™ is a family of patented polyurethane optical polymers, transparent and unbreakable, and originally developed in the United States for military use in the early 1990s. This lightweight and impact-resistant material is also used in the windows of aeroplane cockpit doors and for Apache helicopter windshields in the post-911 era. Rudy Project offers a lifetime lens replacement guarantee and two-year frame warranty on all eyewear. The 2013 collection will be available for purchase from mid-September. To locate your nearest stockist, visit www.asgsport.co.za. •CN


Technical

words: Hanco Kachelhoffer

Size is everything when you select bike frame MANY cyclists, newcomers and veterans alike, have a hard time when they try to buy a frame or a bike of which the size is exactly correct. First-time bike buyers are sometimes misled into purchasing one that has, for them, a frame of the wrong size. Some retailers tell buyers they will “make the frame work”. That is when the sirens should go off. By using a few guidelines and some simple mathematics, it should not be too hard to select a frame of the correct size for you. Factors that should be considered when you go shopping for a new frame or a complete bike are the make or brand, geometry and angles. Keep in mind that frames have different angles; sometimes even frames of the same brand. Different moulds are used for every frame type. Look, for

example, at a big brand such as Pinarello. I normally ride on a size 52cm, but my Pinarello is a 50. When you measure the top tube it is actually a 51.5cm – and that fits me perfectly. The ways measurements are done sometimes differ. Some manufacturers may measure from the bottom bracket to the seat-post clamp. This can be confusing and does not always give a correct indication of the frame’s actual size. I believe the most accurate way to measure a frame is by measuring the length of the top tube from the middle of the seat-post tube to the middle of the steerer tube (fork). This is the actual frame size and the method eliminates confusion over compact and classic frame types. Using your inseam, you can get an estimate of your saddle height. A simple equation is to take the inseam length and multiply by 0.883. Mine would be 83cm x 0.883 = 73.2cm. That would give me a rough saddle-height figure. These guidelines should help a bike buyer decide what frame size would be best. But to determine your exact saddle height you should visit a bike fit professional. One should also take into consideration that no two people are built the same, even if they have the same inseam measurement. Other factors can also have an influence on your saddle position. The relation between the length of the femur and the tibia is different for each individual. Only once you are on the bike to be fitted, can that be determined. The two most important rules I use when doing a bike setup and looking at frame sizes are the seat setback and the stem length/height. (Saddle height gives you a rough estimate but when it’s a compact frame, it has less impact). Setback means the position of the saddle; forwards or backwards. If the saddle is too far back, and your knee is in front of the pedal axel when the crank is at the 3 o’clock position, the frame is too small. If it’s too big, the saddle will end up being pushed right forward. The length of your femur therefore has a big influence on your frame size. It can be checked by a qualified bike-fit expert. There are things one should pay special attention to when you buy a new frame – the saddle, the correct stem, the width of the handlebar and the length of the crank. A bike-fit expert will provide you with the best advice after measuring you on the bike. Many people move the saddle forward if the bike feels too long. What one should do is get the saddle position correct and then fit the correct stem that will keep you in the right position over the cranks. •CN Hanco is a professional cyclist, a member of the Bonitas team and a bike set-up specialist.

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Race preview

e Vie KIA Val d ge llen MTB Cha

words: Coetzee Gouws

Neethling splashes out with KIA Val de Vie race FORMER Olympic swimmer and gold medallist Ryk Neethling will make a splash of a different sort when he gets into the saddle for the inaugural KIA Val de Vie Estate Mountain Bike Challenge on September 16. As marketing director for the polo, wine and lifestyle estate in the heart of the Paarl Valley, Neethling says sport plays an important role in promoting its offering. “Val de Vie lends itself to an active, healthy lifestyle with the equestrian activities, swimming pool, gym and tennis courts as the focus.” Now mountain biking has been added to the mix. “We are surrounded by beautiful mountains and have been exploring opportunities to present such an event for a couple of years now.” The estate’s management team is very

particular about its reputation, but everything fell into place when they hit on a winning combination in the form of race co-sponsors KIA and experienced organisers ASG Events. “We envisage this being a long-term partnership,” says Neethling. “With this race we aim to attract everybody, from the expert mountain biker to the novices, residents and young families ready for a great day out in the winelands.” Race director Darren Herbst says the organisers have been working steadily on the project since they were first approached four months ago. “The area is so beautiful that expanding into mountain biking is obviously a natural fit. We’re very excited about it.” Herbst believes the “rough and dirty” sport is a

“with this race we aim to attract everybody, from the expert mountain biker to the novices, residents and young families ready for a great day out in the winelands.”

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fantastic vehicle for showcasing the more accessible side of the exclusive estate. “Val de Vie has this prestigious aura about it; it’s an awesome aspirational brand but actually very inviting.” Because the estate is aimed at luxurious and secure family living, he says the event will be similarly family-oriented and provide entertainment and racing for everyone. Riders can opt for either the 60km feature race or 30 km, depending on fitness levels and technical ability. There will also be a 3km event for the little ones. Herbst believes mountain biking in South Africa is coming to a crossroads stage. People are becoming more selective of the events in which they take part. “The trails we’ve got there are unbelievable. But that doesn’t help if the organisation and the activities


Race preview

surrounding the race are not something special.” The start/finish will be at the Val de Vie Polo Club and the course covers the estate and fifteen neighbouring farms. “It’s going to be very festive. We will have picnic areas in the middle of the field and as the guys come to the finish they will actually do a loop around the spectators and their supporters.” Herbst says his crew is cutting new trails and adapting existing paths. Riders can look forward to taking on a section that is used in both the Absa Cape Epic and Columbia Grape Escape. “Aside from that, the route is mostly on private land. We have special permission from the owners. It’s going to be something that you don’t experience every day.” Both courses have a very rideable profile, with fast-flowing single track and something for everyone. Participants will pass paddocks and polo fields, ride along the Berg River and various lakes and canals. The course also goes

through forests, vineyards and citrus orchards, among other surprises. The 30km ride is mostly flat with minor undulations, although there are one or two challenging climbs in the Drakenstein mountains. “It’s going to be tough getting up, but once the riders are over there’s a 3km descent. They’re going to kiss us once they get to the finish!” Herbst says the more challenging main race will follow the shorter one’s route for the first 15 km before veering off into the mountains.

“It has three or four extra hills with some great descents and technical sections.” The event promises to live up to the quality and standards people expect from Val de Vie, with all the fun and adventure of a true mountain bike race, he says. To enter, visit www.cyclelab.com. Late entries will also be accepted on the morning of the race at the Val de Vie Polo Club. •CN Contact ASG Events on 076 621 1807 or eventsupport@asgworld.co.za for more information, or follow @CyclingnewsZA.

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1st Floor, 105 Victoria Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7925 Tel: 021 448 4130 • Fax: 021 448 4624 • e-mail: info@howzitsports.co.za • Visit: www.howzitsports.co.za


Race preview

roup The FedG ush Berg & B

words: Coetzee Gouws

Join the Great Trek for a taste of history THE FedGroup Berg & Bush, named South Africa’s best race three years ago, is rewriting its own history by expanding its offering to include the new three-day Great Trek. The seventh edition of the event, which starts late October, will once again cover the historical heartland of KwaZulu-Natal as the riders trace the wagon route that the Voortrekkers took in 1837 to cross the Drakensberg Mountains. In the pioneering spirit of these hardy folk, race organiser and history buff Gary Green has created the new race to give individual riders as well as two-man teams an opportunity to step back in time. “The area is also rich in Anglo-Boer War history, which adds something really special to the race,” says Gary. “For example, on day two riders summit Spioenkop, the scene of a bloody and significant battle.” Green started the original Berg & Bush two-dayer in 2006 with just 56 riders, before adding the three-stage Descent due to popular demand in 2009. Both events are once again bursting at the seams. “We now

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host 1 800 riders, with capacity for 400 more as we expand into a third race,” he says. The Descent was named South Africa’s top event in its inaugural year and its significant prize money attracts some of the country’s top pro riders, such as last year’s winners, Brandon Stewart and Jacques Rossouw of FedGroup-Itec Connect. The event gets under way on October 26 near Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State, before plunging down the escarpment into the valleys of KwaZulu-Natal and finishing 220km and three days later at Winterton Country Club in the Central Berg. The Great Trek starts on October 30 and follows the same route, with the 110km “original” Berg & Bush, for the more social rider, rounding out the events on November 3. As is its provincial neighbour, the BoE sani2c, FedGroup Berg & Bush is known for its route innovations. Riders and their bikes have crossed dams on everything from speedboats to zip-lines. “We are trying to build an even more exciting route than the previous one,” says Green. “The route has changed every year to

meet the demands of the adventure-seeking mountain biker.” For those looking for a little more comfort, he says the Great Trek is ideal, as riders will not have to share their tented accommodation. “All three events also have limited numbers of luxury tents, which offer beds, available for hire.” Although the other two events are already fully subscribed, entries are still available for the Great Trek until the end of September or once fully subscribed. Those who secure a spot on any of the events will be riding for a good cause, says Green. All 13 seconding tables and the overnight stop at Emseni Camp on the Tugela River are run by local charities. “This year, our main fundraising focus is on protecting the 28 rhino within the Spioenkop Game Reserve from poachers. We ride through this area and the goal is to significantly improve the damaged fencing.” To enter the Great Trek, go to www.bergandbush.co.za or find the race on www.facebook.com/bergandbush and @bergandbush. •CN


Race preview

ed The Bestm us p Cam Campus2

words: Wynand de Villiers • picture: www.cyclenation.co.za

Tribute to Ertjies DATE 23 September 2012

VENuE Potchefstroom University, Old Rag Farm (corner of Meyer St and R53 Ventersdorp Rd)

STARTING TIME 07:00

DISTANCES 95km: R210 35km: R130

oNlINE ENTRIES www.asgevents.co.za Closing date: 12 September 2012

MoRE INFoRMATIoN Further information: eventsupport@asgworld.co.za or phone 076 621 1807

wATER poINTS There will be four water points along the route.

ThE VENuE The Old Rag Farm at Potchefstroom University is a perfect place to welcome and entertain the expected 1 600 riders. There is ample parking and eats and drinks will be on sale.

DIRECTIoNS To ThE START Coming into town from the N12 from Johannesburg, turn right into Louis le Grange Street and then right into Meyer Street. The Rag Farm is a few hundred metres farther on the left.

REGISTRATIoN On Friday 21 September at Cycle Lab in Fourways, Sandton, from 10:00 to 16:00 On Saturday 22 September at Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom University, from 10:00 to 14:00

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THE new-look Bestmed Campus2Campus SuperClassic will start and finish in Potchefstroom on September 23 to pay tribute to Ertjies Bezuidenhout, who died earlier this year. Bezuidenhout, a formidable and respected Springbok cyclist, studied at North West University at Potchefstroom, where he gained a degree. He won the King of the Mountains title in the Raport Tour seven times. The Campus2Campus previously started and finished at the university’s Vanderbijlpark campus. But after Bezuidenhout’s death, the organisers decided to move it to the Potchefstroom campus for this year in remembrance of an outstanding sportsman and a muchloved personality. Bezuidenhout suffered a stroke at the age of 56 after completing the Carnival City Macsteel Classic in February. Besides a new venue and a new host city, the seventh Bestmed Campus2Campus SuperClassic also offers two race distances – 95 and 35 km. Riders who complete their event will receive a special commemorative Ertjies Bezuidenhout finisher’s medal. All pre-entrants will receive a

Bestmed drawstring bag and complimentary Bestmed water bottle. Racing starts at the Old Rag Farm in Meyer Street, opposite the MediClinic, where the R53 goes out to Ventersdorp. The riders turn right towards Ventersdorp on a wide road with a lovely smooth surface until they reach the point where they have to make a U-turn and return along the same road. The route offers a lot of flat riding and mild undulations. Most riders are likely to get home a little quicker than in previous years. Licensed riders, and open or seeded fun riders who feel up to the challenge, will take on the 95km distance. A more manageable 35km is the other option. The longer race is a perfect training ride for riders taking aim at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. After the turn-around point the participants, including some highly rated professionals, could well be assisted by a tailwind over the 47km stretch to the finish. The final 2km section of the ride in town will present a hassle-free run to the finish with only one left turn. This point, as well as the finish in Meyer Street, will be marshalled by Tlokwe Metro Police. •CN


Race preview

oon Moon to N ace eR Enduranc

words: Coetzee Gouws • picture: ??

Aim for the Moon to Noon on the Garden Route DATE 26 October 2012

VENuE Totties Eatery, Rheenendal Road

STARTING TIME 24h00, 27th October

DISTANCE 190 km

ENTRy FEES R650 per rider

oNlINE ENTRIES www.gardenrouteevents.co.za Closing date: August 30 2012

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AT midnight on Friday, October 26, around 300 thrill-seeking mountain bikers will set out on the inaugural 170km Moon to Noon endurance race around Knysna. Other long-distance events finish in the dark, but Moon to Noon turns the concept of night riding on its head, rolling on into the early hours of Saturday morning. “It’s all about seeing that there’s a different way to ride these events,” said race organiser Patric Mosterd of Garden Route Events, who is also the mastermind behind the Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 and RE-CM Knysna 200 three-day stage races. “It really levels the playing fields for pros and backmarkers, because from 12 to 5 o’clock they all have to deal with the challenge of darkness. Usually the pros finish soon after sunset, leaving the rest to struggle all night with their lights.” Mosterd says the midnight start also gives out-of-town cyclists the chance to get racing immediately. They then have more recovery time to enjoy the sights of the Garden Route before starting their trip home. “Nobody sleeps the night before anyway!” Riding under the stars presents some special challenges for riders, he says. “It’s all about you, your bicycle and your thoughts. You have to focus on this little patch in front of you, with this big darkness all around and learn to trust yourself and your partner.” Because of safety concerns, Mosterd says no solo riders will be allowed. “There are bush pigs about and this is a

leopard-friendly area. There’s also a big drop-off on the Uniondale Road, so you have to watch each other. It’s risky but that’s what makes it so exhilarating.” The danger aspect also makes logistical arrangements a challenge for organisers because the race is divided between dark and light, with a compulsory halfway stop at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. “The first half of the route is marked with reflective tape and arrows. We’ve also got to stop the animals from eating our marshals,” Mosterd says with a grin. “We go over the mountain at first light. It’s rather difficult logistically because no vehicles or even lead bikes can go over. So our whole infrastructure is split in two on either side.” Medical support, with four-wheel drive vehicles and a helicopter on standby, is on hand to make sure all riders are kept safe. “There will also be three water points, five feeding stations and technical back-up along the route. “We’re not enforcing cut-off times but we will make sure that nobody goes over the mountain in the dark and that the compulsory stop is enforced. Anyone who does will be asked to withdraw; it’s a safety issue.” About 1 100 metres above sea level, riders will summit in a section of a hiking trail belonging to Garden Route National Park. “There’s a part where we actually abseil the bikes down and the riders climb down. On the other side, there’s a 10km downhill,


Race preview

so we want everyone to be fresh and make sure their brakes are working.” Mosterd says the route starts in the Rheenendal area just outside Knysna. “It goes through indigenous forest and then there’s a nice open road for about 10km so everybody will have a chance to find their positions.” Serious racing is set to start with the descent into the well-known Hydro, which is part of the original Absa Cape Epic route, before making its way up to Buffelsnek through more forest. “There’s a full moon that night, which turns the mountains into silhouettes. It’s incredibly beautiful. All the roads are white in the moonlight, so a light is almost unnecessary.” Almost but not quite, says Mosterd. Front and rear lights, as well as a cellphone, are compulsory items of kit. “Once you hit the Uniondale road, you ride on to De Vlugt and then turn and go along a riverbed for 24 km at the start of the Keurbooms River, before passing through the Kykoe and Noll settlements.” Riders can check in with their loved ones at the compulsory stop at Louvain Guest Farm, which is also a spectator point. They can also wash bikes, lube chains and refuel with a Spur burger before disappearing over the mountain. “On the other side, you’re back into typical Garden Route vegetation, with beautiful sea views and lots of river crossings.” The old Seven Passes farm road takes participants all the way back to the race village. “The whole race takes place in the farming community and the farmers have all been very supportive and excited about the concept,” says Mosterd. The race venue, Tottie’s Eatery, will be transformed into a country-style cycling village and everyone is welcome to camp there. “We will charge a nominal fee and all proceeds go to our beneficiary, the Knysna Sports School, for the development of young local cyclists.” Enter online at www.gardenrouteevents.co.za until August 30. For regular updates, like the Garden Route Events Facebook page or follow @gardenroutelive on Twitter. •CN

“we’re not enforcing cut-off times but we will make sure that nobody goes over the mountain in the dark and that the compulsory stop is enforced. Anyone who does will be asked to withdraw; it’s a safety issue.”

Cyclingnews September 2012

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Race preview

Sondela ssic SuperCla

words: Wynand de Villiers

Sondela SuperClassic (presented by ASG)

Fast, flat and perfect fine tuning DATE 27 October 2012

VENuE Sondela Nature Reserve, 45 minutes from Pretoria on the N1

STARTING TIME 06:00

DISTANCES 104 km: R200 40 km: R120

oNlINE ENTRIES www.asgevents.co.za Closing date: 12 September 2012

MoRE INFoRMATIoN Further information: eventsupport@asgworld.co.za or phone 076 621 1807

ThE VENuE For further info on Sondela and for directions go to www.sondela.com

REGISTRATIoN 24 October: Cycle Lab, Fourways, Sandton – 10:00 to 16:00 25 October: Suzuki Montana – 10:00 to 16:00 26 October: Sondela Nature Reserve Caravan Park – 14:00 to 18:00

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Cyclingnews September 2012

SONDELA Nature Reserve, only 45 minutes’ drive on the N1 north of Pretoria, is where the inaugural Sondela SuperClassic road race takes place on October 27. Participants can choose between two distances on a flat and fast course, offering a perfect last training ride two weeks prior to the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. The long ride covers 104 km but there is also a 40km option. The roads are quiet and the surface good, presenting an excellent opportunity to riders who are looking for a good morale booster before the Cycle Challenge. Sondela has been a popular Bushveld getaway for many years, maintaining a high occupancy rate. The resort excels in playing host to mass-participation cycling events, as evidenced by the Sondela Mountain Bike Challenge, which attracted 1 500 riders in winter this year. The resort’s management are putting everything in place for a wonderful family weekend with lots of entertainment for children, a massive beer tent and all sorts of delicious eats and drinks. A secure bike park is available. Participants will receive wrist tags at registration, which will ensure the safekeeping of bikes while the owners enjoy the festivities over the weekend. The event starts at the entrance to Sondela, which is off the main slipway into Bela-Bela. Ample parking is cordoned off from the entrance back towards the N1. More than 25 ushers will be on duty to help drivers park their vehicles. The ushers will look after the vehicles all day.

Route description There are only two right turns on the long ride and one on the short distance. The 104km route goes out towards Settlers on the R516, then through Settlers before turning right back on the R516. Riders carry on along this road until they turn left at Crecy Road. The smooth road surface continues to the T-junction where the route takes a left turn again on to the R33. This section does have potholes, which have been filled, but riders should look out for uneven sections. Just after the 70km mark another left turn awaits before the route joins up with the R516 left and right back towards Sondela. The short ride goes out to Settlers and immediately turns left and back on the R516 towards Sondela. There is one water point on the short ride (at the R516 joining) and three on the long ride. As at all ASG events, medical specialists MMC will be on hand to look after any medical requirements and emergencies. Road Rangers bike marshals will also be on duty to ensure safe passage for cyclists. Suzuki Montana will supply lead vehicles to lend assistance. Mountain-bike fun ride Cyclists who fancy taking part in a double header over the weekend can enter the Sondela MTB fun ride the day after the road race. Date: 28 October Time: 08:00 Distance: 25 km Course: flat, jeep track and single track Entry fee: R120



Cyclingnews - September 2012