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Words by Ariane Kleinhans, Team Contego/28E Photos by Full Stop Communications & Kelvin Trautman

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rg2c at the Old Mutual joBe ry go te ca ed ix m e th of e Ariane, winner DO IT NOW about thes to d te at ch ly, nt ce re and sani2c races held uth Africa. races and racing in So Photo by Kelvin Trautman, joBerg2C

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Photo by Kelvin Trautman, joBerg2C

Stage racing was the reason why I travelled all the way from Switzerland to South Africa in 2010, and it's also one of the main reasons why I decided to stay (after sharing my life with Erik, of course … ). Riding my Giant mountain bike through the most breathtaking environs in this beautiful country, while meeting loads of great people, is the most enjoyable direction I could have imagined my life going in. And with so many fantastic stage races on offer, South Africa is the place to be. Having done quite a few of them already makes it difficult to choose a favourite. Although the ABSA Cape Epic is the most important stage race for us to win, the one race I won’t miss is the Old Mutual joBerg2c. I really love this race. There is something about it that makes everybody relax and enjoy the ride! This combined with a buzzing atmosphere that's created by the organisers, MC Doug Bird, Big Shot Media TV crew and photographer Kelvin Trautman, makes this the friendliest race and most fun you can have crammed into nine days! The organisers really go all out when it comes to the community, riders and route, and it's amazing to see. When it comes down to which is the best day of racing, Erik and I can debate this topic forever because each leg brings something new or testing to the overall experience of the race. But Erik loves day eight and riding into the Umkomaas Valley, while I’m leaning more towards day four and going down the 'Great Wall My China' into KwaZulu-Natal.

2 • DO IT NOW Magazine June | July 2012

The amazing and relaxing atmosphere that is synonymous with the joBerg2c race was no different this year, and it was so tempting to just have a chilled ride from Johannesburg to Durban. But the coverage this race receives is huge and a win would go a long way to keeping our sponsors Contego and 28E happy. So shrugging off any feelings of lethargy, we lined up in the mixed category, a feeling of hushed expectancy pervading the air. As I looked around, I realised that there was quite a deep field racing for the three podium spots. Definitely no taking it easy for us here! It was a fantastically challenging race, but we managed to win all eight of the racing stages. None came easy though, with Johan Labuschagne and Yolande de Villiers (Cycle Lab KTM) always a threat, and I was really impressed with them taking us head on. Third place overall went to Stellenbosch Leana de Jager and teammate Carel Bosman (Bizhub/PeptoPro). Fourth place was claimed by Delarey Brugman and Jennie Stenerhag, who rode for the Give Me A Chance Foundation.

Next up for us was the sani2c, another excellent event on the calendar; it's big, loud, fun and seriously intense! There are three back-to-back races, with 1500 mountain bikers in each.


Photo by Full Stop Communications, sani2c

It's incredible what Farmer Glen, his fellow farmers and the community have managed to achieve in eight years, and as always it’s a real privilege to take part. The racing on the first day was fast, with a good combination of everything, but no real big climbs. We kept the pace high to try and stay with faster groups and managed to create a comfortable 10-minute lead. The first half of day two was amazing as the route cuts down and through the Umkomaas Valley before a tough second half of the stage climbing back out. Erik cut his back tyre in the valley, but managed to nurse it home with a few plugs and our super trusty Sludge sealant for another stage win. I also had a slightly humorous incident when I over shot a corner and ended up in the Umkomaas River ... and it was veeery cold (luckily only my feet got wet)! The last day was one long sprint to the sea and we were set up for another stage win when Erik crashed in the final kilometres before the beach! I went straight into his bike and destroyed my tyre on his chainring. Our mishap allowed the second mixed team of Cherise Taylor and Dwane Stander to speed past us and take the last stage. Overall, we defended our title in a time of 10:08.40, with Cherise and Dwane second in

10:23.00. In third was Bridgette Stewart and Ivor Jones in 10:47.36, who also took the 'Queen of the Dance' title at the prize-giving. I'm now heading back to Switzerland to ride some bigger mountains, but I'm already looking forward to my next adventure in South Africa. See you soon :-) •

DINfo box i Career Highlights ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱

2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011

Cape Epic 1st Mixed Team JoBerg2c 1st Mixed team Grape Escape 1st Mixed Team MTN Sabie WC Winner MTN Tulbagh Winner MTN Barberton Winner Attakwas Winner Joburg2C 1st Mixed Team Sani2C 1st Mixed Team Cape Epic 2nd Mixed Team MTN Attakwas 1st Women MTN Tulbagh 1st Women

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DO IT NOW Magazine article 06-06-12