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22 February 2020



Imbuko Family Vintners will be hosting the “IMBUKO BIG FIVE MTB CHALLENGE” on Saturday 22 February 2020.

ders will endure a total ascent of 3 020m over 75km, making it the ultimate one-day event to test your strength and fitness only three weeks before the 2020 ABSA Cape Epic.

Another reason to take on this challenge - The Imbuko Big 5 MTB challenge is also Stage 5 of the Absa Cape Epic – The Only Way Up and also known as “The Spanner in the Cape Epic” so if your are an Epic rider, enter the Big 5 now and come get an early taste of stage 5. e route is designed by Pieter Van Wyk, who worked on the route design team of the ABSA Cape Epic for many years. Five major climbs uko ‘Big Five’) will be the main challenges in the race and will take riders through the iconic single tracks of the surrounding mountains of Wellington.


January 2020




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Photo: Cape Town Cycle Tour - Photo Credit: Chris Hitchcock

The Cape Town Cycle Tour would like to see you all on the start line on 8 March 2020, so you need to get through the season safely. For cyclists, the long summer days and great weather means early morning or late afternoon rides. Gaining fitness and working off the festive season’s inevitable overindulgences. The usual rules of riding still apply so remember to protect your head at all times. No helmet no ride, even if it is just a spin to the beach. Be traffic conscious too. Remember this time of year is filled with distractions and it is always better to exercise caution, act as if the drivers of cars around you are unaware of your fragile existence on a bike alongside them. Riding with a flashing red rear light will help ensure you are seen but riding defensively, using bike lanes and staying within the

yellow line whenever possible should be your goal. Riding in a group will also help mitigate the risk of muggings and there is visibility as well as safety in numbers, so you will be easier to spot for drivers too. Challenge yourself to attempt your best Cape Town Cycle Tour yet. Race for agegroup placing, clock a sub-3 or knock-off those extra minutes and duck below the 4-hour mark. Entries to the Cape Town Cycle Tour are open and after a big summer of riding it is the perfect motivation to keep you rolling. With that in mind here are some of the best spots to ride your road bike.

R479 9oo* *On-the-Road & Registration Fees Excluded. Model/s Shown May Differ. E&OE. Offer valid until 31 January 2020 or while stocks last.

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SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL ROAD CHAMPIONSHIPS For 2020, the South African National Road Championships will be held for the Elites, U23’s, Veterans, Masters and Para-Cycling categories at the Swadini Forever Resort in Mpumalanga from 5-9 February 2020. As last year the Junior, Youth and younger categories will be held in a separate event later in the year.


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INTO December 2019




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Time Trial specialists will begin their campaign on 6 February at the fountain in Swadini. Racing starts with the Master Women 60+ and 50-59 categories taking on the 15km route which will make a u-turn at the 7.5 km turning point, followed by the Vet Women 40-49, Grand Master Men 70+, Vet Men 60-69 and Para-cycling Men and Women categories.


On Sunday, 8 February the event will start with the Vets Men 30-39 categories, followed by the Vets Men 40-49 with the final event of the day, the 184km Elite/U23 Men's road race. Entries will close on Sunday, 19 January 2020.

Photo: Paarl Boxing Day 2018 - Photo Credit: double ST

The 122nd staging of the Helivac Paarl Boxing Day UCI Track Challenge on 26 December 2019 received the highest accolade in the sport when world cycling’s governing body announced last month that it is affording the event UCI status.

Paarl is undoubtedly the cradle of track cycling in South-Africa and quite a few local track cyclists annually make it into the final 25 Mile event. Boxing Day attracts more than 5000 spectators to the Faure Street Stadium.

It is the oldest event in all forms of cycling in the world still in existence, having not skipped a year since its inception in 1897.

With a host of South Africa’s best professionals, more than thirty quality track cyclists from all over Africa have already confirmed their participation in the 2019 Paarl Boxing Day meeting, which is presented in association with Alfa Bodyworks and the City of Drakenstein.

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Road Races: On Saturday, 7 February the Para-cycling categories, the Master Men 50+, U23/Elite Women (148km), Vets Women 30-39 and 40-49, Master Men 60+, Grand Master Men 70+, Master Women 50-59 and 60+ will be out on the road. The route will start at the entrance of Swadini Forever Resort, follow the direction of Hoedspruit, Ohrigstad, Jonkmanspruit, Klaserie and after the last lap, back to the finish-line at Swadini. All riders falling 10% behind the bunch per lap, will be eliminated.



Paarl Boxing Day is revered worldwide in the sport of track cycling. There is a saying in Paarl that you might be the best track cyclist in the world, but it means nothing if you’re second best in Paarl.

The event kicks off with two days of Individual Time Trials on Thursday, 6 and Friday, 7 February 2020, followed by a Criterium Race after the individual Time Trial, and the Road Races on Saturday, 8 and Sunday, 9 February.

Friday’s races will begin with a 36km Time Trial for U23 Men, Elite Men, followed by the Vet Men 30-39, and Vet Men 40-49. Riders will start at Blydevallei Canyon Packers (Gate 1), 7km from Swadini, ride towards Hoedspruit, Ohrigstad and Jonkmanspruit and back to Swadini. In the afternoon these categories will also participate in a Criterium race.



All participants must have a Full Racing Licence issued by Cycling SA. The following categories of riders can participate in the 2020 SA Road National Championships: Elite Men and Women, U23 Men and Women (A cyclist who turns 19, 20, 21 or 22 years of age in a registration year), Para-cycling categories, Veteran categories Men and Women and Masters categories Men and Women.

The Vet Women 30-39 depart later in the afternoon, followed by the Elite/U23 Women and the Master Men 50-59, who will take on the 20km route, make a u-turn at Moholoholo gate and return to the finish-line at the fountain.



The South African National Road Championships is the blue ribbon event for each cycling discipline and is held each year. The prestigious event crowns the National Champion in their chosen discipline, for their respective gender and age groups.

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For more information visit www.cyclingsa.com

E-BIKES BOOST FOR TOURISM LAW ENFORCEMENT UNIT The newly-established Tourism Law Enforcement Unit took delivery of seven electric bicycles on Monday, 23 December 2019. The handover was done by the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith and Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde during a walkabout with the unit members. The Tourism Law Enforcement Unit is a joint initiative between the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town.


Staff have been operational since November, with deployment in key tourist areas like the cable car parking areas, the V&A Waterfront bridge, St Georges Mall and the Bo-Kaap. The e-bicycles were procured by the City’s Law Enforcement Department, at a total cost of R175 000. “The bicycles will help the staff cover greater distances while on patrol, but more importantly, will help improve their response time to any incidents that may occur.”

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“It is also a sign of our commitment to safeguarding tourists whose presence in Cape Town helps boost our economy, which in turn helps create jobs for locals. We say it often, but it bears repeating – the value of tourism and events to this city cannot be understated and it is in everyone’s best interests to create memorable experiences for our visitors so that they can become ambassadors for our beautiful city,” said Alderman Smith. “The Western Cape Safety Plan is being implemented in partnership with the City of Cape Town, and across all of our provincial departments to make our province safer for residents and visitors alike. Interventions like the Tourism Law Enforcement Unit act to protect tourism as a key economic driver and job creator. The plan will increase boots on the ground and implement violence prevention strategies with the ultimate goal of reducing the murder rate in our province,” said Premier Winde. Between 1 and 20 December 2019, the unit has assisted 112 tourists and issued 229 fines for various by-law and traffic transgressions. The enforcement actions are complemented by high visibility patrols in the assigned areas, including hiking trails and parking areas; interacting with tourists and distributing pamphlets with safety tips.


NEW-LOOK FOR MEDIHELP STELLENBOSCH CYCLE TOUR The Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour returns to its roots on Sunday, 19 January 2020 with an exciting 97km course that takes place in the Cape Winelands’ spectacular scenery. Sponsored by Medihelp Medical Aid and hosted by the Pedal Power Association (PPA), the tour caters for both novice and experienced cyclists. The event will once again start at Stellenbosch High School and cements its status as a premier seeding event for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour. Incorporating 1 191m of climbing, the course gets straight into the swing of things and takes you over the beautiful Helshoogte Pass through Pniel and towards Franschhoek until you get the Wemmershoek turnoff about 21km into your ride. This will be the last stretch until you reach your first waterpoint at 30,5km in front of Pearl Valley Golf Estate. From there you will cycle towards Paarl and at 36,8km you will turn right onto Lustigan Road/Drakenstein Road. Riders will stay on Lustigan for a short distance before turning right into Denneboom and Sonstraal roads at 39,9km. The second refreshment station will be at the 55,1km mark shortly after Wellington graveyard – make sure to rehydrate as your next waterpoint is on the R44 opposite Windmeul Winery at the 63,5km mark. You will be welcomed into Klapmuts with another waterpoint at 79,8km from where your final journey back to the venue will commence. With only 9km to go, the last push is in sight once you hit the Medihelp waterpoint at Knorhoek – grab a banana and have some Coke for the final stretch. The finish will be on the Helshoogte road before Idas Valley and a neutral zone will take you back to the venue, where you will receive your well-deserved medal and Coke. Take your bike to the secure bike park while you relax and enjoy the hospitality on offer.

Photo: Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour - Photo Credit - Craig Kolesky

Seattle Coffee will be there for your caffeine fix and there will be a wide variety of food and drink stalls as well as a Bike shop to assist with minor bike adjustments and last-minute spares. Kids entertainment will allow the little ones to have some fun whilst mom and dad enjoy the live entertainment on offer. The winners will be receiving a total of R60 000 in prize money. There’s also a lucky draw right after, so stay put and you could win great prizes. For more information contact 021 671 6340, info@pedalpower.org.za or visit www.pedalpower.org.za

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS RETURN IN FORCE FOR CAPE EPIC In 2019, SCOTT-SRAM MTB-Racing’s Nino Schurter and Lars Forster stormed to victory in the Absa Cape Epic. This feat was made more remarkable by the fact that they lost 6 minutes and 45 seconds to a major puncture on Stage 3. For 2020, the Swiss duo return to defend their title, with the added insurance of two world-class support teams. Their quest to secure Schurter’s third title, in The Race That Measures All, sees the eight-time Cross Country World Champion and his former European XCO Champion partner supported by Andri Frischknecht and Matthias Stirnemann, who will be racing as SCOTT-Möbel Märki. Stirnemann was Schurter’s partner for the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Absa Cape Epic. As a pair, they won the former while Stirnemann’s illness-enforced withdrawal scuppered SCOTT-SRAM MTB-Racing’s dreams of defending the title in 2018.

Having seen first-hand, when Forster punctured in 2019, the benefit of having a strong support team, the squad is leaving nothing to chance in 2020. The bitter memory of 2018 has Stirnemann motivated to help Schurter and Forster defend their title in 2020. While one back-up team is a huge benefit, having two is undoubtedly advantageous. Severin Disch and Florian Chenaux, both decorated international mountain bike racers, will line-up at the University of Cape Town to represent SCOTT-SRAM MTB-Racing, but under the SCOTT-Davos banner. The SCOTT-SRAM squad’s super-star and the sport’s most decorated champion likewise feels no additional pressure, but for a different reason. “The pressure is there no matter where I go to the start line,” Schurter explained. “This will be no different at the 2020 Absa Cape Epic. It is a clear goal for Lars and myself to defend this title. However, so many things can happen during eight long days in Africa. The key will be to be consistent over the whole eight days and not just focus on one particular stage.” The burning question for many mountain biking fans is how the Absa Cape Epic will fit into the Cross Country specialist’s calendar in an Olympic year. Having not taken part in the Race in an Olympic year before, there was some doubt as to whether Schurter would return to defend his title. “The Absa Cape Epic in March will hopefully help give me a strong foundation for the season to come,” the Rio 2016 Gold Medallist said. Slightly further back in the field, Team Owner and Manager, Thomas Frischknecht will be racing for Grand Masters Category honours alongside Urs Gerig. The pair has experience aplenty and will guide the SCOTT-SRAM MTB-Racing stable from a Management and decision-making position as Team SCOTT-SRAM Old Dudes.

Photo: Nino Schurter and Lars Forster - Photo Credit - Nick Muzik

The Absa Cape Epic kicks off on 15 March 2020 and riders will need to overcome 647 kilometres and 15 550 metres of climbing between the University of Cape Town and the pristine lawns of the Grand Finale at Val de Vie Estate.

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JOSH VAN WYK WINS FASTEST BOXING DAY EVER! Benoni’s Josh van Wyk (ENZA) smashed the 25 Mile record by more than a minute on his way to victory in the 122nd edition of the historic Helivac Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge in Paarl on 26 December 2019. Van Wyk won a scintillating five-man sprint with local rising star Graeme Ockhuis coming in second and Belgian Jonas Rickaert rounding off the podium in third. Seven-time winner Nolan Hoffman narrowly missed out on the podium in fourth while Matthew Fortuin rounded off the top five. Gary Beneke’s 34-year-old record of 54 minutes and 23 seconds was finally surpassed by Van Wyk and the record now stands at 53 minutes and 7 seconds. A new record was expected in the lead-up with the 25 Mile boasting the strongest field for more than ten years. Van Wyk rode an aggressive race from the outset. He put in a big effort among the chasers to bring back Titus Juries and Byron Munsen who launched an attack halfway through the race. The duo spent more than twenty laps at the head of the race and their attack laid the groundwork which determined the outcome.

Photo: Helivac Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge - Photo Credit: Owen Lloyd

While Van Wyk had the honour of lifting the Minnaar Trophy, which dates to 1908, Rickaert received the Awie Malan Trophy which is awarded for the most consistent rider of the day. Rickaert defended his points race title and got himself onto the podium in the Elimination race (2nd) as well as the 25 Mile (3rd). In the other blue-ribbon elite events of the day Wade Theunissen won the 1 Mile, Rudie Kellerman claimed the Kierin title and Van Wyk claimed the Elimination race.

The Helivac Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge, presented by Alfa Bodyworks and the City of Drakenstein, is the oldest event in all forms of cycling in the world in existence. The meeting has not skipped a year since its inception in 1897. The meeting concluded with a very special moment as the Minnaar Trophy was handed to Van Wyk by Johan Ekermans, who celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his Boxing Day win in 1969.


BRENTJEN’S STAR-STUDDED CST SANDD BAFANG XC TEAM “We are happy that Mariske will be joining our Team. Mariske is an experienced rider with a strong body and mind. She has a very positive mindset and is capable to give an enormous effort to her sport. Mariske is focused and eager to get the best out of herself. Besides that she is a teamplayer.” “She loves to ride stage races and is willing to work together to get the best result. Mariske is working towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, she is ‘still in the race’ for a qualification. We hope we can support her on her way to Tokyo and to see her ride at the Olympic Games for the South African Olympic Team,” Team manager Bart Brentjens.

Photo: Mariske Strauss

“I actually already feel a part of the team. Everyone has been super welcoming and friendly. The prospect of having a new racing family just puts a huge smile on my face and the extra support at races will definitely be the edge I have been lacking,” says Mariske Strauss.

South African women’s elite rider, Mariske Strauss will be joining the CST Bicycle tires Sandd B.V. BAFANG Electric Mountainbike Racing Team and completing the Women squad in the Brentjens Team for 2020. Mariske will be the 3rd female rider to complete the CST Sandd Bafang MTB Racing Team, next to Yana Belomoina (UKR) and Anne Tauber (NED).

This year the CST Sandd Bafang Team Training camp is being held in South Africa, directly after the Tankwa Trek (South Africa). The Team will ride the Tankwa Trek with 3 teams. Mariske will ride together with South African Candice Lill. They will ride together as a special occasional team. More about the Tankwa Trek and the Team Training camp will follow later.

HIT THE ROADS IN PURSUIT OF CYCLE TOUR FITNESS (CONTINUE FROM PAGE 1) Cape Town - The Mother City has over recent years developed a vast network of cycling lanes making riding Cape Town safer than ever. Visitors can pedal from Melkbos on the West Coast into the CBD without ever leaving a dedicated cycle lane. Start at a Green Point coffee shop, or in the V&A Waterfront and follow the coastal roads past the Cape Town Stadium, Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, along Victoria Road into Hout Bay, over Chapmans Peak Drive and down into Noodhoek. To cover more kilometres, forge on through Kommetjie, Misty Cliffs and Scarborough (on the M65) towards the gate of Cape Point National Park. From the Stadium to Noodhoek and back is a shade over 60 kilometres. The return route features the Cycle Tour route ascents of Chapmans Peak and Suikerbossie. Port Elizabeth - The friendly city of Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s event hotspots. The route to ride is the IRONMAN bike course. Start at the King’s Beach parking area and follow the coastal road out though Summerstrand and past Humewood Golf Course. Once past the course nature takes over as the road cuts through the Nelson Mandela University Private Nature Reserve. Follow Marine Drive and then Sardinia Bay Road all the way to Claredon Marine, for a 45-kilometre one-way ride. On the way back the option to cut inland presents itself or to retrace the coastal roads back to Port Elizabeth. Durban - The city of sand, sea and surf might be the place to go for water sports, but riding a bike through the lush sub-tropical vegetation lined streets is not a bad plan either. Once again, the best route to follow is one well-established by the city’s flagship bike race: aQuellé Tour Durban. Starting in the shadow of Moses Mabhida stadium the route winds its way up to the M4 before following the coast north. Turn around points abound, depending on fitness levels, as do spots to stop for a midride coffee. For an 80-kilometre ride turn at the Umdloti circle or push on to the Brettenwood Coastal Estate to clock up close to a century. Garden Route - The coastal stretch between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay have plenty of roads to ride, but the go-to option for that area should be a gravel bike. With endless back roads, through farms and plantations, to grind the best riding is off the asphalt. Starting outside Mossel Bay, in the resort town of Groot Brak riders can crank their way to George on the tarred R102, before hitting the


Photo: Cape Town Cycle Tour - Photo Credit: Sam Clark

gravel Seven Passes Road to Knysna. Rolling hills through the Knysna Forests make for spectacular riding before turning right onto the R340 points one in the direction of Plettenberg Bay. The route joins the N2 on the Bietourivier, between Plett and Keurbooms. Johannesburg - The heartbeat of South Africa’s economy never truly sleeps and some cyclists will not have the luxury of riding at the a seaside. On the road the Cradle loop is tough to beat. The central loop is 30 kilometres long, features a dedicated bike path the whole way around and a bike lane leading into it along the R114 from Muldersdrift. Cycling to the loop will, obviously, add kilometres while for riders more interested in a relaxed pedal the area boasts a host of great places to start and finish a ride – with restaurants and coffee shops providing the fuel for rides both long and short.


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22 February 2020 www.imbukobigfivemtbchallenge.co.za Imbuko Family Vintners will be hosting the “IMBUKO BIG FIVE MTB CHALLENGE” on Saturday 22 February 2020. Riders will endure a total ascent of 3 020m over 75km, making it the ultimate one-day event to test your strength and fitness only three weeks before the 2020 ABSA Cape Epic. Another reason to take on this challenge - The Imbuko Big 5 MTB challenge is also Stage 5 of the Absa Cape Epic – The Only Way Up and also known as “The Spanner in the Cape Epic” so if your are an Epic rider, enter the Big 5 now and come get an early taste of stage 5. The route is designed by Pieter Van Wyk, who worked on the route design team of the ABSA Cape Epic for many years. Five major climbs (Imbuko ‘Big Five’) will be the main challenges in the race and will take riders through the iconic single tracks of the surrounding mountains of Wellington.





SNOW BIKE FESTIVAL - THE WORLD’S PREMIER WINTER MOUNTAIN BIKING EVENT The Snow Bike Festival is a thrilling 3-day mountain bike race that takes place in the picturesque Swiss Alps. The event has seen competitors from across the globe congregate in the stunning region of Gstaad, creating a diverse and unique racing atmosphere. Each year the race evolves and introduces new locations and routes. From 2020, the format of the Snow Bike Festival will change to a 3-day Race, 1st day an Afternoon Race, 2nd day a UCI & Amateur Marathon Race and 3rd day a Downhill Endurance Race. The Afternoon Race on Friday is short (19km) but intense. The physically demanding climb to the top of Eggli will be rewarded with a thrilling downhill over the Schlittelpiste (tobbogan run). The Marathon Race on Saturday is the heart of the Snow Bike Festival, as it is the longest and most challenging, yet rewarding race. For riders who don’t see themselves tackle the 60km on snow, there is an option to ride only 39km. On Sunday the Downhill Endurance Race will take place with a total length of 36km. For most riders, this will be the highlight of the Snow Bike Festival, with an initial 1’000m descend over 6km (on a ski slope!). There are various new innovations planned for the 2020 edition to elevate the rider experience and truly make it a once in a lifetime race. In order to make the Marathon and Downhill Endurance race accessible to more people, we’ve made them stand-alone races, so that everyone, including thrill-seekers, aspiring amateurs, UCI-Pros and downhill enthusiasts can take part.

Photo: Snow Bike Festival

For the first time, the trails and slopes are also open for e-bikers which will start in a separate category. For more information visit www.snowbikefestival.com

2020 'RACE WITH SOUL' ROUTE REVEAL The 2020 edition of the Cape Pioneer Trek will see the route retain its focus on diversity and rider enjoyment which has turned it into one of the most highly anticipated events on the mountain biking calendar. Due to popular demand the race directors have added an extra day at Louvain, shifting the action more into the remote mountainous areas of the Langkloof than ever before. The seven-day event from 6 - 12 September 2020 will cover a whopping 462km and incorporate 11 250m of elevation gain. Riders will also have the privilege of being unleashed onto virgin trails that are currently being constructed for the #RaceWithSoul. The prologue route, #SaasveldSingletrack, is the most spectacular in years and boasts a brand new start at Saasveld. The trails, which are hand-built by passionate George mountain bikers, incorporate exhilarating, fast flowing trails with sharp climbs and steep descents. Easy access for spectators will make the 16.3km route a fan favourite and give riders the support they need in their search for speed.

Stage one, #JonkersbergJewel, will take riders through the Jonkersberg Nature Reserve. New trails have been recently added to the already legendary single track in the area. Spectacular views of George and the ocean close by will provide some respite for burning legs while clocking off 1750m of elevation gain. Stage 2, #LusciousLouvain, will see the race leave the coast and head towards the interior in a northerly direction ending at Louvain, who will play host for the next two days. The stage is stacked with marvellous single-track riding for the first 25 kilometres through the Witfontein Nature Reserve. Riders will then tackle the iconic Montagu Mountain Pass and pass over into Herold, home to some of the best-kept secrets in mountain biking. The stage comes to a close as the race sweeps into the beautifully kept trails of Louvain. Stage 3, #LangkloofLiaison, is a brand-new stage which will immerse riders in the pleasure of experiencing an area that has never been ridden before. The stage kicks off with a challenging climb up Duiwelskop, the route then takes an easterly turn towards Uniondale via an old mountain track rarely used this century. Riders are led on towards Eagles Falls and Buffelsdrift, skirting the southern foothills of the Kammanassie and then once again being welcomed home in Louvain after an epic day in the saddle. #Kammanassie, Stage 4, returns in 2020 to the route. This infamous mountain will welcome riders into the arid, desert-like Karoo, both inhospitable but incomparable in its beauty. Riders descend through the valley towards De Rust and exit into the magnificent Lidikwe Reserve, eventually winding their way from a different angle towards the end in Oudtshoorn. Stage 5, #SwartbergShowdown, boasts a mountain top finish as glorious as any other in the world. The World Heritage site that is the Swartberg Mountain is where the race for the overall yellow and pink jerseys reaches its climax and high drama is sure to unfold on its unrelenting slopes.

Photo: Cape Pioneer Trek - Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za


Stage 6, #KingofQueens, caps off an incredible seven days of riding. The stage, often regarded as one of the best, is revisited in 2020. The arduous climb at the start will separate the field and could determine the overall outcome. The gorgeous Chandelier Game Reserve is still on the menu for the day but will have a trick or two up its sleeve. A fast race to the finish at the Queens Hotel draws to a close what will be a never to be forgotten experience.


FRIDAY NIGHT PIZZAS ARE BACK AT VADAS What became a local favourite last Summer, Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery will be bringing their Friday Night Pizzas back to Spier Wine Farm as we enjoy the last of the holidays and height of summer. Situated amongst the great oak trees of Stellenbosch, Vadas once again is serving pizza every Friday night, in addition to their regular al la carte menu. These sourdough pizza bases are made with stoneground flour and are fermented for 48hrs. Buffalo mozzarella from Buffalo Ridge is used - the only water buffalo dairy in South Africa and the country’s only producer of buffalo mozzarella. All meat products used are from Farmer Angus meats, raised on Spier Wine Farm. You can choose from 5 different pizzas such as The Fat Butcher: bianco base with creamed leeks, salsa Verde, bone marrow, thyme and smoked cheddar or The Porky: tomato base with buffalo mozzarella, Farmer Angus bacon, avo and feta. The full pizza menu is on the Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery website www.vadas.co.za Pair your pizzas with a selection of Spier Wines including Spier’s award-winning 21 Gables wine collection. Top off your evening with a delicious Italian gelato made fresh by Moro Gelato, who are quickly becoming the gelato kings of Cape Town.

From the Vadas Bakery, the most perfect sourdough bread and farm loaf are baked fresh every morning. The breads have a crunch to the crust and that wholesome taste of rustic grain. The Vadas’ famous Pastéis de Nata are authentic and traditional. These handmade little tarts might look unassuming, but you will not find one better in South Africa. The crispy-crunchy-buttery pastry encases the oozing custard center and with just the right amount of caramelization, it’s perfection on a plate! The bakery’s treasure trove of ‘Sweet Surrender Pies’, American-style sweet pies such as lemon meringue pie, salted caramel pie, chocolate cream pie and pecan pie (to name a few) are also on offer. The best part is that all bakery items, including pizzas on Friday nights, are available as take-home to share with friends, family and co-workers. Vadas encourages you to pre-order your selection of their sweet pies, breads and pastries for your at-home entertaining; making your life easier.

Valentine’s Day Special The month of love is around the corner and it’s time to start planning your romantic Valentine’s with your special someone. Treat your loved one to dinner at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery on Friday 14th February. Book now for our Chefs Platter of 8 dishes for only R395pp and enjoy a complimentary glass of Spier MCC Brut.

Stay up to date with daily specials and new dishes by following Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery on Instagram @vadas_smokehouse or Facebook @vadassmokehouse For lunch and dinner, open Monday to Sunday 12pm – 3pm & 6pm – 11pm (kitchen closes at 9pm) For bookings contact 021 809 1137 or info@vadas.co.za and view the full menu online at www.vadas.co.za




The organisers of the aQuellé Tour Durban have confirmed the dates for 2020 along with some bold innovations to the Durban cycle classic.

Photo: aQuellé Tour Durban - Photo Credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

The road races will take place on the 26th April 2020, once again coinciding with the Freedom Day long weekend, and will include a new 115km elite classic, and a new 90km race to go with the popular 45km ride on the M4 on full road closure. The cyclocross event has been replaced with two new MTB races to be held on Saturday 25 April, starting and finishing at the Cornubia Mall. Another new addition to the programme on Saturday 25 April is a race for the athletes from districts each training centre run by the KwaZulu-Natal Cycling Development programme. Saturday will also see a new junior race and a kids trike race at Cornubia Mall for the younger riders keen to get in on the action of the weekend of cycling events. The revised program is aimed at offering an expanded choice of rides for cyclists that have supported this popular event in the past. New event director Alec Lenferna says the 115km route is aimed at providing a challenge for the elite men’s field that always supports the Durban classic as well as the fitter cyclists. He added that the route, designed in close conjunction with the city’s traffic management team, would take riders into a new section of the city. The new 90km race would create a new option for riders who had comfortably finished the 45km race in the past and are looking for a new challenge. Both the 45km and 90km races will use the popular M4 lap from Moses Mabhida to Mdloti and back. This is also the route that will accommodate the various racing women’s groups. The race remains steadfastly geared towards raising money for the Domino Foundation, that runs a variety of programmes aimed at supporting, uplifting and empowering the Amaoti community north of the city. For more information visit www.tourdurban.co.za

INAUGURAL JOBURG CLASSIC - ALL SET FOR MARCH 2020 The organisers of the inaugural Joburg Classic have confirmed the date for Joburg’s new mass participation cycling race. The event will take place on 29 March 2020. Explaining the date, race organiser, Mauritz Meyer, said they felt the need had arisen for Joburg to host its own mass participation race in the first half of the season as a result of the dwindling numbers of Gauteng participants in the Cape Town Cycle Tour. “The route through the Cradle is well thought out; it’s nicely balanced and safe. We look forward to establishing this wonderful bike race, which will add immense value to the Joburg Metro and its residents in the same way the Tshwane Classic has done in the Tshwane Metro,” said Meyer. The venue for the Joburg Classic is the entertaining GOG Lifestyle Park just off Malibongwe Drive in Lanseria and the route offers distances over 95km, 45km and 20km. The Joburg Classic signature 95km distance offers a well-balanced route with 1100 metres of vertical ascent. It’s challenging and interesting throughout and the climb back to Malibongwe Drive on the Elandsdrift Road presents the final major obstacle before the finish. For most of the way the route meanders through the Cradle and has been designed to offer two shorter distances as well over 45km and 20km. The starting times for these distances have been worked out nicely so that the short distance riders join after the fast groups in the 95km at the joining points.

Photo: David Maree, winning Bestmed Tshwane Classic 2019

Riders will be familiar with some sections of the route, which also form part of the Berge en Dale race, but the Joburg Classic doesn’t include the Hillsnacks or Sterkfontein climbs and it cuts out the Brandvlei Road. For more information and entries visit www.hecticpromotions.co.za

PROTOUCH ANNOUNCES STRONG 10-MAN SQUAD FOR 2020 Following a terrific season in its maiden year as a Continental Team, PROTOUCH™ proudly announced its first ten riders for the 2020 season, these include seven riders from the 2019 winning team: Jaydé Julius, Kent Main, Rohan du Plooy, Reynard Butler, Calvin Beneke, Mitchell Eliot and James Fourie. They are joined in 2020 by U23 Callum Ormiston [who was a stagiaire for the Team this year], HB Kruger and Gustav Basson. It is expected that two additional riders will be added to make up the full 2020 team, along with specialist rider Steven Van Heerden, who participated with the Team in Malaysia this year. “Having achieved our 2019 goals as a first year Continental Team, we are looking forward to new challenges to be conquered next year. Our vision remains to build a winning team – around a core of South African riders – and, be the best Continental Team in Africa, as well as ranked in Top 50 in the World”, announced Tony Harding, Team Principal.

Protouch™ has competed successfully alongside top African, Asian, American and European Continental and Pro Continental Teams in twenty UCI events this year, participating in thirteen countries on four continents and completing over 11 500km of racing. The Team finished off the season with some incredible learnings and four stage wins, four Sprinters Classification Jerseys, nine Top 10 General Classification finishes, sixty-eight Top 10 stage finishes, thirty-two Top 20 finishes and, a Gold and Silver Medal at the Africa Games. Protouch™ is the number one team in Africa, ranked in the Top 5 teams in Asia (based on UCI points) and the Top 40 Continental Teams in the World. Taking Continental, Pro Continental and World Tour Teams into account they are ranked 63rd. Three Protouch™ riders finished off the season in the Top 10 UCI [South Africa/ Africa] rankings amongst South African World Tour Riders such as Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Ryan Gibbons, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg, and Stefan de Bod (Team Dimension Data/ NTT ProCycling) and four ProTouch riders were in the Top 30 Africa rankings. Jaydé Julius, ProTouch’s highest UCI-ranked rider (ranked 5th in South Africa, 13th in Africa and 374th in the World) had this to say about the Team, “We are not just a group of riders that race together all over, we are a family that shares a common goal – to be the number one team in Africa and to pave the way for all those talented athletes that come behind us. I am privileged to be part of this exciting team again next season.” Protouch’s first event of the 2020 season will be the return to Gabon, for the 2020 Tropicale Amissa Bongo. The UCI 2.1 Tour runs from the 20 - 26 January 2020. This was the Team’s first UCI 2.1 Tour in 2019 where they finished off proudly holding the Sprinters Classification Jersey. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter, as they continue on the journey to remain the number one team in Africa.




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30 April to 02 May 2020

4 stages: 70km, 40km, 30km and 60km Registration opens 21 Oct 2019 Your stay from 29 April – 03 May includes:         

Return airfare ex JNB and approximate airport taxes Arrival/departure airport transfers Transfer to the start of the race for stage 1, the rest of the stages are from Shandrani 4 nights accommodation at Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa Breakfast and dinner daily plus buffet lunches for race days Free land and water sports per brochure – including waterskiing and wakeboarding Race fee for all four stages including entry into the race village Event t-shirt, bike cleaning and massages at the end of each stage Or choose to stay on a premium all-inclusive package from R21 930 pps




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Mauritius Tour Beachcomber (MTB) invite intrepid nature-loving mountain bikers to zig zag this island paradise across rarely accessed terrain, through spectacular landscapes and on challenging tracks while enjoying 5-star hospitality at the gorgeous Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa. Mauritius is about versatility – from relaxing in the splendour of a Beachcomber resort, to getting your heart racing at the 5th edition of MTB.


Wheel into a 5 star experience


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A 4-night stay + airfare + half board + taxes from R18 430 pps

For more information please contact Thea Coetsee • 082 415 5592 thea.coetsee@travelcounsellors.co.za w w w. t r a v e l c o u n s e l l o r s . c o . z a / t h e a . c o e t s e e

Rates are subject to 30 day advance booking, availability and rate of exchange. Registration closes 15 Apr 2020. Age restrictions apply to the race. A compulsory medical form required before registration can be completed. Ts & Cs apply.



WC DOWNHILL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND RARING TO GO FOR 2020 2020 is going to be a bumper year for Western Cape Downhill (WC DH). The first event kicks off at the all-friendly Paarl track at Paarl Rock. Shuttle day on Saturday, 25 January (R350.00) provides an awesome opportunity to just ride the track and have fun. “If you have loved the experience, and ask very politely (certainly not encouraged as extra work), we might possibly enter you into race day, Sunday 26th and offer you a chance to test your abilities, with a timed run, against your mates (an extra R300.00).” “If you enter online through ROAG, for both events, it will cost you R550.00 but the early-bird special (first 30 riders) only pay R500.00. You want to be there if the last race is anything to go by according to our newsletter, the shuttle-day was a roaring success as the shuttles quickly transported riders to the top, allowing many of them to get in as many as twenty practice runs! Pure heaven for downhill enthusiasts. Race day was a peach with everything running according to a strict time-plan. Fortunately WP DH seems to have attracted many new youngsters to the sport. These ‘gangsters’ eat more ice creams than race runs and have the most fun on race day. The nippers (8-10 years) and sprog (11-12 years) classes are both hotly contested categories.” “Our chairman, Chris Nixon (The Bike Park) and Race Director, Keith Erlangsen, put all the planning into action on shuttle and race days. All safety precautions are taken, riders briefing, track walk, CSA sanctioned event and Tygress Ambulance on hand during all riding.”


Photo: Western Cape Downhill - Photo Credit: Dejon Nell

“Local sponsors for 2020 SRAM and the Freight Factory, who sponsor 4X4 vehicles, ensure a successful event. Great space, delicious food, perfection planning, long summer days outdoors with the family, plenty of amped riders on bikes and our world class junior and elite men to provide some thrilling racing.” For more information contact helen@cstek.co.za


Headline sponsors, Chas Everitt, have expanded and extended their involvement in the Around The Pot Overberg 100-Miler for a further three years. That is not the only big news from the Swellendam based race however; event organisers, Petrichor Adventures are set to super-size the race in 2020 by adding a 200 Miler route. The race will thus become the first 200-mile mountain and gravel bike race in the country. Following in the footsteps of the iconic American gravel race, Dirty Kanza, the route will be gravel bike friendly but all manner of exclusively human powered bikes are welcome. At 320 kilometres long the event will be known as the Chas Everitt Around the Pot 200-Miler, Presented by SEESA. It may not be the longest gravel road event in the country, with the Munga and 36ONE topping it in distance but it could arguably be the most beautiful.

Photo: Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge - Photo Credit: Chris Hitchcock

Entries are open for 2020 The MTB Challenge, formerly known as the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge. Off-road racing at its very best, the MTB Challenge hits the Cape Winelands on Saturday, 29 February 2020, offering 15km, 30km and 60km options for all fitness and skill levels. The event has been running alongside the Cape Town Cycle Tour for what will be 20 years in 2020, formerly known as the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge. In September 2019 the event was handed over to the Pedal Power Association to organise. The decision was made to take the event back to its original roots, where it all began, returning to the beautiful routes at the Banhoek Conservancy, where the event was held in 2013. The venue will be Old Bethlehem Farm situated in Kylemore, Stellenbosch.

Riding through the patchwork fields of Canola blooms and a sea of green wheat the riders will experience the Overberg at its winter best. The route will take riders from the foothills of the Langeberg, as they head West out of Swellendam, then South across the Rûens towards the Heuningberg before turning East towards the Breede River. Crossing the historic Malgas Pont the route loops South East before heading for Swellendam and the finish line in a wide arch. Though it will overlap with the existing 100-Miler route at times the vast majority of the route is unique to the longest distance. For Petrichor Adventures it is essential that the race showcases the area in the best possible light. Doing so not only benefits the restaurants and accommodation establishments in Swellendam but also highlights the exceptional quality of life on offer in the historic town. This ties in perfectly with Chas Everitt as the estate agents have farms and homes for sale in most of the towns and villages of the Overberg region.

This fun ride is aimed at all ages, shapes, sizes, fitness levels and income groups. The event is open to PPA members as well as non-members and targets both existing cyclists and newcomers to the sport, the average participant and newcomer, as well as elite sportswoman. E-Bikes are welcome to join. In addition to the three routes on offer, we will be bringing in the Bike4All mobile BMX track for the little ones to enjoy. Bike4All has a simple, yet effective motto: Putting more people onto bicycles. “Our info tent will be able to answer any last-minute questions or to purchase replacement MTB boards. A bikeshop will be placed at the start to assist with minor bike adjustments, selling any last-minute spares you might need. Seattle Coffee will be onsite for your caffeine fix with a variety of stalls which include pancakes, food, wine, beer, cooldrinks, biltong, massages. There will be a bike park to ensure more room around the venue, we have introduced the Bike park where you will need to put your bike after you have finished the race. Then you can sit back, relax and enjoy all that the venue has to offer! Kids entertainment will allow the kids to have a fun time whilst mom and dad entry the live entertainment on offer. Bike4All will be bringing in a Bike4All mobile BMX track marking out an easy and fun 500m and 1km route for the little ones to enjoy.” Included in your entry fee will be timing by RaceTec, a finishers medal as well as the beautiful on route experience, fully stocked waterpoints, post-race entertainment, lucky draw as well as goodies at registration. Pricing varies from R70 to R350 depending on PPA membership and distance. The 15km and 30km route option is family orientated with 236m and 466m total elevation respectively. The challenge of the day lies in the 60km route, with an actual distance of 59km with 1886m total elevation. Prize money will be awarded to all distance winners in 2020, with men and women receiving an equal amount. Up to R30 000 can be won. For more information visit www.pedalpower.org.za


Photo: Chas Everitt Around The Pot - Photo Credit: Oakpics.com

“The course will be a tough one. There is no way around that in the undulating Overberg, but we believe it will also be exceptionally rewarding,” Rohan Germishuys of Petrichor Adventures said. “Riders will need to decide if the additional speed of gravel bikes are going to be better suited to the route than the more comfortable option of riding a mountain bike. Regardless of what decision they take we look forward to welcoming them on the 18th of July 2020.” To ensure the ultra-distance 200-Miler riders finish to a fittingly warm reception in Swellendam the race will start at midnight. The starter’s gun will fire at 00:00 on Saturday, 18 July and the winner is expect to complete the 320-kilometre-long course in around 13 hours. If he or she does so they will finish just after the bulk of the 100-Miler field, ensuring a crowd will be on hand to cheer the inaugural victor across the line.



A good way to start the September holidays, or even a pleasant weekend break is to experience and ride the Langeberg Link MTB 3-Day stage event on 25-26-27 September 2020 on the farm Oudewerf, Kliphoogte, just 12km outside Swellendam and on the R60 towards Ashton. This is an excellent opportunity to bring the family and enjoy the hospitality of the farming community and explore the foothills of the majestic Langeberg range in the countryside near Swellendam on the Garden Route. The race is open to all mountain bike enthusiasts. Riders can choose between a long route, or a short route and the event also offers solo entries in all three days, or single days. Trail running adventurers can run either a 6km or 15km trail on Sunday, 27 September. The route will follow the start of day three, with a few shortcuts, whilst still giving runners a unique experience.


SERVICES All water points will be well positioned and will be well-stocked along the route on all three days – manned by enthusiastic people from the local community. The riders will be assisted by marshals and well signposted arrows on route, a Sweep vehicle and in addition a medical vehicle to provide medical support. “As organizers, we are extremely thankful to the local farmers, who not only allow riders to traverse their land, but also leave no stone unturned when it comes to preparing routes, build bridges, man waterpoints and act as marshals. To ensure that this beautiful part of the land is not exploited, and to make the ride exclusive, entries are limited,” said Riana Rosseau. Cost: Entry fees for the three-day event is R1 500 per cyclist, and single stages sell at R550 per person per day, and for the kids under 10, R50 per day – provided they are accompanied by a responsible adult.

The Langeberg Link MTB route has never before been cycled on by any race before 2017, and will once again take place mostly on private farm land, not open to the public – thus ensuring the uniqueness of the event. The track, where normal access is limited, is purposely designed that cyclists can enjoy the overwhelming beauty of fauna and flora in the area and experience some breath-taking views of waterfalls. Night Race: The night race on 25 September will be a 2.4 kilometre lap route on the farm. Riders need to complete as many laps as possible within an hour and will have to enter and exit the barn on completion of each lap. The cyclist with the most number of laps will be the winner of the ‘night race’. Although solar lamps at short intervals will be along the route to make it more visible, front and rear lights are compulsory. Day 2: A 61km route that includes a combination of gravel travel, jeep track and single track will be followed. Day 3: The route takes riders into the Langeberg mountain range and although only about 24km, some hills are quite challenging. Your efforts will however, be rewarded by the scenery. The ‘famous Hill’ will once again await riders on route and the first one to cycle all the way to the top will be crowned ‘king/queen’ of the mountain. To accommodate riders who regard themselves not fit enough to challenge the serious hill-work, yet would like to be part of this awesome experience, a less challenging ‘pink route’ on Days 2 and 3 will be made available which will be substantially shorter than the full route.

ACCOMMODATION It should be noted that accommodation is excluded from the entry fees and can be booked via www.visitswellendam.co.za. Tented accommodation with adequate ablution facilities at the venue is available at a reasonable rate for the weekend.

Online entries can be done via www.entryninja.com For more information contact 074 457 6777 or visit www.langeberglinkmtb.com







CA2CX celebrating its 15th tour in 2020 will support Herberg Children’s Home in Robertson for the 8th year as their official charity. Every year CA2CX returns favour by giving back to the community. A gala evening will be held in George on the eve of the last stage with the traditional auction to raise funds for the Herberg Children home. Since JJ Steyn, founder of CA2CX decided in 2013 to make The Herberg Children’s Home the official beneficiary, the tour raised an amount of R1 392 000 to assist the children to regain their right to dignity and self-worth by means of proper education, care, medical services and psychological therapy. Herberg Children’s Home, a multi-racial institution, established during the flu epidemic of 1919, currently provides shelter to 122 boys and girls who are found to be in need of care by the Commissioner of Child Care. Their vision is to provide a safe, warm and caring multi-racial shelter to abandoned, neglected, physical-, emotional-, or sexually abused children who are found to be in need of care. The Herberg Children’s Home currently needs R10 552 222.28 million per annum just to cover their daily needs to survive with a state subsidy of only R 5 126 062.00, yet, they are responsible raise the shortfall of R5 426 160.00 through fundraising to cover their normal day-to-day expenses. The Herberg Children’s Home also receives goods that can be used for the children. The 2020 CA2CX will take place from 21-28 June; a cycling experience where riders will conquer a distance of 695km from Cape Town to Knysna to arrive in time for the Knysna Oyster Festival. CA2CX starts at Klein Joostenberg and travels through the towns of Wellington, Paarl, Worcester, Robertson, Montagu, Ladismith, Van Wyk’s Dorp, Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn, and George before reaching Knysna 6 days later. The daily route of about 100km per stage and consist of farmlands, spectacular landscapes and amazing views . CA2CX always focuses on a small group of riders, to keep the event unique and enjoyable enabling riders to make great friends and connections that will last long after the event is over. The CA2CX tour is an unforgettable experience and for a great cause, which brings riders back to the event every year.

Photo: TU Triathlon World Cup Cape Town 2019 - Photo Credit - Wagner Araujo/ITU Media

The event, which was scheduled to take place in February 2020, has been postponed to 2021 due to lack of sponsorship. “Despite our best efforts and close collaboration with the International Triathlon Union and Triathlon South Africa to secure a new title sponsor after our contract with the event title sponsor had come to an end in 2019, the tough economic climate was simply too big a challenge to overcome,” says race director Gary Marescia of WorldSport South Africa. “While we are disappointed we cannot bring this worldclass event to Africa, South Africa and the Mother City for the 7th year, we are already putting renewed energy into finding a new event partner for 2021.” The ITU Triathlon World Cup Cape Town has been a popular fixture on the Cape Town triathlon scene over the past 6 years. It served as the official ITU World Cup and global calendar season opener to the world’s best triathletes, and saw over 2 000 triathletes participate in a series of short-course races on an annual basis. 2019 also marked the successful introduction of the African Junior Challenge, attracting the continent’s top junior triathletes. The event’s return in 2021 will have further significance, as it will support the ITU Science and Sport Conference, which was awarded to Cape Town at the end of 2018.

WHO IS SCHOOLS CYCLING SA? Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) is the official governing body of Schools Cycling in South Africa operating autonomously to adapt to the Schools environment. In 2020 SCSA will focus on introducing even more learners to cycling as School Sport by focusing on development programmes in disadvantage School communities in collaboration with Government, Education programmes in partnership with South African Institute for Drug free Sport(SAIDS), Girl Specific Programmes, Team Managers, Commissaires and Coaches Training and the introduction of new cycling disciplines to School Leagues. Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) govern and facilitate through rules, regulations, policies and guidelines to Public and Private schools as well as School Leagues to ensure safe, fair and well organised events. Vision - SCSA vision is to establish cycling as an official recognised Schools Sport at National level, working closely with the Department of Education and Government at Provincial and National levels. Mission - SCSA as the governing body aims to encourage, develop, grow, promote and administer Schools Cycling in Primary and Secondary Schools (public and private) in different cycling disciplines through mass participation. SCSA will encourage Inter Schools, Inter Provincial activities, League events and festivals to establish in learners the love for cycling. SCSA objectives include to establish cycling as official School Sport in Primary and Secondary Schools (Private and Public) at National level working closely with the Department of Education, local Photo: Spur Schools Mountain Bike government and the Department of Sports League - Photo Credit: Chris Hitchcock and Recreation and to grow Schools Cycling as a Team Sport through mass participation in Schools Leagues. The Spur Schools League is fully endorsed by SCSA. SCSA will ensure safe, fair and well organised School events, the development of learners’ basic skills in cycling by hosting Skills Clinics and Festivals and to provide all children the opportunity to participate in School Cycling events. School Teachers and Parent Representatives will be trained as Team Managers, Coaches and Commissaires. These courses will count towards Teachers SACE points. Rules, Regulations and Policies for various cycling disciplines and effective communication to Schools will be set-up. Educational Programmes focusing on SAIDS workshops, Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and Girls Specific programmes will be promoted, while support to Schools via Press releases, social media and the website will be communicated. For more information visit www.schoolscyclingsa.co.za



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Billed as the ‘toughest race on earth’, the 5th edition of the Munga proved this was not just a slogan, but an accurate description of a deceiving race. The Munga is always hot with the race traditionally starting in the first weekend of December. But this year’s race happened to coincide with the hottest heat wave in the history of the African continent!

An unprecedented entry to the 2019 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge saw over 100 riders take on the five different distances between Hillcrest and Hluhluwe/ Mfolozi recently in aid of Helping Rhinos and Project Rhino.


The three day ride set off from Hillcrest on Thursday, 5 December 2019 with stop overs in Zinkwazi and then in Empangeni before finishing on Saturday with the rest of the field. Saturday’s rides saw the famous 330km Long Horn ride take off at around midnight and set off on a life changing journey that would take them close on eighteen hours to complete by the time that they got to Hilltop Rest Camp. One of the riders amongst this bunch was Terence Parkin. The Olympic medallist and his riding partner Dave Duke set out to complete the uBhejane Ultimate again in 2019. The pair rode the first two days of the three day ride on Thursday and Friday and then returned to tackle the full 330km ride on Saturday. Duke returned in 2019 with some unfinished business having withdrawn during last year’s event after a fall. Both riders conquered the challenge all in aid of rhino conservation in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Photo: The Munga 2019 - Photo Credit - Erik Vermeulen

In the days leading up to the race it was evident it was going to be abnormally hot as weather forecasts predicted a heat wave moving ever closer. “To be honest, I think most people wrote off the warning as weather hype but by the time riders reached water-point 1 two hours after the race start, we knew it was going to be a scorcher! Day 1 saw temps of mid 40s and day 2 it was even hotter.” Strangely though, the pace up front seemed to ignore the blistering conditions. Kevin Benkenstein and Ramses Bekkenk (last years winner and record holder) quickly tore the front of the field apart. Half way to water-point 2 though it was clear Ramses was battling with the temps. Mid to high 40s is not something a European rider gets to experience, so a betting man would have put money on a South African wining this years race. Ramses soon called it a day citing heat exhaustion as the reason to pull out. But he would not be the last. More than 20 riders scratched on Day 1 and almost a similar amount on Day 2. By Day 3 temps were starting to drop from the high 40s but the wind began to pummel the already tired field.

This year the 250km Short Horn was the most popular event with the riders as over 35 participants took part in the slog from the Umvoti Toll Plaza to Hilltop Camp. The ride included former Cell C Sharks centre and seasoned rider Jeremy Thomson. There were two shorter rides, the 110km Baby Horn, and then the 30km Orphan Ride that took riders the 30km from the famous bronze rhino statue at the Centenary Centre in the Hluhluwe/Mfolozi Park to Hilltop Camp. Another former Sharks rugby player Joe Pietersen took part in the 110km ride. It was the second year that the passionate conservationist had taken part but he did mention that it wasn’t any easier this time around.

Up front the race had become a two-horse sprint as Kevin Benkenstein and Thinus Redlinghuis matched each other for more than 400km. As one broke away, they were quickly caught up by the other leaving very little in it. By the time they reached Race Village 5 at Ceres, with about 50km to go, they were once again together. Had they come to some kind of ‘arrangement’ or were they going to try one last move to pull a ‘one up’ on the other? We soon had our answer. The Munga had its first joint winners - Kevin Benkenstein and Thinus Redlinghuis with a time of 56 hours and 46 minutes, about 4 hours off the record. Marco Martins managed to hold on to third. The next category to cross the finish line was the development category and this is a group that has been dominated by the KZN rider Sithembiso Masango. He did not disappoint as he once again was dominant and crossed the line first and an overall 5th place. Anri Parker from Namibia was best positioned and she managed to hold on to her lead winning the women’s category in a time of 97 hours and 30 minutes. This was a great effort considering she pulled out in last years race around the 800km mark! Next in were Elaine Beytell and Nicky Booyens, both consistent performers in the past.

The ‘Voice of Cycling’ Phil Liggett rode in the 30km ride in the park as he continues his support for the event. With a wide-reaching sphere of influence and a passion for conservation he continues to lend his weight behind this worthy cause. Amongst the three day riders was celebrated adventurer Sibusiso Vilane. Vilane has taken part in the event in the past and felt that due to commitments he wasn’t in good enough shape to do a one day ride but managed the three day ride.

“There were so many incredible rides this year with only 82 riders of the field of around 150 crossing the line, but mention must be made of three particular rides. First is Mike Woolnough who rode in his 5th Munga and at the age of 59 finished in a remarkable 4th place. Then of course we had our two ‘veterans’ of Clinton Halsey and Gavin Robinson who became the first and only riders to finish all five Mungas!”

Riders were lucky that Saturday’s conditions were more than favourable. A tail wind for the most part backed up by manageable temperatures meant that riders were able to navigate their way safely to their final destination. At the conclusion of the ride, over R600 000 had been raised for Helping Rhinos and Project Rhino through the event.

Photo: uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge - Photo Credit - Kirsten Oliver/Gameplan Media

MTBING COMES HOME AT SAVANNA ORIGIN OF TRAILS SA’s “MTB Party” of the year, the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience, closed off on a high note on 1 December 2019 with mountain bikers being treated to a spectacular 50 – 60km route or 28 – 30km route, experiencing the best routes on offer in Stellenbosch before crossing the finish-line at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate.

Husband and wife duo Sebastian and Laura Stark (Germany) claimed gold in the men’s and women’s Marathon (50 - 60km) at the 7th annual Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience. Sebastian completed the two days of riding in a combined time of 04 hours 32 minutes 58 seconds. Frans Claes came in 2nd, while Matthew Lochner finished 3rd. Laura completed the two stages of the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience Marathon (50 - 60km) in a combined time of 05 hours 23 minutes 08 seconds. Nicole Schafer came in 2nd, while Lehane Oosthuizen finished 3rd. Luca Ruwiel successfully defended his title in the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience Half Marathon (28 - 30km) completing the two stages in a combined time of 2 hours 49 minutes 51 seconds. “Stage Two had quite a lot of jeep track and there weren’t a lot of climbs. There was nowhere really to breakaway. I managed to pull in the one section. We had to go under a bridge with water, we came in way too fast and I went over the bar. Now I am all wet, but I am still winning so it’s good. I like this event. It’s a good way to open the season. A hat-trick is something that I’d like to do, so yes I’ll be back next year. I might even enter the Marathon.” Henning Venter came in 2nd, while Juan Erasmus finished 3rd.

Photo: Luca Ruwiel - Photo Credit - Jetline Action Photo


The Women’s Half Marathon (28 - 30km) was won by Nienke Mostert in a combined time of 03:39:08, Cecile Coetzee came in 2nd, while Lynne Vermeulen finished 3rd. Dakar Rally star, Giniel de Villiers is a local at the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience, never missing an event and residing in Stellenbosch.



Photo: Transcape - Photo Credit: Jacques Marais

Photo: Tour de PPA





Hero Night Series #3

10 January


Rhebokskloof, Paarl

Western Cape Road and TT Champs

11 - 12 January


Perdeberg Cellar, Paarl

Attakwas Extreme

18 January


Chandelier Game Lodge, Oudtshoorn

Stellenbosch Cycle Tour

19 January


Stellenbosch High School

Western Cape Downhill #1

25 - 26 January


Paarl Rock/Paarl Monument, Paarl

Eden Road Championships

25 - 26 January



KZN Provincial Road and Time Trial Champs

25 - 26 January


Wartberg, KwaZulu-Natal

The Fast One

26 January


The Midvaal Raceway, Meyerton, Gauteng

24Hours of Oak Valley

1 - 2 February


Oak Valley Estate, Grabouw


1 - 8 February


George to Franschhoek

Paarl Cycle Tour

2 February


Fairview Wine Estate, Paarl

SA National Road Championships

5 - 9 February


Swadini Forever Resort, Mpumalanga

PE Plett

6 - 9 February


Port Elizabeth to Plettenberg Bay

Tankwa Trek

6 - 9 February


Kaleo Guest Farm, Ceres

Western Cape XCO series #1

8 February



99er Cycle Tour

8 February


Durbanville Race Course

Leopard Crawl MTB

15 February



Illovo Wartburg Classic

15 February


Warburg School, KwaZulu-Natal

Trailseeker Series #1

15 February


Kylemore High School, Stellenbosch

SA MTB Cup Series XCO #1

15 - 16 February


Mankele Bike Park, Nelspruit

Compendium Midlands Road Race

16 February


Howick, KwaZulu-Natal

Ride for Sight Cycle Challenge

16 February


Boksburg City Stadium, Gauteng

Herald Cycle Tour

16 February


Port Elizabeth

Knysna Bull

19 - 22 February



Ride the Karoo

21 - 23 February


Fairview Farm, Eastern Cape

Imbuko Big 5 MTB Challenge

22 February


Uitkyk Farm, Wellington

WP DH #2, SA CUP # 1, SA National Championships

22 - 23 February



Bicycling Karoo Burn

22 February


Calvinia Primary School

Herald Cycle Tour

23 February


Port Elizabeth

Tour de PPA

23 February


Durbanville Race Course

The MTB Challenge

29 February


Old Bethlehem Farm, Kylemore, Stellenbosch

Stanford MTB Classic

29 February - 1 March


Stanford Valley Guest farm

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January 2020



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‘A CALL TO BE THE TOUGHEST YOU HAVE EVER BEEN’ The 14th edition of the Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen takes place on Saturday, 18 January 2020 in the heart of the Klein Karoo. The event will be the fourteenth edition of the race dubbed the Hell of the South. The iconic event allows riders to set an early season marker as the first stop on the UCI MTB Marathon Series calendar. Not only is it a chance to collect valuable UCI points, but will serve as valuable preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games. The Attakwas Extreme itself will retain its iconic key features: the challenging route, the Klein Karoo start and the festival like finish at Pine Creek Resort in Great Brak River. It will also retain its spot on the calendar as the South African mountain biking season opener; tracing the logical build-up from pre-season, through the Attakwas and the Tankwa Trek, to the Absa Cape Epic.

Photo: Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme - Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za

24HOURS OF OAK VALLEY - A WEEKEND WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY The 24Hours of Oak Valley event is back in early 2020 from 1 - 2 February. Camp and ride your mountain bike in Grabouw for a weekend with friends and family, while trail runners can join the 12hour. Riding around the clock in the Elgin Valley with various categories and this year the junior team option is back, where they expect a big competition. Only pre-entries taken, so get your teams together and enter this awesome event. There will be food and drinks for sale and the ever-needed coffee stand. The venue is still a favourite with great facilities and beautiful scenery on the route and at the campsite and start/finish area! E-bikes will also be allowed to join in the fun in their own fun E-class category! The Oak Valley course, with its first half of climbing and the long descents in the second half, is ideally suited to E-bikes. The event is also a great platform to test these bikes and by introducing rules restricting the number of batteries you are allowed to use, gives everyone to see what the bikes are capable of in real-life application. Format: Ride as many 10km laps as you want or can over 24hours. The trail will keep participants busy with singletrack and jeeptrack sections. The course conditions even changes over night. Trail runners must run as many 6km laps as they want or can over the 12hour period, ending at midnight. Categories for the MTB Relay include: Solo (One person that rides as much as he/she wants during the 24-hour period), Open (single sex - team of 4 riders). Mixed Team of 4 riders - mix of male and female riders). There must be at least one person from the opposite sex to qualify as a mixed team. Juniors (Team of 5 riders. All under 18). OneFourZero (Team of 4 riders. Collective age 140 years +). Fun category - teams of 5 - 8 riders. Categories for the Trail Run: Solo (One person that runs as much as he/she wants during the 12-hour period) and a 4 Man Team (team of 4 runners). Photo: 24Hours of Oak Valley - Photo Credit: Mark Sampson

For more information visit www.24hoursofoakvalley.co.za


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