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WHO WILL WIN THE RACE THAT MEASURES ALL?
Photo: Nino Schurter and Lars Forster on the attack during Stage 1 of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic - Photo by Nick Muzik
What every mountain biking fan wants to know is, who could win the 17th edition of The Race That Measures All - the Absa Cape Epic? World Champions, Continental and National Champions, the reigning Olympic Gold Medalist, eight previous winners, sharing a total of 19 titles between them, 18 nationalities represented will line-up for the Absa Cape Epic. Those are the barest facts of the 2020 Absa Cape Epic’s Men’s category.
The five-star favourites are undoubtedly the defending champions, Nino Schurter and Lars Forster. SCOTT-SRAM MTB-Racing was 2019’s most dominant team. Expect the reigning Olympic Champion to kick off the year firing as he looks to build towards defending the Gold he won in Rio. His partner, Forster, won his first World Cup race in 2019 and will be a year stronger and wiser in 2020.
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FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT ELECTED AT CYCLING SA
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INTO February 2020
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BEAT THE UNBEATABLE AT THE IMBUKO BIG 5 MTB CHALLENGE
Photo: Imbuko Big 5 MTB Challenge
With the Absa Cape Epic, the world's premier mountain bike race only weeks away, what better way to test your strength and fitness than to take on and conquer the Imbuko Big 5 Challenge on 22 February 2020. The Imbuko Big Five MTB Challenge aims to be the only South African race that tests riders on an international level when it comes to hill climbing. “We aim to grow the Imbuko Big Five MTB Challenge in becoming the benchmark event to test skill and endurance to compete in the ABSA Cape Epic and other international moun-
“Our new President presented her proposed strategy for the next four years which will focus on seven key business and development units. Her vision is to better align all the parties involved in cycling and bring into being a united front.”
“Cycling SA aims to create more champions and future heroes and Austin’s proposed strategy includes a focus on a clearer talent development pathway within a stronger positioned sporting structure. This will run parallel to a National development and capacity building program incorporating the involvement of all nine provinces which will also better align with the transformation charter of our Government.” Following her election, Austin commented that: “Accepting this position and undertaking the task at hand will take some time to align and roll-out. The sports industry has changed, and we will now change with it. I am worried about the digital craze amongst the youth and the resulting decline in their participation numbers. It is a concern for all sports, but we will endeavour to make cycling in all its forms more attractive.” As Austin will finish her Master’s Degree in European Sports Governance this April, she comes to the fore with a very strong commitment to putting in place more robust governance principles and financial austerity measures.
Deadline 12th each month
Mrs Ciska du Plessis-Austin is the first female President of the Federation with Kevin Green from Paarl as Vice President. This is also the first time a representative from the Boland has been elected into the top two positions at Cycling SA.
The General Assembly unanimously agreed to rejuvenate the ‘club system’ and the role the Provincial and Regional affiliates play in the value chain offered to members and event organizers. As such this will be another focus area around which to build supporting administration and develop the sport.
N E W S PA P E R
N E W S PA P E R
During the Cycling SA Elective AGM held on 1st February 2020 in Johannesburg, the General Assembly elected a new President and Vice President to serve their terms for the next four years. Whilst the current Treasurer Mr Andre du Toit was re-elected in his position.
tain bike races.”With 75 kilometres through the gorgeous mountains of Wellington and 5 peaks adding up to a 3000 metres climb, the Imbuko Big 5 Challenge is the ultimate one-day challenge to test your endurance and fitness both physically and mentally. “It’s crazy, 75km with a 3000m climb is going to be a lot of fun. I’ve never done a race with so much climbs in South Africa, so I think if you can maintain on these climbs you can pretty much do anything!” - Candice Lill, SA Ladies PRO.
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In line with this, her motion to the General Assembly to establish an Independent Compliance and Advisory Board (The CAB), to guide and oversee legal, financial, ethical and disciplinary matters received unanimous approval, and will be made up of the following members; Andre du Toit Federation Treasurer, Julian Cox, the Disciplinary Commissioner from Kwa-Zulu-Natal, Pieter Aucamp, an advocate from North-West, Piet van Niekerk, a senior advocate from Gauteng, Attorneys Ayanda Kheswa from the Eastern Cape and Gert Fouche, an avid cyclist who still holds the current hour record in South Africa and the World Record for his age group from Gauteng North as well as a potential three more members with experience in financial and commercial business management. Backgroud - Ciska took the position of Vice President not too long ago in June 2016 but had to withdraw from her position due to increased work commitments at the time. Her link to the federation has spanned many years when she became involved in a cycling club in the Free State in 2002. She moved onto administration roles in the sport, where most South African road cyclists will know her as Secretary for the Cycling SA Road Commission from 2007-2009, and thereafter as the Secretary General for Cycling SA from 2010 to mid-2012.
POTGIETER PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS AT SA DOWNHILL CHAMPS I2C0220.indd 1
The 22 - 23 February saw Western Cape Downhill (WC DH), host the SA Champs, the first race in the SA Cup Series and WC’s second local event of the year - all rolled into one super-duper event at Jonkershoek in Stellenbosch. Whilst downhill is the most exciting cycling discipline for spectators and riders, it is also the one sport where riders are guaranteed huge highs and deep lows. Anything can happen in a race run and the win rests on a single race run of 3/4 minutes. It is the perfect ground for teaching children to deal with ‘unlucky’, misfortunate events early on in life. There is such a fine line between ‘over-cooking’ a run and slowing down to ‘stay on your bike.’
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In the seeding run Johann Potgieter overcooked his run and left the track dramatically. Stefan Garlicki had a fabulous run and posted the fastest seeding time (2:22.224). Previous national champion, Theo Erlangsen (2:23.838 and 2:21.080), held second place in both runs, but he too experienced the lows of downhill as his chain come off in both runs (mechanical malfunction is part of downhill) preventing him from pedalling to gain the vital 2 seconds needed to win. This is downhill, edgy, fast and unpredictable, but very nail-biting. “Our new, S.A. 2020 national champion, Johann, pulled out all the stops on his race run, stayed on his bike and won in a time of 2:19.343. Well done Johann, elite men’s SA Champ. Tim Bentley, from KZN, placed third. He was ‘lucky’ and had two great, consistent runs, a 2:25 and a 2:23.500 to take the bronze medal. Poor Stefan crashed on his race run and was relegated from first in seeding to 16th place overall. That’s downhill.” “WC DH has some of the top downhill riders in the country and this makes race days very exhilarating. The three oldies, Theo, Johann and Stefan, have to keep on their toes as the other elite men like Adi van der Merwe (2:23.556), Niko Verlasco (2:25.567) the Mc Master brothers (KZN) and Jasper Barrett are hot on their heels.”
CLASSY RACING AT COASTAL CLASSIC EVENT As the day warmed up, spectators made their way to the event Race Village at Pollok Beach, where food trucks, face painting, jumping castles and a VIP tent catered for both cyclists and spectators. Second-placed male cyclist Rocco King, 21, of Team MadMacs, said he was almost certain to return for the next instalment of the race next year. The support was excellent and so were the race marshals. “This is one of the few races where, no matter which team I am riding for, I always ask them to do this race because I love it so much,” he said, adding this was his best result in the three races he had completed so far. Spectator Mbuyiseni Tshabalala said he was at the race to cheer on some friends and family, as well as the rest of the field, as they made their way past the finish line. “This was a great event. To see all the youngsters, especially from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, being able to race among some of the city’s top cyclists can only help them build confidence in their own abilities,” Tshabalala said. The Herald and Weekend Post acting editor Rochelle de Kock said she was proud to be part of a prestigious event which aimed to get people, especially children, to lead active and healthier lifestyles. Photo L - R: Louis Visser (3), Rocco King (2), Byron Munton (Winner), Brandon Christians (4) and Marchall Hendriks (5) - Photo Credit: Alex Cooper
As the sun set on the 35th edition of The Herald Cycle Tour on Sunday, 23 February 2020, cyclists and spectators alike were already planning new strategies ahead of their return to the event next year. Picture-perfect conditions were on offer for the event, with Team Alfa Bodyworks / Giant rider Byron Munton and Team Gumtree’s Hayley Preen claiming overall wins in the main event - the Coastal Classic race. More than 1,300 cyclists of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels took to the streets of Port Elizabeth, starting at 6am and navigating their way along some challenging routes in both the 106km Coastal Classic and the 55km Pursuit races.
“This is the 35th instalment of this race and it is a big flagship event for us. We have social upliftment where we give complimentary entries to young people who [otherwise] might not have been able to enter the event.” “The exciting thing about it is that we are getting a younger and wider demographic involved in leading active lifestyles. It also encourages community spirit and that is what you see here - people from different communities coming together to celebrate what is a big event in Port Elizabeth every year.” The Ultimate Quest titles, awarded for the fastest combined time from the 80km Extreme MTB event in Addo last week and Sunday’s 106km Classic, went to Jason Peach, of Team Eastern Wheelers Youth Cycling Club, and Anriette Schoeman, of Team Africasilks BestMed. The King and Queen of the Mountain titles went to race winners Munton and Preen.
WINS FOR MOOLMAN PASIO, IMPEY, JANSE VAN RENSBURG, VISSER AND GIBBONS The South African National Road Championships held at the Swadini Forever Resort in Mpumalanga from 6-9 February 2020 crowned the National Champions for the Elites, U23’s, Veterans, Masters and Para-Cycling categories. The event kicked off with two days of Individual Time Trials (ITT) on Thursday, 6 and Friday, 7 February 2020, followed by a Criterium Race and the Road Races on Saturday, 8 and Sunday, 9 February. Time Trial: CCC-Liv’s Ashleigh Moolman Pasio won the South African time trial championship on Thursday and followed her success by defending her road title on Saturday. It was her fifth time winning the SA ITT title, completing the 20km one minute faster than Carla Oberholzer. Moolman Pasio last secured the ITT national championship in 2017. “It is great that, when the season starts, I will be able to show the South African colours both in the time trial and on the road,” said Moolman Pasio. Daryl Impey, rider for Mitchelton-SCOTT has powered to his ninth national time trial title in extending his unbeaten run to eight years. Impey took the win by 40-seconds over Stefan de Bod (NTT Pro Cycling). Byron Munton took home the U23 gold title, while the national criterium championship was won by Brad Gouveris. Road race: Ryan Gibbons (NTT Pro Cycling) ended Daryl Impey’s reign as SA Road Champion in a tight sprint finish with Jayde Julius (ProTouch) in third place and finally saw his dream of being crowned the South African champion realised the South African champions jersey again within the ranks on the WorldTour. Louis Visser (TEG Procycling) was crowned the winner of the U23 title.
Photo L - R: Ryan Gibbons and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio
He beat Jean-Pierre Lloyd and Brad Gouveris in the same bunch finish as the Elites and finished overall in fourth. Frances Janse van Rensburg, rider for Absolute Motion took the U23 Women’s title with an incredible performance, also winning the U23 ITT and coming third overall in the discipline. Spot these riders in their SA jerseys in the upcoming Tour of Good Hope and Cape Town Cycle Tour which takes place during March in the Western Cape.
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WHO WILL WIN THE RACE THAT MEASURES ALL? (CONTINUE FROM PAGE 1)
BUFF Scott MTB is another name that fans will be excited to see on the start list. Although in 2020, the line-up looks different to that of past run-ins with the Absa Cape Epic. What is already known is the South African line-ups. The competition for the red jersey is sure to be fiercer than ever. The favourites for the competition are the PYGA Euro Steel team of Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes. Beukes has effectively dominated the competition in the past and will be targeting a top 5 overall, which historically would virtually guarantee him and Buys the Burry Stander Memorial Trophy. PYGA Euro Steel 1 will have the support of Phillimon Sebona and Pieter du Toit in their Absa Cape Epic bid. They will, however, have to hold off NAD Pro MTB’s Nico Bell and Matt Beers. Along with the ever-improving Imbuko Giant pair of Marco Joubert and Nicol Carstens. DSV Pro Cycling’s Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit should also not be discounted from the race for red.
Photo: Matthys Beukes - Photo Credit: Sportograf
In 2019, SCOTT-SRAM MTB-Racing’s primary rivals were Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini. The Cannondale Factory Racing duo was the only team to manage to put Schurter and Forster on the back foot, last time out. Any hopes of upsetting SCOTT-SRAM MTB-Racing could come down to the role played by Trek-Pirelli in the 2020 race. Samuele Porro and Damiano Ferraro, of Trek-Pirelli 1, were 3rd in 2019. Jaroslav Kulhavý and Howard Grotts, The Ninety One - Songo - Specialized team is back after Grotts missed their title defence in 2019. How the pair will perform remains open to debate. Team BULLS also have too much Absa Cape Epic experience to be discounted. Urs Huber and Simon Stiebjahn head to the University of Cape Town off the back of a general classification victory at the four-day Tankwa Trek stage race. Perhaps more importantly for the squad as a whole, Martin Frey and Simon Schneller were invaluable to the BULLS Heroes’ victory. The German outfit also has the sage wisdom of Karl Platt and Alban Lakata to call upon. The Absa Cape Epic once again boasts a strong Spanish contingent, with Alberto Losada and Roberto Bou Martin, of ProtourBCN/Tbelles-BMC, having the honour of being the highest-ranked riders from the Iberian Peninsula.
First Move Sport’s Jaco Venter and Jacques Janse van Rensburg have struggled slightly on their return to mountain biking thus far. The former Team Dimension Data riders have been blighted by punctures in both the Attakwas Extreme and Tankwa Trek. Punctures are not insurmountable issues though and both have shown they have the power to be in contention, as the general classification shakes up. They will, however, have to outperform the aforementioned local teams, as well as Alan Gordon and Keagan Bontekoning, of Insect Science Pro, and the dormakaba team of Michael Posthumus and Derrin Smith. Along with the last-minute combination of Timothy Hammond and Matthew Stamatis. Hammond and Stamatis will represent the race’s official tracking partner, SPOT, as SPOT Africa. They serve as a reminder that every team in the race – from the overall leaders to the lanterne rouge – can all be tracked via the Absa Cape Epic website or the Epic Series App.
IMBUKO BIG 5 MTB CHALLENGE WRAP
They are joined in the Men’s category by Orbea Factory’s Ibon Zugasti and Gotzon Martín. As well as by the Orbea Factory Andbank team of Joaquim Rodriguez – yes, that Joaquim Rodriguez, one of the 2019 Dimension Data Master’s M4M Competition Flyer_PRINT.pdf 1 1/20/2020 1:53:25 PM category champions – and Oliver Aviles Gilabert.
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Miles 4 Minors, an initiative by Hugo Potgieter and Jaco Lategan is raising funds for Khula Development Group. Known as Team BODYTEC, they will participate in the ABSA Cape Epic in March 2020.
OR MORE AND ENTER TO WIN.
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A LIVE DRAW WILL TAKE PLACE ON COMPLETION OF THE ABSA CAPE EPIC ON 22 MARCH 2020.
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• Every One Hundred Rand (ZAR) counts as an entry and will receive an entry confirmation number via e-mail. • You can enter multiple times • Participants should submit required information to receive entry confirmation. • Competition runs from 17 January 2020 – 20 March 2020 @ 1:00 PM (13:00) South Africa Time GMT.
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Photo: Imbuko Big 5 MTB Challenge - Photo Credit: Rory Scheeffer
Imbuko Big 5 MTB Challenge 2020… WHAT A TURNOUT! It was everything it promised to be and more! The day started cool, cloudy and full of suspense. With the nervous anticipation of 5 hectic climbs hanging in the air, our 350 ambitious and eager riders turned up. Rested, fresh and ready for one of the toughest one-day challenges South Africa has to offer. 06h30 marked the mass start for all – men and women, locals and internationals, THE PROS and THE BRAVE! The men’s line-up included Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys (PYGA Euro), Gert Heyns (DSV Pro Cycling), Arno Du Toit (DSV Pro Cycling), Nicol Carstens (Imbuko Giant) and Jaco Venter (First Move Sport) just to mention a few. It didn’t take too long for Philip Buys to take the lead and set the pace for the race that bends the knees of even the toughest riders. Matthys Beukes had everyone on the edge of their seat moving from 5th to 3rd place over Beaula the Badger with only 2km to the finish! The ladies showed excellent form with Candice Lill securing her leading spot early in the race and defending her 2019 title with more than 8 minutes before Jenny Stenerhag who crossed the finish-line in second place. There was blood, tears, sweat, dirt and very, very VERY sore muscles – but they did it and it was AWSOME! And this is why more and more riders are making the Big 5 their benchmark race to test fitness and endurance not only for the hectic climbs, but for the views, the single tracks and the absolute sense of achievement that makes all the effort worthwhile and keeps them coming back for more. All women category: Candice Lill 04.21.25 (1), Jennie Stenerhag 04.29.03 (2), Anne Tauber 04.32.59 (3), Ariane Luthi 04.37.33 (4), and Theresa Ralph 04.47.19 (5). All men’s category: Philip Buys 03.42.53 (1), Gert Heyns 03.44.55 (2), Matthys Beukes 03.46.26 (3), Nicol Carstens 03.47.00 (4) and Pieter Du Toit 03.47.32 (5). Article by Lydia Burger, Imbuko Big 5 MTB Challenge
MILES 4 MINORS
TEAM BODYTEC AND RPM DRILLING TEAM UP WITH LOCAL SCHOOLS TO HELP THE KHULA DEVELOPMENT GROUP
Enthusiastic MTB riders and Miles 4 Minors Duo Jaco Lategan and Hugo Potgieter, known as TEAM BODYTEC is well on their way to reach their target of raising money to keep children in the schooling system as well as raising awareness and helping out in many other ways. In the past few months they have been actively busy training for the ABSA Cape Epic. They have also teamed up with RPM drilling in helping one of the local Khula classrooms at Amstelhof Primary School in Paarl, doing much needed maintenance work such as fixing doors, fixing windows and painting walls. Furthermore, they are running a competition to raise more money in which you stand a chance to win a R50 000 holiday. To Enter, All you need to do is sponsor R100 towards Khula Development Group. Both Jaco and Hugo are following a strict training regime as well as BODYTECâ€™s Electro muscle stimulation (EMS). They have found this very helpful in their journey and is already seeing and feeling great results.
For a FREE session at BODYTEC PAARL, use promo code: #EPICJACO or at BODYTEC GEORGE, use promo code #EPICHUGO If you want to get involved with this great initiative, or enter the competition, please contact Jaco or Hugo directly. You can also visit their give and gain page through their MILES 4 MINORS page on social media. Jaco - 0834154554 or Hugo - 0768539576
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MAURITIUS TOUR BEACHCOMBER WELCOMES ICONIC RUGBYMAN After four successful editions, this not-to-be-missed mountain bike race is back in 2020 for another exciting weekend in an enchanting setting worth of a 5-star rating - on a par with Beachcomber’s event organisation and corporate standards. “Mountain bike enthusiasts will be treated with an amazing panoramic course,” says Arianne Devienne-Bellepeau, Leisure & Events Manager of Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels. MTB 2020 will host cyclists on four stages for a total distance of 198km. Starting on the 30th of April at Paradis Beachcomber at the foot of the legendary Le Morne mountain, the first stage will take participants through 70 kilometres of a challenging and breathtakingly beautiful track. Before reaching the finish line at Shandrani Beachcomber, the course also winds through some of the island’s South typical villages, for an immersive experience of this less known region of Mauritius. The second stage is scheduled for the 1st of May. From start to finish - both at Shandrani Beachcomber - the competitors will discover a rolling yet technical 45-kilometres track, in the most scenic parts of the southern coast of Mauritius.
“I am a great fan of Mauritius, an island where I have spent holidays several times before. This time, I will be there for a very special reason to take part in the MTB. I am passionate about mountain biking and this will be a great opportunity to enjoy the race as well as family holidays in one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” he says. Joel Stransky is an iconic hero of the Springboks team, having scored the winning drop (as well as all the South-African points) against New Zealand’s All Blacks during the final match of the World Cup in 1995.
Stage 3 will take place on the same day, in the evening. Participants will enjoy this nighttime race’s festive and friendly atmosphere over the 22.5 kilometres of its track around Shandrani Beachcomber. On Saturday, the 2nd of May, riders will tackle the final stage, on a course over 23 kilometres through Le Val’s natural park, St Hubert village and Chemin Français, to reach Riche en Eau, Beau Vallon and then the finish line at Shandrani Beachcomber. The kids-only race will be back for this year’s event. Open to children aged 5 - 12, the race will take place at Shandrani Beachcomber on a course made for fun including a lot of surprises. Last day for registration is 15 April 2020. For more information contact Thea on 082 415 5592 or visit www.travelcounsellors.co.za/thea.coetsee
EXPERIENCE, SHARE AND ENJOY THE SANI SPOORS TRAILS At the heart of Sani Spoors is a bunch of local farmers who are passionate about mountain biking and about the beautiful area that they live in. They want locals and riders from all over the country to be able to come, experience, share and enjoy what they have in the Underberg area. The pristine dairy farms dotted along the Mzimkulwana and Mzimkulu River and their tributaries, with cows feeding in the green pastures and the backdrop of the Ukhahlamba Mountains and the surrounding World Heritage site is just a spectacular and magnificent setting to be out in the crisp fresh air riding on a mountain bike. The 60km network of single tracks is absolute mountain biking heaven. Situated in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, only 4km from the country village of Underberg, the Sani Spoors team pride themselves on offering a diverse range of trails, from single track, through to pine forests and riverbanks to technical climbs and descents. The routes are on private property, traversing natural grasslands, farmlands, indigenous and pine forests, the Mzimkulwana and Mzimkulu river and emerald green pastures, offering some of the most thrilling and varied biking and trail running tracks in South Africa. Thanks to the vision of 4 passionate local mountain bikers and the generosity of the Bonsma Farming Trust, a Dairy Farming operation, the Spoors Team were able to create a system of trails on the working farms, catering for all skills levels, that allow riders to enjoy and “share” the area, while co-existing with the on-going farming operations. Routes are colour coded and clearly marked. Experience acres of changing landscapes, challenging tracks and breath-taking views as you leave a trail of dust behind you! All routes start from the Sani Spoors office where a permit must be obtained and clearly displayed before setting off. “This co-existence places responsibilities on both the farmers and the riders and hence no riding can take place
without a rider indemnity having been signed and the requisite fee having been paid. Only riders who have signed indemnities, with functional mountain bikes, and a proper helmet, will be allowed to cycle on the spoors. Cyclists must be fully aware of their capabilities, there are dangerous and technical sections. The main idea is to have just about as much fun as one can possibly have on a bicycle! Enjoy it responsibly, as there are no medical or evacuation facilities on site.” For information visit www.sanispoors.co.za
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W2W SWITCHBACK ROUTE - STAGE 1
Photo: FNB Wines2Whales - Photo Credit: Nick Muzik
Mountain bikers have been eagerly waiting to see the FNB Wines2Whales Switchback route since the concept was announced in late October 2019. Online forums have been filled with baseless speculation and educated guesses. At last the time for guessing is over. Here is Stage 1 - plotted, planned and most importantly pre-ridden by Johan ‘JK’ Kriegler and Hendrico Burger. The FNB W2W Switchback starts at a new venue, the Curro School in Hermanus. Located on the outskirts of Hermanus, riders will be pleased to note that the start at Curro Hermanus incorporates a few flat kilometres before the climbing begins on Rotary View Drive; which offers spectacular views over Hermanus, to ease the burden. An exhilarating descent into the Hemel en Aarde Valley follows before a climb out of the far side of the valley via The Gorge and its freshly built bridge. The 2019 Stage 3 Land Rover Experience section requires a kick of power to conquer the ramp up onto the catwalk which marks the end of the segment, but nothing passionate mountain bikers can’t handle. Karwyderskraal gravel road then provides free-flowing riding before the climb into Gaf-se-Bos and a brand-new singletrack section. Built especially for the Switchback, Karwyders Contour is the first tailor-made answer to the question of how to take riders from whales to wines. It is a trail of nearly 4 kilometres that promises Serious GEES in every metre thanks to its two bridges that span the length of two rather large cliffs. The route to Water Point 2, at Wildekrans Wines, then takes in trails never before ridden during the previous 11 editions of the FNB W2W. Riders are encouraged to fuel up at the second water point because there is no way to sugar coat the fact that you’ll be climbing Kat Pass, from Botrivier to Houw Hoek. A contour path singletrack then links the Houw Hoek Inn to the Pines and Berms singletracks, past Water Point 3 and on to the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre. From there it is largely downhill to the finish line, at Oak Valley, via the flowing Oak Valley Red Route through the cattle grazing pastures before kicking up your feet with a cold CBC beer and a Spur burger. Distance: 66km Elevation Gain: 1500m Water Points: 17km (Karwyderskraal), 37km (Wildekrans Wines) and 54km (Lebanon Village). Stage Icons: Rotary View Drive, Onrus Gorge, Karwyders Contour, Wildekrans, Pines and Berms, Oak Valley Trails. Hendrico’s Stage Advice: The FNB W2W Switchback is all about a new take on a familiar concept. Riders should keep their eyes peeled for views that may have never been noticed before, when riding in the opposite direction, like the Karwyders Contour trails and its incredible bridges. Riding wise, do not underestimate Kat Pas; it can be a tricky climb so fuel up well at Wildekrans and keep the Serious GEES levels high. A final word from JK: “That my friends is the Switchback Story. Cape Trails are already half way with Rietvlei Magic and plan to finish it by end of February. The remaining construction trail sequence will be Karwyders Contour, Lourensford Ultimate and Idiom Single, just in time for the Switchback kick off by end of October. Get your names written into the FNB W2W history books as the first people to have ridden the FNB W2W Switchback.” For more information visit www.wines2whales.com
WESTERN CAPE XCO SERIES IN FULL SWING FOR 2020
The first of four races in the 2020 Western Cape XCO (WC XCO) Series took place on Saturday, 8 February at the well-known mountain bike Mecca, Bloemendal in scorching heat and dusty conditions. The organisers designed a unique layout of the trails on the farm to create a track never used before, and subsequently loved by many competitors. “Awesome course, absolutely loved it,” was the response from many riders from all age categories. The event was well supported with 229 entries, and a marked increase amongst the Vets Men and Women’s categories. “The objective of the course was to encourage participation in the age groups above Elite category (30 years and older), as well as in all the women’s categories. I think we succeeded in that, and riders can expect a similar approach with the remaining events”, says Louisa Ruwiel, Chairperson of the Western Province Mountain Bike Commission. The introduction of red number boards for the points leader in each category is a new feature this year which brings excitement for both riders as well as spectators, who can identify the leader on the course. Racing kicked off with the primary schools’ categories, Sprogs and Nippers. Dominant performances by Camryn Marais (Nipper Boys), Lara van Der Vyver (Nipper girls), Zoë Green (Sprog Girls) and Neil van der Vyver (Sprog Boys) saw them winning their categories by a big margin. Exciting racing can be expected in the future with strong riders such as Jeandre Ungerer, Robert Nieuwenhuizen and Samuel Cleary moving into the Sub Junior Boys category. Jeandre had been dominant last year in the Sprogs category, and continued that dominance moving up into this category winning by more than 1:30 minutes. Results in the Sub Junior Girls category is often influenced by crashes due to technical sections on the course or riders who are not so confident losing time in these sections. Angeliq Coetzer kept the wheels on the ground to win with a margin of 2 minutes from Mienke Boshoff, while Megan Scholtz finished a further 1:40 minutes back in third.
Photo: Henning Venter - Photo Credit: Chris Hitchcock
Looking at the lap times of the Youth Men, Junior Men and Elite Men, it is clear that this batch of young guns will elevate XCO racing to a new level. Elite Men’s winner Daniel van der Walt lapped the 4,5 km course between 12:31 and 13:44. Luke Moir, winner of the Junior Men’s category lapped the course between 12:25 and 13:18 and Henning Venter, winner of the Youth Men’s category lapped the course between 13:03 and 13:54. His total time would have put him in third position in the Junior Men’s race. It is clear that a generation of very fast young men are coming through the ranks, which is very exciting and promising for the sport. The race in Junior Men’s category was fast and furious from the gun. Luke Moir started with a scintillating lap of 12:25 to open an unsurmountable gap to the others. Behind him it was a battle of who could survive the heat and intensity. Eventually it was Matthew Lochner and Eben Baasden who came home in second and third positions. In the Elite Men’s race it was a tough battle between Daniel van der Walt and Johan van Zyl, with Daniel just edging Johan every lap. From the fourth lap, though fatigue set in – Johan’s lap times dropped significantly, Daniel took the win by more than 3 minutes while Thomas Hudson finished in third position. Olivia Penfold moved up into the Youth Women’s category and immediately showed her strength, winning by 1:20. Anna Marx placed second and Kayleigh Scholtz finished in third position. Racing in Junior Women and Elite Women categories, these riders were intimidated by the entries of Swiss riders Kira Boehm (Junior Women) and Alessandra Keller (Elite Women). Both won their categories by 4 - 5 minutes ahead of the local riders. Stefke Tolmay, second in the Junior Women’s category set consistent lap times to beat Julia Marx in third place by 3 minutes. Janice Venter put in 2 strong laps on her second and third lap to distance herself from Lehane Oosthuizen. The pair finished in second and third positions in Elite Women’s category. Entries in the senior categories showed a positive increase, especially amongst the Men. Eight Men lined up for the Vets category and an impressive 13 for the Masters category. Racing in the senior categories were equally tough, but the atmosphere was light hearted and fun as the banter flew between the riders. The second leg of the WC XCO Series will take place at Rhebokskloof on 14 March 2020.
LANGEBERG LINK MTB
WHEN 25-26-27 SEPTEMBER 2020
WHERE Oudewerf Farm On R60 And Just Outside The Historic Town Swellendam
ROUTE Day 1 Night Race - 2.4km lap route, and laps to be completed within one hour. Day 2 - 61km over farmland, jeep track, single track and gravel travel. Day 3 - 28km into the foothills of the Langeberg mountain range. Trail run: Sunday 27 Sept 2020 | 16km - R80 | 5km - R40
COST All 3 days â€“ R1500 per cyclist and R550 single stages/day Timing by Great-Time
www.entryninja.com +27 74 457 6777 firstname.lastname@example.org www. langeberglinkmtb.com
THINGS TO DO DURING THE CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR
March is cycling month in the Western Cape and Cape Town is the hub from where the action takes place. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is the flagship roadcycling event that takes place in the Mother City on 8 March 2020, while mountain bikers will look forward to the Absa Cape Epic taking place from 15-22 March 2020 in the Western Cape. For the majority of riders it is an opportunity to see Cape Town at its best, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds and share the experience with like-minded folks from around the world. With so much on offer in such a compact and beautiful setting It is easy to see why Cape Town is such a popular destination.
Hop-on in the CBD and trace the Cycle Tour route in reverse, going out to Hout Bay, over Chapman’s Peak Drive and into the Southern Peninsula. A visit to Cape Town is not complete if you haven’t been to Cape Point, situated within a National Park, so you will be able to see some of the peninsula’s endemic flora, as well as quintessentially Africa fauna. The other Cape Town must-do is, of course, to take in the sights of the city from the heights of Table Mountain. Hiking up Platteklip Gorge is the quickest way to the summit on foot, or if you are pressed for time you can catch a cable-car up and down. There are sections of the Cape Town Cycle Tour route which you simply cannot ride outside of the race. Most of the route though is rideable year-round. So, jump on your bike, stretch your legs and pre-ride a section of the route. Starting in Green Point, in the shadow of the Cape Town Stadium, roll towards Noodhoek on the coastal road which hugs the Atlantic Seaboard. Turning at the Noordhoek Farm Village will give you a 60-kilometre ride, which takes in the race day ascent of Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie too. Prepare for the energy you will expend riding 109 kilometres by enjoying Cape Town’s amazing restaurants. From not-so-humble gourmet burgers, to five-star fine dining the city offers it all. When the Cape Town Cycle Tour is all said and done; you finished your stunning ride around the beautiful city and you are ready to kick your feet up, or kick off your cycling shoes, Cape Town once again will exceed your expectations, start off your relaxation with a wine tasting at one of Constantia’s award winning wine farms before shuttling to the CBD to sample the night life. Craft gin, whisky bars and local beer breweries ensure there is a post-race rehydration beverage to suit every palate.
Photo: Cape Town Cycle Tour - Photo Credit: Chris Hitchcock
Visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach is the perfect morning activity after arriving in the city. It will slow you down to the famously relaxed local pace for the rest of your trip or spent time at the many blue flag beaches - from the glamour of Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno - where sun-bathing is the order of the day. The open top, hop-on hop-off, bus tours are the best way to see the city, after riding your bike around it. The buses have the advantage of having a tour guide aboard to explain the historical significance or cultural importance of the various sights though.
Cape Town Cycle Tour Expo The 30th annual Expo will be held at the Cape Town Stadium for the third time, and is once again chock-a-block with exhibitors from within the cycling industry, and beyond. 300 exhibitors welcome more than 70 000 visitors over the three days. See all the latest bike stuff, buy those last-minute spares, fill up with pasta (and maybe a cold beverage), be tempted into exotic holidays, check your blood pressure - the opportunities are endless. The Expo will take place on the following days: Thursday, 5 March: 09h30 to 19h00, Friday, 6 March: 09h00 to 19h00 and Saturday, 7 March: 09h00 to 16h00.
TOUR DURBAN - EXTENDED AND REVERSED FOR SERIOUS ROADIES
The 2020 edition of the iconic KZN classic the aQuellé Tour Durban sees the event on 25 and 26 April 2020 take on a whole new lease of life! For the serious roadies, the main race has been extended and reversed.
Totalling 115km now, it starts with an out-and-back loop up the M4, then up the new freeway into Pinetown with a proper climb, followed by a fast descent through Queensburgh and back up the Southern Freeway to the finish at Moses Mabhida stadium. For the less fit riders there is a 90km and 45km option on the M4, starting and finishing at Moses Mabhida Stadium, making it a very accessible and do-able outing for anyone in Durban keen to take full advantage of the great Autumn weather and the full road closures. Saturday sees four new events added to the long weekend of riding. A 20km and 40km MTB race based at Cornubia Mall using new single track carved through the surrounding farmlands. Then there is a road race for the development riders coming through the KZN Cycling program, and a fun race for smaller kids on bikes and trikes. The race has the Domino Foundation at its core. All the proceeds go to this fantastic organisation doing great things for the underprivileged communities north of Durban. Choose to ride in a charity batch with the Cell C Sharks, or The Cows as they raise money for CHOC, or simply join other Durbanites #Riding4Good on full road closure on the Freedom Day long weekend. M4 repair update: Authorities have assured cyclists eager to enter the aQuellé Tour Durban on 29 April that the repairs to the flood-damaged M4 Ruth First Highway will be completed in time for the popular road race that has a loop from Moses Mabhida Stadium to Mdhloti and back as a central feature of the three races staged on the day.
Photo: The MTB Challenge - Photo Credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media
The M4 was badly damaged by flooding between Sibaya and Mhlanga in November, and the repair has been hampered by further flooding in December. However local councillors have been given a clear assurance from the Durban Metro Police and the Department of Transport that the repairs to the M4 will be ready for the race on the Freedom Day long weekend at the end of April. Entries close on 10 April 2020. For more information visit www.tourdurban.co.za
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PRIMARY SCHOOLS LAP SERIES OFF TO A SIZZLING START
ALEXANDER CRADDOCK TALENTED JUNIOR TRACK CYCLIST
Just over 200 kids took part in the inaugural Seeff North Coast Primary Schools MTB Lap Series held at Umhlali Prep on Sunday, 16 February. Despite blistering conditions, the cyclists showed true grit as they completed laps around the school grounds. Some were in it to win it, but most enjoyed an easy pace as their parents looked proudly on. The highlight of the route was the Mud Pit & Sprinkler system which definitely helped cool things down. A notable achievement on the day was that despite some stiff competition from the very talented Josh Johnson, the overall winner in the U13 category, was in fact a girl.
Photo L- R: James Swart (SA), Ahmed Elsnfay (Egypt) Alexander Craddock (SA), and Dr Azzam (President of the UCI)
Errin Mackridge, who represents the Sugar Rats Racing Team and Umhlali Prep, is certainly a superstar to watch. Says Gill von Buddenbrock of event hosts Sugar Rats Club, “Lap Racing is a truly unique concept allowing a safe and interactive spectator friendly environment for all ages and abilities. Mountain biking can be daunting for little ones but this format really is for everyone with a bike. We love seeing kids giving it their best and thoroughly enjoying themselves.” “We are also extremely grateful to Seeff North Coast who are supporting the Sugar Rats Club and the Lap Series events, and it is a privilege to work with a brand that shares the same passion and enthusiasm as we do.” Extending their reach further into community events, Seeff North Coast have added their support to the growth and development of cycling at Primary School level by augmenting the sponsorship needed to develop Grassroots Mountain Biking on the North Coast.
Alexander Craddock is a 17 year old South African junior track sprinter from Durbanville. He was always a keen mountain biker and road cyclist and provincial hockey player, but two years ago track cycling became his passion. He represented his country last year at the Junior World Championships in Germany and was selected to take part in the African Continental Championships held in Cairo in January. Alexander and James Swart from KwaZulu-Natal were the two junior boys selected for the sprint events. Both won gold on the first day in the team sprint along with Dian Jianjetich from Gauteng. Day two brought Alexander a silver medal in the Kierin. Day three was another gold for Alexander when he won every race in the match sprints to become African Continental Champion in 200m. James received the bronze medal, which as a first year junior, was very impressive. The last day was the kilo and with 0.02 seconds between gold and silver, Alexander received another silver medal. “It was a great experience as I was exposed to some real international racing which is invaluable to me at this point in my cycling career. I’m excited to go back to Cairo for the World Championships in August, ” Alexander said. His next focus will be on South African National Track and Para Cycling Championships that will take place at Sax Young Cycle Track in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal from 21 - 24 March 2020.
Says Tim Johnson, Principal of Seeff North Coast, “In addition to fusing a love for bicycles with a passion for adventure, mountain biking enables children to explore the outdoors, connect with nature, spend time with friends and family, and develop confidence and physical literacy. It is also a great way to meet and connect with other families who cycle in the local area. Mountain Biking is one of the fastest growing sports nationally, not only at school level but also in the community as a whole and we are thrilled to play a part in growing the sport in our beautiful area.” Concludes von Buddenbrock, ”We also have to thank Concept Cyclery Ballito, IPSS Medical Rescue, Umhlali Preparatory School, Ashton International College and Seaton Estate who have really embraced the concept and shown tremendous support. Furthermore, our MTB family in the Sugar Rats Club are the backbone of our existence and we are eternally grateful to have so much support from all the parents and of course, the cyclists.”
ALAN HATHERLY STORM TO VICTORY AT SA MTB CUP SERIES #1
Former U23 world champion Alan Hatherly won the elite men’s race at the first leg of the SA MTB Cup Series that took place at Mankele Bike Park, Mbombela on 15 February 2020. As it is an Olympic year - all eyes were on this event to see who has the early season form. Alan Hatherly, Specialized Factory rider completed the seven-lap course to finish just under two minutes ahead of Wessel Botha (Team NAD) who earned silver with Namibia’s Alexander Miller taking bronze. In the women’s race Danielle Strydom took her first win with Frances Janse van Rensburg (Absolute Motion) in second and Lehane Oosthuizen third.
Photo: Alan Hatherly Photo Credit: Johan Booyens
Other notable results include: Bernice van Wyk (Junior Women) Matteo Damilano (Junior Men), Caitlin Thompson (Youth Women) and Henning Venter (Youth Men).
SCSA INTRODUCING MORE LEARNERS TO CYCLING Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) kicked off the season with the training of School Teachers and Parent Representatives as Team Manager and Commissaires. At the end of February the Western Cape Team Managers Training took place at Parel Vallei High School in Somerset West, while the first Commissaires Training was held in Nelson Mandela Bay. The next Commissaires Training will take place on 6 March 2020 at Durbanville High School and 14 March 2020 in the Southern Cape. These courses will count towards Teachers SACE points. “Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) and all Provincial structures are driven by passion and geared to make another significant impact in 2020. We do take this responsibility serious and know that team work will take Schools Cycling to the next level. #StrongerTogether. SCSA thanks everyone in advance for their hard work and commitment. We are looking forward to a great synergy amongst all parties involved to change children’s and families’ lives pedal stroke by pedal stroke. Excitement is tangible indeed and wish everyone best of luck with the season ahead,” - Annelize Ziehl-Owens, President of SCSA. 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
GAUTENG SCHOOLS CYCLING FIRST LOVE IS SEEING KIDS ON BIKES
Photo: Spur Schools Mountain Bike League - Photo Credit: Chris Hitchcock
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. SCSA’s 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. As the governing body, SCSA 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 government and the Department of Sports 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. For more information visit www.schoolscyclingsa.co.za for contact details of Provincial Chairperson or Secretary
INVITATION TO SPURFEST Photo: Gauteng Schools Cycling - Photo Credit: Memoirs in Pictures - Elma Nel
2020 AT GARIEP DAM
“Gauteng Schools Cycling's first love is seeing kids on bikes. Our second love, is to see kids progress in the sport. Part of Schools Cycling South Africa’s (SCSA) objectives are to grow and develop school learners skills and create many opportunities for learners. SCSA focus for 2020 will be to introduce even more learners to cycling as a School Sport and to ensure the sustainability, SCSA will train Team Managers, Commissaires and School Coaches.” Learners must first fall in love with cycling and learn proper skills through the assistance of qualified coaches at their respective schools. Then comes the fun part, taking part in XCO races (Cross Country Olympic). Learners are not only restricted to riding Schools races. As with any sport, Regional events pave the way to Provincial events, National events and ultimately, International races. An enormous gap between the learners involvement from School level to Provincial was identified. Skills ability and exposure to Provincial XCO courses were highlighted as the culprits. This is where Gauteng Cycling and Gauteng Schools Cycling came up with a workable solution. Gauteng Cycling have committed to prepping the courses for the Provincial XCO races, three weeks in advance. This will allow Schools to go to the respective courses during the teams regular training sessions. With the assistance of the School’s qualified coach, riders will be able to section the technical parts of the course and learn the required skill. For the not so adventurous, there will be less technical B lines that offer much lower risk to riders. The onus is on the rider, the coach and also the parent to ascertain whether or not a rider is skilled enough to ride the A line. There is no shame in riding a B line at a Provincial race, it boils down to a tactical decision by a rider. Gauteng Cycling started the XCO season with two development league races. Thanks to this initiative, the two league races saw a 40% increase in Schools riders taking part in the events. The girl’s categories have seen a notable increase in numbers - having a course ready well in advance certainly benefits the girl’s confidence. The Junior Men field did not disappoint with 33 riders lining up in 40 degrees of heat. With the first league race they rode only 4 laps, albeit in the rain with lots of mud. League #2 was a step up with 6 laps, in full sun and dust. The Youth Boys and Girls made for interesting races especially with the new first years moving up into the category. The Provincial League development races certainly helped riders in their preparations for the first National SA Cup race held at Mankele recently. Gauteng riders claimed a total of 9 podium positions including Three Golds: Matteo Damilano (Junior Men); Tanner Beetge (Sprog Boys); Sage Betgee (Nipper Girls). Two Silvers: Hendre Schoeman (Sub Junior Boys); Sven Etseth (Nipper Boys) and One Bronze: Karla Stumpf (Junior Women).
“Schools Cycling SA (SCSA) invites all Schools to join in this fun-filled pre-season Spurfest event from 26 March - 29 March 2020 at Forever Resort, Gariep Dam and spend some time with Spur Schools League Ambassadors and Pro riders. This is an event that caters for the whole family and ideal for Schools to participate in Team Building and pre-season training to skill up for the exciting Schools Cycling season ahead,” The Spurfest is aimed to be a social inter-schools festival focused on team building and skills development and will oﬀer a host of fun events, away from the standard League competition. Some of the activities include Skills Clinics, Uphill Time Trial, Nightrace, Lake Jump, Widowmaker Hillclimb, Bicycle Polo, Marathon, Warcry Challenge and more. SpurFest is open to all learners and there is no selection criteria. The top school will be awarded the overall #SpurFest trophy. All activities are based from Forever Resorts Gariep with camping and chalets within walking distance. The cost per High School participant is R695, while Primary School riders pay R395. The entry fee includes all event entries and activities for the weekend, a Spur Lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as Braai Buffet on Saturday evening, but excludes accommodation. For more information visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za
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BULLS HEROES & FACES CST STORM TO TANKWA TREK TITLES
DRAK ADVENTURE WEEKEND Underberg was a hive of activity on 1 - 2 February 2020, as thousands of sports enthusiasts, music lovers, friends and family flocked to the town of Underberg to participate in the FNB Drak Adventure Weekend, which comprised of three main sporting events, the NT3C Drak Challenge, the Euro Steel Drak Descent and the Euro Steel Run the Rivers combined with the FNB Drak Music Festival. With full fields and perfect weather, the stage was set for an enjoyable few days in the mountains with like-minded individuals. The ever-popular music festival proved a highlight of the weekend with Prime Circle headlining the music line-up at the Country Club on Saturday night. The running prowess of previous race winner Phillip Shezi saw him a literal country mile ahead of his competitors in the Euro Steel Run the Rivers Trail Run, winning in a time of 2:46.19, from Bongukwanda Dlamini (3:05.15) with Andrew Erasmus rounding out the podium. Kerry-Anne Walton (3: 38.35) had a tighter tussle with Anja Heenop (3:44.13) and Amy Mathew taking 3rd in the Ladies race to take home the spoils.
Photo: Bulls Heroes - Photo Credit: ZC Marketing Consulting
The Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek presented by Biogen saved the best for last. Both in terms of the trails and the result for the champions, the Bulls Heroes and Faces CST. The men’s yellow jersey wearers further secured their grip on the First Ascent leaders’ jerseys by racing to third on the day; behind their support team and the stage winners, Cannondale Factory Racing. While the women’s race winners secured victory the hard way, winning the stage in fine fashion.
The 2019 Cape Epic stage winners, Team Pyga Euro Steel, took line honours in the Euro Steel Drak Descent, coming home comfortable winners from second placed overall and winning solo competitor, Andrew Hill. The pair of Matthys Beukes and Pieter Du Toit rode for a shade under 4 hours to complete the 91km over the two days, both full of smiles and compliments of the singletrack heaven they rode. The Ladies race was comfortably won by Chriestie-Liegh Hearder and Claudia Slattery, while the solo Ladies winner Hayley Smith won the weekend overall, in a time of 4:48.29.
Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill started the day 37 seconds behind the overnight leaders, Jennie Stenerhag and Nadine Rieder. The Faces CST team thus had to go on the offensive early on. After pushing the pace in the first singletrack they made the race winning break in the famous Houdenbek trails. Faces CST’s stage win – in a time of 3 hours, 25 minutes and 32 seconds – was enough to secure them the overall victory by 2 minutes and 14 seconds. “Taking the win is really important” Lill said. “It secures us both a good few UCI points which will help towards our Olympic qualification bid. Part of the plan behind Mariske [Strauss] and myself teaming up was to work towards securing two Olympic slots for South Africa.” Robyn de Groot and Adelheid Morath finished third on the stage and rounded out the final overall podium. “Once we saw that we could not catch Faces CST or Fairtree, today, we slacked of,f” De Groot recounted. In the UCI men’s race, as on Stage 3, there were two battles unfolding simultaneously. The first was for the stage honours. Which were claimed, in dominant fashion by Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini. The German/Brazilian combination blitzed the course in a time of 3 hours and 26 seconds. The second was for the overall title. That battle once again featured a strong supporting cast performance from the Bulls Youngsters. Martin Frey and Simon Schneller were able to hold Urs Huber and Simon Stiebjahn’s wheels when the Bulls Heroes attacked. Working together the quartet were never at risk of being caught once they had distanced the CST PostNL Bafang team, of Sebastian Fini and David Nordemann. Finishing third on the stage – but ahead of Fini and Nordemann, who finished fifth – was enough to extend the Bulls Heroes’ margin of victory to 3 minutes and 32 seconds. CST PostNL Bafang retained their second place overall. While Tristan de Lange, who survived a horror crash on the final stage, completed the overall podium alongside Alexander Miller, for DANSTE/Megatech.
Euro Steel sealed the weekend of top steps on the podium through Andrew Birkett and Jenna Ward, by winning the N3TC Drak Challenge, the canoe race down the clean and fast flowing Umzimkulu River where there was action aplenty for the 480 paddlers who participated in this iconic paddling event. Race Organisers of the MTB and Trail Run events, Sani Spoors, were thrilled at the numbers as well as the smooth running of all the events. Race Director Derek Christie commented, “So many elements have to come together on race day for everything to be successful and we learn so much each year on how to improve, and when it all goes right, it’s a massive sense of achievement. We are so happy that the competitors had a wonderful weekend and that all of our pre-race objectives were met. It’s a huge thanks to our sponsors for making this a reality for us.” The race looks set to enjoy a continued increase in its participation numbers for next year and those lucky enough to secure an entry will be the envy of their friends and colleagues.
HEYNS CONQUERS HEAT TO CLAIM HERALD MOUNTAIN BIKE WIN Team DSV rider Gert Heyns was undeterred by sweltering, humid conditions in Addo as he sprinted his way to the 2020 Herald Cycle Tour Mountain Bike Challenge title recently. Heyns was involved in a sprint to the finish at the end of a challenging 80km course as he claimed the title in a time of three hours, one minute and 21 seconds. Finishing second was Imbuko Giant’s Nicol Carstens, while his teammate Marco Joubert took third. In the women’s race, Yolande de Villiers made it a hat-trick of wins at the event as she claimed top honours. In second place was Yolandi du Toit who finished ahead of Anriette Schoeman in third. With three distances on offer for riders - the 80km Extreme, 60km Adventure and 30km Leisure - almost 1,300 riders of all ages and skill levels took to the course. “Extremely happy to pick up the win this year, having missed last year’s race. My aim was always to give my all and see what it brings me, so to grab the win after that sprint finish is really great, ” Heyns said. “It was quite tough. It came down to a sprint finish in the end with Nicol. I tried but did not manage to lose him on the climbs. Nicol rode very well, he is a very strong rider and although I tried to lose him on certain sections, he just showed why he is such a threat by keeping up the pace.” Heyns said despite his partner and defending champion Arno du Toit not being there, his main objective had been to try to ensure the men’s elite title stayed with Team DSV for another year. “It ’s good for the team that we are able to win this race again this year. Last year Arno won and I was not here while this year roles are reversed. So I felt I needed to do it for my team,” Heyns said. De Villiers was in imperious form in the women’s race as she finished more than 10 minutes ahead of Du Toit. “As expected, it was a very fast start, quite dusty. There was a bit more climbing than I expected, but it was fantastic. There were quite a few fast girls in the field, coupled with starting alongside the men. So it was quite fast and furious, but I am just happy to pick up the win,” De Villiers said. Riding with the Team Madmacs logo emblazoned on her chest, the three-time Tour champion said a slight change in course dynamics had added some spice to the race. “There was a section of downhill single track which was added this year and it was absolutely fantastic.”
EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO MARCH - APRIL 2020
Photo: Absa Cape Epic, 15 - 22 March - Photo Credit: Shaun Roy/Cape Epic
Photo: 36ONE MTB Challenge, 24 April - Photo Credit: Zoon Cronje
Century City Criterium (WP League)
1 - 5 March
Tour of Good Hope
2 - 6 March
Paarl, Franschhoek, Rawsonville
Cape Town Cycle Tour
Western Cape XCO Series #2
Eroica South Africa
Madibaz Mtb XCO Series #1
Nelson Mandela University - George Campus
Absa Cape Epic
15 - 22 March
SA National Track Championships
21 - 24 March
Team Time Trial (WP Road League)
24 - 29 March
26 - 29 March
WC Downhill Cup #3
28 - 29 March
Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Kuils River
Ostrich Crawl MTB
GOG Lifestyle Park, Krugersdorp
Roof de Karoo
2 - 5 April
Mountain Zebra National Park, Eastern Cape
Glacier Cradle Traverse
3 - 5 April
SA XCO Cup #2
4 - 5 April
Thaba Trails, Johannesburg
Weekend Warrior: Grabouw
4 - 5 April
Elgin Grabouw Country Club
Bon Mella - WPCA Autumn League #1
Attie van Wyk Primary School
Great White MTB
Lomond Wine Estate
Karoo Battle of the Bikes
XCM / Road
Red Hill WPCA Autumn League #2
WC Downhill Cup #4
Madibaz Mtb XCO Series #2
Nelson Mandela University - George Campus
24 April - 2 May
Heidelberg - Scottburgh
36ONE MTB Challenge
24 - 26 April
Spur MTB League - WC High School #1
Windmeul - WPCA Autumn League
Swartberg 100 Gran Fondo 2020
25 - 26 April
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Ciovita Cycling Magazine FA.indd 1
2/24/2020 7:52:12 PM
INTO N E W S PA P E R ISSUE #40
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WEEKEND WARRIOR - A RELAXED FAMILY WEEKEND FOR ALL The Weekend Warrior road show is returning to the stunning valley of Elgin, Grabouw in the Western Cape - known for its incredible network of single track. All Weekend Warriors can expect unbelievable vistas and fully stoked waterholes throughout the weekend. “Combined with great family entertainment from our mechanical bull rides and a stunning chill zone with plenty of refreshment options - a relaxed weekend is what awaits all entrants.” Weekend Warrior: Grabouw, sponsored by Tru-Cape is a fund-raising initiative for the Grabouw High School. Monies raised will go towards a new classroom for the Grade 4 learners. Stay tuned for updates on the planned project. “We’re targeting the families - so each Adult can bring one U14 for free. Adult Entry is R850 (includes accommodation), and additional kids at R300 each. Also, we have 3 routes – Bronze 10km, Silver 25km and Gold 50km – to cater for all fitness and ability levels.” What happens if you don’t want to ride both days? Well, the good news is that you can also still enter as a day rider either for the Saturday or Sunday, at R300 per person, which includes a finishers medal.
Registration for the event will take place in the Elgin Grabouw Country Club’s hall - once inside the “It’s more than just the ride as we build our entire race village country club grounds, follow the directional signage for parking and registration. with allocated camping sites, a Chill Zone, Live Music, Hot showers, Flush Toilets and plenty of Food options.” For more information visit www.weekend-warrior.co.za
EXPERIENCE THE KAROO AT THE TREK2TEEBUS
Photo: Trek2Teebus - Photo Credit: Oakpics.com
The Karoo has always been a majestic part of our country. The vast plains and endless open spaces can easily make you feel small, but it creates the ideal opportunity to grow big at heart and feed your inner soul. Discover the full diversity of the Karoo Heartland and breathe the crystal clear air, all while riding the foothills of the majestic Suurberg Mountains. The three day stage race, Trek2Teebus will take place from the 1-3 May 2020 through the scenic hills, private farms and surrounds of Steynsburg in the Eastern Cape - a great getaway for the whole family. Day 2 will take you to the top of Bulhoek pass and Day 3 80m below ground into the Orange-Fish Aquaduct. Trek2Teebus 2020 will be the 3rd edition of the race. Exceptional Karoo food, luxury tented accommodation, a fully stocked chill zone and goodie bag including a race garment, free bike was-n-lube and mechanical assistance will form part of the experience. “This event promises to be one of the greatest value-for-money events in South Africa. Since riders will have to travel far, we truly believe that this event will be worth the trip. Do a super Solo or come with a team mate or take the non-riding partner option.” For more information visit www.trek2teebus.co.za
021 850 0082 | 7 THE HUB, URTEL CRES, SOMERSET MALL | WWW.HELDERBERGCYCLEWORLD.CO.ZA
What every mountain biking fan wants to know is, who could win the 17th edition of The Race That Measures All - the Absa Cape Epic? World Ch...
Published on Mar 2, 2020
What every mountain biking fan wants to know is, who could win the 17th edition of The Race That Measures All - the Absa Cape Epic? World Ch...