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  • Le Court crowned at Carnival City classic

    Posted on February 23rd, 2015 admin No comments
    Kim le Court

    Team Bestmed-ASG-Multihull’s Kim le Court (centre) took her first win of the season at the Carnival City Macsteel National Classic in Brakpan on Sunday. With her are runner-up Lynette Burger (left) and third-placed An-Li Kachelhoffer

    Team Bestmed-ASG-Multihull’s Kim le Court claimed her first win of the 2015 season at the Carnival City Macsteel National Classic in Brakpan on Sunday. Mauritian Le Court positioned herself perfectly in the final four-rider selection to take the finishing sprint ahead of Lynette Burger and third-placed An-Li Kachelhoffer, both of Activate-Demacon.

    The 18-year-old, who claimed an impressive victory in the Amashova Durban Classic last year, said the flatter course had suited her but that the wind had played a major factor in the day’s racing. “After 40km it started to get very windy and there were huge gutters, so the racing was quite hard and you had to get the right wheel.

    “It was quite stressful because I was the only one from my team left towards the end, so I had to rethink and be clever.”Le Court said she saw her first tactical opportunity to split the big bunch on a long, draggy section.“So I went to the front and paced as hard as I could. There was a huge gutter and I went completely to the left so that no one could take my wheel.”

    Her strategy paid off and when she looked back at the top of the climb there were just eight riders left.“We paced until about 70km into the race and then the attacks started coming. I attacked twice and had to take a lot of attacks from the Activate Demacon girls because there was nobody left to help me.”With just 5km to go, the racing was down to just four riders.

    “There was a triathlete pacing hard up front and An-Li was on her wheel and then Lynette was third and I was sitting on.” Le Court said she knew then that she was well placed to watch danger woman Burger.

    “I knew she was a good sprinter, so I waited for her to make her move and when she started standing up I went and it all worked out.” Le Court has been steadily building her early season form, taking fifth in the Dis-Chem Ride for Sight and third in the ASG Berge en Dale last month.

    “It’s just getting better and better and, after today, I’m feeling mentally stronger too.” She said she was looking forward to her next race – the five-day Bestmed Tour de Boland – in the first week of March. “I’m confident in tour racing. I did the tour last year and I’m excited to be racing it again this year and as part of a new team.”

    Le Court’s teammates Desray Sebregts and Azulde Britz triumphed in the veteran and U16 racing categories respectively, wrapping up a trio of wins for the team.

    Follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Multiple world champ stoltz to debut at dual-cross series

    Posted on February 10th, 2015 admin No comments
    Conrad_Stolz_multiple_world_champion

    Conrad_Stolz_multiple_world_champion

    The increasingly popular trail synergy race that blends mountain biking and trail running, the 2015 Momentum Health OatWell Dual-Cross Series powered by PeptoPro, will commence this weekend at Hakahana Trails, near Hartebeespoortdam, west of Pretoria. Brand du Plessis and Lise Olivier won the men and women’s series titles respectively in 2014 and will be back in 2015 for more exciting race action in the four-race series, widely regarded as the most prestigious off-road duathlon series in the country.

    Making his Dual-Cross Series debut on Saturday, will be seven-time off-road triathlon world champion, Conrad Stoltz (Specialized). During a stellar career, Stoltz, a former Olympian, has won the X-Terra World Championship title four times and the Cross Triathlon World Championships title three times. And he’s looking forward to a new challenge in an event that has no swim leg. “I’m excited to see what it is all about. It will be strange to go to a race and leave the swimming goggles a home. I’ve heard there are technical run and bike courses with fantastic organisation. The extensive media coverage is also great. Multi-sport athletes always appreciate media coverage!” smiled Stoltz.

    “I am really looking forward to racing on South African soil again and I’ve only heard good things about the series. I plan to compete at all four legs this year,” added Stoltz, who usually races abroad. At 41, Stoltz is still a professional athlete and will face rivals that are all younger than him, including Du Plessis, the winner at the Hakahana Trails event last year. They will tackle the full distance race, which is a sequential 5km trail run, 30km mountain bike and 2.5km trail run.

    The obvious appeal of the Dual-Cross format racing is that it offers a challenge to both mountain bikers and trail runners, or multi-sport athletes looking for something different. In its first year, the Dual Cross Series attracted an average of 1 000 competitors per event. The organisers are expecting to exceed this in 2015.

    According to Race Director, Fritz Pienaar, and his team from Advendurance, they learned a great deal in the first year of the series and have made improvements where necessary and additions where possible to ensure the participant experience is complete and enjoyable.

    “It is always difficult to find that balance between technical and non-intimidating trails,” Pienaar commented. “We’ve listened to our participants and the general feedback is to offer a safe, but challenging experience that not only caters for the serious athletes, but for the entire family as well. The addition of a Momentum Health kiddies area is sure to make events even more appealing to the entire family.”

    The full event/distance offering is:

    Saturday 7 February 2015:

    06:00–08:50: Registration at Hakahana Trails

    07:00: DualX Quarter/Kids 8-12 yrs 1.25/7.5/0.750 – Individual and Recreational Relay Teams

    07:10: DualX Brats/Kids

    08:00: DualX Full Distance 5/30/2.5 – Individual A Batch

    08:05: DualX Full Distance 5/30/2.5 – Individual B Batch

    08:10: DualX Full Distance 5/30/2.5 – Individual C Batch and Recreational Relay Teams

    09:00: DualX Half Distance 2.5/15/1.25 – Individual A Batch

    09:05: DualX Half Distance 2.5/15/1.25 – Individual B Batch and Recreational Relay Teams

    09:30–11:30: Prize giving

    For more information, visit www.dualx.co.za

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  • Sahm heads epic field for Garden Route race

    Posted on February 9th, 2015 admin No comments
    Stefan Sahm

    Three-time Absa Cape Epic champion Stefan Sahm – pictured here winning the Pennypinchers Origin of Trails – will head up a star-studded field for the Garden Route 300 mountain bike stage race in Knysna from February 27 to March 1. Photo: Jetline Action Photo

    Top international mountain bikers are set to descend on Knysna for a serious three-day fitness test at the Garden Route 300 stage race from February 27. Leading the pack will be three-time Cape Epic winner Stefan Sahm of Germany’s Team Bulls, who teams up with former GR300 champion Timo Cooper for a crack at the title. Also on the start line will be Austria’s Wolfgang Krenn, who counts the 24-hour European champion’s title among his successes. He will ride with South African partner Craig Boyes. The local pairing of Max Knox and Kevin Evans will be strong contenders in their own right after finishing second and third respectively in the five-day Trans Hajar MTB Race in Oman earlier this week.

    Evans’s former partner David George marks his return to competitive cycling alongside Shane Thomson. The star-studded field also includes Brit Catherine Williamson and SA rider Nizaam Esa in the mixed category. Williamson has claimed category wins in almost all of the country’s major stage races – including the Nedbank sani2c, Old Mutual joBerg2c, Wines2Whales and Cape Epic. They will face tough competition from celebrity adventurers Riaan Manser and Vasti Geldenhuys, who became the first couple to row across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to North America.

    Race organiser Louise Wilson of Garden Route Events said an innovation this year is a R10 000 Craft-Attack spot prize for the first rider in any category to reach the top of the iconic 4km Phantom Pass, which follows roughly a kilometre after the neutral zone on day three. She said this incentive was in addition to the main prize purse of R100 000. The Knysna event, said Wilson, also offered world-class trails and scenery for intrepid mountain bikers.

    “Probably one of the greatest contributors to the success of the race is the awesome route itself. The cool indigenous forests, vast mountain views and unrivalled coastal beauty make this a route that’s hard to beat. “Our route director Pax Mosterd has put it together in such a way that each day is totally different from the previous – and each stage is its own adventure.” Wilson said the stage race’s position on the national calendar – a fortnight before the Cape Epic – ensured that it was ideally placed as the recommended preparation event. For those with fewer miles in their legs, she said the new GRlite option provided the perfect racing alternative.

    “As the name suggests, it’s a shorter route. The GRlite is still three days of mountain biking heaven but a full 45 kilometres shorter than the feature race.” As a spectator-friendly event with plenty of accommodation available in town, both racing options would make an ideal weekend getaway for adventurous families, added Wilson.

    Entries for the Garden Route 300 are limited to just 500 riders.

    Enter at www.gr300.co.za or contact admin@gardenrouteevents.co.za for more information.

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  • Eyob earns first Berge en Dale win

    Posted on February 2nd, 2015 admin No comments
    Lise Olivier

    Time Freight’s Lise Olivier raced to an uncontested victory in in the women’s section at the Action Ford Berge en Dale Classic, presented by Optimum Financial Services, near Krugersdorp on Saturday. Photo: Supplied

    The MTN-Qhubeka feeder team’s Metkel Eyob showed good early season form as he soloed to victory in the Action Ford Berge en Dale Classic, presented by Optimum Financial Services, near Krugersdorp on Saturday. The Eritrean climber made short work of the undulating 102km route to win the West Rand’s biggest cycle race in a time of 2:25:16. He was followed across the finish line at Cradlestone Mall by teammate Stefan de Bod in 2:25:22, with EuropcarSA’s Willie Smit just a second back.

    Eager to test their form ahead of the national and continental road championships in the next two weeks, MTN-Qhubeka took control of the racing early on. According to team manager JP van Zyl, the attacks started hard on the Hillsnacks climb, which loomed within the first 10km. “That made a selection of around 35 riders and then we just kept up the pace and controlled the front from then on.” With 40km to go, Van Zyl said his riders went on the attack again, playing out their tactics according to plan.

    “We waited for the last 20 kilometres to attempt our getaway. Two riders from our team and two from EuropcarSA went up the road.” On the final Valverde climb, Eyob and EuropcarSA’s Bradley Potgieter broke away, with Potgieter claiming the king of the mountains hotspot. Sensing his opportunity, Eyob attacked his nearest rival and successfully dropped him to ride alone into the finish. The 21-year-old, who is also the reigning Carnival City Classic winner, was happy to take his first Berge en Dale win.

    In the women’s race, Time Freight’s Lise Olivier also took her chance in the closing kilometres to claim an uncontested victory in 2:46:27. “A group of about five girls just stayed with the bunch we were riding in and went with all the moves,” said Olivier. “I got away with about two kilometres to go – just turning onto the highway, there’s a little kick and I got lucky I guess.”The 31-year-old Pretoria resident said she was looking forward to next week’s SA champs. “I’ve got some decent form, so we’re in for some good racing.”

    RESULTS:

    Men

    1. Metkel Eyob 2:25:16

    2. Stefan de Bod 2:25:22

    3. Willie Smit 2:25:23

    4. Kevin Patten 2:25:25

    5. Jayde Julius 2:25:27

    6. Ryan Gibbons 2:25:28

    7. HB Kruger 2:25:32

    8. Gustav Basson 2:25:32

    9. Neil Robinson 2:25:36

    10. Richard Laizer 2:25:40

    Women

    1. Lise Olivier 2:46:27

    2. Carla Oberholzer 2:46:47

    3. Kim le Court de Billot 2:50:00

    4. Desray Sebregts 2:52:22

    5. Charlene du Preez 2:52:28

    6. Anli Smith 2:54:00

    7. Samantha Kristiansen 2:54:02

    8. Suzan Bowman 2:54:05

    9. Natasha Botha 2:57:13

    10. Ronel van Straaten 3:13:49

     

     

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  • Matthee takes season-opening win

    Posted on February 2nd, 2015 admin No comments

    Team Bestmed-Multihull-ASG’s newest signing Maroesjka Matthee sprints to victory in the 30th edition of The Herald VW Cycle Tour in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Photo: Mike Holmes/The Herald

    Team Bestmed-Multihull-ASG’s newest signing Maroesjka Matthee got their season off to a flying start with a win at the 30th edition of The Herald VW Cycle Tour in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Track star Matthee put her powerful turn of speed to good use as she outsprinted 13-time winner and PE-based favourite Anriette Schoeman in the finishing straight to take a rain-soaked win in the 106km Classic in 3:00:13.

    Veteran national marathon champion Yolande de Villiers took third place one second further back. Matthee, who won gold in all six events in the omnium at the African continental track championships two weeks ago, said she had felt confident going into the final sprint to the line. “I felt there was a headwind, and then Anriette attacked early. So I just went on her wheel immediately.

    “Probably with about 50 metres to go, I kicked and I could go over in first position.”It was sweet justice for the 26-year-old Capetonian after losing to Schoeman by the same split-second margin in the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour at the end of November. “Coming from a track background, I knew I could leave it as late as possible.”

    Matthee, who also won the Cape Town leg of the Engen criterium series last season, said she was delighted with her result, considering that the conditions at the PE race had been so hazardous. “It was very treacherous with the wind blowing, and the rain, and it was very cold.”She said she had been surprised that the elite women had started with the veteran men (age 30-39).

    “We had to follow the moves and then some of the guys got away on one of the steep climbs and I was pretty happy about that because all the ladies were together in the bunch with the remaining veteran guys.” She said the women rolled together for most of the route, with very few attacks taking place.

    “The rain was really hectic and visibility was quite bad – I was taking my glasses off and on, off and on.” Content to sit in the bunch and conserve her energies, Matthee played it safe until the final scenic stretch along Marine Drive.“On the climbs, I felt quite confident and didn’t push myself too hard.

    “So, with 10 kilometres to go, I still felt strong and my legs were feeling very good.” The powerful sprinter turned on the afterburners as the ladies hit the home straight to snatch the certainty of a hometown win from Schoeman’s grasp. “I’ve been racing on track for the past six or seven years and last year I started doing a lot of bigger road races.

    “With results like these, I’m pretty confident that I can be a good road rider if I continue to work on things like climbing.” The men’s title was won by fellow track sensation Nolan Hoffman of Team Abantu.

    Meanwhile, Team Bestmed-Multihull-ASG’s Vera Adrian won the Namibian time-trial and road race titles to complete a successful weekend of racing for the pro outfit.

    PROVISIONAL RESULTS:

    Women – 106km

    1. Maroesjka Matthee 3:00:13

    2. Anriette Schoeman 3:00:13

    3. Yolande de Villiers 3:00:14

    4. Fienie Barnard 3:00:14

    5. Monique Gerber 3:00:15

    6. Allison Hertel 3:03:41

    7. Amanda Akom 3:09:58

    8. Lauren Coleman 3:09:58

    9. Siska van der Bijl 3:10:00

    10. Cindy Schwulst 3:11:55

     

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  • Strong International field for Ashburton investments national MTB series opener

    Posted on January 29th, 2015 admin No comments

    2014 MTN National MTB Series #1 Dullstroom driven by Nissan-4281

    A strong international field will contest the first round of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series in South Africa, which takes place at Meerendal Wines in the Western Cape on Saturday in what promises to be a world-class display of quality racing. The season opening UCI Category 3 status event has attracted some of the biggest names in local and international mountain biking. Numerous ABSA Cape Epic contenders and world champions, eager to test their form on South African soil, have confirmed their participation, including 2014 Cape Epic champions Kristian Hynek (Czech Republic) and Robert Mennen (Germany).

    They will be joined by their Topeak Ergon teammate, Austria’s former marathon world champion, Alban Lakata. Team Bulls, the German professional racing team that’s adopted South Africa as its second home, will also be present on Saturday, represented by Simon Stiebjahn and three-time Cape Epic champion, Stefan Sahm, while Team Cannondale’s Manuel Fumic (Germany) and Wheeler Meerendal’s Konny Looser (Switzerland), complete a powerful international men’s line-up. Competition will be fierce as local stars look to make the most of home-ground and weather-conditioned advantage.

    Overall 2014 Series winner, Nico Bell and his RECM teammate Erik Kleinhans, will be joined by Darren Lill (Cannondale Blend), Waylon Woolcock, and the Westvaal team pairing of Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabie in their quest for a good start to the prestigious series. Also on the start list is South African Olympian Philip Buys (SCOTT LCB), the Contego Swift pair of Lourens Luus and Adriaan Louw, multiple X-Terra World Champion, Conrad Stoltz, and former top South African marathon racer, David George, back after a doping ban.

    The elite women’s field is equally impressive with the RECM duo of multiple Cape Epic winner, Ariane Kleinhans (Switzerland) and former South African marathon champion, Cherise Stander, primed to make an impact. Kleinhans is the defending Series champion, while Stander has been intent on making a return to peak form after a relatively quiet 2014 racing season. They’ll square up again Ascendis Health’s pair of current national marathon champions, Robyn de Groot (South Africa) and Jennie Stenerhag (Sweden), who were second and third respectively behind Kleinhans at the Attakwas Marathon a fortnight ago.

    Former marathon world champion and multiple Cape Epic winner, Esther Suss (Switzerland), is also in the country preparing for her assault on the 2015 Cape Epic and will undoubtedly be a title contender on Saturday. Also sure to help shape the race are other top South Africans Yolandi du Toit (Garmin), Theresa Ralph (Tribe Multisport), Cherie Vale and Mariske Strauss (both Paarl Media OMX Pro Team). “We are really happy with the international interest and general growth our Cape event has seen,” commented Fritz Pienaar from Advendurance, the company that owns and manages the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series.

    “It’s a strong field and a great way to welcome Ashburton Investments on board as our new headline sponsor, but the race and the series isn’t only about the professionals. We cater for all levels of mountain bikers and we expect more than a thousand riders on the day over the various distances.” The distances on offer are: 105km Ultra PRO/Elite (UCI) and Amateur 70km Marathon Elite women (UCI) and Amateur men and women 40km Half Marathon XCM 20km Fun Race 10km Fun Ride Late entries will still be available at Meerendal Wines on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning from 06h00.

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  • Jakkalsvlei MTB and trail run – a new year with a new MTB route at the new Jakkalsvlei wine tasting room

    Posted on January 26th, 2015 admin No comments
    Jakkalsvlei (1 of 8)

    In the photo from the left: Jantjie Jonker (Owner of Jakkalsvlei) Nicky Gilliomee (winner of the ladies 57km MTB) Timo Cooper (winner of the 57km MTB), Sonja Otto (Director of Trisport)

    The Inaugural Jakkalsvlei Mountain bike race and the Jackal Trail Run took place on the 24th of January at the newly built Wine Tasting Room at Jakkalsvlei Wine Estate in Herbertsdale. With an exciting 57km MTB and a shorter 27km MTB option, riders of all abilities were able to explore the best kept secret of the garden route. There was also a 6km Jackal Trail Run that proved to be just as exciting and challenging.

    On Saturday morning 209 athletes took part in these Jakkalsvlei events. At 07:00 the 57km mountain bikers took to the start line. Starting the race with a steep descent, with a magnificent view of the Jakkalsvlei vineyards and the Tasting Room in the background. Timo Cooper and Nicky Gilliomee took the lead from the start. The riders weaved their way through the vineyard, over the hills and down the Gouritz River valley. The 27km and 10km MTB riders took to the routes at 8:00 and we had some very excited youngsters among these riders. Shortly after, at 08:15 the 6km Jackal Trail Runners had their turn in the vineyard and on the challenging hilly terrain.

    The first young cyclist across the line was Skye Lategan who road an amazing time of 00:29: 41 in the 10km MTB. There was an exceptional gap of 15min between him and the second place rider, which just goes to show how quickly he moved.

    Samuel Vermaak and Johan van Niekerk took the lead from the start in the 6km Jackal Trail run. Johan over-took Samuel and finished in a time of 00:31:53, beating Samuel with just 4 seconds. The third place male, Nicholas Crisp was close behind them with a time of 00:33:48. The 1st female runner across the line was Theresa Bester with an amazing time of 00:33:46 – beating the third male and showing that the ladies are also very competitive. Nicholas said he was trying to keep up with Theresa, but in the end she just finished strong. In second place was Anami du Plessis and in third was Delmari Henning.

    For the 27km MTB Matthew Lake was first with a time of 1:23:33 followed closely by the junior Casper Pretorius in 2nd and Gordon Meyer in the 3rd place. The first lady in for the 27km Jakkalsvlei MTB was Erika Goedhals with a winning time of 01:48:55. Second place went to Lizelle Muller and third was shared by Desiree & Leonora Du Preez.

    Timo Cooper won the 57km MTB with a staggering time of 02:08:24, beating Henri Meyer by 3 seconds. Frans Grotepass was 3 seconds behind Henri. A grand total of 6 second difference between first and third, just shows how much they were chasing one another. The iron ladies of the 57km came in shortly after Timo. Nicky Gilliomee cycled an amazing time of 02:22:25 followed by Liza-Mari Gilliomee in 2nd place and Marike Vreken in third.

    Trisport Director, Sonja Otto and Hano Otto are looking forward to the next Jakkalsvlei event on the 31st October this year. The event will take place in October/November each year from now onwards. The next event that Trisport will be organising in the close vicinity will be the Trans-Outeniqua 3 day stage Mountainbike tour from 20 to 22 February. Check out Trisport.co.za for more results and upcoming events or follow them on twitter @TrisportSA and TrisportSA on Facebook.

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  • Bestmed-ASG announces 2015 roster

    Posted on January 23rd, 2015 admin No comments

    Ashleigh Parsons: Rising junior track star Ashleigh Parsons, who won four gold medals at the SA championships last year, is one of Team Bestmed-ASG’s new signings for the 2015 season. Photo: Supplied

    With four new signings and an additional supporting sponsor, Team Bestmed-ASG is preparing to dominate South African women’s cycling in 2015. According to team manager Owen Botha, his 11-rider squad will be aiming for all-round competitiveness on the national track, mountain bike and road racing circuits. “The road champs in February will be our first major event of the year and we are hoping for at least six medals there.”

    In line with the team’s stated focus on developing young talent, rising stars Azulde Britz and Ashleigh Parsons have joined the roster and will assist Jessica Brown in presenting a three-pronged attack in the under-16 category. Britz is a product of the ASG mountain bike academy, while Parsons claimed four gold medals at last year’s SA track champs – breaking both the pursuit and time-trial records. Zimbabwe’s Greer Wynn adds international firepower to the elite line-up while national road champion (30 to 34 years) Anli Smith strengthens the veteran category.

    Stalwart veteran cyclist Desray Sebregts will be the designated team leader. Aside from Brown and Sebregts, the returning riders will be mountain biker Zandile Ndhlovu, elites Charlene du Preez and Chante van der Merwe, and former SA under-23 triathlon champion Lauren Dance. Versatile Lynette Benson, who notched up four under-16 national titles across the road and mountain biking disciplines last year, will be the sole junior competitor.

    Botha said the added support of new subsidiary sponsor Multihull Group would allow the team more opportunities to compete at races across the country. “Our aim is to enable the girls to achieve their personal ambitions. “Youngsters like Azulde, Jessica, Ashleigh and Lynette are great talents. They need to experience international competition in the near future and we will do our best to assist them.” Multihull Group managing director Paul Hough said the yacht manufacturer looked forward to assisting with infrastructure and rider development. “Currently, the most emphasis nationally is on men’s cycling and we thought it opportune to get involved on the women’s side.

    “Team Bestmed-ASG is well represented across all age groups from juniors through to vets and very involved in developing new riders.” Aside from the national champs, Botha said the team’s goal races would include sponsor Bestmed’s Tour de Boland, Jock Cycle Classique, Lost City Classic and Satellite Classic. Other subsidiary sponsors are nutrition and health company Biogen, vehicle supplier Jaguar SA, lubricant manufacturer Fuchs, Dark Horse Wheels and Continental Tyres.

     

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  • Cut-off for Berge en Dale looms

    Posted on January 19th, 2015 admin No comments

    The entry deadline for the Action Ford Berge en Dale Classic looms on Monday evening. Pictured here is last year’s winner Costa Seibeb. Photo: Supplied

    Much like its signature Hillsnacks climb, the entry deadline for the Action Ford Berge en Dale Classic looms once more on Monday night. Thousands of cyclists are expected to book their place for the West Rand’s biggest road race, powered by Optimum Financial Services, which starts in Krugersdorp on January 31. The event rolls out from Cradlestone Mall in the Muldersdrift area of Mogale City and will take participants over an undulating 102km course of hills and valleys. According to race director Wynand de Villiers of ASG events, Hillsnacks will be the first major challenge that riders will face as they ascend to over 1 750m above sea level within the first 10 kilometres.

    “It’s a 6km climb with a gradient of seven per cent in places, so it really sets the tone for the route.” With four ascents dotting the course, De Villiers said the last one would make tired riders dig deep as they climbed back up to the finish in the closing kilometres. “But the suffering will be worth it as the race passes the Sterkfontein Caves and some beautiful nature reserves in the Cradle of Humankind.” As a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, he said the race attracted South Africa’s top teams, with the added incentive of cash prizes for the pros as well as lucky draws.

    The 2014 edition – which was won by Namibian Costa Seibeb of the MTN-Qhubeka feeder team and An-li Kachelhoffer of Activate Drinks respectively – boasted more than 4 000 riders. De Villiers said the successful relocation to the spacious new venue on the R28 had convinced organisers to keep the start/finish venue and route unchanged for 2015. “Being situated at the mall, there’ll be plenty to keep the family entertained once the racing is done for the day.” He said a 55km short-course option was available for those who might find the full route too daunting.

    Registration will take place on the Wednesday before the race from 10am to 4pm at Cradlestone Mall. Alternatively, collect your race number on the Thursday between 10am and 4pm at Cycle Lab Fourways or on the Friday from 10am to 4pm at Action Ford Krugersdorp.

    Enter at www.cycleevents.co.za. Late entries will be accepted at registration but not on the morning of the race. For more information, phone 076 621 1807 or e-mail eventsupport@asgworld.co.za.

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  • Significant changes to the 2015 Cape Pioneer Trek

    Posted on January 9th, 2015 admin No comments
    Riders will tackle a 7km beach section as they leave Mossel Bay on Stage 1 of the 2015 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia

    Riders will tackle a 7km beach section as they leave Mossel Bay on Stage 1 of the 2015 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race.
    Photo: Release Centre

    The seventh edition of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa sees significant changes, including a point-to-point format, a coastal start in Mossel Bay and back-to-back ascents of the formidable Swartberg Pass.

    Running from 18-24 October 2015, the Cape Pioneer Trek, which is a UCI-graded event, will cover a total of 541 kilometres with 11 320 metres of ascent, as it takes riders through three different eco-regions in the Western Cape province.

    The dramatic route changes from previous editions will see the race begin in the coastal town of Mossel Bay, starting and finishing at the Point on the water’s edge with a very urban-style 15.5km route that includes some steep climbs and a passing of the Bay of St Blaize (Santos Beach), the place where Portuguese explorer, Bartholomew Diaz, the first ever European to set foot in South Africa, landed in 1488.

    Stage 1 then takes the riders northwards on a seven-kilometre beach ride from Mossel Bay and then inland for a tough 110km leg that includes 2 232 metres of climbing along the base of the Outeniqua Mountains, ending in George.

    Stage 2 from George to Oudtshoorn, is a relatively short 84km leg, but includes the climb of the Montagu Pass as well as old Voortrekker wagon trails and also passes through the Chandelier Game Reserve; while Stage 3 is another 84km haul from Oudtshoorn to De Rust via the Kammanasie reserve.

    Stage 4 sees the traditional ascent of the Swartberg Pass, but from a completely different approach that includes the climb of Spitskop and a pedal past the Kango Caves. Then there’s a significant 2 149m of climbing on this day with the final 11km on the Swartberg Pass to the mountain-top finish.

    Stage 5 sees an unprecedented back-to-back ascent of the Swartberg Pass taking riders the opposite direction to Stage 4 on a longer 113km leg with 2262 metres of climbing, starting in Prince Albert and finishing in Calitzdorp. The organisers expect this to be the toughest stage of the 2015 edition.

    The final day, Stage 6, is a relatively short 65km section from Calitzdorp to Oudtshoorn.

    The Cape Pioneer Trek has been embraced by the harbour village of Mossel Bay. The race visited the coastal town once before, in 2010, its second year, but has now developed into one of the world’s premier bicycle stage races, bringing with it a high level of prestige, as well as international media coverage.

    “We are delighted that Mossel Bay has been included in the 2015 Cape Pioneer Trek route. The race has already built up a reputation for itself as one of the premier mountain bike races in South Africa and we believe that Mossel Bay’s natural beauty and facilities will add another attractive dimension to this prestige event,” said Executive Mayor of Mossel Bay, Alderlady Marie Ferreira.

    “We are sure the Cape Pioneer Trek will go from strength to strength and further enhance the Little Karoo and Garden Route’s reputation as the heartland of mountain bike racing in South Africa.”

    “We are excited about the significant changes for our seventh edition,” said Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Event Management, co-founder and race director of the Cape Pioneer Trek.

    “This is the first year we will not start in Oudtshoorn, which has allowed us to introduce a point-to-point route format for the first time. This opens up a whole lot of options for us in terms of route changes in future years too.

    “The other exciting change is the back-to-back stages that climb the Swartberg Pass. Normally we only climb this mountain from the Oudtshoorn (south) side. But this time we’ll also return again from the Prince Albert (north) side and will be able to showcase the spectacular quartzite cliffs that form part of the amazing geology of this World Heritage Site,” added Rademeyer.

    Also fresh to the race are the two new stages from Oudtshoorn to De Rust and from De Rust to Prince Albert. Both will incorporate completely new routes; while another new section will be encountered when riders enter the Kammanassie Reserve from a new entry point.

    “A bicycle has never been ridden up the new climb into the Kammanassie Reserve, which remains one of the most remote and rugged features of our race route. You will struggle to find another bicycle race route this diverse. From riding on the beach, then through coastal belt forest and into the dry, harsh desert conditions of the Karoo, all within the first 48 hours, is truly quite unique,” remarked Rademeyer.

    Entries will open to previous Cape Pioneer Trek participants on 22 December 2014 and to the general public on 29 December 2014. It’s the first time entries will open the same day as the new route launch. Entries are once again limited to 400.

    “Because of the change in race route format, riders will now get an additional night’s accommodation after the prologue stage, along with three extra meals being provided compared to previous years. Changing the race route each year is always a challenge, but it’s a challenge we relish and we look forward to welcoming the riders to the incredible route of the seventh edition of the Cape Pioneer Trek,” added Rademeyer.

    2015 Cape Pioneer Trek
    18-24 October 2015
    Western Cape, South Africa

    Sun 18 Oct: Prologue, Mossel Bay – 15.5km; 416m
    Mon 19 Oct: Stage 1, Mossel Bay–George – 110km; 2 232m
    Tues 20 Oct: Stage 2, George–Oudtshoorn – 84km; 1 536m
    Wed 21 Oct: Stage 3, Oudtshoorn–De Rust – 84km; 1 766m
    Thurs 22 Oct: Stage 4, De Rust–Swartberg Pass – 69km; 2 149m
    Fri 23 Oct: Stage 5, Prince Albert–Calitzdorp – 113km; 2 262m
    Sat 24 Oct: Stage 6, Calitzdorp–Oudtshoorn – 65km; 959m

    Total distance: 541km
    Total ascent: 11 320m

    For more detailed descriptions of each stage or to enter, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Also, “like” the Facebook page: Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek and follow @CapePioneerTrek on Twitter for up-to-the-minute announcements.

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