Posted on October 20th, 2014 No comments
Stage 4 of the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek international stage race was always expected to deliver a shake-up; and it didn’t disappoint. As if the 109km with 2690m of ascent from De Rust to George wasn’t difficult enough, the riders had to conquer some exceptionally rough terrain and contend with rain and cold too. In the men’s race, the Team Bulls pairing of Simon Stiebjahn and Tim Bohme charged to the stage win and in the process reclaimed the overall lead from South Africans Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (SCOTT Factory Racing). And in the women’s race Asrin Cycling’s Catherine Williamson (GBR) and Alice Pirard (BEL) also grabbed the stage win and race lead.
Unfazed by the weather, the German Team Bulls duo were the aggressors on the demanding stage, taking the lead on a climb at 68km into the race, intent on reclaiming some of the three minute deficit from Stage 2 when they relinquished the race lead to Beukes and Buys. Beukes managed to stay with the Bulls riders over the top of the climb, but Buys was a little further back, expecting to rejoin on the descent when Beukes sustained a cut to his rear tyre. “We bombed it but it lost air towards the last tech zone at 90km, so when we got there we changed the whole wheel,” explained Buys. “It’s a risk we took choosing hardtail frames for this race. A dual-suspension frame would have been more forgiving on this section. We’re not out of it yet. Still two more stages to race.”
Bohme and Stiebjahn clocked a time of 4 hours 59 minutes and 24 seconds. Second place on Thursday went to the Asrin cycling duo of James Reid (RSA) and Herman Persteiner (AUT), just less than two minutes back with Buys and Beukes rounding out the podium in 5:06:24, putting them 3:35 off The Bulls’ overall lead. “These conditions aren’t unusual for us Europeans. So we made the most of that and went on the attack today,” said Stiebjahn. “We definitely put the SCOTT guys under pressure before they had their flat. Tim was super strong in the last 20km though – he pulled me through as I was suffering.”
While it was day of misfortune for Buys and Beukes, it was a day of improved fortune for Reid and Persteiner, who suffered a mechanical on Wednesday and were given a time penalty on Tuesday for being more than two minutes apart at the stage finish. They moved from ninth up to fifth the General Classification with two stages remaining. “We’re so eager to get a stage win and came close today. But I guess the Bulls were more motivated with the GC lead as their target. We’ll keep trying,” quipped Reid.
In the women’s race, Williamson and Pirard had passed De Groot and Stenerhag on one of the early climbs and were unaware of the mechanical trouble suffered by the race leaders, forging ahead steadily and eventually finishing 19th overall in a time of 6:04:02. “I’ve been riding one speed this whole race so we were behind Robyn and Jennie early on but caught their group after a while. Then on one of the steep climbs we moved ahead of them. We seem to be better on the steep climbs than they are,” recalled Williamson.
“I don’t know what trouble they had but I know that we rode cautiously but steadily today because we didn’t want to risk crashing or puncturing. Alice is a really good descender, so I followed her lines on the downhills and we actually finished really strong. It’s great to be leading the race, but we can’t be satisfied until the end of the final stage and will do our best to defend the Pink Jersey,” she added. De Groot suffered a sidewall cut in her rear tyre, but she and Stenerhag had an additional problem with the rear wheel axle.
“The quick release through-axle broke while we were trying to remove the wheel. So we had to repair that first. Then the tyre cut was too big to plug, so we had to insert a gaitor and a tube. When it’s muddy all of this is even more tricky to do,” said a dejected De Groot.
Second place on the stage went to Cherise Stander (RSA) and Candice Neethling (#iride4Burry) with Meerendal Wheeler’s Theresa Ralph (RSA) and Esther Suss (SUI) claiming third place. De Groot and Stenerhag were fourth, but lost 37 minutes and the overall lead to Williamson and Pirard, who now have a healthy 24:21 lead. In the other team racing categories, South Africans Brian Lennox and Hannes Hanekom (Klein Karoo Giants) were the top Amateurs, extending their GC lead in the process. South Africans Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed), won the stage again, reducing their deficit by a further three-minutes to Germans Max Friedrich and Jana Mischance (Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk), who were second on the stage, but retain the Mixed overall lead.
Heinz Zorweg (AUT) and Bartie Bucher (SUI) of Team Meerendal Wheeler 2 claimed a fifth consecutive stage win and now hold a massive Masters category lead; while South Africans Johan Labuschagne and Gerrie Beukes (Klein Karoo Veterans) secured a third successive stage win and moved into the Veteran category lead. In the Solo men’s division, Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) won the stage in his category and extended his General Classification lead, while Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA), extended her Solo women’s category lead with another stage win.
Friday’s Stage 5 from George to Herold is somewhat deceptive. In just 71km, riders will have to climb 1755 metres, initially up an 18km climb out of George to the Montagu Pass, after which riders will be taken on a new section of trails through the Klein Langkloof along the northern slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains.
For more information on the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. For race updates, follow @BridgeCPT on twitter and Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek on Facebook.
Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek 2014
1 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 4:59:29
2 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 5:01:18
3 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 5:06:31
4 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 5:15:44
5 Adriaan Louw (RSA) / Lourens Luus (RSA) – Fairview Elite 5:17:42
1 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) Asrin Cycling 2 6:04:02
2 Cherise Stander (RSA) / Candice Neethling (RSA) #iride4Burry 6:25:03
3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 6:28:38
1 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hanekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 6:06:11
2 Phillimon Sebona (RSA) / Jan Motsoa (RSA) – Klein Karoo International 6:10:29
3 Mattias Winkler (SUI) / Francois Naf (SUI) Meerendal Wheeler 6:11:57
1 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) Klein Karoo Veterans 6:04:26
2 Malcolm Dods (RSA) / Billy Stelling (RSA) Swift Carbon 6:22:09
3 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 6:22:45
1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 5:50:31
2 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 6:27:54
3 Waleed Baker (RSA) / Glen Haw (RSA) – Pitstop 6:44:33
1 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 6:07:26
2 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 6:10:25
3 Igna de Villiers (RSA) / Daleen Van der Leek (RSA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 6:44:50
1 Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) 5:06:33
2 Renay Groustra (RSA – RSAweb) 5:23:38
3 Alan Gordon (RSA) 5:37:01
1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 7:15:11
2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 7:40:24
3 Gina Nixon (RSA) 8:00:14
Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek 2014
General Classification after Stage 4
1 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 17:15:52
2 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 17:19:27
3 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 17:50:33
4 Michiel van Aelbroeck (NED) / Robby de Bock (NED) WMTB.Be – Feenstra 17:54:31
5 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 17:55:49
1 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 20:20:38
2 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 20:45:17
3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 21:12:12
1 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hannekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 19:49:55
2 Mattias Winkler (SUI) / Francois Naf (SUI) Meerendal Wheeler 20:10:36
3 Phillimon Sebona (RSA) / Jan Motsoa (RSA) – Klein Karoo International 20:22:05
1 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) Klein Karoo Veterans 20:11:02
2 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 20:28:36
3 Malcolm Dods (RSA) / Billy Stelling (RSA) Swift Carbon 21:30:02
1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 19:02:24
2 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 21:19:28
3 Waleed Baker (RSA) / Glen Haw (RSA) – Pitstop 22:06:21
1 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 20:20:24
2 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 20:28:17
3 Igna de Villiers (RSA) / Daleen Van der Leek (RSA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 21:35:36
1 Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) 17:49:35
2 Alan Gordon (RSA) 18:22:11
3 Ken van den Bulke (BEL) 18:25:32
1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 22:29:23
2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 24:22:38
3 Gina Nixon (RSA) 26:11:14
1 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 41
2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 40
3 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 25
1 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 42
2 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 39
3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 35
For full results visit www.capepioneer.co.za
Posted on October 20th, 2014 No comments
The Team Bulls pair of Simon Stiebjahn and Tim Bohme finished the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race on Saturday like they started it a week ago – with a stage win – in the process extending their lead to secure the overall title.
In the women’s event, it was the South Africans Candice Neethling and Cherise Stander (#iride4Burry) who won the event’s final stage, but the overall title went to the Asrin Cycling pair of Catherine Williamson (GBR) and Alice Pirard (BEL). Stage 6, an 86km leg from Herold to Oudtshoorn took place in warm, sunny conditions, stark contrast to the final rain-flooded last stage a year ago. And what was anticipated to be a relatively tame finale became a fiercely contested affair.
Eager to put Team Bulls under pressure in the hope that they could reclaim some lost time and possibly the overall win, the South African duo of Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (SCOTT Factory Racing) were the early aggressors. But with 30km remaining, on the rough jeep track trails of the Chandelier Game and Ostrich Farm, Stiebjahn and Bohme took control and increased the pace, leaving the field in tatters behind them.
They opened a gap on the field with only Asrin Cycling’s James Reid (RSA) and Herman Persteiner (AUT) able to join them, setting up a two-team duel for the stage. Asrin Cycling were unable to tame Team Bulls though and the Germans claimed the win a time of two hours 28 minutes 55 seconds, neatly bookending their campaign after having won the opening prologue stage.
Asrin Cycling had to settle for second on the stage, but moved up one place on the General Classification to fourth. Third on the stage was the EAI Cycling duo of Gawie Combrinck (RSA) and Johann Rabie (RSA), former road racing pros, who finished third overall. Buys and Beukes were home fourth and sealed their second spot on the GC, conceding more time to their German rivals.
The seven-day race, which attracted over 400 riders from 15 nations, ultimately became a duel between SCOTT Factory Racing and Team Bulls, who swapped the race lead and claimed all the stage wins between them, Buys and Beukes claiming four and Stiebjahn and Bohme winning three.
“The profile of the last stage was not ideal, but there were a few small climbs near the end so Tom and me decided to go hard there. We felt the best way to defend our lead was to attack. We knew that if we got a gap we might break the SCOTT guys mentally. And it worked,” said Stiebjahn.
“The sprint worked out well too. The Asrin guys were actually riding to move up the GC, so they had already put in a big effort and we were able to get away with about 500 metres to go and stayed away,” explained Stiebjahn. “We’re very happy with this result. The Cape Pioneer Trek is a great preparation race for the Cape Epic. Tim and me were third at the Cape Epic this year in our first stage race together. We came to the Cape Pioneer Trek to use it for Cape Epic preparation because it’s quite similar in many ways,” added Stiebjahn.
The women’s title race saw South Africa’s Robyn de Groot and Sweden’s Jennie Stenerhag (Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co.) winning the first four stages. But a mechanical on Day 5 saw them lose significant time and the overall lead to Williamson and Pirard, who won Stage 4 and finished second on Stages 5 and 6, both won by Neethling and Stander.
Stenerhag and De Groot finished second overall with the Meerendal Wheeler pair of Esther Suss (SUI) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) rounding out the final General Classification podium. In the other team racing categories, South Africans Brian Lennox and Hannes Hanekom (Klein Karoo Giants) won the Amateur division title, while German Max Friedrich and Jana Mischance (Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk), claimed the overall Mixed title. With 45 finishing teams, the Amateur division was the largest of the race.
Heinz Zorweg (AUT) and Bartie Bucher (SUI) of Team Meerendal Wheeler 2 won all seven stages and finished an impressive 11th overall on their way to dominating the Masters (50-years and over) division, while South Africans Johan Labuschagne and Gerrie Beukes (Klein Karoo Veterans) eventually sealed the competitive Veteran men’s category after having to claw their way into contention after a poor start. In the Solo men’s division, Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) won the title rather convincingly, while Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA), was finally confirmed as the dominant winner of the Solo women’s category.
For more information on the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. For race updates, follow @BridgeCPT on twitter and Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek on Facebook
Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek 2014
1 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 2:38:55
2 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 2:39:00
3 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 2:41:22
4 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 2:13:32
5 Oliver Zurbruegg (SUI) / Lucien Besancon (FRA) Meerendal Wheeler 3 2:44:31
1 Cherise Stander (RSA) / Candice Neethling (RSA) #iride4Burry 2:56:34
2 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) Asrin Cycling 2 2:58:10
3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 3:04:28
1 James Tennent (RSA) / David Garrett (RSA) – Giant 2 2:49:08
2 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hanekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 2:56:25
3 Matthias Winkler (SUI) / Francois Naf (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2:56:26
1 Malcolm Dods (RSA) /Billy Stelling (RSA) – Swift Carbon 2:56:34
2 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) – Klein Karoo Veterans 2:58:05
3 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 3:00:02
1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 2:52:00
2 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 3:04:28
3 Waleed Baker (RSA) / Glen Haw (RSA) – Pitstop 3:07:36
1 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 3:00:38
2 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 3:07:01
3 Rob Crag (RSA) / Diana Caroline (RSA) – Craft Racing 3:20:53
1 Konny Looser (SUI) 2:39:01
2 Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) 2:41:08
3 Kevin van de Bulke (BEL) 2:44:21
1 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 3:18:45
2 Lara Everts (RSA) 33:36:09
3 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 3:40:21
Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek 2014
Final General Classification
1 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 22:08:19
2 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 22:17:07
3 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 22:49:05
4 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 22:50:54
5 Michiel van Aelbroeck (NED) / Robby de Bock (NED) WMTB.Be – Feenstra 23:09:39
1 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 25:59:00
2 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 26:43:38
3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 26:57:45
1 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hannekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 25:20:52
2 Mattias Winkler (SUI) / Francois Naf (SUI) Meerendal Wheeler 25:40:29
3 Phillimon Sebona (RSA) / Jan Motsoa (RSA) – Klein Karoo International 25:50:26
1 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) Klein Karoo Veterans 25:43:54
2 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 26:09:58
3 Malcolm Dods (RSA) / Billy Stelling (RSA) Swift Carbon 27:04:26
1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 24:25:01
2 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 27:08:10
3 Waleed Baker (RSA) / Glen Haw (RSA) – Pitstop 28:11:57
1 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 26:07:18
2 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 26:13:58
3 Igna de Villiers (RSA) / Daleen Van der Leek (RSA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 27:49:19
1 Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) 22:44:16
2 Ken van den Bulke (BEL) 23:31:32
3 Alan Gordon (RSA) 23:31:53
1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 29:06:17
2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 30:50:45
3 Gina Nixon (RSA) 33:10:51
For full results visit www.capepioneer.co.za
Posted on October 20th, 2014 No comments
The long-term strike that’s brought the South African Post Office to a standstill has led to high levels of frustration among magazine publishers and subscribers. In an effort to minimise this frustration, the publishers of TREAD – Mountain Biking With Soul magazine, have couriered Issue 31 to subscribers.
“With no control over this strike we decided to be proactive and send this issue via courier to all subscribers,” said Mark Rieth, Director of Umoya Group Pty Ltd, the company that publishes TREAD magazine, South Africa’s leading mountain biking publication. “We made a digital version of TREAD magazine available on Zinio in June this year and found a number of former hard-copy subscribers committing to the digital edition. These were readers that had been affected by previous SA Post Office strikes,” added Rieth.But the bulk of TREAD’s subscribers are still committed to the hard copy version and were in danger of not receiving Issue 31 with the postal service shut-down.
“We’ve developed a good relationship with Aramex over the past six months with our various other delivery needs and decided to explore the courier option with them for subscription copies. It’s a far higher cost to us than standard postage, but we consider our subscribers to be our most important clients and feel that it’s more an investment than a cost,” said Rieth.
There appears to be no obvious resolution of the SA Postal Service crisis, despite ongoing discussion about the situation at national government level. “Even if the strike ends this week, the backlog will take ages to clear. And there’s always a chance of future strikes. Because of this uncertainty, we are looking at alternative methods of hard-copy subscriber delivery on a permanent basis. It’s really what every magazine should be doing right now. No publication can afford to wait – their subscribers deserve their resourcefulness,” added Rieth.
TREAD magazine is published six times year and is focussed specifically on South African mountain biking content. It is sold at CNA, Exclusive Books, SPAR and discerning bike shops throughout South Africa.
Posted on October 7th, 2014 No comments
The significant prize money purse as well as the high quality race environment at the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will be unaffected despite the recent decision by Bridge, the event’s title sponsor, to apply for business rescue, according to Race Director, Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Event Management, the company that owns and organises the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.
The sixth edition of the seven-day international mountain bike stage race in South Africa’s Western Cape province has attracted a strong field, which includes a number of current and former national, continental and world champions and a total of over 400 riders from 15 countries.
Bridge, a provider of short-term unsecured credit, decided in early September to apply for business rescue as a result of, among of factors, the rapid deterioration of confidence in the unsecured lending industry following the placing of a major player into curatorship. The business rescue process allows for a legal framework to restructure Bridge to enable it to continue as a sustainable business.
“We have been in contact with all our sponsors over the past two weeks and I can confirm that the 2014 edition of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will not be affected on any level and will go ahead as planned with all the relevant rider benefits and prize money,” said Rademeyer on Monday.“The decision by Bridge to honour its commitment to the race in particular and mountain biking in general is to be respected and appreciated. “We have a very committed group of sponsors who work with us closely to ensure our events continuously deliver the highest standards. Besides Bridge, our title sponsor, Klein Karoo International, Fairview, Wilde Juice, Cape Brewing Co, 32GI and Giant bicycles are all headline and partner sponsors at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.
“Another important aspect of the Bridge sponsorship of the Cape Pioneer Trek is that they have allowed us to retain our tone as an event that’s challenging, but sympathetic. We do our best to make every participant – be they a world champion or a weekend warrior – feel like an important part of the event. It’s one of the reasons we get so many returning participants each year,” added Rademeyer. Since 2012 when it took on the Cape Pioneer Trek in a five-year sponsorship agreement, Bridge has given the event a significant boost, particularly in the prize money department, which has helped the race secure International Cycling Union (UCI) grading status. Bridge has also been responsible for increasing the women’s category prize money at the Cape Pioneer Trek so that it is equivalent to what the men earn. The total prize money for all categories for the 2014 event is over R450 000 (approximately US$45 000).
The 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will be held from 12-18 October 2014. For more information on the event, visit www.capepioneer.co.za
Posted on October 6th, 2014 No comments
Ask any finisher of the DUTOIT Tankwa Trek mountain bike stage race what stands out about the event and virtually every answer will include references to the race route, which is dramatic, varied, stimulating, suprising and, most importantly, rewarding.The third edition of the three-day race will take place from 13-15 February 2015 and once again promises to draw a world-class line-up to challenge for the various category titles. With similar terrain and distance-to-elevation ratio to the ABSA Cape Epic, the Tankwa Trek is becoming a preferred form-tester for those committed to Cape Epic participation.
The Tankwa Trek is held near Ceres, a prolific fruit-producing valley 150km northeast of Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The geography of the region makes it a mountain bike route designer’s dream. The routes for each of the three stages are developed by three different mountain bikers that live in the area, each giving ‘his stage’ a different character, which helps add significant depth to the revered Tankwa Trek route.
“Between Hannes Hannekom (Stage 1), Mauritz Walters (Stage 2) and Charl van der Merwe (Stage 3), we have the ultimate route design team for the Tankwa Trek route,” said Carel Herholdt of Dryland Event Management, the company that organizes the DUTOIT Tankwa Trek.
“As mountain bikers, they understand what’s important, what’s dangerous and what’s stimulating. And since they live and ride in the area, they are able to spend a lot of time preparing the route so that it’s truly awesome. When you have a race route that’s so highly praised, it’s hard to better it, but these guys are doing just that for 2015,” added Herholdt.
“Stage 1 will be a little bit different from 2014, but will still retain the amazing views and challenging climbs. I’ve eliminated the sand section near the end, which nobody appreciated, and have added in a couple of sections of natural singletrack that will be a welcome surprise,” said Hannes Hannekom.
“We have a few changes to Stage 2 for 2015. I’ve left in the DUTOIT’s Drop singletrack downhill as well as the Merino Monster climb and descent. I’ll move the first water point further into the stage and it will be inside a fruit pack house, which is appropriate since this is the country’s prime fruit produce region,” said Mauritz Walters. “I’ll also eliminate one of the tar road crossings by taking the riders under the highway and I think I’ll make some other minor changes in the last 10km too.”
Stage 3 will see an innovation, introduced by Van der Merwe, designed specifically to improve rider flow.
“We will have a few sections where you can choose your singletrack option. They won’t run next to each other but each takes the riders on a different route for a while. Some will be equal in distance and technical difficulty simply to improve flow, but other options will offer a longer, less technical section or a shorter technically challenging section to cater specifically riders of different skill levels.
“We’ll also add in some more bridges this year,” explained Van der Merwe, who has been resourceful in creating continuous singletrack through the region’s huge sandstone rock formations.
“By having such dedicated, expert route designers, we are able to focus on fine-tuning the rest of the racing experience for riders at the DUTOIT Tankwa Trek, such as the food, accommodation and ablutions, all of which are as essential to a stage race as a memorable route,” added Herholdt.
Entries are open for the 2015 DUTOUIT Tankwa Trek, but the field size is limited and cannot be expanded due to the potential capacity of the host venue, Kaleo. There are both team and solo rider packages available, which include three nights of accommodation. For more information, or to enter, visit www.tankwatrek.co.za
Posted on October 6th, 2014 No comments
Torq Zone Academy, which recently introduced Cytech™ Technical training in South Africa, announced today that their online module Cytech™ Technical 1 Theory South Africa (CT1TSA) is available for enrolment by South African learners.
“CT1TSA, which is based on the online UK Cytech™ Theory One, has been contextualised for the South African market and successful completion thereof is compulsory to gain admission to any subsequent Cytech™ Technical courses” said Graeme Stickells, Managing Director of Torq Zone Academy. “Once enrolled the learner has 60 days to complete the course, after which their subscription will lapse.”
He added that the learner can also opt to complete the theory component of Cytech™ Technical 1 in the classroom over one day. Following the completion of the theory component of Cytech™ Technical 1, either online or in the classroom, the learner will need to attend a two-day practical and assessment session to be certified as a Cytech™ Technical 1 Bicycle Mechanic.
Cytech™ Technical 1 is the first in a series of three trade courses. This course forms the foundation of all the Cytech™ Technical courses which ensures learners develop competencies in skills fundamental to professional cycle maintenance and is aimed at professionals either starting out their formal learning, or careers as a bicycle mechanic. The normal course fee is about R1,800. However, in order to accommodate learners we’ve decided to offer it at the special introductory offer of R1,300 until the end of December 2014.
The Torq Zone team will be at the Standard Bank Africa Cycle Fair 24-26 Oct 2014 where the Torq Zone Academy will be officially launched. Cytech™ online courses can be accessed through www.torqzoneacademy.co.za.
Posted on October 6th, 2014 No comments
Participants in October’s FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike race have donated almost R70 000 worth of library books and furniture to underprivileged rural schools in the Central Drakensberg. The race’s community coordinator Nicky Green said she had been surprised and touched by the response from participants, who had made voluntary donations as part of their entry process.
“We have been exceptionally blessed by our riders this year. I had no idea what the response would be but have been overwhelmed by the generosity of some.” Green said the eighth edition of the KwaZulu-Natal event, which starts on October 10, was fully subscribed across all three racing options. She said some entrants had also been owed refunds for early cancellations but they had offered these as donations instead.
“Almost 500 learners between the ages of two and 14 years will now stand to benefit from access to quality educational materials.” The three-day stage race starts at the Free State border and traces a route through rural KwaZulu-Natal, finishing each day at Emseni Camp near Winterton. Green said organisers had identified five rural schools in the vicinity of the race route as worthy beneficiaries.
She said her goal was to get young children in the area to develop a love of reading. “Even if it’s only a handful, I feel that a love of reading and books will get them a head start in life.” Green said the book supplier to the 46664 Participate for Good library project had put together a useful list of age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction titles to guide her choices.
“My farm neighbour, Alida Nel, worked at a local school for many years. Together with her daughters, this family of teachers also compiled a list of what they think are essential, delightful stories for young readers.” While this year’s campaign focused mainly on younger readers, Green said she hoped to increase the number of books and targeted age range next year.“However, there are so many basic needs in our community. Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’
“Education is of paramount importance, but water and electricity are needed too.”She said the event usually adopted a new project each year, with previous years including the oxpecker conservation project, the supply of solar panels and JoJo rainwater tanks to workers on the event, and repairs to the rhino fencing of a local game reserve.
Visit www.bergandbush.co.za, find the race on Facebook or follow @bergandbush.
Posted on October 6th, 2014 No comments
The Bestmed-ASG women’s cycling team have announced the signing of elite triathlete Lauren Dance as part of their line-up for the 2015 season. Dance, who finished second at the ATU Africa Championships in Zimbabwe earlier this year, will make her debut for the squad at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in November. The 24-year-old University of Johannesburg student said she was excited about the fresh challenges and new learning opportunities that being part of a pro team presented.
“I usually race these events alone, so I’m looking forward to being part of the team dynamics.” While triathlon remained her core focus, Dance said riding for Bestmed-ASG would help to boost her cycling performances across both sports. “Of the three triathlon disciplines, cycling is my strength, but it is underestimated in triathlon. I plan to use the races and my teammates’ experience to help me learn more and get stronger.”
The former U23 national champion, who will continue to compete in triathlon under the MAD Multisport banner, said she also hoped to add value to her new team. “Road cycling will be balanced around the international triathlon season. It usually fits together quite well, so once we know the international calendar, I’ll be able to confirm my availability for local road races.” This season, Dance finished ninth at the ATU Africa Cup in Cape Town and participated for the fourth time at the world triathlon championships in Canada.
Bestmed-ASG team manager Owen Botha welcomed the Boksburg athlete’s inclusion in his pro outfit. “I’ve known Lauren for a number of years and we’ve been wanting to bring her on board for a while but her triathlon commitments just would not allow it. “So we’re very pleased that the opportunity has finally presented itself.” Botha said Dance was very strong on the bike and would be an excellent support rider for his team.
“She has the ability to set a very steady pace for long periods of time, while her triathlon skills also make her a good option as a breakaway rider.” For racing updates, follow @TeamBestmed_asg or find the team on Facebook.
Posted on October 6th, 2014 No comments
The North-West Province’s premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour has taken a detour – into the bush.
Organisers of the Bestmed Satellite Classic, which is presented by ASG, have added a mountain biking component to create a whole weekend of scintillating cycling on October 18 and 19. On the Saturday, the 80km and 106km road races roll out from the Route 66 Saloon along the Hartbeeshoek road, while the new 20km and 40km mountain bike events wrap up proceedings on the Sunday.
Mountain bike route director Darren Herbst said he and his team were eagerly counting down the days to the inaugural off-road race. “We hope the first edition of the mountain bike challenge will be something really special. This area is truly a gem with so much potential and hidden treasures.” He said organisers had been inundated with requests to stage a mountain bike event in the picturesque Hartbeespoort area.
“The Satellite Classic has become such a feature on the road racing circuit that it was only natural to try to secure a mountain bike event over the same weekend.” Herbst said participants could choose between two manageable distances for the debut event. “We’ve tried to develop something less technical but that still ensures that cyclists get to experience the full beauty of this part of the country.”
He said the shorter family ride featured a couple of climbs, totalling just over 300m of ascending, to ensure that riders still got a good workout. “The trail is perfect for those looking for something different and less technically demanding but you still need to have the legs to get up the hills.” The longer route on the other hand would offer something for cyclists looking to stretch themselves, said Herbst.
“The undulating hills and valleys will be a key part of the trail, and this will result in some challenging climbs and jaw-dropping descents.”Combining single, Jeep and forest track as well as cattle paths, the route would undoubtedly take participants on a journey of discovery, he said. “What makes it so incredible are the views. “You will cross land that has been owned by the same family for generations, with wide open spaces and endless expanses of bushveld, inhabited only by game and dotted with the odd farmhouse.”
Added to this, said Herbst, the organisers had secured the right to use the ADA Adventure Centre, which specialises in 4×4 adventures and corporate teambuilding.“Some fun single-track and even a pump track add some spice to the trail. Cycling in this area is an amazing experience and we look forward to a great day out.”He said the start/finish venue at the Route 66 Saloon would give participants and their families a fitting taste of outback hospitality and entertainment.
“Nino and his team have become known for offering a great ‘cowboy’ experience and will take you back in time to the days of barn dancing and cowboy-style chow.”Entries for the road race close at midnight on October 7, with mountain bike entries extended to October 12. Late entries will be accepted at registration but not on race day. Enter at www.asgevents.co.za – R10 from every entry goes to the Cancer Association of South Africa. For updates, find the event on Facebook or follow @Satellite_Class.
Posted on September 26th, 2014 No comments
Participants in next month’s FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike stage race can look forward to a spectacular new drop off the Drakensberg escarpment, organisers have announced.
Known as the Drakensberg Drop, the new section will take riders on a long and scenic descent via ancient cattle paths from the Free State border into KwaZulu-Natal.
Race organiser Gary Green said his route building teams had been working hard to prepare the changes in time for the event, which rolls out from the new Border Post start venue at the top of Oliviershoek Pass on October 10.
“The Drop makes a far better descent off the mountain as it winds its way down through the hills and valleys and along a river bank, where the riders can really enjoy the amazing scenery.”
Day one alone would now feature over 2 200m of descending with 1 500m of climbing, said Green.
He said participants in the two three-day options – the Descent and Great Trek – could anticipate further changes on day two, with the traditional boat crossing of Spioenkop Dam abandoned in favour of uninterrupted riding.
“We now approach Spioenkop Mountain from another direction, using the old Fairview road, which was the original wagon track between Ladysmith and Bergville.”
Coming down off the gruelling Spioenkop ascent, he said riders would also encounter a new section of berms and jumps, named the Bell Run in honour of section sponsor Bell Equipment.
“The Bell Run has also been included on the original two-day event, so our more social riders won’t be left out of the fun.”
Green said many additional sections of fast-flowing single-track were being included, as his team continued to uncover well-trodden cattle and game paths.
“At the moment, we have three teams of four people who go out every day to ensure that the route is race ready. But most of the additional route preparation is done by the local people living in those areas.”
One of last year’s signature sections, the enclosed JoJo tank tunnel across the Tugela River, had been transformed into a floating bridge after floodwaters washed the tunnels away, he added.
The event starts with the 222km Descent on October 10, followed by the Great Trek on October 14 and the 110km Two-Day event from October 18.
The two-day event starts and finishes at Emseni Camp race village on the banks of the Tugela River near Winterton, which is also the overnight stop for the three-day races.