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  • Hill ready to climb mountains at Berg & Bush

    Posted on October 28th, 2014 admin No comments
    Andrew Hill mailjpg

    Andrew Hill (TIB-Thule) will be hoping to make his mark in this year’s FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike stage race alongside new partner Tyrone White. Photo: Gavin Ryan/Finishline Photo

    Last year’s runner-up Andrew Hill will be looking to ascend to the top step of the podium at the FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike stage race, which starts in the Central Drakensberg this Friday. Hill, who finished second in 2013 with Luke Roberts, will be vying for the title in the three-day Descent feature race alongside new teammate Tyrone White.

    “I’d like to believe that we have the experience and racing strengths to stand on the top step this year,” said Hill. “That said, anything can happen on the day and we need to go in confident that we can step up if something doesn’t go to plan on the bike.” When it came to stage racing, he said consistency was key to success.

    “Stage wins are great but the general classification is what really counts. “That said, I feel the first day is usually where overall positions are formed. “At 95km this is the longest and possibly the toughest stage, so if we can make our mark from the word go, we’ll hopefully stay upfront for the rest of the weekend.”

    Hill said both he and White enjoyed the technical sections, could climb well and that their riding styles complemented each other. “We’ve partnered up before and get on well both on and off the bike, which makes things a lot easier when tensions are high while racing.”

    In the absence of defending champions Brandon Stewart and Konny Looser, he said their major challenges were likely to come from the likes of Tyron Bird and Brad Stroberg, who both had excellent stage racing experience. Hill and White, who will be riding in the colours of TIB-Thule, will take on the testing 220km route, which starts at the new Border Post venue on top of Oliviershoek Pass near the provincial boundary with the Free State.

    Hill said the new Drakensberg Drop section, which includes 30km of previously unridden trails, would be a great addition for the pro field, as it provided a longer uninterrupted section of single-track off the escarpment.

    “From a racing perspective it’ll be interesting to see how this will affect the tactics, as nobody would have seen the route and we’ll all have to take it as it comes.”He said the serious contenders would also welcome the omission of the boat crossing of Spioenkop Dam. “The dam crossing was fun but I think for the guys racing the event the prospect of your lead being nullified by a poor boat choice was always quite disconcerting.

    “In the end, the more time we spend riding trails, the happier we are!” The Hillcrest resident said the trails were what set the FedGroup Berg & Bush apart. “I love the amount of work and care that Gary (Green), Sollie (Prinsloo) and the rest of the team put into the trails to make them world class.

    “The climb up and descent off Spioenkop has become synonymous with the event. It’s the route that makes me personally come back year after year.” The 32-year-old has podiumed in each of his three outings at the event, finishing second with Waylon Woolcock in 2012 and winning the mixed category with Brenda Potts the previous year.

    He has had a strong 2014 season to date including victories at the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek and BSI Dusi2c. “I’ve had a productive stage racing season with some really good results. I enjoy the longer races and also the tactical thinking that goes with the stage win battles versus the chess game of the general classification.”

    Hill said he was feeling confident and back in good form following a knee injury sustained during a fall at the Nedbank sani2c in May. “I’ve worked hard to make a comeback and make the last half of the year count. I’ve been enjoying my racing and with that the results have followed.

    “Last month, I had a solid second place at Hill2Hill behind James Reid and followed that up with a win the following weekend in Underberg.” The FedGroup Berg & Bush starts with the Descent on October 10, followed by the Great Trek from October 14 and wraps up with the two-day event from October 18.

    Visit www.bergandbush.co.za, find the race on Facebook or follow @bergandbush.

     

     

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  • SCOTT WIN STAGE, BULLS RETAIN BRIDGE CAPE PIONEER TREK LEAD

    Posted on October 24th, 2014 admin No comments
    Cape pioneer trek lead

    Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys (SCOTT Factory Racing) are closely monitored by Simon Stiebjahn and Tim Both (Team Bulls) during Stage 5 of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia

    In an effort to take back some of the time they lost on Thursday, South Africans Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (SCOTT Factory Racing) blew Stage 5 of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek apart. While they never regained any lost time, they did splinter the field from early on and won the shortened stage, out-sprinting overall leaders Simon Stiebjahn and Tim Bohme (Team Bulls). The stage from George to Herold was shorted from 71km to 51km by the organisers following heavy rain on Thursday, which made parts of the planned route too dangerous.

    Buys and Beukes lost their overall lead on Thursday’s stage, where they encountered a puncture, but vowed they’d fight every remaining metre of the event for the 3 minutes 36 seconds they needed to regain the lead. But the German race leaders stuck to the SCOTT riders on Friday’s stage like their lives depended on it and maintained their overall lead with just one stage remaining. SCOTT Factory Racing clocked a stage time of 2:13:32 with The Bulls finishing in the same time in second place. Third on the stage was the Belgian duo of Michiel van Aelbroeck and Robby de Bock (WMTB.be – Feenstra) two-and-a-half minutes later.

    In the women’s race, South Africans Cherise Stander and Candice Neethling (#iride4Burry) won their first stage of the event, clocking a time of 2:38:05. They were followed home by overall leaders, Asrin Cycling’s Catherine Williamson (GBR) and Alice Pirard (BEL) two minutes later, with Theresa Ralph (RSA) and Esther Suss (SUI) of the Meerendal Wheeler team rounding out the podium places, another minute back. In the other team racing categories, South Africans Phillimon Sebona and Jan Motsoa (Klein Karoo International) were the top Amateurs, with third-placed Brian Lennox and Hannes Hanekom (Klein Karoo Giants) retaining their overall lead. South Africans Inga de Villiers and Dalene van der Leek (LGE Mida Bells Cycling) won the Mixed category, but Germans Max Friedrich and Jana Mischance (Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk), who were second on the stage, retained the Mixed overall lead.

    Heinz Zorweg (AUT) and Bartie Bucher (SUI) of Team Meerendal Wheeler 2 claimed a sixth consecutive stage win and now hold an even larger Masters category lead; while South Africans Johan Labuschagne and Gerrie Beukes (Klein Karoo Veterans) secured a fourth successive stage win and held on to their 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.

    Saturday’s final stage over 86km has 1025 metres of ascent but is considered one of the easier stages of this year’s event. The route heads from Herold to Oudtshoorn via the Chandelier Game and Ostrich Farm. 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

    Stage 5

    Leading results

    Men:

    1 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 2:13:32

    2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 2:13:32

    3 Michiel van Aelbroeck (BEL) / Robby de Bock (BEL) WMTB.Be – Feenstra 2:16:03

    4 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 2:16:05

    5 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 2:17:10

    Women:

    1 Cherise Stander (RSA) / Candice Neethling (RSA) #iride4Burry 2:38:05

    2 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) Asrin Cycling 2 2:40:12

    3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 2:41:05

    Amateur:

    1 Phillimon Sebona (RSA) / Jan Motsoa (RSA) – Klein Karoo International 2:31:54

    2 Matthias Winkler (SUI) / Francois Naf (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2:33:27

    3 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hanekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 2:34:32

    Veteran men:

    1 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) – Klein Karoo Veterans 2:34:47

    2 Malcolm Dods (RSA) /Billy Stelling (RSA) – Swift Carbon 2:37:50

    3 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 2:41:20

    Master men:

    1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 2:30:37

    2 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 2:44:14

    3 Martin Buck (RSA) / Kevin Record (RSA) – Buck n Pom 2:53:00

    Mixed:

    1 Igna de Villiers (RSA) / Daleen Van der Leek (RSA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 2:39:16

    2 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 2:39:53

    3 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 2:45:03

    Solo men:

    1 Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) 2:13:33

    2 Konny Looser (SUI) 2:20:01

    3 Renay Groustra (RSA – RSAweb) 2:20:05

    Solo women:

    1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 2:56:33

    2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 3:09:22

    3 Lara Everts (RSA) 3:10:20

    Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek 2014

    General Classification after Stage 5

    Leading results

    Men:

    1 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 19:29:24

    2 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 19:32:59

    3 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 20:07:43

    4 Michiel van Aelbroeck (BEL) / Robby de Bock (BEL) WMTB.Be – Feenstra 20:10:34

    5 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 20:11:54

    Women:

    1 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 23:00:50

    2 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 23:28:42

    3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 23:53:17

    Amateur:

    1 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hannekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 22:24:27

    2 Mattias Winkler (SUI) / Francois Naf (SUI) Meerendal Wheeler 22:44:03

    3 Phillimon Sebona (RSA) / Jan Motsoa (RSA) – Klein Karoo International 22:53:59

    Veteran men:

    1 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) Klein Karoo Veterans 22:45:49

    2 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 23:09:56

    3 Malcolm Dods (RSA) / Billy Stelling (RSA) Swift Carbon 24:07:52

    Master men:

    1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 21:33:01

    2 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 24:03:42

    3 Waleed Baker (RSA) / Glen Haw (RSA) – Pitstop 25:04:21

    Mixed:

    1 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 23:00:17

    2 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 23:13:20

    3 Igna de Villiers (RSA) / Daleen Van der Leek (RSA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 24:14:52

    Solo men:

    1 Travis Walker (RSA – Kargo Pro Racing) 20:03:08

    2 Alan Gordon (RSA) 20:45:22

    3 Ken van den Bulke (BEL) 20:47:11

    Solo women:

    1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 25:25:56

    2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 27:32:00

    3 Gina Nixon (RSA) 29:26:29

    For full results visit www.capepioneer.co.za

     

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  • DRAMATIC STAGE SEES LEAD CHANGES AT BRIDGE CAPE PIONEER TREK

    Posted on October 20th, 2014 admin No comments
    Cape pioneer trek

    Hermain Persteiner, stage runner up with James Reid, shows the effects of the rainy conditions on Stage 4 of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.

    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

    Stage 4

    Leading results

    Men:

    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

    Women:

    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

    Amateur:

    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

    Veteran men:

    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

    Master men:

    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

    Mixed:

    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

    Solo men:

    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

    Solo women:

    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

    Leading results

    Men:

    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

    Women:

    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

    Amateur:

    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

    Veteran men:

    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

    Master men:

    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

    Mixed:

    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

    Solo men:

    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

    Solo women:

    1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 22:29:23

    2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 24:22:38

    3 Gina Nixon (RSA) 26:11:14

    Elite points

    Men

    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

    Women

    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

     

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  • BULLS UNSTOPPABLE AT BRIDGE CAPE PIONEER TREK FINALE

    Posted on October 20th, 2014 admin No comments
    Bulls unstoppable

    Catherine Williamson (left) and Alice Pirard celebrate their overall women’s category victory at the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.

    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

    Stage 5

    Leading results

    Men:

    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

    Women:

    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

    Amateur:

    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

    Veteran men:

    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

    Master men:

    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

    Mixed:

    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

    Solo men:

    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

    Solo women:

    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

    Leading results

    Men:

    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

    Women:

    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

    Amateur:

    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

    Veteran men:

    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

    Master men:

    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

    Mixed:

    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

    Solo men:

    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

    Solo women:

    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

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  • TREAD MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS RESORT TO COURIER SERVICE FOR SUBSCRIBERS

    Posted on October 20th, 2014 admin No comments

    Tread

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Prize money, quality confirmed for 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek

    Posted on October 7th, 2014 admin No comments
    Bridge Cape

    Fierce competition is expected once again for stage and General Classification podium places at the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, which starts on Sunday. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia

    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

     

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  • Revered Tankwa trek route gets intriguing tweaks for 2015

    Posted on October 6th, 2014 admin No comments
    Tweaks for 2015

    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

    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

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  • Torq zone academy launches cytech™technical 1 online course

    Posted on October 6th, 2014 admin No comments
    Torq zone

    The Torq Zone Academy has opened it’s first module, Cytech™ Technical 1 Theory South Africa, for enrollment.

    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.

     

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  • Berg&Bush brings books to rural schools

    Posted on October 6th, 2014 admin No comments
    Berg & Bush library 2

    Participants in the FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike race, which traverses the Central Drakensberg from October 10, have donated almost R70 000 worth of library books and furniture to underprivileged rural schools along the route. Photo: Supplied (Black and white photo: Kelvin Trautman)

    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.

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  • Bestmed-ASG signs new Dance partner

    Posted on October 6th, 2014 admin No comments
    Lauren Dance - BestMed

    Elite triathlete Lauren Dance has signed with the Bestmed-ASG women’s professional cycling team for the 2015 season. Photo: Supplied

    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.

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