“I had an awesome day out out the trails today,” he commented after the win, adding that, “as usual, Helderberg trails put on an incredible display of true Enduro racing.”
Some 70-odd riders took part and enjoyed the groomed trails and perfect riding weather. The business end of the field saw all the big names present, with the likes of Stefan Garlicki, Gert Heyns, Martin Zietsman and Theo Erlangsen all gunning for glory. It was however the ever consistent Van der Merwe and Potgieter who gave Lombardi the biggest run for the win.
Indeed a crash on the final stage – in which he would eventually finish 11th – robbed Pottie of the win. According to Lombardi he had one of his better days on the bike with no mechanicals and very few minor mistakes. “I had a major injury earlier in the year and only started riding in June again,” he said.
“This being only my second Enduro race of the year, I'm so happy to have come out on top in such a stacked field!”
Lombardi heads off to New Zealand in December in a bid to qualify for the 2017 Enduro World Series. “I think I've still got a way to go until full speed but I'm close to it now,” he concluded.
Theo Erlangsen took out the overall title after a consistent season which included an event win, at Contermanskloof and two podiums. Gert Heyns was second overall. The series will be back next year and promises to be bigger and better.
“Cape Cycle Systems was proud to be the title sponsor of the WP SRAM Gravity Enduro series for the second year running under the SRAM banner,” said Warren Lamb. “It is a series we will be supporting again in 2017.”
According to Lamb, SRAM is fully behind the growth of Enduro in South Africa and he feels no other brand is more suitable to the sport of Enduro.
With the standard of racing as well as the vibe of the events he was more than happy. “We saw some fine days of racing and it was fantastic to see new faces at the events. The positive comments on the courses and the fun aspects the events offer was welcomed and shows that we are backing the right horse so to speak,” he said, adding that a special thanks must go out to YT Industries for being the presenters of the Series as well as Camelbak, Alpine Stars, The Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig and Holdfast for being further sponsors of the events.
There will be a post-series prize giving scheduled to take place early in November at The Bike Park. For more details, hit WPGravityEnduro on Facebook.
RESULTS (event #4)
1. Matt Lombardi 00:13:47.518
2. Adi van der Merwe 00:14:22.689
3. Johann Potgieter 00:14:27.703
RESULTS (series overall)
1. Theo Erlangsen
2. Gert Heyns
3. Martin Zietsman