At the sharp end of the race, Etnard Louw and Hanco Kachelhoffer of Team NFB Altech Autopage added a second stage victory to the one they claimed on Stage 1. Crossing the line in second position overall and in first in the mixed teams’ category were Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer, while the Cape Brewing Co combination of Anja van Zyl and Gemma Grobbelaar won the stage in the women’s category.
For the less competitively inclined riders the route provided amazing views around every twist and turn in the trail. With the Glacier Storms River Traverse route being made up by-in-large of jeep tracks and plantation roads it’s a deliberately non-technical ride. Dryland Event Management have kept the stage distances short and with the absence of technical challenges and a competitive racing vibe riders can take in the scenery. The tour style atmosphere allows riders to keep their heads up and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings, rather than being on the rivet and staring at their stems or focusing intensely on the trails as they white knuckle their way through technical terrain.
The stage started with a trip through the Storms River Village before descending under the N2 and climbing into a picturesque indigenous forest. Crossing back under the N2 and heading for the coast riders made their way to the Storms River Pass. The steep switchbacks of the tar road descent were taken with more trepidation than one might expect. But given the number of Glacier Storms River Traverse riders who had watched Vincenzo Nibali’s dramatic Olympic road race crash the evening before, maybe it wasn’t that surprising.
For every descent there has to be a climb however and Stage 2 of the Glacier Storms River Traverse featured a dusi. Rising from sea level, at the Storms River Mouth, to the cliff-tops 200 odd meters above in just over one kilometre the cement paved climb featured sections of 22% gradient. Many riders trudged up the climb, knowing a water point awaited like an oasis at the top. More rode sections – rested briefly and rode on again – and others simply powered up the climb with the aroma of ostrich steaks and burgers on the braai, at the cliff-top water point, providing nearly as much motivation as the bragging rights that clearing the climb earned.
Monday’s Stage 3 will be the last chance for riders to soak up the scenery, indulge at the Dryland Water Points and revel in the relaxed atmosphere of the Glacier Storms River Traverse. The final stage features a 50.7km route which takes in 830m of climbing.
To view more photos from the 2016 Glacier Storms River Traverse like the Facebook page;Storms River Traverse or follow @SRTraverse on Twitter or followdrylandeventmanagement on Instagram. For all the results click here and to find out more about the Glacier Storms River Traverse visit www.stormsrivertraverse.co.za.