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Michael Posthumus and Chris Wolhuter receiving their Trans Baviaans winner’s prizes. Photo by Jetline Action Photo.

Despite the relatively slow first 100km to Check Point 2, at Geelhoutbos, Posthumus and Wolhuter managed to beat Lourens Luus and Billy Stelling’s time from the previous weekend by just over five minutes. The PowerBar pairing managed to complete the 230km race from Willowmore to the coast in an impressive 8 hours, 35 minutes and 38 seconds.

A 1 069 rider strong field started race two of the Trans Baviaans, 28 more than the previous weekend. Roughly 80% of the riders lining up were first time Trans Baviaansers and the inexperience showed in a larger number of technical issues compared to race one. Another side effect of the inexperienced field was the early pace. Encouragingly the first time riders heeded organisers EcoBound’s advice and started conservatively rather than racing out of the blocks in Willowmore.

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The Darkhorse - Auto Den team of Dusty and Tyler Day heading up The MAC. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax.

In the race for Trans Baviaans victory, the first team to make a move was the Darkhorse - Auto Den pairing of Dusty and Tyler Day. The brothers attacked out of the lead group from Check Point 2 and soon established a gap on the chasing pack. But tragedy struck on the lower slopes of The Mother of All Climbs (The MAC) when they punctured. While fixing the puncture they were caught, and passed, by the PowerBar team of Posthumus and Wolhuter.

Heading up The MAC and down the Big Dipper the new race leaders used their superior technical riding skills to establish a lead, which they extended from four and a half minutes at Bergplaas to ten minutes by Check Point 5. The pair have contrasting styles on the bike – Wolhuter is seemingly effortlessly smooth while Posthumus is exceptionally powerful – but despite this they were well matched throughout and managed to finish strongly to claim the win by 20 minutes over the Day brothers. The Darkhorse - Auto Den team were proud and disappointed, in equal measures, in their second position. On crossing the finish line Dusty Day said they “didn’t do too badly, for roadies” and with a strong first attempt at the Trans Baviaans it’s likely the pairing will return to challenge for victory again next year.

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Tony Aspeling making his way across a Baviaans water crossing. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax.

The third men’s team across the line was the Jakkalsvlei team of Henri Meyer and JC Visser. In the women’s race, Anni Uys and Heleen Rossouw took the win with the four woman team of Ernestine Safar, Arouchelle Nieuwenhuis, Cherise Odendaal and Maroshell Odendaal placing second. Rounding out the podium were the Hillcrest Hoodlums, Shelley Durrant and Lynne Baxter. In the mixed category, Andrew Payne and Bianca Martinaglia were first with Kevin Taljaard, Yolande de Villiers and Henry de Villiers second while Henning Blaauw, Louise Ferreira and Pierre Conradie were third.

The victors of the second race of the 2016 Trans Baviaans win entries to race one of the 2017 event; along with the other fantastic prizes, including cash prizes and Citizen Watches. This sets up a potentially spectacular duel between the PowerBar teams of Luus and Stelling, victors from race one, against Posthumus and Wolhuter the winners of race two in twelve months’ time.

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Riders grinding their way up the infamous Mother of All Climbs. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax.

For would be Trans Baviaans riders and old hands alike the important dates to diarise for 2017 have already been announced. Race one takes place on the 12th and 13th of August, while race two takes place the following weekend, on the 19th and 20th. Entries for the 2017 events open on the 1st of December 2016.

To catch up on all the action from the 2016 Trans Baviaans visit www.transbaviaans.co.za where you’ll find all the results, race information and be able to watch the #TransTalk chat show; which was filmed live from the finish line, at the Fountains Mall in Jeffrey’s Bay, on Sunday the 21st of August. To view all the spectacular photos, taken by Jacques Marais, from the 2016 events like the Trans Baviaans Facebook page or follow @EcoBoundMTB on Twitter and @transbaviaans on Instagram.

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The hand-made five-time finisher’s plaque awaiting the addition of the 2016 Trans Baviaans medal. Photo by Jetline Action Photo.

Selected Results: 2016 Trans Baviaans | Race 2


Men:
1. Chris Wolhuter & Michael Posthumus (PowerBar 2) 08:35:38
2. Dusty & Tyler Day (Darkhorse - Auto Den) 08:55:56
3. Henri Meyer & JC Visser (Jakkalsvlei) 09:17:46

Mixed:
1. Andrew Payne & Bianca Martinaglia (John O’Connor Mixed) 10:03:41
2. Kevin Taljaard, Yolande de Villiers & Henry de Villiers (East Coast Cycles Mix) 10:21:56
3. Henning Blaauw, Louise Ferreira & Pierre Conradie (Gemini) 10:39:44

Women:
1. Anni Uys & Heleen Rossouw (Willekatte) 16:34:43
2. Ernestine Safar, Arouchelle Nieuwenhuis, Cherise & Maroshell Odendaal (All Girls) 16:39:33
3. Shelley Durrant & Lynne Baxter (Hillcrest Hoodlums) 17:18:26