Germany’s multiple Cape Epic winner, Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls), racing in the smaller Solo division, confirmed his good form with a third stage win, a dominant category win and the fastest time overall.
In the women’s race, Ascendis Health’s Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag secured a third consecutive stage victory and the overall Tankwa Trek title. In the process, they confirmed their status as genuine podium contenders at next month’s Cape Epic. Catherine Williamson (Asrin Cycling) secured another stage win and the overall title in the Solo women’s category.
Michael Posthumus and Yolandi du Toit (Garmin) grabbed their first Mixed division stage win on the final leg, but stage runners-up, Craig Boyes and Candice Neethling (Asrin Cycling) claimed the overall Mixed category crown.
The final stage over 61km was relatively short, which resulted in a higher intensity and average speed compared to Stages 1 and 2. There was a frantic scramble during the first five kilometres of gravel road by riders eager to reach the long first section of singletrack in a good position. It’s extremely difficult to overtake on singletrack, which can lead to gaps forming and critical time being gained – or lost…
In the men’s team battle, Woolcock and Lill used a climb called Heartbreak Hill, just 11km from the finish to make their move. Both strong climbers, they increased the pace up the gravel road ascent which put Reid into difficulty. Reid’s teammate, Kleinhans, enjoying the form of his life currently, seemed unaware of Reid’s detachment from the leading pack when they entered the next piece of singletrack as he kept setting a high pace at the front.
“I looked back and saw that James wasn’t with us any more and when Erik realised it and eased up, Darren and I seized the opportunity to push on for at least the stage win. There wasn’t much distance left to make any kind of meaningful dent in the overall classification,” explained a delighted Woolcock.
The Red-E Blend pair held onto their lead and clocked a winning time of 2 hours 14 minutes and seven seconds, just under half a minute ahead of Reid and Kleinhans, who rolled home to secure the overall Tankwa Trek title. Sandwiched in between was Sahm, with Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabies (EAI Cycling) rounding out the top three teams on the stage.
“This year’s Tankwa Trek felt a lot harder than last year’s. The standard of racing in South Africa is really high at the moment,” said Reid.
“To be honest, I didn’t have the best legs over the weekend, but Erik gave a master class in how to be a proper teammate. Even though I’m not doing the Cape Epic, this is a fantastic race for Cape Epic preparation as you are really exposed to some true mountain biking stages – routes are tough, steep and seriously technical in some parts. I’m super chuffed to have won overall again,” added Reid, who won the team title last year with Brendon Davids.
In the women’s race RECM’s Arianne Kleinhans and Cherise Stander managed to get into the first section of singletrack in front of De Groot and Stenerhag, but as the race moved onto a gravel road climb, the Ascendis Health pair took the lead, which they maintained until the finish. They clocked a time 2:31:05, two-and-a-half minutes ahead of Kleinhans and Stander, the latter finishing with a lacerated knee sustained in a crash.
“Being a shorter stage, the pace was really fast today. But the pressure was the same as the other days and we’re happy to have been able to win the stage and the overall title,” said De Groot. “It was a great team event for Jennie and I in terms of our stage-racing partnership and the terrain offered some really testing riding , which is similar to what we will experience at the Cape Epic.”
For more information and full DUTOIT Tankwa Trek results, visit www.tankwatrek.co.za. For image galleries, like the Tankwa Trek page on Facebook.
DUTOIT TANKWA TREK 2015
Stage 3 – leading results:
1 Darren Lill (RSA) / Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Red-E Blend 2:14:07
2 James Reid (RSA) / Erik Kleinhans (RSA) Team RECM 2:14:33
3 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) / Johann Rabie (RSA) EAI Cycling 2:15:21
4 Lourens Luus (RSA) / Adriaan Louw (RSA) Contego 2:17:14
5 Hanco Kachelhoffer (RSA) / Chris Wolhuter (RSA) 2:21:32
1 Stefan Sahm (GER) Team Bulls 2:14:21
2 Tyronne White (RSA) 2:15:23
3 Timo Cooper (RSA) 2:17:17
4 Ben Melt Swanepoel (RSA) 2:19:50
5 Ryan Piercey (RSA) 2:21:32
1 Robyn de Groot (RSA) / Jennie Stennerhag (SWE) Ascendis Health 2:31:05
2 Cherise Stander (RSA) / Arianne Kleinhans (SUI) Team RECM 2:33:47
3 Yolande de Villiers (RSA) / Bianca Haw (RSA) Sasol Racing 2:36:45
4 Ann Harrison (RSA) / Marleen Lourens (RSA) Dawn Wing Momsen 2:53:27
5 Nina Hind (RSA) / Kathy Crabbe (RSA) Fruit Sizers 3:33:05
1 Catherine Williamson 2:35:14
2 Cherie Vale (RSA) 2:35:49
3 Christine Jansen van Rensburg (RSA) 2:42:56
4 Jane Seggie (RSA) 2:44:51
5 Monica Glover (RSA) 3:03:20
1 Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Michael Posthumus (RSA) Garmin 2:37:56
2 Candice Neethling (RSA) / Craig Boyes (RSA) Asrin Cycling 2:39:03
3 Carmen Buchacher (RSA) / Allan Cox (RSA) VSL Mixed 2:47:04
4 Leana de Jager (RSA) /Johan Labuschagne (RSA) Sasol Racing 2:49:37
5 Joanne Bentley (RSA) / Craig McKune (RSA) Stynky Lynxes 2:58:51
Final General Classification
1 James Reid (RSA) / Erik Kleinhans (RSA) Team RECM 9:28:28
2 Darren Lill (RSA) / Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Red-E Blend 9:33:37
3 Lourens Luus (RSA) / Adriaan Louw (RSA) Contego 9:44:27
4 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) / Johann Rabie (RSA) EAI Cycling 9:51:17
5 Hanco Kachelhoffer (RSA) / Chris Wolhuter (RSA) Altech Autopage 10:17:41
1 Stefan Sahm (GER) Team Bulls 9:26:02
2 Tyronne White (RSA) 9:50:54
3 Timo Cooper (RSA) 9:57:11
4 Ben Melt Swanepoel (RSA) 10:04:18
5 Derrin Smith (RSA) 10:21:36
1 Robyn de Groot (RSA) / Jennie Stennerhag (SWE) Ascendis Health 10:53:34
2 Cherise Stander (RSA) / Arianne Kleinhans (SUI) Team RECM 11:00:27
3 Yolande de Villiers (RSA) / Bianca Haw (RSA) Sasol Racing 11:31:25
4 Ann Harrison (RSA) / Marleen Lourens (RSA) Dawn Wing Momsen 12:49:34
5 Nina Hind (RSA) / Kathy Crabbe (RSA) Fruit Sizers 15:40:04
1 Catherine Williamson (Asrin Cycling) 11:16:40
2 Cherie Vale (RSA) 11:47:40
3 Christine Jansen van Rensburg (RSA) 11:53:35
4 Jane Seggie (RSA) 12:31:24
5 Monica Glover (RSA) 13:22:22
1 Candice Neethling (RSA) / Craig Boyes (RSA) Asrin Cycling 11:13:06
2 Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Michael Posthumus (RSA) Garmin 11:23:40
3 Leana de Jager (RSA) /Johan Labuschagne (RSA) Sasol Racing 11:58:11
4 Carmen Buchacher (RSA) / Allan Cox (RSA) VSL Mixed 12:07:31
5 Joanne Bentley (RSA) / Craig McKune (RSA) Stynky Lynxes 13:25:24