The Fairtree Simonsberg Contour was a drive for trail expansion in the Simonsberg Conservancy and during stage 2 riders enjoyed more than 10km of new singletrack. The race venue was Delvera outsider Stellenbosch.
Just more than a week ago most of the Simonsberg Mountain and the mountain bike trails burnt extensively in fire that raged for more almost a week. The damage was very visible on route and all the riders marvelled at the fact that the race took place despite it all. “It was much better than what I expected after the fire,” said Louw, who won both stages. “You have to respect the work Meurant Botha and his team has done.” Youngster Jurgens Uys and Belgian Ken van den Bulke joined Louw on the overall winner’s podium.
Nicky Giliomee won the women’s race. Michelle Lombardi and Ann Harrison joined her on the winner’s podium on day two. Ariane Kleinhans won stage 1, but took a wrong turn on day two and ended up on the short route.
Uys said that day two’s route was a bit more of a challenge than first stage. “There was this one long climb which was a quite a breath-taker,” said Uys. “Today we could see the extensive damage the fire caused. The Fire Ride for sure. Meurant Botha and his team really did an amazing job making sure we could ride here. I’m certain every single rider appreciate what they did very much.”
The legendary Michelle Lombardi could not stop smiling when talking about the stage. “The routes were absolutely amazing. Tough for sure, but really awesome. All the fire damage added something different to the race and I think the photos will be special. Riders must keep what they saw today and yesterday in the memory banks for when it all is green again and we can ride all the trails we are used to…”