Anna Marx - 1st Nipper Girls

A total of 18 different categories meant riders from all shapes, sizes and ages signed up for the day. The 4km loop combined a good mix of climbs and descends with more than half of the route visible from the spectators' viewpoint near the finish line. The long climb close to the start quickly sorted the men and women from the boys and girls and it was clear who was serious about winning. The winding singletrack switchbacks tested the riders' cornering abilities and with passing impossible on the narrow singletrack, it very often lead to riders bunching up. A quick sprint through the mini forest took the riders around the dam, wrapping up a lap around the track.

Elite men's winner Renay Groustra completed his 8 laps in 1.26.23, with elite women's winner Lolita van Aardt, completing her 6 laps in 1.24.41.

"The route wasn't very technical, but it was quite bumpy. I was running on a hardtail and probably put a bit too much pressure in my tires, so it hurt me in the end. I put in quite a bit of work in the gym this week, so my legs were pretty sore in the beginnig but as the race progressed they opened up a bit. I love racing cross country and it was good to come out today and win the race. I'm really pleased with the amount of money and effort Paarl Media put into the event, and I just want to thank my sponsor RSAweb for supporting me." ~ Renay Groustra, 1st Elite Men

"Its great to see that XC racing in South Africa is on the up. There's more support and spectators and young guys coming through. The route was technical enough - they put in a good effort in building a nice, interesting track. Still we need more technical and tougher tracks, to prepare more for the international scene, but we are heading in the right direction." ~ Nico Pfitzenmaier, 2nd Elite Men

Full results to of all the categories can be found here.

A big thank you goes out to the sponsors Paarl Media Group, Durbanville Commercial Printers, NMC Construction Group, Cycle Funatic, Gecko Cycles, Dragon Sports, Red Bull, Price-Waterhouse Coopers, Mondi and Rob Starke for making Contermanskloof MTB Trails available.


Alec Coleske - 1st Nipper Boys


Luke Moir - 1st Sprog Boys


Riders lead out the first climb of the track - separating the men and women from the boys and girls


Almost there


Carla Hollander - 1st Sub Junior Girls


Sarah Van Der Walt - 1st Sprog Girls


As harsh as Contermanskloof can be during the summer, just as glorious is it during winter with lush green rolling hills as far as you can see


Michard Meets - 1st Sub Junior Boys


Title sponsor Paarl Media did a great job at organizing the 2014 WP Champs XCO


Matthew Keyser - 1st Youth Men


Hannes Hanekom - 1st Sub Veteran Men


And then, within a couple of minutes, the mist completely engulfed the track


Robert Sim - 1st Veteran Men


Not much you can do with low visibility - Bigshot Media shooting for SuperSport


Doug Brown - 1st Master Men


Lolitha Van Aard - 1st Elite Women


Marie Kempf - 1st Under 23 Women


Diana Carolin - 1st Sub Veteran Women


Amy Williams - 1st Junior Women


Paarl Media & DCP pits


With so many age categories, and a spectator friendly track, the event was suitable for the whole family to join


Some catering to keep the spectators happy - and as quickly as it came, the mist disappeared


Jurgens Uys - 1st Under 23 Men


Harrie Malan - 1st Junior Men


Renay Groustra being chased hard by Nico Pfitzenmaier - but Renay would claim top spot with Nico in second


The views from the top of the singletrack switchbacks with the start/finish line down there in the gulley


The day turned out perfect for racing


Renay Groustra making light work of the technical parts of the track, taking the overall win


Nico Pfitzenmaier pinned through the mini forest on his way to 2nd position


XCO WP Champs Elite men's podium


XCO WP Champs Elite men's winner, Renay Groustra

Words and images: Ewald Sadie