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  1. Dragons Sports has been a mainstay of the South African cycling industry since 1989. For 32 years the company has imported and distributed brands including Giant and Liv Bicycles, Cadex, Mavic, ENVE, SR Suntour, Santa Cruz skateboards in addition to their proprietary brand Avalanche Bicycles and accessories which was started in 1992. In September 2021 Dragons Sports is set to begin a refreshing process, which will see the company reinvigorated as they institute a long-term succession plan. View full article
  2. “Dragons Sports has a fantastic history in the local industry” praised incoming CEO Andrew Cattell. “Michael and Amanda Davis together with Michael and Paula Hirschfeld have built a company which is highly regarded and trusted for their commitment to the sale of quality products and delivering superb after sales support. Along with our new investment partners the vision for Dragons Sports is to continue to build on the company’s existing strengths, to support our extensive network of independent bicycle and chain stores, build and maintain relationships with events, increase our Corporate Social Investment in cycling development organisations, and continue to back professional athletes.” With a background in finance and having co-established The Brand Stable, importing and distributing global water sports brands Duotone, Fanatic and Ion products, Cattell is joined as an investor in Dragons Sports by Neil Scheibe. Scheibe is one of the founders of the Ares Holding Group, the distributor of apparel brands Under Armour, Birkenstock, Crocs and 2XU in Southern Africa. Gareth Kemp, current Group CEO of Ares, will add valuable insight and strategic direction on the Dragons Sports Board. They will not be doing so unaided though, as Michael Hirschfeld remains as a shareholder and a board member. Liv Cycling, Giant’s sister brand, produces industry-leading road, mountain, ebikes and gravel bikes specifically designed for women. Liv bicycles are exclusively distributed in South Africa by Dragons Sports. Photo by Retroyspective. “The initial aim is to step up the marketing and brand visibility of Dragons Sports’ products and engage with our extensive dealer network and end users, Cattell revealed. “Max Sullivan has joined our marketing team and will focus on strengthening the social media offerings, customer engagements, brand activations and ambassador programs. This is our first of many investments we will make in human capital to support and strengthen the brand portfolio.” “A long-term goal is to grow the culture of cycling in Southern Africa. With Giant, Liv and Avalanche in our stable we feel we are perfectly positioned to do so” Cattell added. “Across the brands we cover the full range from your toddler’s first balance bikes to race bikes capable of driving you onto the podium; and price points that suit every customer’s pocket.” Dragons Sports pioneered ebike growth in South Africa. Giant and Liv are renowned globally for their outstanding ebike offering and range. Avalanche offers an affordable entry point for first time ebike owners and opens the door to a growing ebike commuter market. Additionally, the Group is moving to Paarden Eiland, into a state-of-the-art warehouse facility, which will consolidate the existing warehouse and office space to ensure efficiencies in their new business model.
  3. Ryder Innovation is a brand born out of 26 years of sourcing, distributing, and marketing quality cycling accessories. Given our experience gained in this realm, we noticed that not many manufacturers were designing products that answered specific needs within the cycling market. We took it upon ourselves to design, manufacture and distribute such products which were affordable, functional, and unique – while ensuring they all answered a specific problem for cyclists. One such problem is chain lubing. Although this process is an essential part of bicycle maintenance and plays an imperative role in the bicycle’s efficiency, it is often neglected. This is in part due to the mess associated with chain lubing but more importantly, the fact that chains are not lubed correctly to ensure maximum drivetrain efficiency. Luberetta was designed with this in mind and provides users with a very simple solution. A portable 15ml container with a screw-on cap allows users to fill the container with his or her favourite lube. By placing Luberetta over the inside, bottom half of the chain and simply back pedalling, each link will receive a drop of lube through our patented silicon dispenser. Luberetta thus simplifies the lubing process whilst ensuring that each chain link receives adequate lube and in doing so eliminates waste and mess. Like all of the products within the Ryder Innovation stable, Luberetta is designed to be part of an ecosystem ensuring easy storage and quick accessibility. Find out more at https://ryderinnovation.com/luberetta/
  4. Press Release Ryder Innovation has just won a prestigious 2021 Eurobike Award for their Luberetta product. The Luberetta offers a simple and mess free way to lubricate your bicycle chain. For all the details on the Luberetta's features, check out the product release below. View full article
  5. Press Release Built for those who never compromise, Shimano’s premium DURA-ACE R9200 series moves to 12-speed Di2-only, disc or rim-brake set-up with wireless shifters, faster derailleur operation, larger 54-40T chain rings and 11-34T cassettes. ULTEGRA R8100 series also goes 12-speed with wireless Di2 shifter function and faster derailleurs. For the first-time ever ULTEGRA includes a power meter option and full-carbon tubeless disc wheels View full article
  6. DURA-ACE R9200 12-Speed The launch of new DURA-ACE isn’t just the development of an outstanding new groupset, it’s also the culmination of a study into the science of speed. Shimano has delivered its fastest and most precise shifting series, expanding its legacy of innovation while setting a new benchmark in road performance. Every detail, every decision, and every component of the new DURA-ACE R9200 series is engineered to deliver a faster, more reliable, and more intuitive ride experience. Developed with the Science of Speed design concept, the R9200 series component group features an ultra-efficient 12-speed drivetrain, a reliable wireless cockpit, highly refined ergonomics, new aerodynamic tubeless and tubular wheels, an enhanced brake system, and integrated digital technology engineered for those who never compromise. The pursuit of perfection doesn’t come easy. Developments with the world’s best athletes and bicycle component developers meant researching, investigating and analysing product performances in the laboratory and the real-world, leaving no stone unturned to find the science of speed. The result can be broken down into chapters: shifting platform + control interface + brake system + drivetrain system + wheel system Let’s take a look at the improvements within each chapter: Shifting platform: fastest-ever shifting, absolute reliability, integrated design Shimano has completely revised its Di2 platform to improve shifting speed whilst making the shifter-derailleur connection wireless, and still ensuring absolute reliability. Shimano’s new Di2 platform brings an improved motor design in the derailleurs, which decreases the processing speed, i.e. the moving time between motor and gear mechanisms, and the transmission performance, to enable Shimano’s fastest-ever shifting. The result is time saving in fractions of a second but it does result in a 58% decrease in rear derailleur operating time and a 45% decrease in front derailleur operating time. Absolute reliability is provided by a wired connection where it makes sense. New smaller diameter SD-300 wires connect the Di2 battery (BT-DN300) to the front derailleur (FD-R9250) and rear derailleur (RD-R9250). This single internal battery makes for a simple charging solution and ensures a stable and high voltage connection to the derailleurs, contributing to Shimano’s fastest-ever shifting. Absolute reliability is further guaranteed by a high security, fast processing and low power consumption proprietary chip circuit, which significantly decreases the chance of interference from external devices. Tests show that the BT-DN300 battery, which powers the derailleurs, lasts for 1000 km between charges. The STI shifter buttons are powered by coin-style CR1632 batteries which last for approximately 1.5-2 years of usage. To increase battery capacity further, a fully wired option is also possible, offering a 50% increase in capacity and has practical benefits for riders using new DURA-ACE in combination with an e-bike. Shimano’s new DURA-ACE rear derailleur is no longer just a rear derailleur. It is also the point at which the system is charged (replacing Shimano’s SM-BCR2 charger), it provides the connection to the STI shifters via Shimano’s proprietary integrated circuit, the ANT+ connection to other 3rd party devices (replacing the EW-WU111 wireless unit), and it replaces the handlebar or in-frame Junction-A (SM-RS910). This results in the RD-R9250 rear derailleur having an integrated design with a hidden charging port, a button for Di2 operations and LED lights, which denote Synchronized Shifting mode, settings mode, or any charging requirements. Control Interface: unparalleled ergonomics, clean cockpit, customization In recent years professional and high performance riders have started to change their riding positions and riding preferences. Shimano worked in conjunction with many professional riders to study those changes. For climbing, sprinting or time trials, Shimano has balanced comfort, looks and aerodynamic gains with unparalleled ergonomics. New 2x12-speed wireless hydraulic disc brake shifters (ST-R9270) now come with a raised head portion with a slight inward curve and increased area between the shifter and the handlebar to bring new levels of comfort and control. This provides riders with better index finger and thumb grip on the hoods and better 3-finger grip behind the brake lever, whilst still giving easy access to the shift lever in the drops. Another change comes in the increased offset between Di2 buttons on the lever, allowing for better differentiation between the up-shift and down-shift button, especially with gloves or wet fingers. The shifters operate with a wireless connection. This allows for a simple installation procedure and no shift cable ports in the frame or handlebar. Together with internal hose routing, it allows for a beautifully clean cockpit. Where cable ports can be used is in the installation of minimized remote shifter buttons. Shimano’s sprint (SW-R801-S) or climbing shifter (SW-R801-T) can be used with a clamp band or can sit integrally in the handlebars with a specific port, such as the new PRO Vibe Evo bar. These new more compact satellite shifter options either attach to the drops via a 100mm cable (SW-RS801-S) or to the tops via a 260 mm Di2 cable (SW-RS801-T). The control interface of course offers some handy customization options thanks to an updated E-TUBE app which is now compatible with DURA-ACE R9200-series. Much like previous versions, E-TUBE Project version 4.0.0 allows for preferences such as Synchronized or Semi-Synchro shifting, Multi-Shift, shifting speed and STI shift button mapping to be set up on the go. Also connections with 3rd party cycle computers can all be set up to display Di2 information. Drivetrain system: optimized drivetrain components, quick and shockless shifting, integrated power meter Competitive road cyclists are usually looking to get from A to B in the fastest, most efficient way. Taking that simple insight, Shimano has optimized its gearing, shifting and power meter to set a new benchmark for performance, improving rear shifting speed by 58% and front shifting speed by 45%. The new DURA-ACE 12-speed HYPERGLIDE+ cassette retains the top 11T gear but has been optimized with a revision in the ‘sweet spot’ gears between the 6th, 7th and 8th sprockets to keep the Shimano hallmark of smooth and consistent gear steps. Combining this with quick and shockless shifting thanks to the cassette’s clever ramped profile allows for smoother gear changes, even under heavy load, no matter whether you’re moving up or down the cassette. The result is that there is no longer any need to back off an acceleration or time an easy pedal stroke with your shifts. Riders can now put the hammer down and shift even faster, with smoother cadence and better speed transition thanks to DURA-ACE cassettes with HYPERGLIDE+ technology. In total there are two DURA-ACE Hyperglide+ cassette options; 11-30T and a new DURA-ACE 11-34T ratio for steep climbs. The cassettes come with a new spline fitting pattern, which is also backwards compatible to DURA-ACE R9100 11-speed freehub bodies, meaning that new DURA-ACE R9200 components can be used on the previous R9100-series wheels. As well as the new larger DURA-ACE cassette (11-34T) for more modern racing styles, a new larger 54-40T chainset option offers higher transmission efficiency than smaller chainring options and helps pro riders respond to ever-increasing speeds. We touched on the derailleurs shifting speed earlier but there’s more to say. Shifts are now performed by a smaller, sleeker and lighter Di2 front derailleur (FD-R9250) and more advanced SHIMANO SHADOW RD rear derailleur (RD-R9250). The front derailleur promises a 33% smaller frontal area, brings a weight drop to 96 grams, and offers big ring capacity for 50-55T chainrings. The drivetrain system isn’t complete of course without the cranksets. Two versions are available, the integrated power meter version (FC-R9200-P) or the non-power meter version (FC-R9200), of course with many different size specifications. Both versions feature HOLLOWTECH II technology, and come in either 50-34T, 52-36T or a new 54-40T chain ring combination, in crank arm lengths from 160 to 177.5 mm and with a Q-factor of 148 mm. The power meter version uses Bluetooth and ANT+ technology to transmit data. It boasts 300+ hours of ride time between charges and comes with an improved 1.5% strain gauge accuracy. The DURA-ACE R9200 chainset is complete with the same 12-speed chain used on Shimano’s XTR M9100 series, simplifying inventory requirements for retailers and riders. Brake system: finest control ever, quieter system, maintenance-friendly Speed means little without the ability to control it. Races can be decided in the corners, so improved braking can make the difference between a podium finish and disappointment. Shimano’s new DURA-ACE brake components offer more fine-tuned control through the tighter, faster and more aggressive cornering lines found in road racing situations. With the addition of SERVO WAVE technology to brake levers, taken from Shimano’s MTB and Gravel braking systems, riders have a shorter free stroke and are able to get a more immediate connection between brake pads and rotors, allowing for more feathering or modulation of the brakes, resulting in more speed carry-through and more confidence in technical situations. In addition, brake noise reduction has been improved through 10% wider brake pad and rotor clearance and a switch towards Shimano’s RT-MT900 rotors. The result is a quieter system, achieved through less heat deformation of the rotor and less temporary interference between the pad and the rotor. Furthermore, brake maintenance has also been improved. Now it is possible to bleed the brake without removing the caliper (BR-R9270) from the frame thanks to a separate bleed port and valve screw. A new funnel and bleed spacer also help improve the bleeding process. Wheel system: aerodynamics, driving rigidity and lighter weight The last pillar in the science of speed is the wheels, the final point between the rider’s input and the speed output. Shimano has redesigned its wheel line-up with a balance of three factors: drag reduction without sacrificing control, driving force rigidity thanks to a new DIRECT ENGAGEMENT hub, and lighter weight construction. These principles make up a full carbon tubeless and tubular options to exceed today’s standards. Three rim height profiles offer different performance benefits for riders. The C36 (WH-R9270-C36-TL wheel is focused on climbing and is the lightest wheel offering The C50 (WH-R9270-C50-TL) is an all-round wheel with a great balance of drag, lateral and driving rigidity, periphery and overall weight and controllability The C60 (WH-R9270-C60-HR-TL) is the most aerodynamic wheel with High Rigidity (HR) for sprints and high-speed pursuits. It is focused on providing drag, lateral rigidity and driving rigidity benefits. Drag reduction was a big goal and the new C50 in particular excels in that department. In race situations it brings a 5.1W drag reduction versus the DURA-ACE R9100 series C40-TL tubeless wheel and a 1W reduction versus the R9100 C60-TU tubular wheel, whilst still offering other all-round benefits of weight and controllability. Driving rigidity was amplified to increase the direct pedaling feeling when accelerating. This was achieved through a DIRECT ENGAGEMENT hub, using two interlocking faces rather than a pawl and ratchet system and results in a 63% increase between the new R9200 C50-TL and the previous R9100 C40-TL wheel, along with a 45g weight reduction in the freehub. Every gram counts when it comes to rotational mass, so the new wheels have seen a big weight reduction in the rims too. A pair of the WH-R9270-C50-TL wheels drop 161g compared to the previous WH-R9170-C40-TL wheels. Dura-Ace Weights ULTEGRA R8100 12-SPEED Where new DURA-ACE is designed for those who are looking for every competitive advantage possible, new ULTEGRA is the real-world application of those technologies. The R8100 series shares the same DNA as the R9200 series, offering incredible performance across all functions, combining the science of speed pillars to help riders achieve greater performance than ever before. ULTEGRA developments, like DURA-ACE, can be broken down into five development areas: shifting platform, control interface, brake system, drivetrain system and wheel system. Let’s take a look at those areas one by one: ULTEGRA shifting platform ULTEGRA R8100 shares the same revised Di2 platform as DURA-ACE R9200 to improve shifting speed whilst making the shifter-derailleur connection wireless, and still ensuring absolute reliability. New Dura-Ace and new ULTEGRA share the same platform so ULTEGRA users benefit from: The same new Di2 platform which improves the motor design in the derailleurs, decreases the processing speed (i.e. the moving time between motor and gear mechanisms) and the transmission performance to enable Shimano’s fastest-ever shifting. This results in a 58% decrease in ULTEGRA rear derailleur operating time and a 45% decrease in ULTEGRA front derailleur operating time over the previous DURA-ACE RD-R9150 rear derailleur. Absolute reliability from a wired connection where it makes sense. New smaller diameter SD-300 wires connect the Di2 battery (BT-DN300) to front (FD-R8150) and rear derailleurs (RD-R8150). One internal battery makes for a simple charging solution and ensures a stable and high voltage connection to the derailleurs, contributing to Shimano’s fastest-ever shifting. Tests show that the BT-DN300 battery lasts for 1000 km between charges. The STI shifter buttons are powered by coin-style CR1632 batteries which last for approximately 1.5-2 years of usage. A high security, fast processing and low power consumption proprietary chip circuit, which significantly decreases the chance of interference from external devices. The new ULTEGRA rear derailleur is now the point at which the system is charged (replacing Shimano’s SM-BCR2 charger) and it provides the wireless connection to STI shifters and other 3rd party devices (replacing the EW-WU111 wireless unit). Plus its integrated design provides the control point for changing Di2 operations and Synchronized Shifting modes, replacing the previous handlebar or in-frame Junction-A (SM-RS910) button. Where the ULTEGRA derailleurs differ from DURA-ACE is in the construction. The DURA-ACE R9200 front and rear derailleurs weigh 96 g and 215 g respectively, versus ULTEGRA R8100 weights of 116 g and 262 g, resulting in a combined 67 g difference. ULTEGRA control interface For climbing, sprinting or time trials, Shimano has balanced ULTEGRA’s comfort, looks and aerodynamic gains with unparalleled ergonomics. New ULTEGRA 2x12-speed wireless hydraulic disc brake shifters (ST-R8170) now come with a raised head portion with a slight inward curve and increased area between the shifter and the handlebar to bring improved comfort and control. This provides riders with better index finger and thumb grip on the hoods and better 3-finger grip behind the brake lever, whilst still giving easy access to the shift lever in the drops. Offset between Di2 buttons on the lever has also been improved, allowing for better differentiation between the up-shift and down-shift button, especially with gloves or wet fingers. ULTEGRA ST-R8170 shifters operate with a wireless connection, powered by CR1632 coin batteries. This wireless connection allows for a simple installation procedure and no shift cable ports in the frame or handlebar. Together with internal hose routing, it allows for a beautifully clean cockpit. ST-R8170 are compatible with new minimized remote shifter buttons. Shimano’s sprint (SW-R801-S) or climbing shifter (SW-R801-T) can be used with a clamp band or can sit integrally in the handlebars with a specific port, such as the new PRO Vibe Evo bar. These new more compact satellite shifter options either attach to the drops via a 100mm cable (SW-RS801-S) or to the tops via a 260 mm Di2 cable (SW-RS801-T). The control interface of course offers some handy customization options thanks to an updated E-TUBE app which is now compatible with ULTEGRA R8100-series. Much like previous versions, E-TUBE Project version 4.0.0 allows for preferences such as Synchronized or Semi-Synchro shifting, Multi-Shift, shifting speed and STI shift button mapping to be set up on the go. Also connections with 3rd party cycle computers can all be set up to display Di2 information. Again, small differences in the construction account for a weight difference of 41 g between DURA ACE ST-R9270 shifters (350 g) and ULTEGRA ST-R8170 shifters (391 g). ULTEGRA drivetrain system ULTEGRA has two new 12-speed HYPERGLIDE+ cassettes in 11-30 and 11-34 ratios. The 11-30 cassette in particular has been optimized with a revision in the ‘sweet spot’ gears between the 6th, 7th and 8th sprockets to keep the Shimano hallmark of smooth and consistent gear steps. Combining this with quick and shockless shifting thanks to clever ramped profiles on the cassettes brings smoother gear changes, even under heavy load, no matter whether you’re moving up or down the cassette. The result is that there is no longer any need to back off an acceleration or time an easy pedal stroke with your shifts. Riders can now put the hammer down and shift even faster, with smoother cadence and better speed transition thanks to ULTEGRA cassettes with HYPERGLIDE+ technology. ULTEGRA cassettes come with a new spline fitting pattern, which is also backwards compatible to Shimano 11-speed freehub bodies, meaning that new ULTEGRA R8100 components can be used on the previous Shimano 11-speed wheels. For the first-time ever, ULTEGRA chainsets come with the option of a power meter. The FC-R8100-P offers up to 300+ hours of ride time thanks to an integrated, waterproof and rechargeable Li-ion battery. Dual-sided data is provided by Shimano’s proprietary strain gauges on both crank arms. ULTEGRA powermeters uses Bluetooth and ANT+ technology to transmit data. Power meter and non-power meter cranksets come in either 50-34T or 52-36T gear combinations with crank arm lengths of 160, 165, 170, 172.5 and 175 mm. The ULTEGRA power meter crankset weighs 769 g, which is only 21 g heavier than the DURA-ACE power meter at 748 g. The ULTEGRA R8100 chainset is complete with the same 12-speed chain used on Shimano’s XT M8100 series, simplifying inventory requirements for retailers and riders. ULTEGRA brake system Shimano’s new ULTEGRA brake components offer more fine-tuned control through the tighter, faster and more aggressive cornering lines found in road racing situations. With the addition of SERVO WAVE technology to brake levers, taken from Shimano’s MTB and Gravel braking systems, riders have a shorter free stroke and are able to get a more immediate connection between brake pads and rotors, allowing for more feathering or modulation of the brakes, resulting in more speed carry-through and more confidence in technical situations. In addition, brake noise reduction has been improved through 10% wider brake pad and rotor clearance and a switch towards Shimano’s RT-MT800 rotors. The result is a quieter system, achieved through less heat deformation of the rotor and less temporary interference between the pad and the rotor. Furthermore, brake maintenance has also been improved. Now it is possible to bleed the brake without removing the caliper (BR-R8170) from the frame thanks to a separate bleed port and valve screw. A new funnel and bleed spacer also help improve the bleeding process. New ULTEGRA brake calipers weigh 282 g per pair versus the DURA-ACE weight of 229 g. ULTEGRA wheel system The last pillar in ULTEGRA’s development is the final point between the rider’s input and the speed output. For the first-time ever Shimano has introduced a full carbon tubeless disc brake wheel line-up at ULTEGRA level. Much like the new DURA-ACE wheels, performance comes from the balance of three factors – drag reduction without sacrificing control, driving force rigidity, and light weight construction – across three full carbon tubeless options. Three rim height profiles offer different performance benefits for riders. The C36 (WH-R8170-C36-TL wheel is focused on climbing and is the lightest wheel offering with a target weight of 1488 g per pair (for comparison, DURA-ACE WH-R9270-C36-TL weight: 1350 g). The C50 (WH-R8170-C50-TL) is an all-round wheel with a great balance of drag, lateral and driving rigidity, periphery and overall weight and controllability. The ULTEGRA C50 comes with a target weight of 1570 g per pair (DURA-ACE WH-R9270-C50-TL weight: 1461 g). The C60 (WH-R8170-C60-TL) is the most aerodynamic wheel for sprints and high-speed pursuits, focused on drag, lateral rigidity and driving rigidity. The ULTEGRA C60 comes with a target weight of 1649 g per pair (DURA-ACE WH-R9270-C60-TL weight: 1609 g). Driving rigidity was amplified to increase the direct pedaling feeling when accelerating, giving the new ULTEGRA C36 wheel a 9% increase in stiffness versus the current DURA-ACE C40-TL wheel. Ultegra Weights
  7. South Africa’s Greg Minnaar claimed the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships title for the fourth time while Myriam Nicole produced a perfect run to win in Val di Sole. View full article
  8. Greg Minnaar celebrates his 4th UCI DH World Championships title in Val di Sole, Italy. Photo Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool Heavy rain on Saturday evening had made the Black Snake course a slippery surprise during Sunday’s practice runs. However, with a few hours to dry, the World Championships would play out on an amazing track in prime conditions. Greg Minnaar and Myriam Nicole celebrates at UCI DH World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy. Photo Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool In the men’s race, the drama showed no signs of subsiding, with early casualties including Amaury Pierron with a completely smashed rim and defending champion, Reece Wilson, with a puncture off the final jump. Angel Suarez and Dakotah Norton also crashed out whilst on fastest runs. Antoine Vidal was the man to occupy the hot seat for the longest time, starting his race almost two hours before the final run. Having qualified third, the enduro specialist backed up his performance on Friday to lay down the time to beat. Greg Minnaar. Photo Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool Finn Iles was the first to do so with a fast top section giving him enough buffer to hold onto a green split at the finish line. Luca Shaw deployed his relaxed style to good effect to go second with ten riders to go. Danny Hart won the World Championships in Val di Sole in 2016 and was on another typically animated run, fastest at every split and taking the lead. Remi Thirion and David Trummer - the silver and bronze medallists from Leogang last year - failed to go faster. Benoit Coulanges then claimed the lead after nailing his run and nervously watched on as Troy Brosnan came within 0.214 seconds of his lead. Next up was Minnaar and things got tense. Benoit Coulanges. Photo Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool The South African was up at split one but red at two and three. Minnaar began to claw back time further down the track, soaking up the rocks and roots as he flew through the final berms to snatch the lead and send the crowd wild. Loïc Bruni failed to threaten the leaders, as did World Cup leader Thibaut Daprela when a crash ended his chances. Loris Vergier was then fastest through the first two splits but dropped back to fourth, leading to huge celebrations as the 39-year-old Minnaar realised he had become a four-time champion. Troy Brosnan. Photo Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool In the Elite Women’s race, the first of the big names to tackle the course was the fastest qualifier, Vali Holl. A rider with so much talent and yet little luck, the Austrian once again fell foul to race day demons with a crash ending her bid for glory. Tahnée Seagrave has been building speed and confidence all year and was certainly one to watch. However, when she decided to sit out qualification on Friday due to her neck injury, question marks were raised. And despite putting together a smooth run, she sensed others would go faster. Eleanora Farina, with huge home support from the Italian fans, was pushing hard and on pace but just missed out on the hot seat, finishing 0.188 down on Seagrave’s time. Marine Cabirou. Photo Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool Marine Cabirou, who took her inaugural World Cup win in Val di Sole in 2019, was 1.179 down at the first split but her trademark aggressive style saw her throw everything at the Black Snake and she crossed the line a staggering 5.454 seconds ahead of Seagrave. Defending World Champion Camille Balanche was the penultimate rider and she showed no ill effects from the nasty crash she suffered during her practice run on Sunday morning. Despite a bruised ankle, the Swiss rider was quick all the way down and absolutely sent the final jump to finish just 1.272 seconds off the pace in second place. Myriam Nicole. Photo Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool Nicole was the final competitor to tackle the course and showed exactly why she was viewed as a potential champion. Having won her first World Cup in Val di Sole in 2011, the French rider once again crushed the Black Snake with a smooth and fierce performance. Dropping into the final turn Nicole was absolutely flying as she crossed the line a huge 4.827 seconds ahead of Cabirou to claim the rainbow jersey. Men’s DH result 1. Greg Minnaar RSA 3:28.963 2. Benoit Coulanges FRA +0.227 3. Troy Brosnan AUS +0.441 4. Loris Vergier FRA +1.166 5. Danny Hart GBR +1.850 Women’s DH result 1. Myriam Nicole FRA 4:06.243 2. Marine Cabirou FRA +4.827 3. Camille Balanche SUI +6.099 4. Monika Hrastnik SLO +9.085 5. Tahnee Seagrave GBR +9.781
  9. The 2021 Trans Baviaans was held in unusual conditions, imposed by Covid-19 restrictions, and in difficult weather; on Saturday, 28 August. Teams were able to start, in self-seeded start times, from 05h00 in order to beat the 22h00 curfew. The early start and a late winter cold front, lead to sub-zero temperatures, with brief flurries or snow and hail falling on the 227-kilometre route. View full article
  10. Erick Heyns and Wayne van der Walt roll into the Langwater, river crossing after Check Point 3, on their way to victory in the 2021 Trans Baviaans. Photo by Peter Kirk Media. The fastest teams across the course, through the Baviaanskloof, from Willowmore to Jeffreys Bay were the Young Guns, Coopetto/Darvin Trust and Wintergreen-Ciovita Barrier Breakers. Erick Heyns and Wayne van der Walt won the men’s race. Yolande de Villiers and Dirk Coetzee won the mixed category and were third over the finish line to boot. While Elrika Harmzen-Pretorius and Leone Verster were the winning women’s team. While the non-competitive riders started at the time which suited them best; the elite men, women and mixed teams all started together at 08h00. This ensured that there was a chance of pelotons forming and helping the fastest riders knock off the first 105-kilometres to the Baviaanskloof Reserve as quickly as possible. Things transpired a little differently however, as the large groups soon splintered into smaller ones, of just two or three teams. Sub-zero temperatures ensured icy conditions for much of the 2021 Trans Baviaans Race. There was snow on the higher peaks of the region and frost on the ground when the majority of the field got underway in Willowmore, on Saturday morning. Photo by Peter Kirk Media. Right at the front, the biggest and longest surviving group was made up by Uncle Fish, the Young Guns, Coopetto/Darvin Trust and the Coppetto. Nico Bell, of Uncle Fish, relentlessly drove the pace for his teammates Gawie Combrinck and Gerrit de Vries. After 70-kilometres the group started to split under the pressure exerted by Bell, with the mixed Coopetto/Darvin Trust and the Coppetto dropping off the pace. On the Baviaans Back, after 110-kilometres, the Young Guns started to distance Uncle Fish. Heyns and Van der Walt proved on that, the first of the race’s significant climbs, that they were the strongest climbers in the race. Through Check Point 3, at Smitskraal, over the Fangs and up the Mother of All Climbs to Bergplaas the Young Guns slowly extended their lead. The gap never ballooned out however and Bell was always able to pull his teammates back into contention whenever the roads flattened out. The Young Guns came into Check Point 4, at Bergplaas, with a 3-minute lead. A slower turnabout in the checkpoint handed a minute of their advantage back to the Uncle Fish team. Which Bell, Combrinck and De Vries further whittled down over the next 30-kilometres. By the time the leaders reached the base of Neverender, with 30-kilometres to race, the two teams were back together. The moment when Erick Heyns (leading) and Wayne van der Walt managed to distance the Uncle Fish team, on the Mini MAC climb. Photo by Seamus Allardice. It was only on the Mini MAC, the last climb of the race, that the decisive move was made. Heynes recounted how the last 15-kilometres unfolded: “We had seen that Gerrit [de Vries] was struggling a bit more than the rest of us on the climbs. So, we got ourselves to the front of the group after Check Point 7 and went all-in on Mini MAC. Once we got a gap we just had to push on as hard as we could. By the time we reached the train track singletrack, 5-kilometres from the finish, I was seeing double. I couldn’t follow Wayne [van der Walt’s] wheel and nearly crashed a couple of times. But somehow, we held it together and stayed ahead of Nico [Bell], Gawie [Combrinck] and Gerrit.” Heyns and Van der Walt were so exhausted by their efforts that they hardly celebrated upon wining the 2021 Trans Baviaans. A could burst in the last 15 minutes of their race had drenched them to the bone, after having already endured over 8 hours of 2-to-12-degree temperatures. Their winning time was an impressive 8 hours, 21 minutes, and 29 seconds. The Uncle Fish team crossed the line just 1 minute and 16 seconds behind the race winners. Coopetto/Darvin Trust rounded out the overall podium places 15 minutes and 13 seconds later. The remarkable fact of Coopetto/Darvin Trust’s third place overall was that they were also the first mixed team over the finish line at the Fountains Mall, in Jeffreys Bay. De Villiers once again dominated the mixed-race; this time with her new partner, Coetzee. Their victory margin was 1 hour, 15 minutes, and 6 seconds over the Cyclopro Aspire LiveFit. Giant/Liv rounded out the mixed category podium. Wintergreen-Ciovita Barrier Breakers’s Elrika Harmzen-Pretorius (left) and Leone Verster (right) celebrate their 2021 Trans Baviaans title. Photo by Peter Kirk Media. In the women’s race, the Wintergreen-Ciovita Barrier Breakers rode solo through most of the 227-kilometre course to win the 2021 Trans Baviaans title. Harmzen-Pretorius and Verster had a lonely ride, passing lots slower teams who started earlier but were unable to find anyone to work with them. “The elite start group splintered pretty early on” Harmzen-Pretorius recounted after crossing the finish line. “We initially didn’t even know where we were in the women’s field. We just had to ride our own race and work together, as the two of us. It was really hard at times! But I’m glad to have had Leone [Verster] alongside me, she was incredibly strong!” The Wintergreen-Ciovita Barrier Breakers winning time was 10 hours, 44 minutes, and 56 seconds. Adventurers’ Marisa van der Linde and Jodi Zulberg were second and the Untamed Ladies, Anine Koch and Hayley Mcloughlin, were third fastest across the course; despite starting earlier. The third elite women’s team was that of Sarah van Heerden and Elaine Beytell, though their time was nearly an hour slower than Kock and Mcloughlin. The Trans Baviaans is a boon for tourism in the Baviaanskloof region. Willowmore in particular struggled due to the loss of income from the 2020 race being canceled due to Covid-19. Photo by Peter Kirk Media. After a near-freezing Race the Trans Baviaans Repeat riders will be heartened to hear that the weather forecast is better for next weekend. Clear skies and a temperature range of 7-to-19-degrees is currently predicted. Along with a light north-westerly wind, which should blow the teams from Willowmore down the Baviaanskloof, towards Jeffreys Bay. 2021 Trans Baviaans Results Overall: 1. Young Guns: Erick Heyns & Wayne van der Walt (08:21:29) 2. Uncle Fish: Nico Bell, Gawie Combrinck & Gerrit de Vries (08:22:46) 3. Coopetto/Darvin Trust: Yolande de Villiers & Dirk Coetzee (08:36:42) Mixed: 1. Coopetto/Darvin Trust: Yolande de Villiers & Dirk Coetzee (8:36:42) 2. Cyclopro Aspire LiveFit: Jay Carneiro, Bruce Campbell & Tracey Almirall (9:51:48) 3. Giant/Liv: Fienie & Kobus Barnard (10:13:51) Women: 1. Wintergreen-Ciovita Barrier Breakers: Elrika Harmzen-Pretorius & Leone Verster (10:44:56) 2. Adventurers: Marisa van der Linde & Jodi Zulberg (12:24:02) 3. Untamed Ladies: Anine Koch & Hayley Mcloughlin (12:52:34) For the full results from the 2021 Trans Baviaans please click here.
  11. Celebrating its 18th anniversary on the day, mountain bikers could choose between the Marathon/+-65km, Half Marathon/+-33km, Fun Ride/+-16km and a 2.5km Kids Event. Philip Buys. Photo credit: Tobias Ginsberg. Philip Buys (Menlo Park, Pretoria) completed the Marathon/+-65km route in a lightning-fast time of 02 hours 49 minutes 02 seconds. “The route was quite rough. I really enjoyed it,” says Buys. “I’m used to this type of terrain. It’s loose and rocky, very similar to what we have in Pretoria. It was my first Magalies Monster, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun that rough downhill was. The weather was fine today. We had a little bit of rain on the far end of the route, but it didn’t affect the outcome of the race. If my schedule allows it, I’ll definitely be back next year.” Pieter du Toit came in 2nd, while Jan Withaar finished 3rd. Sarah Hill (Bryanston, Gauteng) secured gold in the women’s race in a deserving time of 03 hours 31 minutes 11 seconds. According to Hill she wanted to see what all the hype was about. “Everyone talks so highly of this race. I was absolutely blown away. I’ve done Breedt's Nek a couple of times, but I did not realise that there was more to it. I really enjoyed finding rhythm on the climbs and the downhills were absolutely phenomenal. It was rocky, technical, hard-packed, fast – everything you want, and it rained. My favourite part was the moment that I crested Breedt’s Nek and turned right to start descending. You have the most beautiful views of the North-West. It’s a great area for training and it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” Samantha Sanders came in 2nd, while Karlise Scheepers finished 3rd. Sarah Hill. Photo credit: Tobias Ginsberg. Lenre Coetzee (Klerksdorp) was on fire in the Half Marathon/+-33km securing victory in 01 hour 19 minutes 40 seconds. “I think I’ve done about four Magalies Monsters already,” says Coetzee. “Today’s route was definitely more technical. The wind was hectic, but at least at the end we conquered the Monster.” Ernie Roets came in 2nd, while Bertieemmett Anderson finished 3rd. Yvonne Prinsloo (Hartbeespoort) was the strongest contender in the women’s race, crossing the finish line in 01 hour 43 minutes 40 seconds. “The race was great,” says Prinsloo. “The route was well marked. The up-hills were my favourite part of the route as well as any part where we caught the wind from behind. I’ve probably completed the Magalies Monster seven or eight times already, but this is my first short one. I’ll definitely be back.” Sasha-Lee Sauer came in 2nd, while Tshidi Ebudilwe finished 3rd. Riaan van den Berg (Rustenburg) claimed the top spot on the podium in the Fun Ride/+-16km in 55 minutes 35 seconds. “The route was technical with a lot of ups and downs,” says Van den Berg. “It’s rough terrain. I trained for four days, it’s very little. I’ll definitely be back and will train for the 15km again.” Dirk Steenkamp came in 2nd, while Frans Naude finished 3rd. Alicia Steenkamp (Hartbeespoort) was the first lady home in the women’s race in a time of 57 minutes 12 seconds. “The route was awesome,” says Steenkamp. “I loved the route, and I loved the challenge. The downhills and up-hills were awesome, and I loved going through the water. I’ll definitely be back next year for the Half Marathon.” Alet de Lange came in 2nd, while Lianne Zermatten finished 3rd. Fedhealth Principal Officer Jeremy Yatt said: “We’ve just concluded the Fedhealth Magalies Monster MTB Classic at ATKV Buffelspoort and what an event it’s been. Despite the restrictions due to COVID-19, we trust that all the MTB riders had a blast on some of the North West’s most spectacular routes. It was amazing to be out riding in the fresh air again and to celebrate health and fitness with all the participants. Thank you for joining us!” Marathon/+-65km: OVERALL MEN 1 Philip Buys 02:49:02, 2 Pieter du Toit 02:50:05, 3 Jan Withaar 02:52:21, 4 Dewald Reinecke 02:54:51, 5 Barend Burger 03:05:15, 6 Jan Montshoai 03:16:23, 7 Marcus van den Berg 03:17:50, 8 Justin van der Linde 03:19:13, 9 Allen Lewis 03:19:49, 10 Pressmore Dhlamini 03:24:03 Marathon/+-65km: OVERALL WOMEN 1 Sarah Hill 03:31:11, 2 Samantha Sanders 03:56:38, 3 Karlise Scheepers 03:59:38, 4 Kerry Rice 04:06:48, 5 Sheryl van den Berg 04:27:59, 6 Denni Cartwright 04:28:08, 7 Lee Ziervogel 04:45:05, 8 Mireille Koster 04:48:42, 9 Auralia Edwards 05:06:59, 10 Isabel Prins 05:09:34 Half Marathon/+-33km: OVERALL MEN 1 Lenre Coetzee 01:19:40, 2 Ernie Roets 01:19:45, 3 Bertieemmett Anderson 01:22:09, 4 Jacques Griffiths 01:23:15, 5 Aaron Pietersen 01:25:32, 6 Gregory Roy McCall 01:28:32, 7 Reinhardt Geyser 01:29:31, 8 Steven Nkhoma 01:32:20, 9 Bertus Anderson 01:35:41, 10 Jacques Human 01:35:44 Half Marathon/+-33km: OVERALL WOMEN 1 Yvonne Prinsloo 01:43:40, 2 Sasha-Lee Sauer 01:54:53, 3 Tshidi Ebudilwe 02:13:29, 4 Samantha Zermatten 02:13:47, 5 Charissa Prinsloo 02:24:26, 6 Myra Mantle 02:25:38, 7 Gobona Mantle 02:25:49, 8 Anais Huyser 02:29:53, 9 Liesl Cloete 02:30:58, 10 Lindie Pretorius 02:31:15 Fun Ride/+-16km: OVERALL MEN 1 Riaan van den Berg 00:55:35, 2 Dirk Steenkamp 01:00:21, 3 Frans Naude 01:00:49, 4 Riaz Yayoball 01:01:35, 5 Joshua de Beer 01:06:23, 6 Gys Albertus 01:06:56, 7 Sweef Mostert 01:11:10, 8 Jason Botha 01:11:42, 9 Henko Terblanche 01:13:38, 10 Janco Pretorius 01:15:18 Fun Ride/+-16km: OVERALL WOMEN 1 Alicia Steenkamp 00:57:12, 2 Alet de Lange 01:00:39, 3 Lianne Zermatten 01:04:42, 4 Sulf Mey 01:15:32, 5 Bianca Beumer 01:16:37, 6 Saskia Beheydt 01:20:22, 7 Vaness Beumer 01:24:38, 8 Sanette Scheepers 01:29:21, 9 Sheree Schoeman 01:31:41, 10 Marieta Van Zyl 01:38:06
  12. Philip Buys and Sarah Hill conquered the Fedhealth Magalies Monster MTB Classic on their first attempt at the ATKV Buffelspoort on Saturday 28 August 2021. View full article
  13. Press Release Cannondale recently unveiled the SuperSix EVO SE. Building on the SuperSix EVO platform they dub it as "an evolved race bike ready for the rough and tumble of grass crits, mud ruts, or open gravel tracks". View full article
  14. Where it thrives Paths less taken, open gravel tracks, high-speed off-road pursuits. What it's built for Shaving off seconds, stability in the rough, wicked tire clearance. Key Benefits Sleek Speed. Proven aerodynamic tube profiles deliver more speed with less effort. Go faster, longer. Swift and Sure. Short chainstays provide great grip and acceleration on loose climbs. OutFront Steering Geometry keeps you comfortably in control on even the nastiest descents. Go Big. Enormous clearance lets you run tires up to 45mm wide for maximum traction, comfort, and flat resistance. Specifications Light, durable, fast carbon frameset with big tire clearance SRAM Rival AXS wireless electronic group / Rival hydro disc brakes DT Swiss CR-1600 Spline wheels with 40c tires / HollowGram KNØT carbon seatpost Geometry Local Availability The Cannondale SuperSix EVO SE is expected to arrive in South Africa around March/April 2022.
  15. Wessel Botha celebrates as he crosses the finish line ahead of Alex Miller and Marco Joubert at the 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen. Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting South African marathon champion, Yolande de Villiers (The Coopetto) took a comfortable victory in the women’s race finishing an impressive 30th overall. It was a day that saw a limited field of riders due to Covid-19 restrictions tackling the 121km race from Oudtshoorn to Groot Brak River in near perfect weather conditions. The women’s podium of the 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen is, from left: Kelsey van Schoor (fifth), Sarah Hill (third), Yolande de Villiers (first), Amy Beth McDougall (second) and Kim Le Court (fourth). Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting Botha, who finished third at the 2020 edition, was eager to improve on that result and was attentive throughout the demanding race, which included 2900 metres of climbing. The 22-year-old professional racer from Pretoria, outlasted most of the field and eventually outsprinted his final two rivals to claim the win in a time of 04 hours 46 minutes 22 seconds. Second place went to Nambia’s Alex Miller (Trek Vaude) and third to South African Marco Joubert (Imbuko Giant), both also beating the previous record. Wessel Botha (left) leads Alex Miller and Marco Joubert towards the finish of the 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen. Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting Botha’s winning time was 01:34 quicker than the previous record of 4:47:56 set by Swiss ace Urs Huber in 2014. But the course for the 2021 edition was around 1500 metres longer as the organisers needed to create a detour near the finish because of damage to the route caused by recent rain. As is usually the case, the rugged terrain and steep gradients of the section through the Attakwas Reserve after Water Point 2 was the most decisive. Pieter du Toit (Pyga EuroSteel) claimed the King of the Mountain prize at the 56km point, but he punctured on the descent. That left a group of five in the lead comprising two-time winner and pre-race favourite, Matthys Beukes (Pyga EuroSteel), Tristan Nortje (Imbuko Giant), Miller, Joubert and Botha. The change of date from January to August saw more water and deeper river crossings on the route of the 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen. Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting Beukes then also punctured on the descent putting paid to his hopes of contesting the win and Nortje was distanced on the climb with 87km completed, leaving Miller, Joubert and Botha to tackle the finale at the front. “Initially Alex tried some attacks but he couldn’t drop us so we decided to work together and ensure we kept our lead,” explained Botha. “We worked well together but I knew from last year that those last two climbs were crucial. I attacked on the second one and Marco got dropped. But he managed to claw his way back to us and I then realised that it would come down to a sprint and I knew the first rider onto the last descent would be in the best position for the win. There is some rugged terrain that faces the riders at the Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen. Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting “Alex managed to get in front on the last downhill, but he went a bit wide on a turn and I managed to pass him on the inside. From there it’s quite twisty and narrow to the finish and so I just kept the pressure on and was able to cross the finish line first,” explained an elated Botha. Perennial Attakwas podium contender, Gert Heyns (Pyga EuroSteel) paced himself well to finish fourth with Beukes rounding out the top five. “This is definitely one of the highlights of my career,” smiled Botha. “Attakwas is the toughest one-day race in South Africa and riders have a lot of respect for it. To win it for my team and to break the course record is something I’m very proud of. With about 30km to go I noticed our time and thought that we would be close to the record, but I was more concerned about trying for the win. The weather conditions were really perfect, which definitely helped with the fast time.” The leading men tackle the Attakwas Kloof Reserve during the 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen. Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting Unlike the men’s race, the women’s race saw De Villiers lead from start to finish. It was the 48-year-old’s ninth participation in the iconic race and her third victory. She claimed her first win in the first edition of the race in 2007. Her second win came from thrilling a sprint finish at the 2019 edition and her third a somewhat ‘social distanced’ one in 2021. De Villiers clocked a winning time of 05:59:23. Second place went to Amy Beth McDougall in a time of 06:04:55 with Sarah Hill rounding out the podium in a time of 06:18:49. “I attacked from the start and was on my own at the front for the whole race. My strategy was to race my own race and basically ‘go til you blow’!” said a satisfied De Villiers. A wildebeest dashes across the road ahead of a competitor at the 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen. Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting “This was a special victory for me because I lost my previous sponsor at the end of July as a result of the lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19. And today I raced for the first time for my new sponsor, The Coopetto, which is a cycling coaching company owned by my coach, Timo Cooper.” The first ten finishers at the Attakwas Extreme get gold medals and all finishers under six hours get silver medals with bronze medals going to the remainder of the finishers. This year there were only 30 riders that broke the six-hour silver-medal cut-off. The men’s podium of the 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen is, from left: Gert Heyns (fourth), Marco Joubert (third), Wessel Botha (first), Alex Miller (second) and Matthys Beukes (fifth). Photo: ZC Marketing Consulting 2021 Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen leading results: Overall men 1 Wessel Botha, RSA (Type Dev NanoTime) 04hrs46min22 sec 2 Alex Miller, NAM (Trek Vaude) 04:46:22 3 Marco Joubert, RSA (Imbuko Giant) 04:46:23 4 Gert Heyns, RSA (Pyga EuroSteel) 04:48:24 5 Matthys Beukes, RSA (Pyga EuroSteel) 04:49:29 6 Rudi Koen, RSA (Imbuko Giant) 4:59:51 7 Tristan Nortje, RSA (Imbuko Giant) 05:00:48 8 Carel van Wyk, RSA 05:04:36 9 Jacques Janse van Rensburg, RSA (Team DSV) 05:07:59 10 Tristan de Lange, NAM (Imbuko Giant) 05:09:24 Overall women 1 Yolande de Villiers, RSA (The Coopetto) 05:59:23 2 Amy Beth McDougall, RSA (Perigon/Motor Lease/BH) 06:04:55 3 Sarah Hill, RSA (Liv Racing) 06:18:41 4 Kim Le Court, MRU (Galileo Infiniti Spot) 06:43:56 5 Kelsey van Schoor, RSA (Customised BioPlus) 06:46:58 6 Leone Verster RSA (Wintergreen) 06:57:05 7 Mandi Augustyn, RSA 06:57:10 8 Nicola Walker, RSA 07:00:55 9 Sarita Louw, RSA 07:07:36 10 Franci Joubert, RSA 07:47:51 For full results, visit www.atta.co.za
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