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  1. Cherie is riding the Head Trenton carbon hardtail. Head might not be brand readily associated with cycling but with a local distribution deal recently signed, we might start seeing more on our road and trails. Cherie's bike was the first Trenton we've encounter: the defined lines, recessed seat post clamp, and beefy bottom bracket catching our eyes. Cherie entrusts her gearing to a SRAM X01 Eagle system with XX1 crank arms connected by a KMC X12 chain. Cherie's top cap gives her extra motivation while cockpit is set up for "Go fast!" mode with the bearing cap removed and no spacers in sight and a negative angle stem. The SR Suntour sponsored teams mostly selected the Axon Werx fork with carbon lower legs for the Stellenbosch World Cup. Cherie picked Schwalbe's Rocket Ron tyre to cut through the Coetzenburg dust on the front with a quicker rolling Racing Ralph to keep the rear in check. Yes, a number of riders have raced with adjustable seat posts over the past few seasons but, looking around the pits in, 2018 seems to be the year it goes mainstream. Cherie is using the KS Lev Integra with 100 mm of travel. Cherie prefers a Specialized Power saddle with a 143 mm width. Specification list: FrameHead TrentonForkSR Suntour Axon WerxFront TyreSchwalbe Rocket Ron Addix SpeedGrip 2.25Rear TyreSchwalbe Racing Ralph Addix Speed 2.25HandlebarControlTECH 720mmGripsHead foamStemControlTECH CLS 90mmHeadset + top capAcros top capSeatpostKS Lev Integra 100mmSaddleSpecialized Power 143mmBrakesSRAM Level UltimateBrake rotorSRAM CentreLine 160mmShiftersSRAM X01 EagleRear derailleurSRAM X01 EagleCassetteSRAM X01 Eagle 10-50TCrank armsSRAM XX1 170mmChainringSRAM Eagle 34TChainKMC X12Bottom BracketGPXPedalsShimano XTBike computerCicloWeight10.1 kg
  2. The overall podium for the MTB Bundesliga series. Photo: Thomas Weschta / EGO Promotion Cherie Redecker’s overall position was nearly lost in the first 50 metres of the race but a strong fightback meant she was still in contention. She described the race as follows: I had a great start for the first 50 meters but then my chain snapped. It was an uphill run to the tech zone where I was lucky to have the help from Head Ciclo XC Team to replace my chain. I was stone last but had nothing to lose. I tried not to let the negative thoughts sink in and focused on the now. With the right mental approach, I was able to turn my race around. I found a rhythm and started passing riders. I wasn’t sure where I was in the race until Heiko cheered me on saying I need to get into the top 10 to keep my overall spot. With one lap to go, I was 11th with 2 riders in the distance. That last lap was a big mental game and I didn’t want to finish the season with any regrets. Digging deep past the pain, I managed to finish the race in 9th. Photo: Josh Findley While I had my own drama there was also excitement at the front of the race. Unfortunately, Anne Terpstra had to stop her race due to still not feeling well after getting sick on her return from World Champs in Australia. Sabine Spitz was leading the race but a flat tyre on the penultimate lap gave Lisi Osl a chance of winning the race. If Osl did manage to win, I would have placed 4th overall for the series, but luckily for me, Spitz managed to fight back and win. With the win, Spitz took the overall series win. Hanna Klein came 5th moving her to 2nd overall. Even though the result on the day wasn't what I was hoping for, I am happy to have come 3rd overall in the MTB Bundesliga series. Photo: Josh Findley Racing the MTB Bundesliga series has been fundamental for me. It has highlighted the areas where I really need to focus on in order to move forward in my racing. The best part of racing the series are the friends I have made.
  3. Cherie racing the XCO race at the Sabine Spitz Gold Trophy in Europe. Image By Ego Promotions It must have been disappointing not being able to secure a spot on a pro team for this year. Judging by your results early in the year you’re certainly in good form, both in terms of fitness and mentally. How did you overcome that initial disappointment and doubt, and does that ever come creeping back? It was demotivating not finding a pro team for 2017. Often I felt like I was not good enough and a few times thought of stopping racing altogether. At some point I realised however, that it was not because I was not good enough, but rather that I was currently in no man’s land. I wasn’t racing in South Africa enough to warrant a local company/team to sponsor me and I wasn’t known well enough in Europe, nor had any relationships built up there, to secure sponsorships. Thankfully, I have good support from family and friends, which keeps me motivated.What helped me overcome the disappointment is that I looked at where I was, where I am now and where I want to be. I couldn’t let a small setback stop me when I feel I haven’t reached my full potential. The first few races of the year I had no expectations and just took every race as it came. This worked really well for me. The doubts start creeping in again, now that I have higher expectations and added pressure to get into a team for next year, especially when I don’t get the results I aim for. Doubt will always be there but it is whether you let it control you which will decide if you keep going or not. I just try and focus on the small steps and control what I can. What was behind your decision to leave South Africa for Europe? It is something that Heiko and I have been planning to do for some time. We wanted to explore and experience life abroad.A personal reason for me was the level of racing in Europe. It is a lot more competitive and there are XCO races every weekend. I realised, that in order to improve as an athlete, I needed exposure to this on a more regular basis. Catching the train to the airport is pretty simple but does become a little tricky when you are on your own with lots of luggage. How does living and training in Germany differ from South Africa? What are the pros and cons? I don’t think I have lived in Germany long enough to be able to compare everything and we’re told it was a milder winter than usual, but here are my experiences so far.Pros So many cycle lanes you hardly have to train on the road. Added to that, we have a lot of trails in and around Schweinfurt. The only thing I am missing is a long and steep climb to do my 10 minute intervals on. Summer days are pretty awesome. You have too much daylight and have to be disciplined to go to bed before the sun sets… thank goodness for shutters. It is safe to ride pretty much everywhere. The German Autobahn is amazing. I am not too sure how I am going to stick to the speed limit when I visit SA. The public transport is very good but is limiting when traveling to smaller towns, where almost all of the races are. Cons In Germany, the winter days are much shorter than I am used to. By the time it feels warm enough to ride and you manage to complete a session, the day is basically over. I don’t see many people riding, especially in winter and if I do meet someone they are usually very reserved. In South Africa most times I would go out riding alone, but usually bumped into someone and we would finish the ride together. There are a lot more restrictions to building trails and you have to be careful not to collide with hikers or dog walkers. The cost of living is higher and there are a lot of regulations, but then again things work. The language barrier is probably the biggest hurdle at the moment. Winter is stunning and I wish I took more images but the burning feeling when my hands got cold was not worth it at times. Does the excitement and stress of having moved countries distract you from riding at all? It does have an effect but I have learnt to contain my excitement since I am now living in Europe and have gotten used to the surroundings. When I get too excited, especially when we go to the Alps, I just have to focus on the now and keep calm. I experienced some over excitement at Lenzerheide last year where I did too much and ended up getting sick.The stress of the move has taken its toll but the biggest stress has been not having a financial sponsor. It hasn’t affected my physical performance but has had an effect on my mental focus. On race day, I need to try put these emotions aside and focus on the race. One of the many bike lanes in Germany We often hear about the gruelling races in the Swiss Cup. How tough is it really and are you enjoying the experience of racing domestically in Europe? The competition is definitely tougher here, especially when the race is a HC or C1. It is easy to get around in Europe and therefore there are usually a lot of top riders from different nations racing. Switzerland definitely has the strongest depth of riders. They seem to have the right formula for developing XCO. Tracks in Europe seem to be naturally technical and steep, but I won’t say they are tougher than in SA.Racing domestically in Europe has been amazing and it is extra special to have Heiko with me. I am starting to get to know riders on a personal level whom I have only raced against before. On the other hand, not knowing a lot of the riders helps me focus on my own race and on being the best in the world and not just in South Africa. Talk us through a World Cup race weekend. How does your experience as a privateer differ from when you were with a pro team? I have had two different experiences at the World Cups I have raced so far. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes when Heiko is able to come with.For the Czech Republic World Cup Heiko wasn’t able to join so I had to arrange transport. I was hoping to avoid driving, but to catch a train worked out to be longer and not much cheaper than hiring a car. At least I had the company of Stuart Marais so I didn’t have to do the trip alone. It was pretty stressful driving on the right side of the road for the first time and for six hours straight. The week leading up to the race was also rather stressful, so when we got there I used most of my free time to sleep. I over rested and my body was still in recovery mode by the time I raced. Luckily there wasn’t much work to be done on my bike and during the race, I had support from the Head Ciclo XC Team. For the World Cups in Albstadt and Lenzerheide, I was lucky to have Heiko coming with so I could focus more on my race without the extra stress. We don’t have a car yet so we hire one for races. The usual procedure would be to fetch the car the morning before we drive to the race. We have all the luggage and food pre-packed so when Heiko arrives with the car we can just pack and leave. We plan to leave Thursday or Friday for races so I get at least 2 days on the course to practice. Once we are at the venue we go out onto the track and check the course, with the focus on getting my lines right. The rest of the pre-race setup will be checking through my bike, going to the team managers meeting, registering and visualisation of my racing. For races, Heiko is pretty much my mechanic, masseuse, technical coach and driver. I help with the cooking and small bits and bobs. Race day I don’t have to stress about getting my stuff to someone else. Heiko has it all sorted. What is great is that even though Heiko is there, Thomas from the Head Ciclo XC Team helps out and lets us use their team tent for warming up, if needed. As a privateer, there are more things you have to organise yourself and don’t have the luxury of just chilling compared to being in a team. The extras of filming, photos and writing were much easier, especially when I was lucky to be part of a team with Anna Buick who is talented with writing and behind the lens. As a Privateer I have limited time. My main aim is to get the course dialled and focus for my race. If I have time and don’t feel stressed I will do some extra stuff like taking pictures of the course or doing some filming. Pre-planning is important so you have less stress closer to race day. I think I am still lucky as a privateer that I still have some support and don’t have to travel alone. If we were not based in Europe and Heiko was not able to come to most races, I don’t think I would have had the chance to race as much as I have. Pre-race procedures Namibia and South Africa represented. As a privateer, do you find that the other riders are any more supportive or is it all about the racing? I don’t think it makes a difference with riders whether you are in a team or a privateer. When you’re on the start line it is all about racing and there is not much chit chat. Your results this year have been good, has anything changed in terms of your training and preparation? Nothing has really changed with my training, besides being more focused and learning how to suffer more: not just in racing but also when training. I have been happy with my results this year, especially in the beginning. I was hoping to have some better results later this season but I haven’t managed to get them. It has been stressful and trying to juggle things, and has affected some of the races, but the learning experience has been great. Despite the additional challenges it brings, there must be a relief in not having to please sponsors. What has your experience been in this regard? It has been a blessing in disguise. I am able to focus on the transition of the move in my own time without other commitments. Even though I haven’t got sponsors to please there are still friends, family and fans that I need to ‘please’. With the move, I seem to have gone into my own bubble and I have been a bit slack with communication/social media. There are a few projects and plans I would like to do but I have somewhat lacked motivation and have been just trying to figure things out without the extra noise. I am trying to find a balance and be more active on social media again since it is still important, especially if I want to find a sponsor/team for next year. That said, even as a privateer, some level of support is essential. Who has been helping you out this season? Racing and experiencing more European XCO races would not have been possible without my husband Heiko. He has sacrificed his weekends to come support me, having to put in leave some days to travel earlier.Stephen van der Walt helped me get into racing XCO in South Africa on a competitive level and he still helps out where he can. It is great when he and his son Daniel come to Europe, makes the races feel more like a home away from home. John Wakefield from Science2Sport has made sure I still have the best training and has amazingly worked with my schedule and setbacks to keep me competitive and motivated. Thomas Schroder and the HEAD CICLO XC Team have been really helpful at events, letting me use their tent, rollers and helping out in the feed zone. From when I started working as a professional photographer Thule have helped me with products and it is great having their products when I travel. Pyga helped me out with a bike frame as I wanted to race the Pyga Stage. Squirt not only helps out with products but they arrange accommodation for us at the World Cups that have both DH and XCO. Rush Sports helped me with some Maxxis tyres, as well as Andre van Aarde taking time from his busy schedule to share his knowledge of the industry. Getting the lines dialled before race day. It has really helped having Heiko going through the course with me. Image by Heiko Redecker What races will you be focussing on for the rest of the year? I am excited to come back to South Africa and race the XCO Championships. I am excited to race in the colours of Computer Mania who are sponsoring my trip back.For the final preparations for the XCO World Championships in Cairns, I will race the Swiss Bike Cup in Basel and the last World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy. I will race the last two Int. MTB Bundesliga races. Despite being right after the XCO World Championships, these races are important because I would like to keep my series ranking of 2nd and maybe even try to win the overall series. Being on the podium definitely helps with motivation. Image by Heiko Redecker. Cherie Redecker's Pyga Stage FramePYGA StageFork2017 RockShox SID World Cup ShockRockShox MonarchStemRitchey WCS CarbonHandlebarRitchey WCS Carbon Trail GripsSilicone GripsSaddleSpecialized Power CompSeatpostRitchey WCS CarbonBrakesSRAM Level UltimateBrake rotorSRAM CenterLine X RotorShiftersSRAM XX1Rear DerailleurSRAM XX1CassetteSRAM XX1ChainSRAM XX1CranksetSRAM XX1 X-Sync Crankset – 170MMChainringSRAM XX1 Direct MountRimsKnight CompositeHubsAivee edition oneFront TyreMaxiss IKON 2.20 3C/EXO/TRRear TyreMaxiss IKON 2.20 3C/EXO/TRBottom BracketSRAM GXPPedalsShimano XTBike Computer / Power meterGarmin 500 / PowerTap G3 Hub
  4. The Elite Men's Podium (from left to right) Nicola Rohrbach, Samuel Gaze and Mathias Flückiger at the first round of the LOAD National MTB XCO Series in Paarl on Saturday 25 February. Photo: DoubleST Blustering winds swept through the race village in the earlier part of the morning, which subsided by the time the racing began in a very hot and dusty Paarl. The field was by far the biggest entry at a National Cross-country Cup race in the past 12-13 years – not only the biggest in terms of numbers, but also the strongest field compared to any previous race with 34 of the international entries hailing from 14 countries. There were 288 riders who lined up to start in their various categories, with an impressive showing in the Youth and Junior Men categories as well, with no less than 40 riders in each category alone! Current under-23 World Champion and u-23 New Zealand National Champion, Samuel Gaze, took the honours in the Elite Men’s race. He completed the seven laps in a time of one hour 29 minutes and 40 seconds with Swiss riders Mathias Flückiger and Nicola Rohrbach finishing in second and third places in 01.30.33 and 01.30.34 respectively. The first South African rider home was Alan Hatherly, who crossed the line in fifth place in 01.31.53. Gaze said: “The weather was actually pretty tame considering the heat we had in the days leading up to the race. I came into the weekend pretty tired from what was a big week of training, so I was unsure of how it would go. I was expecting to struggle a lot with some heavy legs in the warm up.” Gaze had a relaxing first climb, and tried his utmost to conserve his energy, knowing that he was hoping to open the gap up on the last few laps. “I rode across to (Manuel) Fumic with three laps remaining. He stopped to bomb his front wheel from a slow leak I believe, and from there I found myself in the front alone, so I just rode my pace to the finish,” he added. The Specialized MTB Team rider feels that he is still far from full form, however. “I have felt in training that I am in a much better space than last year so I’m excited to continue on the training path towards the goals I have for the year,” he said. Gaze also added that there is still a lot of time until the Nove Mesto UCI World Cup, and he will be taking all his preparation in one day at a time. “I want to make sure that when I arrive at the first World Cup, I will be fully prepared,” he added. Kathrin Stirnemann took the Elite Women's title at the first round of the LOAD National MTB XCO Series in Paarl on Saturday 25 February. Photo: DoubleST The winner of the Elite Women’s race was Swiss mountain biker, Kathrin Stirnemann (Haibike Otzak Pro Team), who mentioned on social media that her win was a great way to start the 2017 racing season. Stirnemann completed the five laps in a time of 01.16.21. British National Champion Annie Last finished second (01.17.35) and South African Cherie Redecker crossed the line third (01.18.05). KwaZulu-Natal's Tiffany Keep finished as the first Junior Women across the line ahead of France's Isaure Medde and third placed Danielle Strydom at the first round of the LOAD National MTB XCO Series in Paarl on Saturday 25 February. Photo: DoubleST Redecker was pleased with her performance on the day. “I am pretty stoked about this weekend’s race. I went in very relaxed, which I think helped a lot. Knowing I can ride up there with some of the best women in the world is great motivation for the year.” The event also formed part of the UCI Junior World XCO Series, which saw KwaZulu-Natal’s Tiffany Keep finish as the first Junior Woman to cross the finish line. Keep finished ahead of second placed France’s Isaure Medde and third placed Danielle Strydom. In the Junior Men’s race, Germany’s Pirmin Sigel – who races for the Bulls junior feeder team – took the top honours in 01.11.22 with Johann Trotzky – new to racing on the national circuit – finishing a very close second (01.11.55) and Nico Zünd, third (01.13.16). The second round of the 2017 LOAD National MTB XCO Series takes place in Tshwane on Saturday 15 April. More information will be available shortly. To see a full set of results, click here: https://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20170225_SA-XCO-Cup-Series-1-2017-Results-1.pdf Summary of Results for the 2017 LOAD National MTB XCO Series #1 (25 February)Elite Men – 7 laps Samuel Gaze 01.29.40 Mathias Flückiger 01.30.33 Nicola Rohrbach 01.30.34 Elite Women – 5 laps Kathrin Stirnemann 01.16.21 Annie Last 01.17.35 Cherie Redecker 01.18.05 Junior Men – 5 laps Pirmin Sigel 01.11.22 Johann Trotzky 01.11.55 Nico Zünd 01.13.16 Junior Women – 4 laps Tiffany Keep 01.08.10 Isaure Medde 01.09.50 Danielle Strydom 01.12.01 Sub Vets Men – 5 laps Neill Ungerer 01.17.14 Charles Mcfall 01.18.31 Tristan Sandwith 01.18.52 Sub Vet Women – 4 laps Kylie Hanekom 01.20.44 Leorine De Wet 01.23.21 Belinda Mason 01.26.54 Vets Men – 5 laps Nico Pfitzenmaier 01.13.46 Nic Lamond 01.15.20 Mark Moir 01.19.08 Master Men – 4 laps Jimmy Mills 01.09.43 Bob Schuiling 01.09.54 Charles Young 01.19.37 Youth Men – 5 laps Luke Moir 01.11.37 Jamie Penfold 01.13.42 Evan Louw 01.15.35 Youth Women – 3 laps Zandri Strydom 00.55.00 Stéfke Tolmay 00.59.21 Julia Marx 01.02.03 Sub Junior Boys – 4 laps Luca Ruwiel 01.05.43 Justin Chesterton 01.09.10 Marcell Swartz 01.09.47 Sub Junior Girls – 2 laps Chante Olivier 00.36.57 Chloe Bateson 00.37.50 Kayleigh Scholtz 00.41.37 Sprog Boys – 4 laps Alec Coleske 00.39.15 Hendre De Villiers 00.40.40 Ernest Roets 00.42.19 Sprog Girls – 3 laps Olivia Penfold 00.35.35 Amelie Owens 00.41.21 Hayley Richards 00.42.46 Nipper Boys – 3 laps Luca Zietsman 00.32.56 Robert Nieuwenhuizen 00.33.13 Alessandro Fanicchi 00.33.27 Nipper Girls – 2 laps Hannah Elliott 00.25.15 Chloe Chesterton 00.28.18 Mieke Van der Merwe 00.31.09
  5. The country welcomed a host of local and international riders to the first 2017 LOAD National MTB XCO Series event, which took place at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl on Saturday 25 February. The Western Cape winds made sure to give riders more than what they had bargained for compared to an already challenging cross-country race. Both Elite Men and Women’s titles went to international racing heroes Samuel Gaze and Kathrin Stirnermann respectively. Click here to view the article
  6. The penultimate day of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa’s Western Cape province added another twist to the 2016 tale with the rugged terrain delivering more tyre challenges that led to a shift in the overall podium positions with one day remaining. Click here to view the article
  7. Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers powered to their fourth stage win on Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za South Africans Matt Beers and Erik Kleinhans (Full Suss/Topeak Ergon/Red-E) stormed to yet another gutsy stage win to give them a total of four in six days. They moved up the General Classification to fifth, but it was ahead of them where the biggest shift occurred as Team Spur’s James Reid and Julian Jessop swapped places with The Dutch duo of Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappennbelt Specialized) dropping down to fourth. James Reid (left) and Julian Jessop moved into third place overall in the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Dutchmen had an early puncture and spent most of the stage chasing alone, which saw them lose almost five minutes to their primary rivals. But for Kleinhans and Beers, it was a matter of hunting down another stage win after having lost any hope of a final overall podium after surrendering so much time on Day 2. It was their third stage win in succession on a day that saw the unforgiving terrain leave the race splintered, with teams finishing in ones and twos. Chris Wolhuter (back) and Dylan Rebello mounted an early attack during Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Imbuko Freewheel Cycology Momsen pair of Chris Wolhuter and Dylan Rebello set the early pace with a brazen attack shortly after the start. But the pair were reeled in after 35km once the terrain became more challenging. After a couple of days of dealing with tyre issues, race leaders Combrinck and Bell were back to their proactive selves, but were once again victims to a flat tyre, as were many other teams. Kleinhans and Beers escaped the tyre ire of the Karoo and clocked a winning time of 03 hours 18 minutes 11 seconds, almost two minutes clear of Estonian duo, Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis (KOMO/RMW), who recovered well from two early punctures. Third place went to Reid and Jessop, another two minutes back. Gawie Combrinck (front) and Nico Bell managed to retain their overall lead after a challenging Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za “We took a different strategy because once the racing got serious, Bell and Combrinck started off attacking and we thought it would be a more defensive day for us. But on the first technical downhill they were quite cautious, obviously trying to protect their tyres. Matt and I just went hard on the technical downhills and that seemed to give us an advantage so we just pushed on from there,” explained Kleinhans. Cherie Redecker looks confident ahead of Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. She and teammate Mariske Strauss won the stage and extended their overall lead. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za In the women’s race, Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss (OMX Pro) remained the dominant team, collecting another stage win and further extending their GC lead. They rode much of the stage with the winning Mixed team, Yolande de Villiers and Neil Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling), who added another four minutes to their lead going into the final day on Saturday. Igna de Villiers and Fanie Venter (LGE Midas BusinessPrint) won the stage in the Veteran men’s race and extended their lead. Their main rivals, Vickus Boschoff and Iniel Hattingh (Klein Karoo Ko Op), had a difficult day with tyre drama and dropped from a close second overall to a distant third behind Belgians Hans Planckaert and Wim Tollenaere (Der Fietser Rotwild Zaes). Competitors found the steep, loose terrain challenging during Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Leading Masters, Linus van Onselen and Izak Visagie also endured tyre trouble on Friday. However, their significant lead allowed them ample time to manage their crisis and still win the stage and stay out front with a day to go. In the Solo men’s race, Jiri Krivanek captured his fourth stage win to extend his overall lead, while the Solo women’s race saw its tightest contest yet, with Nicky Giliomee maintaining her perfect record, winning the stage and adding more time to her overall advantage. Competitors in the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race ease through the town of Oudtshoorn after the start of Stage 5 on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Saturday’s final stage is a relatively brief 57km, starting at the Chandelier Game Reserve and ending at the Queens Hotel in the town of Oudtshoorn. It climbs a total of 1200 metres and is sure to be an intense contest as teams vie for a final shot at a stage podium finish. The action will once again be covered live on Twitter, so follow @CapePioneerTrek. The stage will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets
 Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek
 For more indepth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Stage 5 – 88km starting and finishing in Oudtshoorn Leading Results Men 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus/Topeak Ergon/Red-E 03:18:11 2. Peeter Pruus (EST) / Peeter Tarvis (EST) – KOMO/RMW 03:20:51 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 03:22:59 4. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 03:23:48 5. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 03:24:45Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 03:44:50 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 03:59:16 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 04:14:22 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 04:39:08 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 04:54:04 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 03:44:50 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo 03:48:57 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 04:02:02 4. Georg Schollerer (GER) / Kristina Schollerer (GER) – Schollerers 04:05:16 5. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 04:07:01 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 03:40:00 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 03:52:59 3. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 03:56:44 4. Andrew Donkin (RSA) / Mark Olivier (RSA) – The Invalids 04:06:09 5. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 04:08:48 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 03:53:07 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 04:13:57 3. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 04:17:43 4. Mike Thomson (RSA / Jan van der Berg (RSA) – Age is just a Number 04:42:46 5. Dirk Labuschagne (RSA) / David Johannes Fourie (RSA) – Clover RR 04:42:46 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 03:22:59 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 03:25:33 3. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 03:37:54 4. Marc Greyling (RSA) 03:51:36 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 03:48:57 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 04:08:51 2. Sabine Stampf (GER) 04:13:58 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 04:17:28 4. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 04:21:41 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 05:35:03 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification – After Stage 5 Leading Results Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 17:04:51 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 17:13:53 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 17:15:48 4. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappenbelt Specialized 17:18:02 5. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus 17:18:41 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 19:53:08 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 21:33:16 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 22:07:21 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 23:40:27 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 24:31:03 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 19:24:09 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 19:34:50 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 20:42:45 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 21:21:53 5. Luc Bellings (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 21:42:49 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 19:04:30 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 19:34:31 3. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 19:39:56 4. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 20:35:16 5. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 20:51:39 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 19:40:53 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 22:04:49 3. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 23:07:35 4. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 24:07:37 5. Daniel Evrard (BEL) / Joseph Kerkhofs (BEL) - tean joven 24:14:41 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 17:16:18 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 17:41:49 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 18:42:11 4. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 19:08:19 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 19:15:52 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 21:05:49 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 22:24:10 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 22:34:44 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 22:35:33 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 28:23:09
  8. South Africans Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers turned up the heat even further on Thursday to win Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race; as overall leaders, Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell, lost a chunk of their advantage when they endured mechanical problems. Click here to view the article
  9. Encounters with wildlife continued as the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race moved into the Karoo region during Stage 4 on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. Day 5 of the race took riders on a 94km leg from the lush green forests of George to the hot, dry Karoo region and the finish in Oudtshoorn. The mercury was in the high 30s, adding a further challenge to the riders who were also faced with unforgiving, rough terrain that saw numerous riders suffer tyre problems, including the leaders in three categories – Men, Women and Mixed. Kleinhans and Beers (Full Sus/Topeak Ergon/Red-E), clearly the strongest team in the race on Thursday, clocked a winning time of 03 hours 23 minutes 35 seconds. They were followed home 2:39 later by the Swiss/German pair of Konny Looser and Daniel Gathof, who out-dashed Team Spur’s James Reid and Julian Jessop for the runner-up spot. Competitors climbed over the Outeniqua Mountains via the iconic Montagu Pass during Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. Combrinck and Bell (NAD Pro) finished 7:16 down, leaving a noticeable dent in the 10-plus-minute lead they held at the start of the day. They still hold a relatively comfortable 8:05 gap over second-placed Looser and Gathof, with the Dutch pairing of Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized) at 10:39 back in third. After leading the race on Day 1, Kleinhans and Beers dropped well down on Day 2 due to Kleinhans suffering with illness. Kleinhans is clearly back to full health but they’re still too far down on time to be a threat to the overall podium. However, their aggression is certainly adding pressure to the other teams, which is making for an exciting contest at the sharp end and could still see a further shake up in the podium dice over the final two days. Encounters with wildlife continued as the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race moved into the Karoo region during Stage 4 on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. “Two days ago the sealant in our tyres wasn’t doing its job and we had to stop and plug small holes. Today was a different story. The rough terrain through the Chandelier Reserve saw Gawie smack something, which resulted in a small cut. We repaired it, but it the tyre lost pressure and he damaged it again. We didn’t panic though. We have quite a decent buffer and didn’t overextend ourselves today. We still feel good for the last two days,” smiled Bell. “At about 60km, as we turned off the gravel road onto a rough farm road, Erik just laid down the hammer. I was a bit shocked. What is he doing? I thought. There’s more than 30km to go still!” explained Beers afterwards. Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race took competitors to Oudtshoorn via the semi-arid lands of the Karoo on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za “But I just had to go with him. It was a complete gamble, but it paid off. Erik’s racing experience and knowledge of this event put us at an advantage for sure. We didn’t know there was all that mechanical carnage happening behind us, so we just kept focussed on staying steady and holding everyone off. It was a bit upsetting that we lost so much time on Day 2, but that’s racing and now we are just making the most of what’s on offer,” concluded Beers. In the women’s race, Mariske Strauss and Cherie Redecker (OMX Pro) recorded their fifth stage win, but it required the repair – and subsequent replacement – of Strauss’s tyre to get them across the finish line. They still hold a significant lead over stage runners-up, Catherine Williamson and Leana de Jager (Klein Karoo Ladies). Despite some tyre trouble, Mariske Strauss was all smiles as she and Cherie Redecker won their fifth consecutive stage of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Mixed category race also had its share of drama when leaders Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling) had to deal with rope entangled in De Villiers’ rear derailleur. They lost around 10 minutes and conceded the stage win to arch-rivals, Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed). De Villiers and Ungerer still hold the overall lead, but it’s been trimmed to 6:34 over the Barnards, setting the stage for an exciting final two days. There was a close battle for the stage podium places in the Veteran men’s division, with Vickus Boschoff and Iniel Hattingh (Klein Karoo Ko Op) securing the win 1:19 ahead of Belgians Hans Planckaert and Wim Tollenaere (Der Fietser Rotwild Zaes). Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas Businessprint) were another 14 seconds back in third, but still hold the overall lead by 6:38 over Hattingh and Boschoff. South Africans Izak Visagie and Linus van Onselen (Anderson Masters) continued their complete dominance of the Master’s category, winning their fifth consecutive stage and extending their overall lead. The category leaders pose for the media prior to the start of Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Solo men’s race was a much tighter contest on Thursday, with Franco Pelser taking the stage win just 30 seconds ahead of overall leader, Jiri Krivanek (CZE), with Brandon Stewart 1:11 down in third. Nicky Giliomee maintained her firm grasp on the Solo women’s race, claiming another stage win and stretching her overall lead over Mariane Bergli. Friday’s Stage 5 is over 88km with 1700 metres of ascent. Riders will circumnavigate the Kammanassie Dam and tackle a section through a private game reserve before heading back to Oudtshoorn. While the weather will be slightly cooler the, terrain will be as unpredictable and unforgiving as that on Stage 4, so expect more drama. The stage will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets
 Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek
 Watch the live #PioneerSpirit show online on Friday 21 October at 18h15 CAT/17h15 CET on www.capepioneer.co.za.
 For more indepth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Stage 4 – 94km from George to Oudtshoorn Leading Results Men 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus 03:23:35 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 03:26:14 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 03:26:16 4. Bram Rood (NED) / Gerben Mos (NED) – KMC Fruit to Go 03:26:45 5. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 03:26:47Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 04:04:30 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 04:09:30 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 04:28:09 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 04:47:57 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 04:47:58 Mixed 1. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo 03:50:57 2. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 03:56:31 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 04:07:56 4. Georg Schollerer (GER) / Kristina Schollerer (GER) – Schollerers 04:12:01 5. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 02:53:18 Veterans 1. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 03:49:32 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 03:50:51 3. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 03:51:05 4. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 04:07:22 5. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 04:07:48 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 03:50:56 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 04:19:06 3. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 04:19:42 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 04:37:01 5. Dirk Labuschagne (RSA) / David Johannes Fourie (RSA) – Clover RR 04:47:39 Solo Men: 1. Franco Pelser (RSA) 03:26:17 2. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 03:26:47 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 03:27:28 4. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 03:49:32 5. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 03:54:29 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 04:04:31 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 04:23:41 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 04:29:16 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 04:38:31 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 05:50:33 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification – After Stage 4 Leading Results Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 13:41:03 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 13:49:08 3. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 13:51:42 4. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 13:52:49 5. Bram Rood (NED) / Gerben Mos (NED) – KMC Fruit to Go 13:55:33 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 16:08:18 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 17:34:00 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 17:52:59 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 19:01:19 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 19:36:59 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 15:39:19 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 15:45:53 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (FRA) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 16:40:43 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 17:14:52 5. Luc Bellings (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 17:28:01 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 15:24:30 2. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 15:31:08 3. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 15:41:32 4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 16:35:50 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 16:38:32 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 15:47:46 2. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 17:43:45 3. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 17:50:52 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 18:49:53 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 19:20:56 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 13:53:19 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 14:16:16 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 14:48:55 4. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 15:26:55 5. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 15:30:25 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 16:56:58 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 18:02:29 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 18:17:16 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 18:21:35 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 22:48:06
  10. Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers relished the forest singletrack and secured their second stage win of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Beers and Kleinhans (Full Suss/Topeak Ergon/Red-E) were the primary aggressors from the start of the relatively short 57km stagea, which started and finished at Van Kervel School, George. They crossed the finish line in a time of 02 hours 10 minutes 50 seconds, just one second ahead of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (Team NAD Pro), the overall leaders. There was another sprint for third place between Team Spur’s James Reid and Julian Jessop and CBC Elite’s Konny Looser and Daniel Gathof, with Reid and Jessop just grabbing the final podium spot. European marathon champion, Peeter Pruus (pictured) and his teammate, Peeter Tarvis, were severely hampered by tyre trouble, slipping from second to seventh overall on Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Tuesday’s stage winners, Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis (KOMO/RMW) had a nightmare of a stage with first a crash and then ongoing tyre trouble that saw them finish 13th, 26:28 down. This dropped them from second on the General Classification overnight, just 13 seconds off Yellow, to seventh, over 26 minutes back. The setback to the Estonian pair, winners of Stage 2, sees Combrinck and Bell now hold a comfortable lead of 12:41 over new second-place holders, Looser and Gathof, who are 2:02 up on Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized) with three days of racing remaining. “I was already feeling better yesterday after being so ill on Monday’s stage. Must have been a stomach bug. But Matt and I decided that we would attack and make the pace hard from the very start today,” explained Kleinhans. “Matt grew up on a farm near here and I come from George, so this was our only real shot at some home-town glory. We were both super motivated and really didn’t have anything to lose. A few teams hung on to us, but in the end, only Gawie and Nico were able to stick with us on what really was a great day. Nico Bell (pictured) and Gawie Combrinck finished second and improved their grip on the overall lead on Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za “There was quite a lot of singletrack, which we loved and the route was really scenic. The fact that it was relatively short also made for more intense racing, which increases the pressure too,” added Kleinhans, confirming that he and Beers would be more conservative on Thursday’s longer stage. Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss (OMX Pro) won another stage to grow their lead in the women’s category. But an exciting battle for second place ensued between Catherine Williamson and Leana de Jager (Klein Karoo Ladies) and Hannele Steyn and Katja Steenkamp (CWC Breakaway). Mariske Strauss (pictured) and teammate, Cherie Redecker, were all smiles after winning another stage and extending their overall lead on Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Williamson and De Jager eventually claimed the runner-up spot on the stage and moved into second place overall, on a day of reprieve after having struggled with tyre trouble on Stage 2. Steyn and Steenkamp, are just 20 seconds back in third in the overall, partly as a result of the withdrawal of Team Garmin’s Aurelie Halbwachs and Yolandi du Toit. Halbwachs struggled with illness on Stage 2 and was unable to continue. In the Mixed category, Yolande de Villiers and Neil Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling) secured another stage win, extending their overall lead to just over 12 minutes on main rivals, Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed). In the Veteran men’s division the two top teams were virtually inseparable on Wednesday. They finished with a sprint that saw Iniel Hattingh and Vickus Boschoff (Klein Karoo Ko Op) claim first place ahead of Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas Businessprint). However Venter and De Villiers maintain their eight minute lead in the overall race. The majority of the competitors sleep in tents in the race village at the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Linus van Onselen and Izak Visagie (Anderson Masters) continued their dominance in the Master’s race on Wednesday, winning their fourth successive stage and increasing their lead to 1:27:13 over the Pitstop pair of Niccolo Violati and Roberto Gallo. The shorter stage saw smaller time gaps in the Solo men’s race, but Czech rider Jiri Krivanek maintained his superiority by winning the stage and adding more time to his overall lead over Franco Pelser, while in the Solo women’s race Nicky Giliomee extended her overall lead with another commanding stage win. The shorter stages ensure more intense racing and close finishes, including this group gallop at the end of Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Thursday’s Stage 4 over 94km with 1650 metres of ascent sees the race move into the Karoo, a semi-desert region with unforgiving terrain and extreme heat. The riders will head from George to Oudtshoorn via the iconic Montagu Pass and Chandelier Game Reserve. The stage will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets
 Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek
 Watch online the live show #PioneerSpirit today and 21 October at 18h15 CAT/17h15 CET: www.capepioneer.co.za
 For more indepth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Stage 3 – 57km around George Leading Results Men 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus 02:10:50 2. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 02:10:52 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 02:16:00 4. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 02:16:01 5. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 02:17:08Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 02:42:58 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 02:52:03 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 02:54:38 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 03:12:38 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Duoch Jag 03:16:58 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 02:34:54 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo 02:37:27 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 02:47:18 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 02:53:18 5. Bellings Luc (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 02:58:03 Veterans 1. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 02:34:00 2. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 02:34:01 3. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 02:38:51 4. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 02:46:17 5. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 02:46:53 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 02:37:53 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 02:55:44 3. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 02:57:46 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 03:10:18 5. Joseph Kerkhofs (BEL) / Daniel Evrard (BEL) – tean joven 03:10:23 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 02:18:00 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 02:20:05 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 02:24:34 4. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 02:30:41 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 02:34:02 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 02:49:34 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 02:59:30 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 03:06:35 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 03:11:32 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 03:41:47 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification – After Stage 3 Leading Results Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 10:10:12 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 10:22:37 3. Erik Groen (Netherlands) / Jeroen Boelen (Netherlands) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 10:24:56 4. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 10:26:33 5. Bram Rood (Netherlands) / Gerben Mos (Netherlands) – KMC Fruit to Go 10:28:48 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 12:03:12 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (UK) – Klein Karoo International 13:24:30 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 13:24:50 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 14:13:22 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 14:49:00 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 11:42:47 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 11:54:56 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 12:32:47 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 13:01:09 5. Luc Bellings (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 13:08:31 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 11:33:25 2. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 11:41:36 3. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 11:50:41 4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 12:28:02 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 12:31:10 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 11:56:50 2. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 13:24:03 3. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 13:31:46 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 14:12:52 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 14:30:39 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 10:26:32 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 10:49:59 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 11:21:27 4. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 11:35:56 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 11:37:23 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 12:52:27 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 13:38:48 3. Sabine Stampf (GER) 13:43:04 4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 13:48:00 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 16:57:33
  11. After winning on Sunday and then almost pulling out on Monday, Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers bounced back in spectacular fashion on Wednesday to win Stage 3 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa, shaking up the overall title race in the process. Click here to view the article
  12. Estonians Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis triumphed on a drama-filled day to win Stage 2 and close in on the overall lead of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Click here to view the article
  13. Estonians Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis captured the stage win and closed the gap on the overall leaders on Stage 2 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Photo credit: www.zooncronje.com Pruus, the European marathon champion and Tarvis, the Estonian marathon champion of Team KOMO/RMW, clocked a winning time of 03 hours 45 minutes 58 seconds for the 99km leg from Mossel Bay to George. They came within 13 seconds of the overall lead, held by Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (NAD Pro), who had to stop on numerous occasions with tyre problems, but still managed to finish a somewhat desperate second in 3:46:53. There was a furious six-rider sprint for the final podium spot between Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized), Konny Looser and Daniel Gathoff (Cape Brewing Co Elite.) and James Reid and Julian Jessop (Team Spur). The Dutch pair of Groen and Boelen were awarded third after the finish-line photo was examined, their time 3:48:03. Looser and Gathoff were fourth and Reid and Jessop fifth, the former pairing still third in the overall contest. “We were going to stay in the group at the beginning, but then we thought maybe we’ll try something on the long climb. But it turned out not to be much of a climb, even going downhill sometimes, so we stayed in the group almost until the third waterpoint, then I rode away with one solo rider,” explained Tarvis. Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck (in yellow) survived a difficult day of mechanicals to cling to their overall race lead during Stage 2 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Photo credit: www.zooncronje.com. “Then later the other Peeter attacked and he caught me. So we rode together a little bit off the front, but then the NAD Pro team caught us. But they had some problems with their bike and we got away again near the end,” explained Tarvus. “One of our goals was to win a stage at the Cape Pioneer Trek. Now we have achieved that. We are very close to the lead now so we are going to go for the overall now,” said Pruus. “We had some troubles but we chased back multiple times. Each time we got back there were attacks. It was chase, chase, chase! It was one of those days. It’s how mountain biking goes,” said a relieved, but weary Combrinck. Mariske Strauss and Cherie Redecker secured their third stage win and extended their women’s category lead at the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Photo credit: www.zooncronje.com The women’s race saw Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss (OMX Pro) extend their lead with a third consecutive stage win. They clocked a winning time of 4:19:13 ahead of Team Garmin’s Yolandi du Toit and Aurelie Halbwachs, who are second on the GC, just over 25 minutes down. The Mixed division was once again a two-team battle between 2015 winners, Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed) and title challengers, Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers (Ultimate Cycling). Ungerer and De Villiers managed to win their third successive stage bu just over three-and-a-half minutes, taking their overall lead to just under 10 minutes over the Barnards going into Day 4. Competitors moved away from the coast and into the forests during Stage 2 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Photo credit: www.zooncronje.com In the Veteran men’s race another close contest ensued with Iniel Hattingh and Vickus Boschoff (Klein Karoo Ko Op) grabbing the stage win just 38 seconds ahead of Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas/Businessprint). Although they showed some vulnerability on Tuesday, De Villiers and Venter remain the overall leaders by just over eight minutes. Linus van Onselen and Izak Visagie (Anderson Masters) confirmed they’re in a class of their own. The won Stage 2 by a considerable margin and extended their overall lead in the Master’s category. It seems only disaster can prevent them from overall victory on Saturday. Riders were treated to magnificent willderness areas during Stage 2 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Photo credit: www.zooncronje.com Czech Republic rider, Jiri Krivanek, was the standout Solo men’s rider on Tuesday. He was at the very front of the race for most of the stage, finishing alongside stage runners-up, Combrinck and Bell in 3:46:53. Krivanek was more than 10 minutes faster than his nearest rival and now holds an emphatic 21:22 lead over second-placed Franco Pelser. Nicky Giliomee once again made the Solo women’s division her own, winning the stage and extending her overall lead. Wednesday’s Stage 3 starts and finishes in George, the capital of the Garden Route . It’s a relatively short 57km leg with 1150 metres of ascent. According to the organisers, 90% of the stage will be on singletrack, built and enjoyed by the local mountain bikers. High volumes of singletrack can create a challenge for less skilled riders. Expect the race’s shortest stage to deliver some surprises… The stage will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek Watch online the live show #PioneerSpirit on Wednesday and 21 October at 18h15 CAT/17h15 CET: www.capepioner.co.za For more indepth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit http://www.capepioneer.co.za The top three men’s teams after Stage 2 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Tuesday are (from left): Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvus (second), Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (first) and Konny Looser and Daneil Gathof (third). Photo credit: www.zooncronje.com The top three women’s teams after Stage 2 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Tuesday are (from left): Yolandi du Toit and Aurelie Halbwachs (second), Mariske Strauss and Cherie Redecker (first) and Hannele Steyn and Katje Steenkamp (third). Photo credit: www.zooncronje.com Cape Pioneer Trek 2016Stage 2 – Mossel Bay to George Leading Results Men 1. Peeter Pruus (Estonia) / Peeter Tarvis (Estonia) – KOMO/RMW 03:45:58 2. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 03:46:53 3. Erik Groen (Netherlands) / Jeroen Boelen (Netherlands) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 03:48:03 4. Konny Looser (Switzerland) / Daniel Gathof (Germany) – CBC Elite Pro 03:48:04 5. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 03:48:06 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 04:19:13 2. Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Aureli Halbwachs (Mauritius) – Team Garmin 04:36:27 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 04:47:21 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 05:05:29 5. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (UK) – Klein Karoo International 05:05:29 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 04:14:02 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo 04:17:51 3. Daniele Troesch (France) / Max Friedrich (Germany) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 04:30:54 4. Bellings Luc (Belgium) / Pokobova Vladislava (Belgium) – gastro bikes 04:43:13 5. Jens Schoenhofen (Germany) / Gwenda Ruesing (Germany) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 04:44:44 Veterans 1. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 04:10:07 2. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 04:10:45 3. Hans Planckaert (Belgium) / Wim Tollenaere (Belgium) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 04:19:14 4. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 04:31:17 5. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 04:31:19 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 04:13:20 2. Mark de Beule (Netherlands) / Robbert De Moor (Netherlands) - Cyclingteam Delta 04:48:45 3. Niccolò Violati (Italy) / Roberto Gallo (Italy) – Pitstop 04:53:26 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 05:02:25 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 05:07:20 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (Czech Republic) 03:46:53 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 03:58:38 3. Bart de Boeck (Belgium) 04:10:06 4. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 04:10:12 5. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 04:13:24 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 04:43:17 2. Sabine Stampf (Germany) 04:53:38 3. Marianne Bergli (Norway) 04:54:26 4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 04:54:27 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 06:16:23 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification – After Stage 2 Leading Results Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 07:59:19 2. Peeter Pruus (Estonia) / Peeter Tarvis (Estonia) – KOMO/RMW 07:59:32 3. Konny Looser (Switzerland) / Daniel Gathof (Germany) – CBC Elite Pro 08:06:53 4. Erik Groen (Netherlands) / Jeroen Boelen (Netherlands) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 08:07:47 5. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 08:10:33 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 09:20:12 2. Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Aureli Halbwachs (Mauritius) – Team Garmin 09:45:29 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 10:30:12 4. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (UK) – Klein Karoo International 10:32:26 5. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 11:00:44 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 09:07:54 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 09:17:29 3. Daniele Troesch (France) / Max Friedrich (Germany) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 09:45:28 4. Jens Schoenhofen (Germany) / Gwenda Ruesing (Germany) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 10:07:51 5. Bellings Luc (Belgium) / Pokobova Vladislava (Belgium) – gastro bikes 10:10:29 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 08:59:24 2. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 09:07:36 3. Hans Planckaert (Belgium) / Wim Tollenaere (Belgium) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 09:11:49 4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 09:41:07 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 09:44:53 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 09:18:56 2. Niccolò Violati (Italy) / Roberto Gallo (Italy) – Pitstop 10:26:17 3. Mark de Beule (Netherlands) / Robbert De Moor (Netherlands) - Cyclingteam Delta 10:36:02 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 11:02:34 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 11:04:44 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (Czech Republic) 08:08:32 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 08:29:54 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 08:56:53 4. Bart de Boeck (Belgium) 09:03:21 5. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 09:05:15 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 10:02:53 2. Sabine Stampf (Germany) 10:31:32 3. Marianne Bergli (Norway) 10:39:18 4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 10:41:25 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 13:15:46
  14. Off the bike, Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck are soft-spoken and humble. But on Monday, on the bike, there was no place for diplomacy as they ripped the field apart with an aggressive Stage 1 victory that gave them the overall lead on Day 2 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa. Click here to view the article
  15. The aggression of Nico Bell (front) and Gawie Combrinck of Team NAD paid off as they claimed the stage win and took the overall lead at the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Monday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. Racing in the colours of New Africa Developments (NAD), Bell and Combrinck, were responsible for increasing the pace through the rugged terrain of the Gondwana Nature Reserve when they sensed fellow South African and overall race leader, Erik Kleinhans, was vulnerable. With just over half the stage distance covered, Bell and Combrinck managed to splinter the relatively large front pack and cross the finish line alone in a time of 03 hours 42 minutes 48 seconds. The Estonian pair of Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis (KOMO/RWV) finished second just over a minute later, with Konny Looser and Daniel Gathof (Cape Brewing Co Elite) claiming third in 3:48:11. Swiss rider, Konny Looser drove the early pace hard. He and German teammate, Daniel Gathof (Team CBC) finished third on Stage 1 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Monday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. Overnight race leaders, Kleinhans and Matt Beers (Full Sus/Topeak Ergon/Red-E), slowed significantly by a struggling Kleinhans, limped across the finish line in 10th place in 4:01:03. “Just before 50km, we saw Erik (Kleinhans) was taking a bit of strain in the singletrack. Along with Konny (Looser) and his teammate, we upped the pace on the climb and we managed to get a gap. The Estonian guys went with us but the terrain was rough and they struggled to stay with us on their hardtails. We kept on pushing from there,” explained Bell. “We came here a bit fatigued after racing the Rooiberg Ultra on Saturday and we really wanted to get a stage win. We weren’t expecting a stage win so early on, but we are really stoked. Having the Yellow Jersey is going make the rest of the week more of a challenge,” smiled Bell. Race leader, Erik Kleinhans, struggled through the stage to finish 10th with teammate Matt Beers, losing their overall lead on Stage 1 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Monday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. For Pruus and Tarvis, the terrain proved a challenge on their hardtail frames. At 67km, they were over a minute behind Bell and Combrinck, then on the gravel roads that followed, they were able to claw back to within 22 seconds. But the terrain changed again and they lost time towards the end of the stage. “On the bumpy stuff, they had so much advantage with their full suspension bikes. When it became smoother gravel we were able to close the gap to very close, but then there was more rough and it was impossible to keep up,” said Tarvis. “Halfway through the stage, the last month of racing just caught up with me. I couldn’t hear much, I saw double. I was in a bad way. I’m just glad I got to the finish,” said a disappointed Kleinhans. Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss of the OMX Pro team extended their lead in the women’s race when they rolled across the finish line to take the stage win in 4:26:35. Second place went to the Garmin duo of Yolandi du Toit and Aurelie Halbwachs in 4:29:36 with Leana de Jager and Catherine Williamson (Klein Karoo Ladies) a distant third in 4:47:36. Mariske Strauss (front) and Cherie Redeker secured their second consecutive stage win and extended their women’s category lead at the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Monday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. In the Mixed race, Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling) secured the victory to extend their overnight lead over stage runners-up, Kobus and Fienie Barnard, who led for most of the stage. The Veteran men’s division saw the lead change when Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas/Business Print) claimed the stage win ahead of the Belgian duo of Wim Tollenaere and Hans Planckaert (De Fietser Rotwild Zaes). Overnight leaders, Iniel Hattingh and Vickus Boschoff (Klein Karoo Ko OP) finished third on the stage and slipped to third overall too. The Masters race saw prologue winners, Linus van Onselen and Izak Visagie storm to a dominant stage win, beating the Italian Pitstop duo of Niccolo Violati and Roberto Gallo by 23 minutes to take a commanding lead into Stage 2. An adult giraffe gave some competitors a scare when it ran along part of the race route through the Gondwana Nature Reserve during Stage 1 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Monday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. Jiri Krivanek of the Czech Republic claimed a dominant stage win the Solo men’s race to move into the overall lead, while South African Nicky Giliomee extended her overnight lead with a powerful performance, finishing over 16 minutes ahead of runner-up Sabine Stampf in the Solo women’s category. Tuesday’s Stage 2, dubbed #DiazDash, is expected to be tough. The 99km leg from Mossel Bay to George includes a 7km section along the beach before the riders head inland through the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains. The total ascent is 2 200 metres, much of that being covered between 30-45km in. Competitors enjoyed ideal weather and beautiful scenery during Stage 1 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Monday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. The first riders will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek Watch online the live show #PioneerSpirit on today, 19 and 21 October at 18h15 CAT/17h15 CET: www.capepioner.co.za For more in-depth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Stage 1, 95km starting and finishing in Mossel Bay Leading Results Open Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 03:42:48 2. Peeter Pruus (EST) / Peeter Tarvis (EST) – KOMO/RMW 03:44:02 3. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 03:48:11 4. Erik Goen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappenbelt Specialized 03:50:01 5. Bram Rood (NED) / Gerben Mos (NED) – KMC Fruit to Go 03:50:22 Open Ladies 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 04:26:35 2. Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Aurelie Halbwachs (MRU) – Team Garmin 04:29:36 3. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo Ladies 04:47:36 4. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC and BreakAway 05:03:14 5. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 05:12:22 Mixed Teams 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 04:18:41 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 04:22:47 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 04:37:05 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 04:44:34 5. Vladislava Pokobova (BEL) / Luc Bellings (BEL) – gastro bikes 04:47:39 Veteran Men 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 04:14:32 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 04:17:28 3. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 04:23:26 4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 04:33:26 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale’s Hire 04:36:01 Masters Men 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 04:29:02 2. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 04:53:04 3. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert de Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 04:57:10 4. Joseph Kerkhofs (BEL) / Daniel Evard (BEL) – tean joven 05:07:42 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 05:16:37 Solo Men 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 03:49:55 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 03:59:04 3. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 04:14:17 4. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 04:15:20 5. Bart De Boeck (BEL) 04:18:39 Solo Women 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 04:41:30 2. Sabine Stampf (GER) 04:58:19 3. Marianne Bergli (BEL) 05:04:09 4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 05:05:30 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 06:08:37 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification After Stage 1 Leading Results Men: 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 04:12:26 2. Peeter Pruus (EST) / Peeter Tarvis (EST) – KOMO/RMW 04:13:34 3. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite 04:18:49 4. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappenbelt Specialized 04:19:44 5. Bram Rood (NED) / Gerben Mos (NED) – KMC Fruit to Go 04:20:14 Women: 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) - OMX Pro Team 05:01:37 2. Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Aurelie Halbwachs (MRU) – Team Garmin 05:09:03 3. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo 05:26:58 4. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC and BreakAway 05:42:51 5. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 05:55:30 Mixed: 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 04:53:52 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 04:59:38 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 05:14:35 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 05:23:07 5. Bellings Luc (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 05:27:16 Veterans: 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 04:48:39 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 04:52:36 3. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 04:57:29 4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 05:09:50 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 05:13:36 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 05:05:37 2. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 05:32:51 3. Joseph Kerkhofs (BEL) / Daniel Evrard (BEL) – tean joven 05:47:03 4. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 05:47:17 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 05:57:26 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 04:21:39 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 04:31:16 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 04:46:41 4. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 04:51:51 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 04:53:15 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 05:19:36 2. Sabine Stampf (GER) 05:37:54 3. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 05:44:52 4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 05:46:58 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 06:59:23
  16. Late entrants Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers were rewarded for their spontaneity when they won the opening stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday. Click here to view the article
  17. Erik Kleinhans tackles a singletrack descent behind teammate, Matt Beers on their way to winning the prologue stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Competing as Team Full Sus/Topeak Ergon/Red-E, the South African pair sped around the scenic oceanside 13km prologue stage in 28 minutes 31 seconds to secure themselves the first leader’s jersey of the event, which finishes on Saturday in Oudtshoorn after more than 500km of racing. Next fastest was the Estonian pairing of Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis (KOMO/RMW) who finished in 29:33 with 2012 winners, Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (Team NAD) rounding out the top three in 29:38. The hopes of stage favourites, James Reid and Julian Jessop (Team Spur) were scuppered when Jessop punctured. They didn’t lose too much time though and finished fourth with the Dutch duo of Jeroen Boelen and Erik Groen (Stappenbelt Specialized) rounding out the top five. Competitors tackle the scenic singletrack during the prologue stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za “We expected to be up there, but we weren’t sure of the Estonians and obviously we knew James (Reid) and Julian (Jessop) would be quick on this course. So it’s not too much of a surprise to have won, we are very happy and we have a reasonable lead, which a bonus,” said Kleinhans. “But I really only led for the first 500 metres and the rest of the time I just sat on Matt’s wheel. He was super powerful today and this course had a lot of short, punchy climbs, which suits power riders. We won’t be aggressive tomorrow, but will be involved and grab any opportunities if they present themselves,” added Kleinhans, a former two-time overall winner of the race. Cherie Redecker leads Mariske Strauss across the finish line to win the women’s category of the prologue stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday. Photo credit: www.oakpics.com The OMX Pro team of Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss secured a comfortable stage win in the women’s category. As XCO specialists, the short, fairly technical stage, dubbed #PointPursuit, obviously suited the South Africans and they clocked an impressive time of 35:02. There was an exciting battle for the minor stage positions with Britain’s Catherine Williamson and South Africa’s Leana de Jager (Klein Karoo Ladies) clocking 39:22 to take second place. They were just six seconds faster than Yolandi du Toit and her Mauritian teammate, Aurelie Halbwachs (Team Garmin) in third. “It was a good day. We paced it well, taking it easy in the beginning. We tried to focus on having fun because there’s still a long way to go,” smiled Redecker. In the Mixed division, Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers (Ulitmate Cycling) clocked the fastest time of 35:11 to give them a confidence-boosting early lead over defending champions, Kobus and Fiene Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed), who were 1:40 back. The German duo of Gwenda Ruesing and Jens Schoenhofen (ToMotion Racing by Black Tusk) were third. There was a tight tussle for the stage win the Veteran Men’s category. Iniel Hattingh and Vickus Boschoff (Klein Karoo Ko Op) clocked a time 34:04, which was just four seconds quicker than that set by Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas BusinessPrint). The final podium spot went to Wim Tollenaere and Hans Planckaert (De Fietser Rotwild Zaes) of Belgium, a further minute back. Izak Visable and Linus van Onselen (Anderson Masters) secured a dominant victory in the Master’s race. They clocked a snappy 36:35 to put them 2:46 ahead of Belgians Daniel Evrard and Joseph Kerkhofs (Team Joven) with the Italian pairing of Roberto Gallo and Niccolo Violati (Pitstop) taking third place. The route took riders through the steep ocean-side suburbs during the prologue stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za In the Solo men’s race, South African Brandon Stewart secured the stage win in 31:21, with Jiri Krivanek of the Czech Republic and Franco Pelser taking second and third respectively both within less than a minute of Stewart. Nicky Gilliomee (RSA) claimed the win the Solo women’s race, ahead of German Sabine Stampf and Norwegian Marianne Bergli, who were second and third respectively. Monday’s Stage 1, dubbed #GondwanaGlory, is a 95km leg that starts and finishes in Mossel Bay. It will take the riders along the coast above Diaz Beach to start and finish at Milkwood Primary School but the rest of the route heads inland through the Gondwana Private Nature Reserve, home to Africa’s Big Five. There’s a total of 1 700 metres of ascent, which should make for a challenging day. The top three men’s teams after the prologue stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday are (from left): Peeter Tarvis and Peeter Pruus (second), Matt Beers and Erik Kleinhans (first) and Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (third). Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The top three women’s teams after the prologue stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday are (from left): Leana de Jager and Catherine Williamson (second), Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss (first) and Yolandi du Toit and Aurelie Halbwachs (third). Photo credit: www.oakpics.com The first riders will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek Watch online the live show #Pioneer Spirit on 17, 19 and 21 October at 18h15 CAT/17h15 CET: For more in-depth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Prologue, 13km in Mossel Bay Leading ResultsMen: 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus/Topeak Ergon/Red-E 00:28:31 2. Peeter Tarvis (EST) / Peeter Pruus (EST) – KOMO/RMW 00:29:33 3. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 00:29:38 4. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 00:29:40 5. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappenbelt Specialized 00:29:44 Women: 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Vale (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 00:35:02 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo Ladies 00:39:22 3. Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Aurelie Halbwachs (MRU) – Team Garmin 00:39:27 4. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) - Team CWC/BreakAway 00:39:37 5. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 00:43:08 Mixed: 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 00:35:11 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 00:36:51 3. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 00:38:33 4. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 00:38:42 5. Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) / Luc Bellings (BEL) – gastro bikes 00:39:37 Veterans: 1. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 00:34:04 2. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas Business Print 00:34:08 3. Wim Tollenaere (BEL) / Hans Planckaert (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 00:35:08 4. Eugene Long (RSA) / Brett Penney (RSA) – brett/long 00:36:24 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 00:37:36 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 00:36:35 2. Joseph Kerkhofs (BEL) / Daniel Evrard (BEL) – tean joven 00:39:21 3. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 00:39:47 4. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 00:40:51 5. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (USA) – Team Grassroof 00:41:34 Solo Men: 1. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 00:31:21 2. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 00:31:44 3. Franco Pelser (RSA) 00:32:12 4. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 00:34:36 5. Malcolm Isaacs (RSA) 00:35:27 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 00:38:06 2. Sabine Stampf (GER) 00:39:35 3. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 00:40:43 4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 00:41:28 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 00:50:46
  18. First and third place respectively for James Reid and Alan Hatherly after a four-rider end sprint at Sunday's 60km Illovo Eston Marathon, the feature race of the 2016 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge, served as the perfect final race preparation ahead of the pair's departure for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, while Cherie Redecker claimed the women's title. Click here to view the article
  19. Team Spur's James Reid punches the air in victory while Brendon Davids (far right) rounds Kargo Pro Cycling Team's Alan Hatherly to take second place while SCOTT LCB Factory racing's Philip Buys (background) finishes fourth in the 60km Illovo Eston Marathon, the feature race of Sunday's 2016 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge at the Beaumont Eston Farmers' Club. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media In edging out the trio of Brendon Davids, Hatherly (Kargo Pro Cycling Team) and former Olympian, Philip Buys (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing), Team Spur's Reid successfully defended his Illovo Eston crown and added the final piece to his all-important Olympic preparation puzzle. “It was a super dice out there!” said Reid. “The other three guys are three of the fastest in the country at the moment so it really was the perfect build up to Rio.” "Eston is a race with a very high average speed, similar to the course we’re going to be riding in Rio, so both Alan (Hatherly) and I used this race for some speed work. “We’ve both had a pretty tough week of training, so for us to come here and have a clash with two other classy riders in Brendon and Philip was really great,” he added. With pedigree aplenty and the quartet having spent close on the full 60km together, Reid played his cards perfectly and surged onto the Beaumont Eston Farmers’ Club field first. “With Philip and Brendon coming out to race today, Alan and I were always going to have our work cut out for us. “Philip was also in close contention for Olympic selection and Brendon is super strong and he’s really hungry after quite a difficult season. “Once things settled down, it was just the four of us and no one was able to make a meaningful break at any stage. “It was also great to see the class of the guys when I had a piece of wire stuck in my wheel and all three of them waited for me,” explained Reid. From left: Stuart Marias (fifth place), Team Spur's James Reid (first place), Kargo Pro Cycling Team's Alan Hatherly (third place), SCOTT LCB Factory Racing's Philip Buys (fourth place) and Brendon Davids (second place) work together during the 60km Illovo Eston Marathon, the feature race of Sunday's 2016 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge at the Beaumont Eston Farmers' Club. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media While a desperate lunge for the line saw Davids narrowly pip Hatherly to the post, the latter was still thrilled with his effort on the day and the role it played in his Rio build up campaign. "Eston is always has quite a cross country style course with lots of technical single track and quite a few punchy, hard climbs and then the last 15km are quite flat,” said Hatherly. “With the course over in Rio also quiet flat and fast, Eston was the perfect race to finish off our preparation at.” Hatherly also confirmed that road cycling star Louis Meintjes’ seventh placed effort in the Men’s Road Race on Saturday in Rio would serve as added motivation come his and Reid’s cross country mountain bike equivalent in a few weeks’ time. “It’s definitely motivating to see one of your fellow South African riders doing so well; now it’s for us to try follow in his footsteps and get to that sort of level as well.” Davids, currently riding unsupported, was also pleased with his second place effort having returned recently from a frustrating two months of racing in Europe. "As important as it was for the Olympic guys to come here to test their form and boost their confidence before Rio, it was also great for guys like Philip and I to come out and re-prove to ourselves that we have what it takes to compete at that level as well,” said Davids. “For me to be involved in a sprint with three Olympians is really good for my confidence, especially after the couple of mechanicals I had during my recent stint in Europe." Buys, who was part of Team South Africa's 2012 London Olympic contingent, crossed the line in fourth having claimed the King of the Mountain hotspot prize early on in the race while Stuart Marais rounded out the top five. With the four cross country aces having dominated the men's race, it was more of the same in the women's clash as fellow XCO star, Redecker controlled proceedings from start to finish to claim a comfortable victory. Despite lining up alongside a richly talented women's field, the Redecker charged out the blocks, a tactic that paid off handsomely for the Novus OMX Pro MTB Team rider as she headed to victory unrivalled, a positive ahead of her final few assignments of the year. Novus OMX Pro MTB Team's Cherie Redecker charges to victory in the 60km Illovo Eston Marathon, the feature race of Sunday's 2016 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge at the Beaumont Eston Farmers' Club. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media “I looked to just go full gas from the beginning, see if I could take Queen of the Mountain hotspot and then try find a rhythm after that,” explained Redecker. “At the 30km mark – the usual endpoint of my cross country races – I was worried that I may have gone a little too hard early on however I decided to see how long I could keep things going for and once I started catching some of the A-batch men, each rider in front of me became little carrot for me to keep working towards. “I felt like today showed that my form is there which, having been sick for SA Cross Country Champs, gives me a bit of confidence for my last four or so big events for the year, which include the Swiss Cup and the Euro Bike.” Behind Redecker a battle royale unfolded as Kargo Pro Cycling Team’s Frankie du Toit, Pure Adventure Wear’s Tiffany Keep, Merchants’ Jeannie Dreyer and Kargo Pro Cycling Team's Hayley Smith went head-to-head. Kargo Pro Cycling Team's Frankie du Toit is second across the line in the 60km Illovo Eston Marathon, the feature race of Sunday's 2016 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge at the Beaumont Eston Farmers' Club. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Despite having only jetted in from Ireland via Dubai late on Saturday evening, young Keep regularly tested her rivals with surges that in the second half of the contest, fragmented the women’s chase group. In the end it was Du Toit who charged home to claim second place ahead of the spirited Keep though, who in turn narrowly edged out the experienced Dreyer with Smith finishing fifth. The 40km aQuellé Half Marathon saw Reinhard Zellhuber and Gill Burie clinch the men’s and women’s race spoils respectively while the junior age group racing in the 18km STIHL Tala Family Ride was frenetic throughout. Young and old enjoyed a day in the saddle together at Sunday's 2016 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge at the Beaumont Eston Farmers' Club. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The 10km Omnia Kids Ride rounded out the day’s action packed programme with scores of excited young stars of tomorrow enjoying their time in the saddle alongside their peers and parents. More information can be found at www.illovoestonmtb.co.za. Summary of results: 60KM ILLOVO ESTON MARATHONOverall 1.James Reid 2.Brendon Davids 3.Alan Hatherly 4.Philip Buys 5.Stuart Marais Women 1.Cherie Redecker 2.Frankie du Toit 3.Tiffany Keep 4.Jeannie Dreyer 5.Hayley Smith 40KM AQUELLE HALF MARATHON Men 1.Reinhard Zellhuber 2.Gregg McDonagh 3.Mark Snyman Women 1.Gill Burie 2.Pauline Rainbird 3.Ilse Longmore
  20. Straight off the plane from the Lenzerheide World Cup, Mariske Strauss and Cherie Redecker of OMX Pro Bike Team have been hard at work training on the SA National MTB Champs XCO track at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg. Watch as Mariske and Cherie give us a guided tour of the National Championship course. Click here to view the article
  21. The SA National MTB Champs XCO races take place on Saturday 16 July and will be streamed live from 9 am on Streamit360.tv here.
  22. “It has been an honour racing in the SA Champs stripes. The pressure of being the defending Champ is something I am not used to but I know I can defend it,” she said. Current XCO Elite Women’s Champion, Cherie Redecker has enjoyed the pride felt from wearing the National Championship jersey over the past year, and hopes to keep it in her possession for the next season when she tackles the 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 16-17 July. Photo: Cycling SA. The OMX Pro MTB Team rider hasn’t had the easiest week of preparation, having fallen ill in Lenzerheide over the past week, but has been focusing on healing and rest. “It is all part of racing and you need to work with what comes your way and not stress about what you can’t control,” she added.Redecker took part in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Enduro Championships recently, which helped her take the pressure off, but kept the focus on the enjoyment of cycling. “Each year has been an improvement and I feel I still haven’t reached my full potential,” she said. Living in KwaZulu-Natal and close to Cascades MTB Park has been great for Redecker and has helped her work on her fears, which she wouldn’t usually have time to work on when just there for a race. “Now that I have gotten over those fears I feel my technical riding skills have improved,” she added. Although there are perks of living close to the course, Redecker reiterated the unpredictability of cross-country racing. “Nick (Floros) has created a completely different course for SA Champs and having had time to practice it in advance has helped. Even though it is an advantage, the ladies race at World Champs showed anything can happen, even if you have a home-ground advantage,” she said. Redecker chatted about the friendly competition between herself and teammate and 2014 National Champion, Mariske Strauss: “It’s been great being in a team with Mariske. I am so happy for her that she is back on form and having issue-free races. It makes me excited for SA Champs because we get to push the limits and create some exciting racing.” The National Downhill Championships boasts a brand new track for Sunday’s event, much to the excitement of the riders. Race organisers also said that special mention needed to go out to Tim Bentley and other local downhill riders who made efforts in the assistance of the track build. The 2016 SA National XCO and DHI Championships take place at Cascades MTB Park on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July respectively. Entries are open and close at midnight on Tuesday 12 July. To enter, click here: https://entries.cyclingsa.com/events/7761-sa-xcodhi-champs. To view the STIHL 2016 SA MTB Championships – Programme of events, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20160707_SA-MTB-Champs-2016-Program-1.pdf. Riders please note - please check the start times on the latest Programme of Events as they have changed. For more information, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-champs/
  23. Current XCO Elite Women’s Champion, Cherie Redecker has enjoyed the pride felt from wearing the National Championship jersey over the past year, and hopes to keep it in her possession for the next season when she tackles the 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 16-17 July. Click here to view the article
  24. Tiaan Odendaal, Kathryn Fourie and Cherie Redecker posted the fastest times in the Men and Women’s races respectively to claim the gold medals at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Click here to view the article
  25. Local rider Tiaan Odendaal was not deterred by the fact that the “top secret” stages were only revealed on race day. ENDURO route designer Mark Sydney’s approach of not revealing the routes in the lead up to the event was an effort to ensure fairness amongst all the riders, particularly to those who were not familiar with the myriad of trails that Cascades had to offer. The riders however, were able to practice the route in the morning before the racing started. Craig Paul, winner of the Sub Veteran Men's class at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied “I’m happy to take the win, but I honestly just came out here to have some fun today,” said Odendaal. “I’d probably say that stage five was my favourite because it was the shortest and there were no uphills. Stage one and stage three were quite cool as well; they were quite steep and technical.” With riders being able to tackle the first three stages in any order they choose, almost all of the riders opted to complete the first and third stages early on in order to avoid the long trek back up to the top of Cascades – stage two started lower down the hill with its finish far down the mountain. Sprog Boys winner Liam Tyler Hall at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied The second-fastest rider of the day, Tim Bentley, opted to stay at the back and start towards the end of the self-seeded queue in order to hit the trails when they were a little drier. “The top two stages we did in order so as not to waste our energy. That was a hard day; I won’t lie. There was a lot of pedalling in that Enduro. We did five stages and we normally do three or four, so it was tough. I knew the technical stuff really well so I gained all my time there but I lost a lot of time on the pedalling.” Overall Women’s winner to tie with Cherie Redecker, Kathryn Fourie, felt that getting through five stages went a lot quicker than she expected. The race involved riding their bikes to the very top of Cascades during the untimed liaison where they started stages one and three. Relative newcomer to the sport, Tammy Sturrock, at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied “There had been some chatter about keeping the trails secret and in the end it worked out better because everyone was at the same disadvantage,” said Fourie. “My approach was to get the two furthermost stages out of the way. I had to go a bit slower in some sections because I had a few close calls early on, but stage four and five were shorter and easy to get to and they were a lot of fun. “I feel stage one and three were my favourite. I really had a good day out and I think I tied with Cherie, which I’m happy about, because she is flipping quick!” Current SA National XCO Champion, Redecker enjoyed her day on the bike and agreed with the sentiments that five stages created a tough day out. “It was such a great change to set off at the start and to see everyone was so chilled and chatting and it’s not a mad rush to get going, as is the case with XCO. This is my second ever Enduro because I had done one previously in Namibia. It’s such a cool vibe because when you finish a stage, you meet up and ride with your group of mates back up to the next stage start. The climbs to the start of stage one and three ere tough, but there is chance to rest in between which adds to the fun.” Nipper winner Omar Wilson (10) has competed in four Enduro races and attests to their popularity saying that each one he has entered has been fantastic. Speaking of today’s Championship race, he said: “Stage one and two were fast and long, stage four I felt a bit tired, but stage five was my best. Everybody was on the last stage and they were all cheering and it was just brilliant.” Nipper Boys' winner Omar Wilson during stage two of five at the 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. Photo: supplied When asked what he most enjoyed about Enduro racing, Wilson said: “I enjoy going up and then getting the payback on the downhill – you just chillax and its fast and fun on the downhill.” Relative newcomer to the sport, Tammy Sturrock, thoroughly enjoyed her fourth ever Enduro race. Having only started cycling two years ago, and competing in Enduro events since last year, Sturrock confirmed that fitness is required. “You definitely need fitness, which I didn't have this time. Next year I’m definitely going to plan a little more training. What’s nice about the Enduro is that you can ride with your boyfriend, you can ride with kids and it's a great way to get the families cycling. It’s great to meet up with all your friends afterwards and share stories over a beer or two.” Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Championships – 2 July 2016 Overall Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 17:27 2.Timothy Bentley (Senior) 17:43 3.David Hogan (Senior) 18:03 4.Craig Paul (Sub Veteran) 18:11 5.Keira Duncan (Youth) 18:44Overall Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39 1.Cherie Redecker 22:39 3.Sabine Thies 22:43 4.Tammy Sturrock 27:08 Senior Men 1.Tiaan Odendaal 17:27 2.Timothy Bentley 17:43 3.David Hogan 18:03 Senior Women 1.Cherie Redecker 22:39 2.Tammy Sturrock 27:08 3.Lauren Hoyer Junior Men 1.Christoper Philogene 19:02 2.Thomas Jessop 20:23 Youth Men 1.Keira Duncan 18:44 2.Kayle Seaward 19:56 3.Connor Finnis 20:00 Sub Junior Boys 1.Robert Jessop 23:02 2.Matthew Millward 25:56 3.Kyle Brand Sub Junior Girls 1.Sabine Thies 22:43 2.Charne Dreyer 27:21 Sub Veteran Men 1.Craig Paul 18:11 2.Craig Scott 19:15 3.Andy Noble 19:46 Sub Veteran Women 1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39 Veteran Men 1.Patrick Morewood 19:20 2.Craig Seaward 19:53 3.Keith Diederichs 20:01 Master Men 1.Brian Magor 22:31 2.Michael Frost 22:46 Nipper Boys 1.Omar Wilson 24:23 Sprog Boys 1.Liam Tyler Hall 23:22 2.Nate Tanner Hall 23:28 3.Keagan Brand 25:18
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