What an end to the season it was. Jonkershoek delivering four amazing stages of racing with the iconic mountain backdrop that could fool you for a second into thinking that you’re somewhere in Europe. The fun and adrenaline did come at a price though, with riders having to climb just under 2000 metres in total, as they ascended the eastern slope of the valley pretty much from bottom to top for each stage. Bennet’s Red, The Plumber, Armageddon, and the Double Black Diamond made up the all-star list of trails for the day, wrapping up a successful 1st year of the newly founded EWC series. A series that could not have happened without the sterling efforts of Dan, Harry, Rupert, Michelle and Jacques, and of course the title sponsors Tygerberg MTB Club and Giant Bikes. On the ladies' racing front, Stellenbosch local Frankie du Toit put down the hammer from the start and took the honours with a total racing time of 24:58.486. Second place was claimed by ex-Austrian Denise Hartwig about 3.5 minutes back, with the third spot going to Suné Henning. It seemed to be the day of the locals as Matt Lombardi claimed TSD and won every stage. Lombardi conquered the four stages in a time of 21:06.415, exactly one minute ahead of 2nd place man Juri de Bruyn. Round 2 winner Robert Starke managed to claim 3rd spot, a mere 5 seconds behind de Bruyn. First light in the Jonkershoek valley Juri de Bruyn charging into 2nd place Denise Hartwig on her way to 2nd Oli Munnik Bluring
Best race this year! Jonkershoek put on a show for all of us and the trails were on point. I went with my usual tactics and tried to stay consistent and smooth the whole day, aiming to sew up the series win. I pushed hard in the sections where I knew I could and just consolidated on the more blown out sections. I'm really chuffed to walk away with the overall win, series win, and TSD (total stage domination) on the day! I was certainly kept on my toes the whole day and needed to piece a good race together to stay on top. Looking forward to next season's races!
Matt Lombardi | King of EWC 2018
This place never ceases to amaze. What a privilege to live here.
This one was slightly tougher than usual, not just in terms of climbing but also the stages were more technical and physical, so it took a lot more out of you! I was pretty broken when I finished. I actually think we had perfect weather, it wasn’t too hot and the wind cooled you down, but it was pretty unpredictable - there were times when you would round a corner and get smacked by the wind which threw me off a bit.The event was well organised, the timing is becoming more and more efficient as the riders get used to the system and the organizers refine it. The stages provided a good challenge, so it felt like you had accomplished something when you got the bottom and had a clean run. The vibe was, as always, amazing, everyone was so stoked to be there. One of my marathon friends happened to ride in Jonkers on the day of the event and she was surprised at how happy all the riders looked and I think that sums up yesterday’s event - everyone ended on a high after a good day out at a well-organised event on amazing trails. It was also rad to ride in Jonkers, I ride there very often so it was pretty much a home race for me which is always fun. Jonkers never disappoints, it’s stunning, it’s challenging and it’s amazing to ride!
Frankie du Toit | Queen of EWC 2018
From left: Coleen de Oliveira, Suné Henning, Frankie du Toit, Denise Hartwig, and Leigh Haskins. From left: Rob Starke, Dane Olsen, Matt Lombardi, Juri de Bruyn, and Luke Moir.Top 3 women: 1. Frankie du Toit - 24:58.486 (21st overall) 2. Denise Hartwig (BMT Stellenbosch) - 28:27.293 3. Suné Henning - 31:51.777 Top 3 men: 1. Matt Lombardi (Specialized) - 21:06.415 2. Juri de Bruyn (Ellsworth) - 22:06.135 3. Robert Starke - 22:11.542 Full results can be found here. A big shout out must go to all the riders that attended the three EWC races this year! It's safe to say that Enduro in the Western Cape is back on track! Spread the word, spread the stoke and let's make 2019 an even bigger success.