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  1. Our 2017 Last Lioness VIPA was a bike that received a lot of attention and there was definitely some pressure to try and come out with a new look that somehow built on the 2017 bike’s success – we are happy we achieved our goal and more!I would like to wish Hannele a great 2018 Cape Epic and am really looking forward to seeing this awesome bike in action come 18th March. Victor Momsen Specification list: FrameMomsen VIPA RaceForkRock Shox Sid World Cup 100mmShockRockShox MonarchWheelsZTR Valor Pro 29erTyresF&R: Continental X-King 29x2.2 ProtectionHandlebars + StemFarr Carbon Endurance Handlebar, Momsen Alloy 3D Forged Stem with 20mm dropBrakesSRAM Level Ultimate brakes with SRAM 160mm centerline rotorsShiftersSRAM Eagle XX1DerailleurSRAM Eagle XX1CassetteSRAM Eagle XX1CranksSRAM Eagle XX1ChainringEagle oval 34TChainSRAM Eagle XX1Bottom BracketSRAM GXPSeatpostMomsenSaddleFizik Follow on social media: Cape Cycle Systems Facebook. Cape Cycle Systems Instagram.Momsen Bikes Facebook. Momsen Bikes Instagram. Hannele Steyn Instagram.
  2. Dutch beach racing star Ramses Bekkenk will not be intimidated by the breezy conditions predicted for the 2017 36ONE MTB Challenge. Photo by www.directsportfoto.nl Jean Biermans had planned for the 2016 36ONE MTB Challenge to be his final professional mountain bike race but when a chest infection forced him to withdraw from the race at the half-way mark he decided he had unfinished business and put his retirement on hold. In 2017 there has been no mention of any intension to hang up his bike, allowing Biermans to focus on the race itself. As recent months have painfully illustrated, to Christoph Sauser and Tom Boonen, the cycling gods are not romantics and will not just hand a victory to a retiring champion. Biermans is still the course record holder having stopped the clock on an impressive 14 hours, 3 minutes and 57 seconds for the 361 kilometre long route in 2015. Tom Wetton’s 2016 winning time was over an hour slower, but given the massive distances, changing terrain and lengthy time many external factors can impact the times. The weather conditions in particular play a significant part, though the men’s race winner tends to finish between 08:00 and 09:00 on Saturday morning so the heat of the day hardly impacts them. What can affect their time though is the wind. A light breeze from the South East is predicted throughout the race and while this will aid the riders on the, 140 kilometre long, Westerly section from Daskop to Rooiberg it will be a head wind for much of the final 81km, from Calitzdorp to Oudtshoorn. Jean Biermans is keen to repeat his 2015 36ONE MTB Challenge winning ride and could challenge the course record, conditions permitting. Photo by Jazz Kuschke One rider who will not be intimidated by a breeze is Ramses Bekkenk. As a Dutch beach racing champion Bekkenk is accustomed to racing into the wind. Bekkenk is also an ultra-marathon specialist having completed an astonishing 850 kilometres in the Dutch 24 uur van Zandvoort twenty four hour race. He is also bringing form into The 36ONE MTB Challenge having placed second in the 120 kilometre long Kellerwald Marathon in Germany on the 9th of April. Hannele Steyn (2nd from right) and Katja Steenkamp (far right) raced to third together in the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek so the duo knows they can work well as a team. Photo by Oakpics.com In the women’s race Hannele Steyn and Katja Steenkamp are focused on breaking the women’s course record. Steyn holds the title as the fastest solo female finisher with a time of 17 hours, 41 minutes and 48 seconds in 2016; but the fastest ever woman to complete the route is Jeannie Dreyer who rode it in 16 hours, 32 minutes and 14 seconds as part of a mixed team with her husband Martin in 2015. The three leading women each boast an impressive ultra-marathon palmarès; Steyn is the Last Lioness (the final woman to have completed every Absa Cape Epic), Steenkamp is the 2016 Tour d'Afrique champion having ridden every inch of the 12 000 kilometres from Cairo to Cape Town, and Dreyer – aside from being the fastest women ever on The 36ONE – finished a very narrow second in the 2016 Munga. Rumour has it that Martin Dreyer will be doubling up by riding the 361 kilometre route twice. Photo by Jazz Kuschke While his wife Jeannie will be racing for victory, Martin Dreyer has other plans for The 36ONE MTB Challenge. 361 kilometres in one go is not quite far enough for the mad-cap adventurer, rumour has it that he will be attempting to undertake the loop twice; in so doing riding a massive 722 kilometres. Dreyer is set to start sometime on Friday morning, with a Dryland Event Management vehicle following behind him for support, and he will probably start catching slower riders on Saturday afternoon as he seeks to complete his second pass of the route. The 36ONE MTB Challenge gets underway from Kleinplaas Resort in Oudtshoorn at 18:00 on Friday the 21st of April, with a 3 kilometre long neutral zone before the racing starts. The half distance riders will start at Volmoed at 06:00 on Saturday the 22nd of April and the first rider is expected to finish just after 08:00 on Saturday morning. Riders have 36.1 hours to complete the 361 kilometre long course and prize giving will take place at 09:00 on Sunday the 23rd at Kleinplaas. You can follow the action live on Twitter, @The36ONE, or view all the photos and videos from the 2017 36ONE MTB Challenge on the event Facebook page. For more information on the race visit www.the36one.co.za or click here to read advice on how to take on an ultra-marathon event and to view The 36ONE MTB Challenge split calculator.
  3. Travis Walker (front) and teammate Pieter Seyffert (Ellsworth-ASG) lead the pack on Montagu Pass on the second day of the TransCape mountain bike race. The queen stage of the seven-day journey from Knysna to Franschhoek took the riders on a 135km ride between George and Van Wyksdorp. Photo: Jacques Marais The Ellsworth-ASG duo led the field home for the second consecutive day after a typically hot and dusty Karoo leg between George and Van Wyksdorp. They completed the 135km queen stage – the longest of the seven-day event – in 5:30:24 to lead the standings with a combined time of 8:50:10. Belgians Eddy Feliers and Kristof de Neys (Cicero Baik) hung on to their second place overall after placing second on the stage in 5:40:42 for a total time of 9:23:25. They were chased all the way home by David and William Wertheim Aymes (Bromance), who stopped the clock on 5:45:12 to remain in third overall on 9:27:55. After creating a decent buffer on the opening stage, the 30-year-old Seyffert from Helderkruin on the West Rand said they had planned to ride within themselves on the second day. The Ellsworth-ASG team of Travis Walker (front) and Pieter Seyffert consolidated their overall position at the front on the second day of the TransCape mountain bike race. The queen stage of the seven-day journey from Knysna to Franschhoek took the riders on a 135km ride between George and Van Wyksdorp. Photo: Jacques Marais However, his younger partner could not contain his competitive juices and they quickly opened up a gap on Montagu Pass where the gradient kicks up to 14 per cent in places. “Although the intention was to take it slightly easier, I got a bit excited going up Montagu Pass,” admitted the 25-year-old Walker from Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal. “Going up the pass the breeze was into us, so climbing was a bit slower than usual. About halfway up I rode to the front and from there we were by ourselves for the rest of the stage.” Tongue firmly in his cheek, Seyffert said he would speak to the organisers about the pace his partner was setting and for “always putting me in the hurt box”. “Jokes aside, he’s an awesome teammate, waiting for me on all the climbs. He rides from the front most of the way and I’m learning to pull myself inside out to keep up with him.” Seyffert, who will target the Cycling South Africa-sanctioned Bestmed Tour of Good Hope road race in the Cape Winelands next month, said the heat combined with the wind had made the lengthy stage a tester. “We had a headwind for most of the day, with a slight tailwind for the last 10 to 15km. It was very hot towards the end with the wind at our backs. Although Montagu Pass – which the peloton faced shortly after the start –was the major ascent on the day, Seyffert said the smaller climbs later on presented more of a challenge. “From about 80km onwards you get those district roads and rolling hills, which I found much tougher. And then, right at the end, the organisers have put in a nasty little 1km climb as a final challenge.” In the men’s solo category, defending champion Billy Stelling came through strongly to take the stage in 5:40:46 to move in to third overall with an aggregate time of 9:59:22. Belgian overnight leader Karl Dossche remained at the head of affairs after placing second in 5:51:23 for a total time of 9:39:38. Alan Tilling completes the overall podium on 9:52:40. Hannele Steyn (right) and Spar teammate Catherine Williamson (second from left) continued to enjoy the journey on the second day of the TransCape mountain bike race. The queen stage of the seven-day event from Knysna to Franschhoek took the riders on a 135km ride between George and Van Wyksdorp. Photo: Jacques Marais Britain’s Catherine Williamson and Hannele Steyn (Spar) lead the women’s category on 9:23:24 after finishing the stage in 5:40:40 and Alma Colyn heads the solo women on 9:41:04 after crossing the line in 5:44:54. Matthias and Denise Kubli won the mixed section in 6:55:49 to remain third overall on 11:40:13. Ian and Jane Seggie were second in 6:59:08 to retain their overnight lead on 11:25:00, with Craig Chidrawi and Charmaine Werdmuller third on the day in 7:06:56 to stay in second overall on 11:39:29. The third stage of 81km will take riders over two major climbs between Van Wyksdorp and Riversdal.
  4. After a rainy opening stage, riders were presented with different conditions today as pace-setters Pieter Seyffert and Travis Walker consolidated their overall lead in the TransCape mountain bike race. Click here to view the article
  5. The Ellsworth-ASG duo took control early on to cover the tough 80km ride between Knysna and Wilderness in the Western Cape in 3:19:46. Pieter Seyffert from Ellsworth-ASG was in top form on the opening day of the seven-day TransCape mountain bike race as he and team-mate Travis Walker set the pace on the 80km stage from Knysna to Wilderness today. Photo: Jacques Marais They were followed home by Belgians Eddy Feliers and Kristof de Neys (Cicero Baik) in 3:42:42, with David and William Wertheim Aymes (Bromance) crossing the line in third in 3:42:43. Their commanding performance on a day that took in almost 1 600m of vertical climbing will see the South African pro outfit take a handy buffer into tomorrow’s queen stage. Seyffert, who hails from Helderkruin on the West Rand, said their sizeable lead would allow them the luxury of not having to make the racing on tomorrow’s stage, which is the longest of this year’s event. He said they were building towards next month’s Bestmed Tour of Good Hope in the Cape Winelands and were delighted with their debut outing. “This is our first race together and it will be a good test to see what I have to do as Travis’s partner for upcoming stage races,” said the 30-year-old. “I have a feeling we will be pretty good together. We have had a great start and will build on that as we learn from each other.” After some heavy overnight showers, the riders faced a gentle drizzle through much of the stage, which took in sections of the well-known Seven Passes road – including Phantom Pass early on. Walker, who had recently returned to SA after racing in Europe, said while the weather made the route more treacherous in places, there was a positive side as well. “The rain can be good and bad,” said the 25-year-old, who has settled in Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal. “The roads were quite gravelly and sandy, so the rain meant they were not that slippery and there was no dust from any vehicles going past. “I don’t really mind the drizzle as I prefer it cooler than blazing hot. “On the other hand, some of the parts were very muddy and if you are not too careful you can go around a corner and slide on rocks or roots.” He added the conditions were also prone to causing mechanicals and said the bikes would be checked thoroughly afterwards to assess their condition. Catherine Williamson and Hannele Steyn (Spar) finished in 3:42:44 to take the lead in the women’s section. Hannele Steyn of Spar was delighted to lead the women’s category alongside Britain’s Catherine Williamson after the first stage of the seven-day TransCape mountain bike race that took riders over 80km from Knysna to Wilderness today. Photo: Jacques Marais The 34-year-old Williamson from North Yorkshire in Britain said she was thrilled to be riding with a partner after competing in the solo category last year. “When you ride solo, you have to go flat out and try to hang on to groups. “Riding with a partner is a completely different dynamic and Hannele is such an awesome rider with so much experience,” said the former Cape Epic champion. “We worked nicely together and she was always right on my wheel.” Belgian Karl Dossche found himself leading the men’s solo section in 3:51:23 after initially entering in the team category. “Unfortunately my friend had to withdraw because of family reasons so I went ahead to ride solo,” he explained. “Of course, it would be nicer if he was here, but I had a very good ride on a wonderful course. The rainy conditions were not too bad because in Belgium we are used to that.” Despite taking a wrong turn and adding several kilometres to her day, Alma Colyn completed the stage in 3:56:10 to take the lead in the women’s solo category. “It was an awesome route, even if it was wet and muddy,” she said. “Unfortunately, I took my glasses off at one stage to tuck them in my top and when I looked up I realised I was going straight instead of turning into the forest.” Colyn said she refused to panic and merely turned around to find the correct route. “All you can do is just pray and hope you see another cyclist or a sign board. I was very grateful to get back on track to enjoy an amazing event.” The second stage will take riders over a distance of 135km between George and Van Wyksdorp with 2 450m of ascent. The 690km event finishes in Franschhoek on Saturday. Provisional results:Men’s teams 1 Travis Walker, Pieter Seyffert (3:19:46) 2 Eddy Felliers, Kristof de Neys (3:42:42) 3 David Wertheim Aymes, William Wertheim Aymes (3:42:43) 4 Pierre Cloete, Graeme Cumming (3:53:01) 5 Reynard Tissink, Brandon Harcus (4:03:41) Women’s teams 1 Hannele Steyn, Catherine Williamson (3:42:44) Mixed 1 Ian Seggie, Jane Seggie (4:25:52) 2 Craig Chidrawi, Charmaine Werdmuller (4:32:33) 3 Matthias Kubli, Denise Kubli (4:44:24) 4 Michael de Coster, Yolanda Witteveen (4:58:13) 5 Simon Knutton, Sandra Johannessen (5:45:04) Men’s solo 1 Karl Dossche (3:51:23) 2 Alan Tilling (3:51:24) 3 Malcolm Dods (4:00:47) 4 Peter Hall (4:05:59) 5 James Whitehouse (4:05:59) Women’s solo 1 Alma Colyn (3:36:10) 2 Mandy Langebrink (4:18:35) 3 Nicola Geldenhuys (4:46:35) 4 Chandre Wertheim Aymes (4:52:18) 5 Susan Thornton-Smith (5:07:34)
  6. Despite wet conditions, Pieter Seyffert and Travis Walker kicked off their new partnership on a perfect note by winning the opening stage of the seven-day TransCape mountain bike race today. Click here to view the article
  7. Hannele Steyn is the only woman in an exclusive group of four people (known as the Last Lions) to complete all thirteen editions of the Cape Epic. She lives in Durbanville, Cape Town, where she coaches cyclists and triathletes and owns the whole foods company Passion4Wholeness. She has held Springbok colours in biathlon, triathlon, duathlon, road cycling, mountain biking, and has a list of other achievements too long to comprehend. We figured no one could know better about Epic preparation, so we caught up with her to find out more about her experiences, and to pick her brain about the importance of preparation for Epic newbies. Click here to view the article
  8. Hannele completing the prologue at the Absa Cape Epic 2015. Having done all thirteen Cape Epics since it’s inception can’t have been easy. Which year was the hardest for you, and what was it that made it particularly challenging? Every year brings its own challenges and no Epic is ever easy. I raced it up to 2011, so that was obviously tougher than now that I am doing it for the enjoyment too. Which year, if any was your favourite year and why? The year I won in 2005, of course. The Epic is at heart a team event. How many times have you finished with a partner, and how many times have you lost your partner along the way? Out of the 13 Epics I've completed, I have had to finish three on my own. Does losing a partner after all that preparation affect your morale, or does it serve as motivation? It is always tough to lose your partner as it takes away that team spirit, but you need to deal with a lot of very tough things that might come your way in the Epic. That is why it needs a strong mind and not only a strong body to do the Epic. I think every finisher ever, can feel very proud. What characteristic in yourself do you think has contributed to your achievement? Passion, resilience, and drive. What has changed in terms of your preparation over the years? And is there anything you would recommend to Epic newbies to ensure their training is up to scratch? Because I own my own company now, I cannot train like a professional anymore and because I am 51 years old, I can definitely not race like one. I will always try to do my very best, but there comes a time in your life, where you realize that you are training, not to get better anymore, but rather to not become weaker too fast. My advice to newbies is to have respect for this race. Do the right preparation in your training, your nutrition, and your equipment and if you feel out of your depth, find someone that has done an Epic to help you with advice and programs. What is the key to staying healthy for eight days? Keep your immune up by using good supplements. Do not eat funny things that you are not used to. Try to stick to your normal routine and sleep as much as possible. Stay off your feet after every stage as much as you can. Make sure you have warm clothing to put on after the stage as you body might feel warm but your immune system will be low and prone to catching bugs ... and finally: DO NOT KISS strangers or even people you know. How has the event evolved since the beginning? There are not enough pages to tell you, but what I can say, is: WELL DONE Kevin and crew from starting with a few tents, trucks, mattresses, disgusting food, and almost no sponsors and believing enough in your dream to have created one of the most amazing events ever. From no stars and a dream, to a Milky Way. Other than your bike and riding gear, what’s the most essential item to pack? Your Bible, because you are going ask for a lot of help during the eight days. You can still ride naked, but your bike must already be your best friend.
  9. As one of just 4 people to ever complete all 13 editions of the Cape Epic, Hannele is part of a very exclusive club – known as the Last Lions. What makes Hannele’s story even more unique is the fact that she is the only female rider in that exclusive group –the Last Lioness. We wanted to create something truly unique and extra special to celebrate Hannele’s 14th participation in the Cape-Epic. It just wouldn’t feel right for her to roll onto the start line on a stock standard production model. Victor Momsen, Owner – Momsen Bikes Specification highlights include:Custom Painted 2017 VIPA Carbon Frame – Size: Small / 29er Stan’s ZTR Valor Pro Carbon Wheelset Sram XX1 Eagle 1x12 Groupset Rockshox SID World Cup Carbon Fork This will be Hannele’s 3rd Cape Epic on the Momsen VIPA, a bike she is not only familiar with but also very comfortable on. Updates for 2017 include the change to the latest frame now fitted with a Internal Cable Routing system and then also the new 12-Speed Sram Eagle drivetrain. Lowering overall bike weight but also claiming to absorb impacts the addition of the No Tubes VALOR Pro Carbon wheels should see Hannele a bit fresher after every stage. A recent partner change sees Hannele pairing with Nicky Giliomee, who at half her age could make for a much faster race than she was originally preparing for.Never one to shy away from a challenge you can expect this team pairing to be challenging for a Top 10 team placing in the highly competitive Women’s Category at this year’s event. Full Specification: Frame2017 Custom VIPA Small “ Last Lioness” 29er / Full Suspension / 80mm Rear Travel / 142 x 12 RearForkRockShox SID World Cup OneLocShockFox Float DPS, Performance Series, Firm Lockout RimsStan’s No Tubes ZTR Valor Pro CarbonHubsStan's No Tubes Neo Ultimate 142 x 12 Rear / 15 x 100 Front SpokesSapim Custom Laser 1.8/1.5/1.8 spokes with Secure Lock aluminum nipplesTyresVee Tire Co. Rail Tracker Custom Logo, 72tpi Folding Bead, 29 x 2.20 Front and RearHandlebarsMomsen Flat Wide Carbon Handlebar, 715mm wide, 31.8mm Bar Bore only, Yellow/BlackStemMomsen 3D Forged Alloy Oval, 31.8mm Oversize StemHeadsetMomsen Custom Integrated Taper for VIPABrakesShimano XTR M9000, Shimano SM-RT86 XTR Rotors, 160mmShiftersSRAM XX1 Eagle TriggerRear DerailleurSRAM XX1 Eagle Type 3.0 12-Speed GoldCassetteSRAM XG-1299 EagleCranksetSRAM XX1 Eagle GXP 175, Gold DM 34TChainringSRAM X-SYNC 12-Speed 34T, BlackChainSRAM PC XX1 Eagle 12-speedBottom BracketSram GXP PressfitSeatpostMomsen Custom Carbon, 31.6mm x 400mmSaddleMomsen 2017 Custom, Composite Base, Chromoly RailBottle cagesVIPA Carbon Cage Created, designed and refined in South Africa, MOMSEN BIKES represent bikes #forgedintheuntamed. More info can be found here: http://www.momsenbikes.comThe Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). http://www.cape-epic.com Read more about the Last Lions here: http://www.cape-epic.com/riders/amabubesi/the-last-lions
  10. Hannele Steyn overcame illness to win a third women's title at the 36ONE MTB Challenge. Photo credit: www.oakpics.com The fifth edition of the 361km non-stop race attracted its largest field yet, largely comprising endurance-crazy South Africans in 11 sub-categories. The full-distance Solo category was once again the most popular with 479 entries, including 40 women. Teams, relay teams and half-distance riders made up the remaining 696 entries in what has developed into a prestigious event on the South African sports calendar. The 36ONE MTB Challenge is South Africa’s longest full-support, single-stage mountain bike race, taking the competitors over a distance of 361km with an accumulated elevation gain of 5 250 metres. Participants have a maximum of 36.1 hours to complete the course, the first 12 hours being completed through the night. Tom Wetton claimed overall victory on his first attempt at the 36ONE MTB Challenge. Photo credit: www.oakpics.com Wetton’s win came at his first attempt at the event. The 36-year-old Johannesburg-based international banking executive, racing in the colours of Oakhaven Capital, clocked a time of 15 hours 11 minutes 54 seconds, just over seven minutes ahead of Christo van den Heever. Ricardo Stermin rounded out the podium places in 15:27:22. Wetton’s time was over an hour outside the course record of 14:03:57, set by Dutchman Jean Biermans in 2015. Biermans was the favourite going into the 2016 event, but he withdrew at halfway after having been in a competitive lead group, which also included last year’s runner-up, Stermin, last year’s third-placed finisher, Warren Squires, Van den Heever, Wetton and Deon Kruger. “It was quite a strong group of us leading for the first half. In fact, after 75km I was feeling pretty broken,” admitted Wetton. “For a race that long the pace was seriously fast to start with. Jean (Biermans) was very active with his early attacks and responding to them started to wear me down. I actually considered stopping after 75km but then realised that all my mates wouldn’t be too impressed if I came all this way and pulled out. So I started to eat and drink and manage my energy levels and as the race rolled on I began to feel more composed,” explained Wetton. The 36ONE MTB Challenge participants get to enjoy a Karoo sunrise. Photo credit: www.oakpics.com “Approaching halfway, our lead group discussed the fact that staying compact and working together for a while would be a sensible way to eat up some distance and share the effort. But Jean told us at halfway that he’s stopping and another guy put in a silent attack. Then it was game on. I was quite happy to be riding with my training mates, Warren (Squires) and Deon (Kruger), as I felt a little less alone in the pitch dark… On a relatively testing 10km climb just before the better-known Rooiberg Pass, Wetton felt good and pushed the pace, which left only three in the lead group, Wetton, Van den Heever and Stermin. “I realised I was riding with two pedigreed bicycle racers and decided that I had to start racing smart if I had any chance of beating them. Just before Rooiberg, I asked Ricardo to come through to the front for a bit, but he admitted he was completely spent and gradually dropped behind. And then Christo chewed me up on the Rooiberg climb!” Van den Heever summitted Rooiberg six minutes ahead of Wetton, but the latter took a less cautious approach on the descent and took four minutes of that lead back again and set about riding a steady pace for the final 140km. The Rooiberg Pass was one of the more formidable sections of the route at the 36ONE MTB Challenge. Photo credit: www.oakpics.com “At the break of dawn I saw Christo’s red taillight and I began to reel him in. I decided to put in a massive attack when I caught him and it worked. He wasn’t able to respond and I was then in the lead with 40km to go. But man that was a hard last 40 kays! With 20km left I was feeling finished and realised that the win might not be on. But then I got a time split that I was about 4km ahead of Christo and that motivated me. That and the thought of an ice-cold beer at the finish,” grinned Wetton. In the women’s Solo race, Steyn was the firm favourite to claim what would be her third title. She’s the only woman to have finished all 13 editions of the Absa Cape Epic and she set the women’s record when she last won the 36ONE MTB Challenge in 2014. But while the record was out of her reach this year, the win wasn’t; and Steyn was put under pressure throughout from eventual runner-up, Rene Schoeman. “My race went to plan, but also didn’t go to plan. I was hoping to win, but was aiming for a new record time of around 16 hours 30 minutes. But I got a mild stomach bug on Thursday and that messed a bit with my nutrition strategy. For these long races, the secret to success lies in the correct nutrition,” said Steyn. “Once the race had started, I struggled to eat or drink. But after 200km I began forcing things down because I knew that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t finish. Where I normally ride stronger in the second half, I was weaker and I really had to ride with my mind, as my body was weak. My lights also died at the top of the Rooiberg Pass. I couldn’t descend as fast as I would have liked, but luckily it became daybreak as I got to the top and I was able to see a bit on the way down, which helped. The first 12 hours of racing at the 36ONE MTB Challenge are through the night. Photo credit: www.oakpics.com “I was very fortunate to have such a good support team. My Cape Epic partner, Anneke and her husband, Pete, were phenomenal. Thanks to their support and encouragement I was able to win my third 36ONE title, despite not feeling my best. As always, the organisation was superb and I can highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a different challenge,” smiled Steyn. Steyn’s winning time was 17 hours 41 minutes 48 seconds, (just over 12 minutes outside her 2014 record 17:28:57). Schoeman clocked 17:47:05, becoming only the second woman in the five-year history of the race to break 18 hours. Christiane Brenzel was third in 18:18:01. While the top finishers had completed their challenge in less than 18 hours, the bulk of the field was engaged in more lengthy battle. Very few flaunt with the 36.1-hour limit, but Claus Meinke and Robert du Preez were the last two Solo finishers in just a shade under 24 hours. Leading results The Challenge Solo Men overall 1 Tom Wetton 15 hours 11 minutes 54 seconds 2 Christo van den Heever 15:19:09 3 Riccardo Stermin 15:27:22 4 Andreas Studer 15:50:38 5 Warren Squires 15:54:46 6 Deon Kruger 16:22:38 7 Gideon Joubert 16:37:20 8 Marco Lambrechts 16:37:25 9 Martin Cilliers 16:45:26 10 Sthembiso Masango 16:45:31Women overall 1 Hannele Steyn 17:41:48 2 Rene Schoeman 17:47:05 3 Christiane Brenzel 18:18:01 4 Edgar Stafford 19:35:49 5 Desiree Strydom 19:37:16 6 Liza Mason 19:37:30 7 Ann Harrison 19:52:49 8 Janine Stewart 21:36:07 9 Adele Ambrose 22:00:59 10 Ingrid Avidon 22:14:19 The Challenge 2-Rider Team 1 Dane Walsh/Craig Edwards (HotChillee Lunatic Express) 16:53:42 2 Sipho Kupiso/Ndumiso Dontso (RMB Change a Life) 17:18:20 3 Jaco Schoeman/Jacques Rossouw (Astute) 18:29:33 The Challenge 2-Rider Mixed Team 1 Sharon Holgate/Gary Campbell (Gale Squad) 22:37:36 2 Peter Mesk/Pauline Tunstead (Peteandpauline) 23:41:30 3 Carlien Engelbrecht/Leon Engelbrecht (Nipple Nut) 23:44:39 The Half Challenge Solo Overall men 1 Billy Stelling 7:18:29 2 Mark Pienaar 8:24:44 3 Carlos van der Merwe 8:55:00 Overall women 1 Melissa Swanepoel 9:28:45 2 Kirsten Jacobs 9:32:53 3 Kelly Huber 9:35:13 The Half Challenge 2-Rider Team 1 Pieter du Plessis/Johan La Grange (Biogen Tweeling) 9:21:01 2 Lance Muller/Nadine Pansegrouw (The Mullers) 9:59:02 3 Maryke Groenewald/Marzanne Kriel (Team Altech Girls) 10:32:21 The Relay 2-Rider Men 1 Jacob Theron/Marthinus Eloff (Dream Team) 17:59:29 2 Jason vant Slot/Martin Freyer (Beauty & The Beast) 18:17:32 3 Wynand van Zyl/Paul de Klerk (Team Green Tech) 18:29:36 The Relay 2-Rider Mixed 1 Beverley Wingfield/Neill Upton (Endless Possibilities) 18:11:22 2 Ingeborg Winsauer/Arnulf Winsauer (Huffin Puffins) 22:10:37 The Relay 2-Rider Women 1 Carol Bernard/Anne De Swardt (Sum of Parts) 21:58:19 The Relay 4-Rider 1 Christo du Plessis/Bannox Lennox/Kobus Barnard/Willem Serfontein (Klein Karoo) 14:22:11 2 Corne Bence/Marchall Hendricks/Rico Bence/Niell Ungerer (Eden Cycling) 14:50:46 3 Ben Olivier/Zane Schmahl/Christo du Preez/Herman Niewoudt/Sollie van der Linde 18:05:22 For detailed results and information on entry into the 2017 edition, visit www.the36one.co.za. For a full gallery of images, check out Facebook: The 36ONE MTB Challenge.
  11. There were no course records, but there was plenty of drama as Tom Wetton and Hannele Steyn won the men and women’s individual titles respectively at the 2016 36ONE MTB Challenge, an ultra-endurance mountain bike race based at the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Click here to view the article
  12. Hannele Steyn. She and just three others – the Last Lions – will line up to finish their 13th race this year. In 2005 Hannele was the Women’s category winner at the Cape Epic. Five times she has been the South African cross country or marathon champion and has represented her country at several world championships in both disciplines. So who will she be riding with in 2016? Her partner will be Anneke Viljoen, an Epic newbie who has been riding a seriously for little more than a year. How did this extraordinary partnership come about? “I met her about two years ago on a road ride in Camps Bay,” recalled Hannele. “She owned a mountain bike but that was about it. She was, with all due respect, double her size.” Anneke Viljoen. A few months later Hannele needed legal advice and remembered Anneke was a lawyer: “I made an appointment and she was very kind to take on my case, and said she would do it for free as I wouldn’t be able to afford her.”Hannele was determined to pay Anneke back “but I realised how naive I was when I realised she was a partner at one of the top law firms”. “While I was still trying to save face, she said I can pay her by helping her to change to a better lifestyle,” said Hannele. “I immediately agreed and when she said I must just send the invoice I said that I will do it for free as she wouldn’t be able to afford me!” And that is how their friendship and journey to the 2016 Absa Cape Epic began. It is a journey that has required another type of courage from Anneke as she faces the great challenge of the Absa Cape Epic. “Middle age was creeping up on me faster than lightning strikes,” smiled Anneke. “I was feeling less than enthusiastic about work and generally bored with life. Hannele is not only a remarkable athlete, but also a nutritionist.” “Since I started training with Hannele in December 2014 my life has changed dramatically,” Anneke recalled. “Initially, I asked Hannele for a training programme I could follow that would prepare me for the RECM 200 in June 2015 – so that I could ride it without being wiped out after each stage.” She began the programme in December 2014 while on Holiday in Knysna and has since followed it to the letter, combining long rides with studio training on busy work days. “She also changed my eating habits and I learned to make healthy choices. I have lost a lot of weight, feel 10 years younger and have newfound energy in my work. I have also met some great people along the way.” She finished the RECM 200 in June this year, the Ride to Nowhere with Hannele in September and recently the Cape Pioneer Trek, also with Hannele, in October. “The Cape Pioneer Trek was a turning point for me. It was a great ride and the best holiday I have had in a long time. The sheer pleasure of finishing a stage ... and then the race, managing the technical sections without incident and careering down the hills was absolutely exhilarating,” Anneke said. “The freedom that comes with travelling on a bicycle from point A to point B, managing energy levels and enjoying the scenery and routes is indescribable. Having the company, experience and expertise of a legend in cycling sharing every moment along the way, was a great privilege. My confidence and skill set has improved remarkably, which makes every ride more enjoyable than the previous ride.” ‘When Hannele asked me early in April 2015 if I would like to do the Epic with her one day I said ‘yes, as soon as you think I am ready for it’, thinking that might be ‘ready for it’ in 2017 or 2018.” “It was settled there and then that 2016 was going to be my year. My heart has been racing ever since,” Anneke laughed. She admits to alternating between “yes I can do it” and “what was I thinking”, and “I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night wondering what I let myself into”. “Of course I am nervous about doing the Cape Epic. I am, however, lucky enough to do it with not only the most experienced women rider in the field, but also a person who has a huge heart, bigger soul and who is a great friend.”
  13. Hannele Steyn epitomises the courage required to finish the eight days of the Absa Cape Epic – so much so that she is one of a very select group of riders who have finished all 12 of the events to date. Click here to view the article
  14. Seventy-five pro and amateur riders across 18 nationalities will line up at the start of the newly UCI classified 2015 Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Race on Friday 30 January. Leading the international charge is South Africa with 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic hopeful James Reid making his Trans Hajar debut and last year’s female winner Hannele Steyn returning to the Sultanate of Oman to defend her title. Click here to view the article
  15. James Reid, who recently joined Team RECM, feels ready for this new adventure: "I'm very excited to be racing for the first time in the Middle East - I've raced in China, but never in this new and exciting part of the world. It's just about the beginning of the season for us, so my shape should be decent and this should be a good test ahead of a big year. I'm from South Africa and we have a lot of stage races and marathon events of a similar nature to the stages of the Trans Hajar. The remote start on Day Two looks like a lot of fun and something different - I'm excited!" Previous winner of the Cape Epic, past winner of the World Triathlon Championship and last year’s Trans Hajar female Champion, Hannele Steyn has fierce competition for 2015 with some of the sport’s most successful riders entered for this year’s edition. She is looking forward to being back in Oman though: “I am anxious and excited about the Trans Hajar because I know it is a tough race, at much higher altitude and with an extra day to complete this year. I love the race though because of the beautiful desert scenery and what is more I love to race in the heat. I have competed in the Trans Hajar for the last two years and it has always been very well organised with the best camping facilities I have experienced at any race”. The fifth edition of the race will take place from 30 January to 3 February 2015 with competitors pushing themselves to the limit on an all-new 400-kilometre route, including Arabia’s highest peak Jebel Shams (3,028 metres). The Trans Hajar follows the tried and tested format of a prologue followed by four marathon stages. The route has been designed to test riders of all abilities and will take in challenging climbs, descents and specially designed single-track as it winds its way through Oman’s unique landscapes of canyons, wadis and river-crossings giving competitors an inside view of this stunning country. The dates of the race make it the perfect opportunity to improve form ahead of the upcoming season with past competitors finding it ideal training for the Cape Epic and other early season marathon races. Oman prides itself on its authenticity, traditions and welcoming approach to visitors and with some of the most untouched biking trails in the world it is a must for globetrotting cyclists seeking a new adventure. Written and Video Race Reports will be distributed at the end of each day’s racing. To follow the 2015 Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Race as it happens keep an eye on www.transhajar.com and all Trans Hajar social media platforms: Facebook: Trans Hajar MTB Race Twitter: @TransHajar Instagram: transhajar
  16. Don’t miss the Trans Hajar, an awesome new mountain bike stage race set in the highest mountain range of the Sultanate of Oman. In its fifth year but with a completely new 400 kilometre course over five days, the Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Race, driven by Oman Cycling Association, takes in epic scenery, challenging climbs, descents and customised single-track making this a must do event for pros and amateurs alike. Click here to view the article
  17. Photo credit: Lloyd Images/Trans Hajar – 2014 Trans Hajar race. From 30 January to 3 February 2015 an international field of competitors will push themselves to the limit on and around Jebel Shams, Arabia’s highest peak at 3,028 metres. The course takes riders into stunning virgin territory through canyons, wadis, river-crossings and of course, the occasional village untouched by time, providing an inside view of a uniquely beautiful country. At the Trans Hajar, riders compete as individuals rather than in pairs. Quad bikes, off-road buggies and 4×4 support cars will patrol the routes equipped with satellite phones, toolboxes, first aid kits and some basic spares to lend a hand. Photo credit: Lloyd Images/Trans Hajar – 2014 Trans Hajar race. Last year’s edition saw a record field of 91 riders from 17 different countries, including some of the sport’s most successful champions such as South Africa’s Timo Cooper who is a pro rider for Rocky Mountain and Hannele Steyn a past winner of the Cape Epic – the ultimate mountain biking challenge. British Motorcycle legend and world record holder, Guy Martin, was one of the 91 in 2014. Crossing the finishing line, he said: “I really enjoyed it. Give it a couple of weeks to sink in and it’ll be the best thing ever!” Photo credit: Lloyd Images/Trans Hajar – 2014 Trans Hajar race. Oman is a must visit for globetrotting cycling enthusiasts seeking adventure, culture and an untouched environment. The Trans Hajar is an ideal winter training destination. The country prides itself on its authenticity, traditions and welcoming approach to visitors and is home to some of the best biking trails in the world. Photo credit: Trans Hajar – Al Hajar Mountains, Oman. Early Bird DiscountDon’t miss the chance to take on this awesome challenge! Be one of the first 60 riders to enter and receive a 1000dhs discount off the full rate (270 USD, 212 EUR, 167 GBP, 104 OMR) when you use the following discount code: sr5433566v. Photo credit: Lloyd Images/Trans Hajar – 2014 Trans Hajar race. Watch what happened during the 2014 Trans Hajar Race: For this and much more, visit The Trans Hajar website. Photo credit: Lloyd Images/Trans Hajar – 2014 Trans Hajar race.
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