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  1. The beaded bangle that all KAP sani2c riders receive is one of the most prized possession taken away from the event and the Hlanganani Ngothando Organisation has played a critical part providing the race with these iconic beads throughout the 12 year history of the race. Click here to view the article
  2. The Hlanganani Ngothando Organisation (HNO) is a non-profit welfare that serves a wide variety of people from men, women and children, the elderly, sick, former prisoners, school children as well as mentally and physically disabled children in and around KwaZulu-Natal. Despite their wide variety of programmes and projects, the one that serves the KAP sani2c mainly is the initiative that incorporates people from the Bulwer area who create the famous beaded bracelets that the riders receive at the start of the second day of the race. The famous beaded bangles at riders receive at the start of the second day of the KAP sani2c have become sought after and are the product of a programme at the Hlanganani Ngothando Organisation, which empowers people around the Bulwer area of KwaZulu-Natal through trade. Kelvin Trautman/ Gameplan Media “When the sani2c came along and asked us to do the bracelets, we were very quick to jump at the chance and it has been a huge help to us ever since!,” central administrator of Hlanganani Ngothando, Conny Spiers said. “We have five people that make these bracelets for us and it brings in an income for them as well as some extra funding for HNO.” The sani2c policy on community aid is not to issue donations but rather to offer various worthy institutions the opportunity to add value to the event, in the process raising funds for themselves as well. KAP sani2c covers any costs that are incurred by these activities and also pays the beneficiaries a pre-determined amount of money for their service, an added boost for HNO. The race finds this policy works well as projects are self-driven and beneficiaries are highly motivated and passionate about the event. Regardless of the small group of people taking on the responsibility of creating the bracelets, HNO have a number of other initiatives that they are responsible for, all geared towards empowering the people that they have in their care. “We run a small crafting project where unemployed women make cushion covers and other bead crafts which they sell at markets around the community and beyond. “We also work in the community, assisting people where we can in areas such as health counselling, distribution of resources, a monthly feeding scheme, assistance with stroke rehab, transport to clinics, etc.,” Spiers added. As with most organisations of this kind, HNO is always in need of assistance and the help that the sani2c provides is always welcome. “HNO receives some funding from the Department of Health due to our work with the disabled. We are, however, mainly reliant on private donations to get us through and so the assistance that we get from sani2c is invaluable! “Being able to give these people an opportunity to contribute while also making some money is a great way for them to empower themselves.” For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za.
  3. Photo credit: Em Gatland. The Idea For a second year, Hayden Brown and I were hired by Supergroup to document their journey at Sani2c.Last year we used a car to follow the team. Not being able to follow the race route meant that we ended up getting lost more times than I’d like to admit and losing a ton of time trying to find the riders again. So while I was mentally preparing for the Supergroup project I had the bright idea of following the team on an e-bike. I had briefly seen one of the Giant E-bike models a month earlier and I contacted my friends at Bike Hub to see if they knew who I should speak to. Two days later, Iwan Kemp had organized two 2018 Giant E-Bike Full E+1.5 bikes for us to ride. Now that my idea was a reality, I had to face my own realities: my relative inexperience riding a mountain bike. The Reality For those that don't follow stage racing, Sani2c is a multi-day race with three events starting on consecutive days. The three events are the Trail, Adventure, and finally the Race. We were following the second event, the Adventure. The Supergroup riders anxiously awaiting the start of their Sani2c Adventure. Our goal was to ride with the Supergroup team allowing us to not only experience the journey but scout out special spots that we would not be able to access by car. While the goal and idea were grand, nothing ever goes exactly to plan, and due to human error, the chargers for the Giant E-bikes had not been packed. So I started the first day with only 30% battery on the bike. I made 30km +- before the battery ran out. Now as I mentioned before I'm not a cyclist, and riding the bike with zero power just wasn’t an option at my fitness level, so I caught a lift to the finish line where a plan had been made to get a charger.On the second day with a fully charged bike, we looked forward to the incredible drop into Umkomaas Valley and the grueling Iconic climb. This was most definitely my favorite day. Firstly, the sunrise at McKenzie is spectacular. With the sun still peeking its way over the hills, we reached the Umkomaas Valley with the most amazing view and single track. There’s nothing quite like it. The hardest part is trying to keep your eyes on the trail. I took my time here, stopping often to capture shots of the Supergroup team. Time well spent soaking in the route and atmosphere.I also stopped to help a crashed rider who took a serious tumble over his handlebars. I waited with him and his partner for around 30 mins until the helicopter flew over us and acknowledged our position. I then had to try and catch up to the group. While assisting the injured rider, I had fallen behind to starting batch M, with most of the Supergroup team being in batch I. Thankfully, with most of the downhill out of the way, I could now use the power of the Giant E-bike to catch up. By the time I reached the waterpoint 1, I had caught up three or four batches, and was back on track. I snapped some images of the Supergroup team at the waterpoint, grabbed some liquids and snacks for myself and began the next 30km of climbing. Straight off the block I started overtaking riders on the climb, and continued to do so for the next 30 km. I was blown away by the power and torque created by the bike. I must admit I needed to use the higher power option since I just didn’t have the training and strength that the rest of the riders had. I received an array of comments while passing riders. "-Ah! its an E-bike" "That’s cheating" "Let’s swap" "Nice bike" "How?" "Are you going camping with that backpack?" And many more. It really was a mix of feelings, but mostly people were impressed if not intrigued. On the Iconic climb, most riders walked except for the odd few exceptional riders showing their strength/training by getting to the top without putting a foot down. I was not one of those people. While the Giant E-bike could make mince meat of the climb, I lacked the skill to accomplish the task. I still did my best and had some dropped jaws while passing a bunch of riders and making it look effortless. We even stopped to photographed some Supergroup team riders and then jumped back on the bikes to pass them again. Unfortunately, due to using the highest power option on the climbs I ate through the battery and made it to the 60km water point 2. Again I was left with a 23kg bike and no power. Now if I had trained and was just reasonably fit, I have no doubt the bike could make the finish line. However, since I hadn’t and didn’t have any fitness, I was stoked to reach 60km and had a ton of fun while doing it. The final day was met with rain and lots of it. We decided not to ride because of our camera gear, not because of the bikes, and unfortunately, we shot the final day from a vehicle. The Bike Firstly, thank you to Giant South Africa for lending us their brand new Giant E-Bike Full E+1.5. The bike really allowed us to cover the race beyond what would have been possible with a car. With a central Yamaha motor and dual suspension with 140mm travel. The bike is an amazing ride. I enjoyed the ride, and that’s what it's about, isn’t it? You don’t purchase an E-bike to race, you buy it to have fun. The Gaint handled the single track like a pro, felt well balanced, and did what it was built to do on the climbs: obliterate. However it does weigh 23 kilograms, and when the motor was off on the flats or you forgot to turn it on up the climbs you could feel that weight. That’s probably the only downfall of this bike is the weight. But when the motor is on it feels light, nimble, almost like a muscle car. I even had guys come to me at the finish line and drool over the bike like is was some sort of super car.Man oh man did I have fun. And being able to do my job and experience the Sani2c race in a whole new way was worth it. I think e-bikes and media at races will definitely become a big thing. Full specifications: Frame SizesS, M, L, XLFrame ColorsBLACK / BLUEFrameALUXX SL-grade aluminum, 140mm Maestro suspension system, 'Boost' 148x12QRForkSR Suntour Aion 35 LO-R 27.5+ 140mm travel, tapered steerer, Lockout, 'Boost' 110x15mm Quick-Loc thru-axleShockSR Suntour UnAir 185x52.5HandlebarGiant Connect TR 730x31,8mmStemGiant Connect [50 S, 60 M/L, 70XL]SeatpostTranz-X height adjust SPSaddleGiant Contact neutralPedalAluminum PlatformShiftersShimano Deore 2x10spFront DerailleurShimano DeoreRear DerailleurShimano XT shadowBrakesShimano BR-M506/407 180/200mm DiscBrake LeversShimano BL-M506CassetteShimano HG50-10 11-36T, 10-spChainKMC X.10e, e-bike specificCranksetCustom forged crankset by FSA, 28/38T, 'Boost' 4-bolt 104BCD Yamaha specific spiderRimsGiant GE35, 584x35mm Sleeve Joint aluminum, TL readyHubsGiant Tracker Boost, Sealed Cartridge bearing, IS 6-bolt, [F] 110x15 [R] 148x12mm Thru-axleSpokesDT Swiss Alpine® black, DT Pro Lock® Squorx nipples (check possible China suuply for 2.3-2.0 butted spoke)TiresSchwalbe Rocket Ron, 27.5x2.55(584x65mm), Performance Foldable, SnakeSkin, Tubelss ReadyExtrasGiant EnergyPak 4A fast chargerMotorGiant SyncDrive Pro, powered by YamahaSensorsGiant PedalPlus 4-sensor technologyDisplayGiant RideControl EVO, grip launch control with walk assist, mini USB chargerBatteryGiant EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
  4. so it starts again... Trail entries opened today. After the awesomeness of this year I decided to do it with my wife next year, should be fun. Entered and paid! who else has entered?
  5. Buys is all power as he leads his PYGA Euro Steel partner Matthys Beukes up a technical climb on the final stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Jolivet to Scottburgh on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The PYGA Euro Steel duo tumbled back to third midway through the 82km final stage from Jolivet Farm to Scottburgh, after crashing and then battling with chain problems in the treacherous conditions caused by the heavy cold front that gripped the region, and victory seemed almost impossible. The Beukes and Buys, and Sanders and McDougall pairings were the men's and women's winners respectively after the opening stage of the event on Thursday. After Friday's long Queen stage was neutralized, the fast final stage from Jolivet to Scottburgh – where it is normally tough to make up significant amounts of time – was the only chance for teams to overcome the deficits after Stage 1. However, the mud – the aftermath of the heavy rain which forced the neutralization of Stage 2 – created massive drive-train issues for all riders and meant the race became a dramatic case of stop, repair and chase back for all the leading contenders. NAD Pro's Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell, who started the day in second overall, were quickly out of contention when their muddied chains choked their hopes early in the stage. They eventually took fourth on the stage and fourth overall, just ahead of TIB Insurance's Andrew Hill and Julian Jessop. Fourth after the only racing day before Saturday, Matthew Beers and Tim Hammond (Ryder RED E Spot Africa) seemed to have dodged most of the early drama and even looked to have the final stage under control as they built a solid lead midway through their journey to Scottburgh. At one point they were timed at over two minutes ahead of Team BCX, and three ahead of the PYGA duo – advantages which effectively gave them the race lead. Team dormakaba's Vera Adrian (left) and Candice Lill are muddied but happy after winning the final stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Jolivet to Scottburgh on Saturday and taking the overall win. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger from Team BCX, just 53 seconds behind PYGA at the start of Stage 3, were thus in second position on the road, but when Kruger hit a rock at a river crossing and punctured, they were thrown out of contention for the win. The two former road riders managed to repair and finish third on the stage and third overall. But up front Buys, who also crashed heavily and later said he "was in pain", and Beukes fought back bravely and had all but caught the early leaders when Hammond suffered from chain suck. As Hammond stopped to clear his drive train, Buys and Beukes gratefully swept past and incredibly were able to take the stage win, and with it an overall victory by just over two minutes. "I don't know how we got back to win," said an incredulous Buys after crossing the line. Hammond and Beers remounted and sped to the finish to claim second on the stage and second overall. "It is great to defend the title that I won last year and we have been in great form this year, so the confidence was there for us and despite our challenges today we knew that we just needed to stay calm and we could win," said a muddied Beukes after the finish. "To have another sani2c title is great and I am glad that Phil and I could pull off the victory." Buys was a bit more descriptive of their dramas out on the route: "We had some serious problems today but that was going to happen if you looked at the nature of the stage. ";My chain slipped a couple of times and then I had a fall in a donga which set us back a bit. "It was far from the perfect day of mountain biking but its really satisfying that we can win in these conditions," he added. In the women's race, Lill and Adrian fought a rabbit-and-hare dice from soon after the start as they steadily built a lead over Sanders and McDougall. Midway through the stage they had enough of a lead on the stage to be leading on the road, however, just when it looked as if they had victory sorted, the Valencia pairing began to eat into their lead again – only for more mechanical problems to finally scupper their hopes. Riders carve their way through a cane field during the final stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Jolivet to Scottburgh Beach on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Eventually the dormakaba pair reached the finish four minutes ahead which was enough for a deceptively large three-minute win. "Candice and I have become such a good combination because we are both technically really good and we compliment each other," said Adrian. "We were strong today and rode really well together in some really tough conditions. It was great to win this year but it was a really tough day for the Valencia Ladies and you never want to see others have problems like that. "We were looking forward to the second stage but it was definitely the right decision to cancel to drop in the Umko and we knew we had to work really hard today." Defeat was tough to accept for Mcdougall, who is normally one of the most consistent and toughest riders in the women's races. "I had so many problems today, I am usually really good and enjoy the mud but today just wasn't my day," the dejected runner up said after the finish. "It cost us a lot of time today but that is mountain biking and I still really enjoyed riding with Sam (Sanders) and the whole race." 2016 Olympian James Reid made a quick foray away from his studies at UCT to compete for the first time in 2017 and with South African Triathlete Mari Rabie was a convincing winner in the mixed category, finishing 11 minutes ahead of Sanet and Dana Coetzee. Provisional Results (with stage time and overall time) 1.PYGA Euro Steel (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 2:50:08, 5:38:04 2.Ryder RED E Spot Africa (Matthew Beers/Tim Hammond) 2:50:17, 5:40:12 3.Team BCX (Waylon Woolcock/HB Kruger) 2:54:37, 5:43:26 4.NAD Pro MTB (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 2:56:39, 5:45:19 5.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Julian Jessop) 0 2:56:45, 5:48:28 6.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Michael Posthumus) 0 3:05:07, 6:04:32 7.Ballito Bicycling Company (Pieter Seyffert/Andrew Johnson) 0 3:07:35, 6:04:39 8.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Thomas Jessop) 0 3:06:22, 6:05:20 9.Urban Fitness Outdoor (Jonathan Cloete/Nicholas Porteous) 0 3:20:51, 6:20:39 10 Time Freight eTeam (James Burne/Aiden Nugent) 3:13:57, 6:22:26Women 1.dormakaba (Candice Lill/Vera Adrian) 3:09:45, 6:18:31 2.Valencia Ladies (Samantha Sanders/Amy Mcdougall) 3:13:42, 6:21:20 3.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Mariska Strauss) 3:19:08, 6:37:18 Mixed Team 1.Private Client Holdings (James Reid/Mari Rabie) 3:23:47, 6:37:53 2.Omnico Team (Sanet Coetzee/Dana Coetzee) 3:27:26, 6:48:19 For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  6. ‘Farmer’ Glen Haw made the decision to cancel the treacherous descent into the Umkomaas Valley early on Friday morning, and for the first time in the race’s 13- year history a stage was neutralized. PYGA Euro Steel's Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes were prominent on the front of the group during the neutral second stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Mackenzie Club to Jolivet on Friday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Riders were informed they had to complete the shortened route in order to be able to compete for positions on Saturday’s final stage to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. With a large amount of tar road riding on the cards, riders were able to take a leisurely ride to the second overnight stop at Jolivet just outside Highflats. The trying weather continued through Friday with temperatures just creeping over 10 degrees along with a driving wind and persistent rain. The conditions made for some testing times with riders caked in mud from their forays off the tar. Douw and Gerrit du Preez looked to be having a great time during the neutral second stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Mackenzie Club to Jolivet on Friday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Despite the testing conditions, riders took the elements in their stride as they sniffed a shot at making up for the neutral stage on their Saturday charge to the ocean. The sprint to the Indian Ocean on Saturday is going to be an exciting shootout with conditions and times suggesting that the racing could be tight. PYGA Euro Steel’s Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes hold a 44-second lead over NAD Pro MTB’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell with Team BCX’s Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger a further nine seconds behind in third place. In the women’s showdown, the dark-horse pair of Valencia Ladies’ Sam Sanders and Amy Mcdougall are in an unexpected pole position with a one minute 47 second advantage over defending champions dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Vera Adrian. One part of the leading Valencia Ladies' duo Amy Mcdougall (far left) was joined by the dormakaba pair of Candice Lill and Vera Adrian during the neutral second stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Mackenzie Club to Jolivet on Friday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media In third and hoping to make up for a poor opening stage is the Ascendis Health pairing of Mariska Strauss and Robyn de Groot. But they are just over ten minutes behind the leaders and unlikely to have enough time to improve their position on the fast 82km stage between Jolivet and the finish line on Saturday. Friday saw the conclusion of the Adventure event as riders made their way from Jolivet to Scottburgh. The conditions were just as trying for the field in that event as they tackled the route to the finish. The ecstasy of getting to the finish line at Scottburgh was clearly evident at the end of the Adventure during the 2017 KAP sani2c on Friday. Em Gatland/ Gameplan Media Saturday's final stage of the Race takes riders from Jolivet to Scottburgh to conclude the 2017 KAP sani2c. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za SUMMARY OF RESULTS - KAP sani2c 2017 after two stages (results same as Stage One)Overall 1.PYGA Euro Steel (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 02:47.56 2.NAD Pro MTB (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 02:48.40 3.Team BCX (Waylon Woolcock/HB Kruger) 02:48.49 4.Ryder RED E Spot Africa (Matthew Beers/Tim Hammond) 02:49.55 5.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Julian Jessop) 02:51.43 6.Ballito Bicycling Company (Pieter Seyffert/Andrew Johnson) 02:57.04 7.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Thomas Jessop) 02:58.58 8.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Michael Posthumus) 02:59.25 9.Urban Fitness Outdoor (Jonathan Cloete/Nicholas Porteous) 02:59.48 10.think 360 (Leeroy Emslie/Jason Davies) 03:00.26 11.KAPRestonic 13 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenhage) 03:00.31 12.Bells Cycling (Declan Sidey/JP Jung) 03:02.38 13.Business Print (Andrew Cairns/Fanie Venter) 03:05.28 14.Revolution Cycles (Brenan Anderson/David Cooke) 03:07.00 15.Lge Midas/Slender Wonder (Igna de Villiers/Paul Theron) 03:07.10 Women 1.Valencia Ladies (Samantha Sanders/Amy Mcdougall) 03:07.38 2.dormakaba (Candice Lill/Vera Adrian) 03:08.46 3.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Mariska Strauss) 03:18.10 4.Galileo Risk Velocity (Carmen Buchacher/Theresa Ralph) 03:20.20 5.KAP Safipol 1 (Anli Smith/Tamaryn Kietzmann) 03:55.32 Mixed Team 1.Private Client Holdings (James Reid/Mari Rabie) 03:14.06 2.Omnico Team (Sanet Coetzee/Dana Coetzee) 03:20.53 3.Cycle Nation-Bring it On (Tijl van de Winkel/Joanna van de Winkel) 03:26.39 4.Coach Pupil (Wesley Parker-Dennison/Candice Parker-Dennison) 03:29.54 5.Bell Equipment (Darryn Purtell/Hayley Smith) 03:31.10
  7. The predicted heavy rain was supposed to hit the Umkomaas valley later in the day and when it unexpectedly arrived overnight 'Farmer' Glen Haw's hand was forced as there could be a number of safety concerns on what is inherently a tough stage. "With such tight tracks down into the valley there isn't a lot of space off the track before the drop off," Haw explained. "Riders will be using the grass to ride on which will make the track even closer to the edge so we had to make the decision to make the stage a non-racing one. "Another issue would be the extraction of riders from the valley should something have happened." The stage will take riders along the R612 to Highflats, where they will go under the main road at the Highflats Church. Then riders will cover 15km of the original route to the finish at Jolivet. "We have been in meetings with the Municipality and the RTI since about 3am trying to make an alternative arrangement. "There will be no road closures but riders will need to ride to Jolivet should they want to remain in the race. "Riders are more than welcome to skip Friday's stage and ride tomorrow, however they will not be in the final results. "It wasn't a decision we took lightly but ultimately we needed to take all possibilities into consideration and we will look forward to another exciting stage tomorrow," Haw added. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za SUMMARY OF RESULTS - KAP sani2c 2017 (Stage One: Glencairn to Mackenzie Club)Overall 1.PYGA Euro Steel (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 02:47.56 2.NAD Pro MTB (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 02:48.40 3.Team BCX (Waylon Woolcock/HB Kruger) 02:48.49 4.Ryder RED E Spot Africa (Matthew Beers/Tim Hammond) 02:49.55 5.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Julian Jessop) 02:51.43 6.Ballito Bicycling Company (Pieter Seyffert/Andrew Johnson) 02:57.04 7.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Thomas Jessop) 02:58.58 8.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Michael Posthumus) 02:59.25 9.Urban Fitness Outdoor (Jonathan Cloete/Nicholas Porteous) 02:59.48 10.think 360 (Leeroy Emslie/Jason Davies) 03:00.26 11.KAPRestonic 13 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenhage) 03:00.31 12.Bells Cycling (Declan Sidey/JP Jung) 03:02.38 13.Business Print (Andrew Cairns/Fanie Venter) 03:05.28 14.Revolution Cycles (Brenan Anderson/David Cooke) 03:07.00 15.Lge Midas/Slender Wonder (Igna de Villiers/Paul Theron) 03:07.10 Women 1.Valencia Ladies (Samantha Sanders/Amy Mcdougall) 03:07.38 2.dormakaba (Candice Lill/Vera Adrian) 03:08.46 3.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Mariska Strauss) 03:18.10 4.Galileo Risk Velocity (Carmen Buchacher/Theresa Ralph) 03:20.20 5.KAP Safipol 1 (Anli Smith/Tamaryn Kietzmann) 03:55.32 Mixed Team 1.Private Client Holdings (James Reid/Mari Rabie) 03:14.06 2.Bluff Meat Supplies (Trevor Rowe/Robyn Price) 03:15.13 3.Omnico Team (Sanet Coetzee/Dana Coetzee) 03:20.53 4.Cycle Nation-Bring it On (Tijl van de Winkel/Joanna van de Winkel) 03:26.39 5.Bell Equipment (Darryn Purtell/Hayley Smith) 03:31.10
  8. The PYGA Euro Steel pair of Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes were too strong for the rest of the field after the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The PYGA Euro Steel duo, who were the form pairing going into the 2017 showpiece event, showed their mettle and strength to shrug off the chasing combinations and open up a handy 44-second lead going into the notoriously tough second stage on Friday. "Our plan was to put the hammer down after the final water point up that little kicker," Philip Buys mentioned after their stage win. "We then got a slight gap going into the trails and then we just put our heads down all the way to the finish. "Racing always hurts but we are happy to take the win today." Buys and Beukes' pedigree and current form will be worrying for the chasing teams but with some tough racing ahead of them the duo feel that the other teams are under the pump chasing them to the coast. "We don't really feel pressure," Beukes said. "The other guys have got the work to do to try and close the gap to us and we made sure that we didn't push too hard today, so we have a lot in the tank. "We know that tomorrow is going to be tough and we took it easy for the first 60km today and then threw one punch on Bowman's climb and then consolidated from there on." The men's race was not devoid of drama as the NAD Pro MTB team of Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck came unstuck when the latter took a tumble which cost them valuable time and the opportunity to claim a stage victory. NAD Pro MTB's Gawie Combrinck took a nasty tumble towards the end of the day which meant him and partner Nico Bell finished in second place overall after the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media "The PYGA guys picked up the pace after the second water point and we were able to keep up with them. "The fall for Gawie obviously didn't come at the right time for us and we were hurting a bit towards the end. "Hopefully the damage to Gawie is nothing too serious ahead of another massive day tomorrow! "The rain and the weather is going to be a factor tomorrow but there is just as much luck involved and we are hoping that the luck can go our way from tomorrow," Bell added. The Team BCX pair of Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger came home in third overall, just a few seconds behind the NAP Pro pair. They are in turn are about a minute ahead of the Ryder RED E Spot Africa duo of Matthew Beers and Tim Hammond while the Durban-based Team TIB combination of Andrew Hill and Julian Jessop ended fifth. The women’s race was full of excitement as pre-race favourites, Team Ascendis Health's Robyn de Groot and Mariska Strauss, struggled with punctures which put the brakes on their push for a stage win. The laid-back Valencia Ladies pair of Samantha Sanders and Amy-Beth Mcdougall were motivated to put the rest of the women's field to the sword once they managed to get ahead of the chasing pairs. In what was the ride of the day, Valencia Lady's duo of Sam Sanders (left) and Amy Mcdougall (right) surprised everyone to take the stage win in the ladies race at the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media "It is nice to be underestimated," Sanders said at Mackenzie Club. "We didn't have any pressure on us coming into the race so we could just go out there and enjoy ourselves. "The track today really suited Amy and I in the sense that we are both technically very fast on the trails. "I don't know what happened to Robyn and Mariske, but I am glad that we were able to get away from them and win the stage." On what was a day to forget for Team Ascendis Health's Mariska Strauss (front) and Robyn de Groot, the pre-race favourites had to settle for third place in the ladies race after the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The second stage of the sani2c on Friday has the potential to be an epic encounter, however the weather is going to be a defining factor as the riders aim for Jolivet. "We are just going to take each day as it comes and we don't really feel too much pressure," Mcdougall commented. "It is nice to have a bit of a buffer, but we are just going to take it as it comes because the other girls will be chasing hard." The defending champions, the dormakaba team of Candice Lill (neé Neethling) and Vera Adrian, are just over a minute behind the Valencia pair and in a good position to pounce on the testing second stage. Dormakaba hold a nine minute advantage over the third placed Team Ascendis Health pair meaning that they can focus their energy on catching the leading ladies rather than fighting off the team in third place. 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympian James Reid and Mari Rabie (Private Client Holdings) hold the cards in the mixed category with a minute advantage over Bluff Meat Supplies' Trevor Rowe and Robyn Price, with Omnico Team's Sanet and Dana Coetzee third. The Private Client Holdings duo of Mari Rabie and James Reid took the spoils in the mixed category at the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The second stage takes riders from the overnight stop at Mackenzie Club to Jolivet. The stage takes riders down into the Umkomaas valley and then out via the new Iconic Climb. The 96km stage is known as the toughest of the race and with some inclement weather predicted it will be a tough task for all. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za SUMMARY OF RESULTS - KAP sani2c 2017 (Stage One: Glencairn to Mackenzie Club)Overall 1.PYGA Euro Steel (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 02:47.56 2.NAD Pro MTB (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 02:48.40 3.Team BCX (Waylon Woolcock/HB Kruger) 02:48.49 4.Ryder RED E Spot Africa (Matthew Beers/Tim Hammond) 02:49.55 5.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Julian Jessop) 02:51.43 6.Ballito Bicycling Company (Pieter Seyffert/Andrew Johnson) 02:57.04 7.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Thomas Jessop) 02:58.58 8.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Michael Posthumus) 02:59.25 9.Urban Fitness Outdoor (Jonathan Cloete/Nicholas Porteous) 02:59.48 10.think 360 (Leeroy Emslie/Jason Davies) 03:00.26 11.KAPRestonic 13 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenhage) 03:00.31 12.Bells Cycling (Declan Sidey/JP Jung) 03:02.38 13.Business Print (Andrew Cairns/Fanie Venter) 03:05.28 14.Revolution Cycles (Brenan Anderson/David Cooke) 03:07.00 15.Lge Midas/Slender Wonder (Igna de Villiers/Paul Theron) 03:07.10 Women 1.Valencia Ladies (Samantha Sanders/Amy Mcdougall) 03:07.38 2.dormakaba (Candice Lill/Vera Adrian) 03:08.46 3.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Mariska Strauss) 03:18.10 4.Galileo Risk Velocity (Carmen Buchacher/Theresa Ralph) 03:20.20 5.KAP Safipol 1 (Anli Smith/Tamaryn Kietzmann) 03:55.32 Mixed Team 1.Private Client Holdings (James Reid/Mari Rabie) 03:14.06 2.Bluff Meat Supplies (Trevor Rowe/Robyn Price) 03:15.13 3.Omnico Team (Sanet Coetzee/Dana Coetzee) 03:20.53 4.Cycle Nation-Bring it On (Tijl van de Winkel/Joanna van de Winkel) 03:26.39 5.Bell Equipment (Darryn Purtell/Hayley Smith) 03:31.10
  9. The race has evolved over the last 12 years into one of the country's premier stage races and 2017 will be no different as the event has attracted some of South Africa's strongest marathon and stage mountain bike riders, along with a few stand-out cross-country specialists. The fast-paced competitive nature of the event draws the nation's leading teams and with the bulk of the men's elite field racing alongside the same partners that they raced with at the Absa Cape Epic, it shows the prestige of the KAP sani2c title. Race favourites Matthys Beukes (left) and Philip Buys will be hoping to add the 2017 KAP sani2c title after winning the recent joBerg2c. Em Gatland/ Gameplan Media After taking home the prestigious Absa Cape Epic African Jersey for being the highest placed all-African team, Team PYGA Euro Steel's duo of Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys will definitely be the team to watch. Not only did the impressive duo outshine their fellow African's at the Cape Epic but they also outshone everyone at the recent Old Mutual joBerg2c. The joBerg2c is a nine-day race that takes riders from Gauteng to Scottburgh, but the most vital part for this week's racers is that the joBerg2c incorporates all three days of the KAP sani2c, meaning it gives them invaluable time on the route to brush up their route knowledge. Beukes and Buys were chased hard to the coast over the testing nine days of the joBerg2c by the NAD Pro MTB duo of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell. After finished the 2016 sani2c in second place despite winning the final stage to the coast, the NAD Pro pair might use that stage victory as inspiration going into the 2017 showdown. They have established themselves as one of the top stage racing pairs in the country over the past 12 months and after losing out twice to PYGA Euro Steel, once at the Cape Epic and secondly at joBerg2c, they will be hoping to go one better on the third attempt of 2017. A team that might spring a surprise or two should the leading partnerships come unstuck is the Team BCX combination of Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger. Despite the pair cruising under the radar they have both been in top form and together will push the leaders to the coast. Two other pairs that must be noted for their podium potential are the Ryder RED E Spot Africa team of Tim Hammond and Matthew Beers as well as the Durban-based Team TIB pairing of Andrew Hill and the young Julian Jessop. The fast-paced nature of the sani2c lends itself to mechanical problems and these two combinations will be more than willing to capitalise on mistakes from the leading teams, should they arise. The women's race at the 2017 sani2c seems to be a two-team tussle with the dormakaba pairing of Candice Lill (neé Neethling) and Vera Adrian returning to defend the crown they won in 2016, taking on the Ascendis Health team of national marathon champion Robyn de Groot and national cross country champion Mariska Strauss. The Team dormakaba duo of Candice Lill (left) and Vera Adrian will be aiming to defend their KAP sani2c title over the next three days. Craig Kolesky/ Gameplan Media The dormakaba duo took part in the Absa Cape Epic together this year which stands them in good stead as a combination, whereas De Groot and Strauss will be teaming up for the first time at the sani2c. With the Lill/Adrian combination having the experience of racing together in a high-pressure situation, De Groot and Strauss will have to call on all their skill and talent to get one over the younger pairing. The pedigree of De Groot and Strauss will be a concern for Team dormakaba as individually the Ascendis Health duo are both amongst the best in the country, however they will need to gel quickly over three intense days of racing. A dark horse combination in the ladies race would be the Valencia Ladies team of Samantha Sanders and Amy Mcdougall. The pair will be ready to pounce on any mistake that the leading combinations might make. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za.
  10. As the other two KAP sani2c events, the Trail and the Adventure, continue on their way to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast town of Scottburgh, South Africa's mountain biking elite will line up for their assault on the three-day route from Himeville to the Indian Ocean on Thursday. Click here to view the article
  11. Entries for the world’s largest mountain bike event are sought after, and getting a chance to ride the famous 'Farmer' Glen Haw trails is something that many mountain bikers from the elite racers to the back-markers treasure. Riders are for some of the most exilerating three days of riding when they take on the 2017 KAP sani2c this week with the Trail beginning on Tuesday, the Adventure starts on Wednesday and the elites take off in the Race on Thursday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media There are three races which form the event. On Tuesday, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the Wednesday, while the Trail competitors are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on Stage 1. As the Trail riders complete their event to Scottburgh on Thursday, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. An innovation for the Trail event is that there is no recognition for finishing first. The entire event is geared towards riders who are taking part to have a good time and take part in a race that lacks that overall competiveness. The three-day race takes the riders from the foot-hills of the Southern Drakensberg, via the first overnight stop 82km away at the Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Stage 1 of the race has got its fair share of challenges including the famous floating bridge on Mossbank Dam. 2017 will see a duel-bridge meaning that the two-man teams will be able rider across the bridge virtually side by side. It is still early when riders hit this obstacle and a resultant swim in the dam could be more than a little unpleasant on a cold day with still over half the stage's riding to go. The second stage of the event is known as the toughest. The stage consists of just under 2000m of vertical descent with 1500m of ascent. The toughest element of the stage is the ride out of the picturesque Umkomaas valley. 2017 has seen the re-introduction of a climb that will keep every rider honest. Farmer Glen has named it 'Iconic Climb' and riders will feel a sense of achievement once they crest the top of the climb before the 32km stretch to the finish at Jolivet Farm. The final stage of the race is an enthralling 82km dash for the ocean. The 1900 metres of descent, 850m more than the total climbing, means that the route is cumulatively downhill and riders can let their legs go as they sniff the salty Indian Ocean air. There are still a couple of notable climbs to keep riders honest, but once they pass through the section known as Dave's Toil the finish line will start beckoning and riders will begin contemplating the exciting 600m long floating bridge across the lagoon at Scottburgh. There have been a number of spectacular tumbles off the floating bridge and after three days of riding, fatigue plays its part in causing a number of unplanned swims in the refreshing lagoon water. The relief and sense of achievement on the faces of the riders as they cross the finish line in Scottburgh is tangible, their happiness is a sight that spectators appreciate and respect after 263km of testing riding. This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh. KAP sani2c by numbers 0 - The number of KAP sani2c's that 'Farmer Glen' Haw has actually ridden 2.4 - Number of tonnes of potatoes that are served during the event 2.6 - Number of tonnes of chicken meat consumed during the event 3 - Number of Black Mamba's seen during the preparation of the route (on average) 3 - The number of days it takes workers to erect the tents at each of the two overnight stops 3 – The number of different events that make up the KAP sani2c (the Trail, the Adventure, the Race) 8 - Number of kilometres 'Farmer Glen' lives from the McKenzie Race Village 21 - Number of eight-tonne trucks that transport riders’ boxes to each overnight stop 23 - The number of communities, schools, charities and environmental groups that benefit from the event 61 - The average metres per rider along the route from Himeville to Scottburgh on Thursday, when all three races are on the course. 82 - Number of kilometres riders will ride on Stage One of the KAP sani2c 82 - Number of kilometres riders ride on the third and final stage of the KAP sani2c 96 - Number of kilometres riders ride on Stage Two of the KAP sani2c (the longest stage) 138 - The number of showers erected for the event 195 - Number of kilograms of coffee that is consumed during the event 266 - Number of toilets that are used during the event 500 - Number of kilograms of bananas eaten during the event 1000 - Loaves of banana bread served at the McKenzie Club Race Village 1200 - Dozen eggs consumed during the event 2000 - Litres of milk consumed during event 2300 - Number of tents that are erected for the event 2850 - The number of people that are employed during the event 3785 – Total number of metres that riders will ascend during the KAP sani2c 4264 - The number of riders that are taking part this year across all three races 6000 - Time in man-days spent preparing the route every year (16.43 years!) 9600 - The number of donuts consumed during the race 11 000 - kms are travelled every year while working on the route before and during the event 20 000 - Amount of tea bags that are used during the event 22 500 - The number of litres of water that is boiled for showers every day 27 000 - The number of bottles of water that are given to participants during the course of the event 57 225 000 - Amount in Rands that is contributed to community development through the KAP sani2c.This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  12. The Team dormakaba duo of Candice Lill (left) and Vera Adrian (right) were the beneficiaries of some poor navigational skills as they won the 2016 KAP sani2c and they will be hoping that they can produce another well-rounded display to win a second consecutive title when the 2017 Race gets underway on Thursday, 11 May. Craig Kolesky/ Gameplan Media Last year Lill (neé Neethling) and Adrian were able to take advantage of their main rivals’ navigational mistake on Day 2 and raced to a three-minute victory over Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag after the two teams spent most of the race within sight of each other in a tight tussle for superiority. This year South African marathon champion De Groot has teamed up with cross country champion Mariske Strauss in what should be a potent combination, but Lill and Adrian have also improved since their early forays into racing as a team at last year’s event. “The Epic this year was good for Vera and I as a team,” said Lill, who has married 2015 KAP sani2c winner Darren Lill since winning last year’s event. “At the Epic you are at the limit and tired all the time, so there is very much of an emphasis on teamwork and that can only make a partnership better. “I think we are now developing into a really good partnership. We are both still quite young – she is a only a year younger than me and we are just 24 and 25 – so we have a long time to grow as a partnership. “You can’t say what would happen in the future, but I would like us to continue racing together in stage races. We have built a lot this year and it takes a lot to understand each other and learn what the other rider wants.” If anybody should know about what makes a good partnership it will be Lill, who has recently notched up a second win in the competitive mixed category at the tough nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c – with her new husband. “Riding with Darren at the joBerg2c demonstrated to me how having a good partner is so important to be able to do well. It is vital to know what motivates your partner. “You ride so much better as a team when you are able to factor in their strengths and weaknesses and work with that knowledge. “I think Darren and my partnership can teach me a lot for my other cycling partnerships. “I have learned a lot from Darren. He is experienced but you cannot teach somebody if they are not open to learning. He is always giving me great advice and options, but he does it through quiet guidance. “If somebody tells me what to do or orders me to try something then I normally don’t do it or don’t want to do it, so the way he guides me works well for us.” Not surprisingly, Lill sees their biggest challenge as coming from the De Groot and Strauss team, although she is also weary of the Valencia Ladies team of Sam Sanders and Amy-Beth McDougall, while Theresa Ralph and Carmen Buchacher (Galileo Risk Velocity) are outside contenders. “Robyn and Mariske will be the team to beat this year I would say. They will be strong, but all we can do is give it our best. “Amy and Sam should also be good – and Amy also did the joBerg2c so she knows the route.” With the final three stages of the joBerg2c encompassing the entire KAP sani2c route, some prior route knowledge could prove significant in the race for the title, particularly a new section of the route which includes the new and, according to Lill, aptly named “Iconic Climb”. “The biggest change to the route is the new big climb out the Umkomaas valley, while the rest of the route is similar to previous years,” said Lill who will be taking part in her fifth sani2c after doing her first when she was just 16. “The first few kilometres of the climb, after the water point, are similar to the normal route, but then you just go up the Iconic Climb, as it is so aptly named! “It is about three kilometres of quite technical riding. There are places where you struggle for traction. I am very glad that I have done it so I know what to expect in the race. “It is a tough section of riding, but I think it improves the day. After the climb there is a bit of dirt road and then you get on some nice trails near the end. “It makes the race more interesting I think. The sani trails have become so smooth and fast that I think it is now nice to have a challenge that tests your skills a bit and that is not only for the top riders, but I think the backmarkers will also like it – it gives them some bragging rights.” This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh. There are three races which form the event. On Tuesday, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the Wednesday, while the Trail competitors are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on Stage 1. As the Trail riders complete their event to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  13. The classic experience and youth combination will face a huge task to upset the trio of pre-race favourites – the PYGA EuroSteel combination of Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes, the NAD Pro MTB Team of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell, and Team BCX’s Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger. However, the all-KZN duO, riding under the TIB Insurance colours, will be looking to harness and pool their respective strengths together to combine into a team that can challenge the big guns when they set off on their three-day journey on Thursday. TIB Insurance's Andrew Hill will team up with Durban-based youngster Julian Jessop as they aim to upset the apple cart and push for a podium spot at the 2017 KAP sani2c starting in Himeville next week. Desmond Louw/ Gameplan Media “We recently raced together in the two-day Marriott Freedom Race from Inanda Dam to Durban and we were a good combination and managed to win that,” said Hill this week.“(Jessop) is a youngster and very quick, so I will have to hang on to him at times. He is suited to the technical stuff and should be good for about three and a half hours of hard racing. “It is his first sani and has not done much stage racing. I have done about seven sanis so hopefully I can impart some of my experience to him and he can pull me along on when we need it,” added the Upper Highway resident with a laugh. “We can aim for a top five realistically I think, and if one or two of the other teams have a bad day then we could hope for a place on the podium.” The Durban-based rider said he had seen the KAP sani2c has come a full circle and transformed itself. “It is a race that has evolved since Farmer Glen (Haw) and Nick (Floros) first started it about 13 years ago, and it seems to me it has gone a full circle. “I think Glen got irritated that it seemed to be taken over by the corporate culture and he has moved it back to a race that suits the mountain bikers. “For a while it went toward a type of race that suited the road riders, and now it has turned through a full circle and mountain bikers like myself can be more competitive on the trails once again, rather than fighting for position on the district roads. “It is a race that will always hold a special place for KZN riders. Actually it is more than that: it will always be special for all South African riders.” For Hill, the new climb out of the Umkomaas Valley on Day 2 of the race is an example of Haw returning the race to its mountain biking roots. “The new section after the Umkomaas River is completely new to us. I have tried to get some information out of those guys who rode the joBerg2c (which includes the entire sani2c route). “From what I can tell that climb will be very similar to the old climb before they moved it a few years ago. It seems to be fairly steep and a lot of Jeep track riding. “Day 2 is always a key day and I think the climb will be make or break for the racers. “Day 1 is always very fast and normally has a close finish. Day 2 always has bigger gaps and then Day 3 it is so fast there are normally a lot of guys together at the end. “The new climb will make for bigger gaps. The pace on Day 2 is always very fast from the start and a scramble to get into the descent first, but then settles down a bit. After the water point just before the climb, the pace picks up again. “The guys who have good climbing legs will make up time there, but anybody who goes too hard on the climb may pay the price and not have the legs on the rolling roads towards the finish. They could lose a lot of time they gained by climbing too quickly. “You get a couple of strong riders who are feeling good and they get together on that section before the last water point and you can make up a lot of time.” This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh. There are three races which form the event. On Tuesday, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the Wednesday, while the Trail competitors are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on Stage 1. As the Trail riders complete their event to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za.
  14. Last year Woolcock and Kruger were riding with different partners and were leading after Days 1 and 2 respectively when mechanicals robbed them of their chances of victory. This year they will be looking for a bit of better luck and some old-fashioned team work to give them an edge. HB Kruger (left) and Waylon Woolcock will be joining forces at the 2017 KAP sani2c. Zoon Cronje/ Gameplan Media. "My strength as a mountain biker in team stage races has always been not racing against my partner," said Woolcock when assessing the chances of the BCX pair at this year's event. "Some teams seem to go out there to hurt each other – and look, it does seem to work for some teams who can race each other even in team events, but I have always felt that you are only as strong as the weakest member of the team. "I think it probably comes from my background as a road rider, where we used to have a team of six to eight guys all working together for one person. It always surprised me when I came across from the road how the mountain bike guys did not understand the team tactics." Woolcock's shift from the road to the dirt came with some different ideas of how team work works, even in each-man-for-himself races. "When I was first riding mountain bike with Neil MacDonald we would always work for each other, even in the individual events. The other mountain bikers would be amazed when I told them we split the prize money. "With all my partners, Neil, HB and Darren (Lill) we have always split the prize money. "HB and I are still a relatively new team. We have only been riding together for about a few months and I think it takes at least a year to completely understand each other. "We are starting to have a good understanding and are getting a good feel for each other, but still need to verbally communicate. Once you have ridden together enough you start to know what the other rider is going through. "With Darren I used to know what he was thinking sometimes even before he thought it." That team work took Woolcock and Lill to victory in 2015 at the sani2c and seemed to be working last year until Woolcock cracked a wheel on Day 2 after they had taken the lead on the opening stage from Himeville to Mackenzie Club near Ixopo. In an ironic twist, Woolcock's partner for this year's race, together with his partner Johann Rabie, benefited from that misfortune and took over the lead at the end Day 2. But Kruger and Rabie then punctured on the fast Day 3, which allowed Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns to secure a somewhat fortunate victory. Beukes is the favourite to add a second KAP sani2c title to his resume, but will be riding with Philip Buys and they have been an almost unbeatable pairing in stage races this year. As the PYGA Euro Steel team they were the top African team at the Absa Cape Epic and then last weekend ended off a dominant Old Mutual joBerg2c with a win over the NAD Pro team of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell. "The PYGA guys are probably the team to beat at this year's sani, along with NAD," said Woolcock. "But there are always a lot of other teams that get together just for the sani2c and who I only realise are riding together when I get there and see them on the start line, so you never really know. "HB and I would like to at least get on the podium this year, but obviously we would also like to win it and I think we have a chance. "Both of us have had really good form post Epic: I won the TrailSeeker Western Cape Series in Tulbagh at the weekend and the week before HB and I won the Liberty Winelands Encounter together, so our form seems to be there." Woolcock has mixed feeling about the changes to the route, particularly what many feel could be the long and tough race-deciding new climb out the Umkomaas Valley on Day 2. "We did not do the joBerg2c (which includes the three stages which make up the sani2c) so the new climb out the Umkomaas could mean we are at a bit of a disadvantage. I spoke to Darren (Lill), who rode joBerg, and he told me what to expect and told me what the climb is like, but you never really know until you get there. "But I think from what he said the new climb will suit us. It is a bit more difficult than the old climb by the sounds of things, and we are usually both very solid on the climbs." For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  15. The final three days of the joBerg2c includes the entire three-day sani2c route, which gives elite riders that do both a good opportunity to check out the route before they hit the trails again just 12 days later. And this year, with some major changes to the sani2c’s decisive 'Iconic Climb' out the Umkomaas Valley on Day 2, taking part in the longer event could give riders a critical advantage. The Team PYGA Eurosteel duo of Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys continued their good form at the Old Mutual joBerg2c where they took the overall race honours standing them in good stead for the 2017 KAP sani2c next week. Em Gatland/ Gameplan Media “We had some time on our hands going into the final three days of joBerg2c so we used that as a good opportunity to map out our attack on the route,” PYGA Euro Steel’s Philip Buys mentioned. “I think it has been about six years since I last did a sani2c, so it was nice to be able to see the route again in racing conditions.” The PYGA Euro Steel duo of Buys and Beukes were in stellar form at the Absa Cape Epic where they rode away with the African Jersey for the fastest all-African team, and they have continued their form into the early winter racing season. Despite their good form, one can never write off the NAD Pro MTB Team of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell, who pushed the winning duo all the way to the coast over the joBerg2c. Recuperation from the nine-day slog to the East Coast before the shorter, faster three-day sani2c showdown is going to be the key for the teams that took part. “We feel that we have improved and are continuing to improve, which a good thing. We have avoided sickness which has meant that we have been able to train at our optimum,” said Buys. “I thought that I would be a lot more broken after joBerg2c but we are both feeling quite strong and the race (joBerg2c) is quite smooth so it doesn’t break you down as much as others.” Looking too closely into the form of other teams at the joBerg2c could prove to be detrimental, as Buys knows the more competitive nature of the sani2c means that the field will be stronger. “There are going to be quite a few teams that are going to come into the sani2c a lot fresher after giving joBerg2c a miss. “But with that said, we have come through the nine days well and feel good, so I think that form and racing experience will be beneficial for us going into the race. “We are going into next week with a lot of confidence but we know that the competition is going to be fierce, so it’s important for us to train well and be as prepared as possible,” Buys stressed. This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh during the second week of May. There are three races which form the event. On May 9, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the next day, while they are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on stage one. As the Trail riders dash to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  16. With over ten years of developing and maintaining trails along the 263km route that takes riders through Ixopo, the Umkomaas Valley, Highflats and to the ocean on the KZN South Coast, Farmer Glen is always on the lookout for new ideas that will shape the sani2c experience into an unforgettable one for riders. The KAP sani2c has always prided itself on its immaculate trails, for 'Farmer' Glen Haw he is always looking for new ways to innovate the race and that is no different as riders are in for a surprise at the 2017 event in the second week of May. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media “The days of miles of single track through forests are done,” stated Haw fairly candidly. “Mountain bike trails need to evolve continuously which means we need to stay on our toes to create something that is always fun, new and exciting for the riders. “We have always wanted to create track that flows nicely, so riders don’t always have to be on and off the brakes. “But with that said, we don’t want it to be ‘bike parky’, which is quite a fine line.” As Haw and his team invite riders from across the world to take part in the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, he uses post-event rides and chats to work out how he can improve the event the following year. “I am always thinking about which sections of the trail I can improve each year so they add to the experience for the riders. “Sometimes it’s quite drastic, like taking riders through a completely different valley – I always think that there is something that can be improved,” he stressed. Haw has made adjustments to the course for 2017, and riders will have to deal with a different challenge to previous years on the demanding second day of the race. "For the 2017 event we have a new route out of the Umkomaas Valley. "This comes at a cost, in the form of 'Iconic Climb'. It is a test for the best but will be an achievement for those who reach the top without having to put a foot down. "After passing the trig beacon, you wind through the African bush on Out of Africa 2 and pop out on a 3km section of district road. Let the strong guys in your group pull you through to the Spur Table where you can refuel and recharge the body for the last third of the stage. "On leaving the table, two new sections of fast single track (still to be named), will lead you back down into the valley. Enjoy this decent and prepare your head for a 5km valley road climb. "The Black Mamba riders with a good memory may recognize their surroundings and the climbs of Haaibo 1 and Haaibo 2 which were used way back in 2005 to 2007," added Haw. As he is always looking for new and inventive ways of improving the riders’ experience at the sani2c, Haw has added something a little bit extra on the opening day of the race. “We have always had the single bridge that runs across the Mossbank Dam on day one but this year we have decided that we are going to make that a duel PG Bison Bridge. “The bridge has always been very popular but to give it something a bit extra will give it a new lease on life,” Haw mentioned. This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh during the second week of May. There are three races which form the event. On May 9, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the next day, while they are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on stage one. As the Trail riders dash to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  17. Two-time KAP sani2c winner De Groot has teamed up with the young cross country specialist after seeing up close how her new teammate can “suffer”, and how well she works in a team scenario. Having battled it out against one another at the recent Absa Cape Epic, Team Ascendis Health's Robyn de Groot (pictured) will join forces with cross country powerhouse Mariske Strauss in an effort to win the overall women's crown at the upcoming KAP sani2c from 11-13 May. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media De Groot and Strauss are both South African champions: De Groot as a marathon rider while Strauss has become the country’s leading cross country specialist, but the youngster has proven she can battle it out over the longer distances as well. The new Team Ascendis Health pairing were in opposite trenches last month when they traded mountain biking blows at the ABSA Cape Epic, an encounter which was won by Strauss and her English partner Annie Last when they clinched a narrow second place in the women’s category, just ahead of De Groot and her German partner Sabine Spitz. “With my team set up at the moment I always need to be looking for partners for the big stage races,” said De Groot this week. “So just before the Epic I asked (team principal) Malcolm Lange to keep an eye on Mariske at the Epic, with a view of me doing the sani with her. “She was so good at the Epic and so after that he chatted to her and has put something together for us to race. “We both had very good form at the Epic, but a lot can change in the time between the Epic and sani, however, I am really looking forward to racing with Mariske and I think we can do really well. “I don’t see any problems with our compatibility as a team, and I think we will work really well together. She can suffer a lot – we saw that at the Epic – and I believe I will enjoy riding with anybody who can suffer like that because I think I can also suffer. “Mariske is a person who will do anything for her teammate. At the Epic she had times when she was taking strain and there were times when Annie was hurting, and when Annie was in trouble Mariske looked after her partner. I like that.” The 34-year-old De Groot will be hoping her partnership with Strauss will bring a change in fortunes after a series of mishaps have cost her potential race victories over the past two years. Last year at the KAP sani2c De Groot and Swedish partner Jennie Stenerhag ended their victory hopes when a navigational error handed the lead to Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian. And a few weeks earlier, at the 2016 Epic, Stenerhag suffered heart palpitations when leading the women’s category with De Groot and they were forced to retire. And finally, Last and Strauss, who turns 26 three days after the KAP sani2c, inherited second place at the recent Epic from De Groot when her German partner crashed and broke her handlebars on the penultimate day. “We are certainly going for the win at the sani2c and I think we have a good chance. I think if we don’t go for the win then questions need to be asked, especially as a professional rider you have to always go for the win,” added De Groot. This year is the 13th edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh during the second week of May. There are three races which form the event. On May 9, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the next day, while they are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on stage one. As the Trail riders dash to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za.
  18. Last year Beukes won the sani2c with Gert Heyns despite an injury which kept him off the bike and away from training for much of the build-up. This year Beukes is partnering Philip Buys as the Pyga Euro Steel team and they are clear favourites after dominating the local competition in recent events. The Team PYGA PYGA Euro Steel duo of Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys are in brilliant form and will go into the 2017 KAP sani2c with the favourites tag hanging over their heads, a tag that they are not too phased by, when the race gets underway from 11-13 May. Graham Daniel/ Gameplan Media Their most notable effort was a clear win in the African category at the Absa Cape Epic where they finished seventh overall against the strongest field ever assembled for the famous stage race. Then last weekend Beukes proved he has already fully recovered from the Epic when he cruised to a solid victory in Round 3 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series at Clarens. And, to make sure nobody can deny the Pyga Euro Steel team’s tag as outright favourites, Buys was third behind HB Kruger (Team BCX). “Phil and I are in a very good place at the moment with our riding,” said Beukes this week. “I think we are possibly the favourites for the sani2c, but I don’t think that means there is any pressure on us, in fact I believe it means the pressure is on the other teams! “But, as we all know, in mountain biking anything can happen. Anybody can have a mechanical or some other problem and then it is the end of their chances. “Last year at sani I was injured and was only able to train properly for about two months before the race. This year we are going into the race in the best shape of our lives. “We are both in good form after the Epic and I think that is because both Phil and I trained super hard for the Epic and we were super strong for that. “Obviously when you target a race like that you peak at that event, but I don’t think you lose fitness that quickly and we have both come out of the Epic well – four days after the finish we were able to start interval training again. “We went into the Epic after coming fifth in 2015 so we wanted to try and do better than that and were aiming to get on the podium. But the Epic is now on a different level, so walking away we have to be happy with how things went.” Beukes and Buys have a heavy schedule before they line up for the three-day dash from Himeville to Scottburgh on May 11. They both raced at the CSA Series event in Pretoria this past weekend, and then head to Johannesburg for the nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c, which also cover the final three days of the Sani2C route. “We are really looking forward to the sani2c, it really is one of the must-do events on the calendar. “Last year was the first time I have done it with the descent down into the Umkomaas Valley – and that descent is really something else - it is spectacular. It is almost emotional when you get down to the bottom. “The route for the race is super fast so we have to change our tyre choices and because it is so smooth as well we almost have to use semi-slick tyres. “The super-fast race suits the road guys. We would prefer the route to be a bit more rough and a bit slower which would suit us more, but the way it is prepared means the race is almost like a road race, but that also makes things quite exciting.” This year is the twelfth edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh during the second week of May. There are three races which form the event. On May 9, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the next day, while they are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on stage one. As the Trail riders dash to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za.
  19. Despite being the first team to reach the finish at Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast in 2016, Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell had too much time to make up on stage three and finished second overall, however the duo is hoping to go one better in 2017 and finish atop the KAP sani2c podium. Click here to view the article
  20. Last year the NAD Pro MTB Team of Combrinck and Bell finished both the first two stages – from Himeville to MacKenzie Club near Ixopo, and from there to Jolivet Farm in Highflats – in third overall, leaving them too far behind the eventual winners on overall time to take the win despite winning the final stage to Scottburgh. Having left too much to do on the final stage of the 2016 race, the NAD Pro MTB Team duo of Gawie Combrinck (right) and Nico Bell (left) will be hoping that they can go one better at the 2017 KAP sani2c from 11-13 May. Johan Badenhorst/ Gameplan Media This year on May 11-13, the pair, who both hail from the Lowveld city of Nelspruit, are expecting to take some of their late 2017 ABSA Cape Epic form into the popular three-day race from the foothills of the Drakensberg to the KZN South Coast. Combrinck and Bell were second in the sought-after African Jersey competition at last month's Epic, finishing a very creditable 11th overall against the strongest field ever assembled – and less than two minutes outside a coveted top-ten position after over 28 hours of racing. This was despite riding as the backup team for two-time winners and this year’s runners up, Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy. “At the Epic the African jersey was important, but for us first priority was riding as backup for Jaro and Christoph,” said Bell this week. “That meant we had to ride hard to be there for them in case they needed us. We burnt a few matches early each day taking up the pace and staying with the lead group as long as possible, so we could help if they needed mechanical assistance.” It says a lot about the talented South Africans that arguably the most meticulously prepared team, and pre-race favourites at the Epic, chose Bell and Combrinck as a backup team. After their 2016 successes, Bell and Combrinck are following a similar build up plan for their 2017 KAP sani2c campaign, but are hoping to come off the Old Mutual joBerg2c with some better form. “The sani2c is a bigger race and so it is important for our sponsors that we try and do as well as we can at Sani,” said Bell. “Last year we got sick on the final two days of joBerg2c so were not at our best for the Sani, but this year we hope to stay healthy and then do some high-intensity work in the ten days or so between the two races. “It is a strong field this year and the PYGA team (Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes) will be there and will be hard to beat. “It is tough to know how your form is going to be. This weekend at Clarens we were expecting all the guys who did not do Epic to be good, but the guys who had a tough Epic were stronger. "Hopefully we can then go into the Sani with some good form." Combrinck and Bell have developed into one of South Africa’s top mountain bike stage racing teams with a list of successes that most other riders can only dream of. In 2016 they won the nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c after a tight battle with Team Telkom’s Johann Rabie and HB Kruger, and then a couple of weeks later finished second in the KAP sani2c, again getting the better of Rabie and Kruger, but just losing out to Scott Racing’s Beukes and Gert Heyns. In 2016 the NAD Pro couple were comfortable winners of the African jersey at the Epic with a solid 12th overall. This year is the twelfth edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh during the second week of May. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za.
  21. After what has been a tough year for the SCOTT LCB Factory Racing pair following their disappointing ABSA Cape Epic, this victory at the KAP sani2c was one that they will savour. An elated SCOTT LCB Factory Racing pair of Matthys Beukes (left) and Gert Heyns (right) following their overall race win after the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media "Our main goal was the Epic this year but I have been struggling with injury the whole season and I couldn't even start there so I have only been right for about a month now and to walk away with the victory is unbelievable!" Beukes mentioned. The winners knew that a fast stage like the final 82 kilometres into Scottburgh was going to provide them with a tough challenge and overturning the deficit was going to be difficult as Team Telkom set the early pace. In what was a difficult stage for overnight leaders Team Telkom, Johann Rabie and HB Kruger battled with mechanicals during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media "We wanted to go out really hard from the start but it was Johann (Rabie) and HB (Kruger) who put us under pressure and set a really pace at the front and put us in the hurt box early on. "Unfortunately HB punctured on a rocky downhill and its bad luck but we had bad luck on day one so sometimes it goes your way and other times not. "We captilised on that and in the last hour we knew that every second would count so I was absolutely spent at the finish but it was all worth it," Beukes added. The SCOTT LCB Factory Racing team of Matthys Beukes (front) and Gert Heyns (second) put a lot of pressure on the chasing pack during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The pace was frantic at the front of the race and the SCOTT youngsters attempted to split up the group however Gert Heyns explained that their attacks were met with resistance from the rest of the pack. "We went really hard on the first climbs but most of the guys managed to stick to us which just shows that on a route like this it is really hard to get away." It was SCOTT LCB Factory Racing's Gert Heyns who dished out a lot of the pain to the other teams during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The final stage went to the script of the previous two days and threw up another curve ball as the leading pair of Team Telkom's Johann Rabie and HB Kruger were downed by an unfortunate puncture at the 47km mark. The resultant mechanicals all but destroyed their chances of an overall victory as they fell out of contention with a group of four teams contesting the end sprint that was won by NAD Pro MTB Team's Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell. "It was flat out from the start and I was battling a bit but Nico looked after me well," stage winner Gawie Combrinck said. "We managed to hang onto the front and in the last few kilometres we got the jump on the guys and got onto the bridge and from there we luckily stayed up front and took the win!" Bell was happy that they were able to get one stage win under the belt after missing out over the first two days of the race. "To win the final stage is probably the best stage to win in terms of coverage for sponsors and that so we are happy with our win but we tried our best in the general classification but it was difficult because we were still a little tired from joBerg2c but to get a stage win is satisfying." The famous floating bridge would have given a lot of riders a few nerves during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media With drama being served during every stage of the 2016 edition of the KAP sani2c the unfortunate victims on the final day of the Race were the Team Telkom duo and a litany of mechanical issues ended their charge. "It was not just the puncture, we had mechanical problems with the back wheel which got stuck which seized the free body which caused the chain to slip. "We had to stop about seven or eight times to put the chain back on so it was a disastrous day. If we just had the flat I think we could have kept our lead but that's what happens," a despondent Rabie mentioned after . The ladies race was a two-horse contest with the young Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian of Dorma Time Freight attempting to try and hold off the Team Ascendis Health pair of Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag who were going to fight until the last possible moment to overturn the three minute deficit that the former had put on them after the second stage. It was the Dorma Time Freight pair of Vera Adrian (left) and Candice Neethling (right) who claimed the overall ladies spoils after the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Despite the stage win going to the Team Ascendis Health pair the spoils were enjoyed by Neethling and Adrian who would have been described as underdogs going into the race. "I believed that we could do it but to actually pull off a win like this is really something and I think that we both surprised ourselves in the ay that we rode and how we stuck with them the whole way," Neethling said. Dorma Time Freight's Candice Neethling powers at the front of the leading ladies group during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media It was the Team Ascendis Health pair of Robyn de Groot (front) and Jennie Stenerhag who had to make up time in order to try and take the overall women's title during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Adrian commented on their conservative approach to the final stage with an overall title being the main focus for the pair."We mainly just tried to stay with them. A stage win is always nice but I think that Robyn and Jennie deserved it today after a great three days of riding but we are just really overwhelmed with the overall title!" After three solid days of racing the Galileo Risk Valencia duo of Samantha Sanders and Theresa Ralph claimed the bottom step of the overall women's podium. It was a dominant performance from the Team TBC/Mitas duo of Johan Labuschagne (front) and Catherine Williamson (back) they were powering their way to their third stage win and the overall mixed title during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The mixed race was no contest as the Team TBC/Mitas crew of Johan Labuschagne and Catherine Williamson cruised to their third stage victory and the overall title over the Team Garmin duo of Ben-Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi de Villiers with Kargo PRO MTB Team's Hayley Smith and Andrew Warr coming third. Riders were greeted to some more incredible views and trails during the third and final stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za. SUMMARY OF RESULTS -2016 KAP SANI2C STAGE THREE (JOLIVET FARM - SCOTTBURGH) Men 1.Team NAD Pro (Gawie Combrink/Nico Bell) 02:37.09 2.Contego RedE (Adriaan Louw/Matthew Beers) 02:37.11 3.SCOTT LCB Factory Racing (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 02:37.12 4.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Tyronne White) 02:37.21 5.The Gear Change (Dave George/Justin Tuck) 2:42.21Mixed 1.Team The Bicycle Company/Mitas (Catherine Williamson/Johan Labuschagne) 02:54.20 2.Kargo PRO MTB (Hayley Smith/Andrew Warr) 02:58.20 3.Team Garmin (Yolandi du Toit/Ben-Melt Swanepoel) 02:59.30 Women 1.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Jennie Stenerhag) 02:56.29 2.Dorma Time Freight (Candice Neethling/Vera Adrian) 02:56.34 3.Galileo Risk Valencia (Sam Sanders/Theresa Ralph) GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Men 1.SCOTT LCB Factory Racing (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 9:05.06 2.Team NAD Pro (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 9:07.26 3.Team Telkom (Johann Rabie/HB Kruger) 9:09.34 4.Contego RedE (Adriaan Louw/Matthew Beers) 9:23.45 5.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Timothy Hammond) 9:34.09 6.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Tyronne White) 9:35.29 7.Biogen Centurion Cyclery (Gordon Gilbert/Paul Theron) 9:37.28 8.The Gear Change (Dave George/Justin Tuck) 9:41.51 9.KAP Restonic 1 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenage) 9:42.59 10.RoadCover 40+ (Grant Usher/Nic White) 9:43.57 Mixed 1.Team TBC/Mitas (Catherine Williamson/Johan Labuschagne) 10:13.46 2.Team Garmin (Yolandi du Toit/Ben-Melt Swanepoel) 10:32.28 3.Kargo PRO MTB Team (Hayley Smith/Andrew Warr) 10:39.42 Women 1.Dorma Time Freight (Candice Neethling/Vera Adrian) 10:21.22 2.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Jennie Stenerhag) 10:24.19 3.Galileo Risk Valencia (Sam Sanders/Theresa Ralph) 10:56.02
  22. In what has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable KAP sani2c's in memory the Race event was a ding-dong affair that went right down to the breakers of Scottburgh as the pair of Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns overturned a two minute overnight deficit to win the overall title whilst the pair of Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian held on to their overnight lead to claim the ladies title on Saturday. Click here to view the article
  23. Riders were greeted to some damp but good conditions on day one of the Adventure event on Wednesday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media Lisa Czepek was all smiles as she took on the pristine trail on day one of the Adventure event on Wednesday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media There were plenty on offer for riders to feed on at the water points on day one of the Adventure event on Wednesday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media The three-day expedition has assembled one of the strongest fields in years with a number of potential winners putting their hands up with strong performances in 2016 so choosing a winner of the overall title is going to be a difficult one to pick. The defending champions, USN-Pure Fit’s Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock, have had a good start to 2016 as they rode to the African Jersey title at the ABSA Cape Epic and Lill more recently won the mixed category prize at the Old Mutual joBerg2c with Candice Neethling. Having won the 2015 edition of the race the pair will have a target on their backs and will be marked hard by the other title contenders which include the Scott LCB Factory Racing pair of Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns. Beukes has taken a six year break from the event but despite this he and Heyns should still prove to be a force to be reckoned with over the three days. Another potent duo that will push all of the top pairs is the Team Telkom partnership of Johann Rabie and Hendrick Kruger. Despite having a disappointing ABSA Cape Epic the Telkom duo rectified this with a strong showing at the Old Mutual joBerg2c where they managed to finish in a strong second place overall. Riders were able to soak up some beautiful Drakensberg scenery on day one of the Adventure event on Wednesday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media Riders had the chance to enjoy some of the best track on Wednesday on day one of the Adventure event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media Riders were taken through a variety of terrain on day one of the Adventure event on Wednesday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media Potentially the most exciting pair that put their names on the entry list, albeit at the last minute, are the current Old Mutual joBerg2c duo of Gawie Combinck and Nico Bell. The NAD Pro MTB Team combination has been in good form with an impressive joBerg2c showing and will look to continue that form over the next three days. Despite the duo faring well over the nine-day long trip from the Highveld to the sea they will pose just as much of a threat over a shorter, sharper race. Other mentionables going into the start of the Race on Thursday would include the Team TIB pair of Andrew Hill and Tyrone White, who finished third at the joBerg2c, the Contego-Red E crew of Adriaan Louw and Matthew Beers and Team BestMed Lapierre’s Matthew Wilkinson and David Low. The ladies contest at the 2016 KAP sani2c is a three horse race as Candice Neethling and Vera Adrien (Dorma Time Freight) threw their names into the hat at the eleventh hour. Along with the Neethling/Adrien combo the Galileo Risk Valencia team of Samantha Sanders and Theresa Ralph will also have the top step of the podium in mind. These two teams will be chasing the impressive Team Ascendis Health brace of Jennie Stenerhag and Robyn de Groot. Despite an early season scare for Stenerhag she has recovered and will be hoping to go better than her third place finish in 2015. Although it was only the first day, the dreaded mechanical reared its head for a few riders on day one of the Adventure event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media For many riders, including Keith Buhr, getting across the first floating bridge of the event is a big moment on day one of the Adventure event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media Shaun Payne and Neil Penrose were the first South African Rugby Legends Association pair across the finish line on day one of the 2016 KAP sani2c's Adventure event, hotly followed by Trevor Halstead and Matt Pennyfather with John Smit and Stefan Terblanche third. Dave Macleod/ Gameplan Media The mixed category is likely to be a one team race with the Team Garmin partnership of Yolandi du Toit and Ben-Melt Swanepoel looking to be the early favourites for the title. KAP, who have come on board in a partnership with the sani2c in 2016, have entered three development teams into the race for 2016. Phetetso Monese, Khantsi Teboho, Malefetsane Lesofe, Tumelo Makae, Tseko Shelile and Patrick Katleho Manasi will make up the three KAP ACE Unitrans Teams taking on the three day event. The Adventure event went off from Glencairn early on Wednesday morning following some heavy rainfall and hail overnight which meant that the riders had to keep their wits about them through some of the trickier sections of the course. The stage was won by Nivea’s Wynand van der Berg and Philip Beukes in just over 11 hours and 40 minutes whilst the pairs of Ashley Haigh-Smith and Alistair Haigh-Smith and Leon Tobias and Stephen Bark finished second and third respectively. Thursday sees all the action of the third and final day of the Trail unfold from Jolivet Farm to Scottburgh Main Beach, the Adventure participants head from the MacKenzie Club to Jolivet Farm while the racing snakes of the Race event start their hot paced KAP sani2c journey from Glencairn Farm in their quest for 2016 glory. More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za. Taking on the Mkomaas Valley was always going to be a difficult task but the riders took it all in their stride on day two of the Trail event the 2016 KAP sani2c. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media With the most difficult stage out of the way riders can expect and enjoyable ride into Scottburgh after day two of the Trail event the 2016 KAP sani2c. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media Following a challenge day in the saddle many of the riders would have appreciated the views that they saw on Wednesday on day two of the Trail event the 2016 KAP sani2c. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media SUMMARY OF RESULT ADVENTURE STAGE 1 (GLENCAIRN FARM TO MACKENZIE CLUB) Overall 1.Wynand van den Berg/Phillip Beukes 3:46.25 2.Ashley Haigh-Smith/Alistair Haigh-Smith 3:51.03 3.Leon Tobias/Stephen Bark 3:53.01
  24. With two of the three events underway the race village at Glencairn Farm was abuzz with nervous excitement as some of the country’s top mountain bike stage racers prepared to set off on their Race that will take them from the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg to the breakers of Scottburgh Main Beach from 12-14 May. Click here to view the article
  25. The title challenge was thrown wide open when a mistake from USN-Purefit opened the door for Team Telkom's Johann Rabie (front) and HB Kruger (second) to take the overall lead after the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media With just over two minutes separating USN-Purefit's Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock in first and Team Telkom's Johann Rabie and HB Kruger in second the race was very much on during the second stage of the race with the Scott LCB Factory Racing pair of Matthy Beukes and Gert Heyns joining the mix. In what was a fairly innocuous crash, Darren Lill went down crossing a bridge however the entire group stopped in order for the USN-Purefit rider to dust himself off before the rest of the red-hot racing could continue. Things did not pan out as hoped for the defending champions who were far from out of the woods as the pace of the race at the front lead to further mistakes and, subsequently, two potentially race-ending punctures. It was a day to forget for the USN-Purefit team of Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock who experienced a number of issues throughout the day that all but ended their title defence on the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media "As we went into a technical section, I hit a rock and Darren hit the rock behind me," Woolcock said at the Jolivet Farm. "He punctured but I totally trashed my front wheel beyond repair on the road and that was the end of the race for us – we had to limp home on a busted wheel." The visibly bashed up and disappointed duo’s stage two issues have seen them fall out of title contention while Team Telkom and SCOTT LCB Factory Racing are now neck and neck at the front of the race. "We’ve managed to get ourselves into the lead so things went well for us today," mentioned Rabie. ""sani2c is so fast and so it's difficult to open up time on other teams so any lead going into the last day is a bonus! “A lead of just over two minutes means the Scott guys will give us a good run tomorrow but we will try our best to stay in front. "The last stage is very quick, which is something that will probably suit them (SCOTT) with their cross country skills, but I hope we will have a smooth run into the finish,” he added. On a day that was going to suit the more technical riders Scott LCB Factory Racing's Matthys Beukes (pictured) and Gert Heyns moved right into the overall mix with their first stage win after the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media With the technicality of the descent into the uMkomaas Valley, Beukes and Heyns’ cross country backgrounds stood them in good stead and the latter fully understood that it was a day they would have to make a big move if they were to overcome their opening stage’s disappointment and break into the top three. "Our plan was to go hard from the start today but we had a lot of work to do after yesterday and with it being such a long day, the gaps started getting quite big towards the end so it was a good day for us to try and put some time into the guys around us. "Tomorrow is still going to be tough and to try and make up the gap to the Telkom guys will be difficult due to the fast nature of the stage but anything can happen, just like we saw today!" Heyns mentioned. Team NAD Pro’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell put in their second third placed performances in a row to secure the bottom step of the podium in the General Classifcation as well while William Simpson duo Derrin Smith and Timothy Hammond’s fourth placed effort on day two sees them into the top five overall, one place behind the disappointed Woolcock and Lill. Fellow pre-race top five hopefuls Adriaan Louw and Matthew Beers (Contego RedE) as well as Andrew Hill and Tyronne White (Team TIB) also suffered disappointing second stage outings as they slipped from fourth and seventh on day one to seventh and ninth overall respectively. The ladies race was full of high drama as overnight leaders Team Ascendis Health's Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag lost their lead to the less fancied Dorma Time Freight team of Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian. Despite the leaders mishap the Dorma Time Freight team of Candice Neethling (front) and Vera Adrian (back) were full value for their lead after they powered home to take the overall lead in the women's race after the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The Team Ascendis Health duo of Robyn de Groot (pictured) and Jennie Stenerhag were well in the hunt for another stage win until they had a navigational mishap which cost them first place after the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media It was a tough day for the Team Ascendis Health pair of Jennie Stenerhag (pictured) and Robyn de Groot after they had a navigational mishap on the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media The lead during the day changed hands on a few occasions however a navigational mishap saw the Ascendis Health pair take a wrong turn and handed the Dorma Time Freight women the lead, which they accepted gratefully and powered home to the finish line 3:17 ahead of De Groot and Stenerhag to earn themselves a near-three minute lead going into stage three on Saturday."I said to Vera that we mustn't give up, we must always chase to the line because you never know what could happen in mountain biking and I am glad that we did!" Neethling said afterwards. "It was sad that it happened to them but this is mountain biking and it has happened to me many times as well." Galileo Risk Valencia’s Theresa Ralph and Samantha Sanders occupy third place, some way off the pace. In what was another dominant performance the SasolRacing pair of Catherine Williamson and Johan Labuschagne cruised to their second stage win during the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media While the racing snakes of the Race enjoyed their second day in the saddle, riders of the Adventure made their way from Jolivet Farm down to the welcome sight of the finish line at Scottburgh’s Main Beach. Despite a near-race ending tumble while descending into the uMkomaas Valley during Thursday’s second stage, the Nivea pair of Wynand van der Berg and Philip Beukes picked themselves up and dusted themselves off overnight to show the rest of the field a clean pair of cleats on Friday en route to their third consecutive stage victory and the 2016 KAP sani2c Adventure title. Talon Tough Tools’ Clinton Halsey and Liam Graham repeated their second stage runners-up effort, crossing the finish line ahead of the day’s third place finishers, Cadence Cycling’s Duane Stander and Mark Carroll. There was some incredible scenery once again for the riders to enjoy during the second stage of the Race on Friday at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Despite their strong showings on days two and three, Talon Tough Tools’ efforts weren’t quite enough to see them into second place overall though – AHS Racing’s Ashley and Alistair Haigh Smith’s consistency throughout the three days seeing them hang onto the second step of the Adventure’s podium with Halsey and Graham having to settle for third. Saturday sees the 2016 KAP sani2c come to an exciting end as the Race heads into the final stage from Jolivet Farm to Scottburgh Main Beach. More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za. The famous floating bridge was the star attraction during the third and final stage of the Adventure at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media SUMMARY OF RESULTS - 2016 KAP SANI2C RACE STAGE 2 (MACKENZIE CLUB – JOLIVET FARM)Men 1.SCOTT LCB Factory Racing (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 3:34.41 2.Team Telkom (Johann Rabie/HB Kruger) 3:34.57 3.Team NAD Pro (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 3:39.39 4.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Timothy Hammond) 3:48.00 5.USN Purefit (Waylon Woolcock/Darren Lill) 3:49.17 Women 1.Dorma Time Freight (Candice Neethling/Vera Adrian) 4:10.55 2.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Jennie Stenerhag) 4:14.12 3.Galileo Risk Valencia (Theresa Ralph/Samantha Sanders) 4:27.21 Mixed 1.Sasol Racing (Catherine Williamson/Johan Labuschagne) 4:08.47 2.Team Garmin (Yolandi du Toit/Ben-Melt Swanepoel) 4:20.17 3.Kargo Pro MTB Team (Hayley Smith/Andrew Warr) 4:20.30 GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Men 1.Team Telkom (Johann Rabie/HB Kruger) 6:25.22 2.SCOTT LCB Factory Racing (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 6:27.54 3.Team NAD Pro (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 6:30.17 4.USN Purefit (Waylon Woolcock/Darren Lill) 6:37.30 5.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Timothy Hammond) 6:45.31 6.Contego RedE (Adriaan Louw/Matthew Beers) 6:46.34 7.Biogen Centurion Cyclery (Gordon Gilbert/Paul Theron) 6:54.16 8.RoadCover 40+ (Nic White/Grant Ussher) 6:56.23 9.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Tyronne White) 6:58.08 10.The Gear Change (David George/Justin Tuck) 6:59.30 Women 1.Dorma Time Freight (Candice Neethling/Vera Adrian) 7:24.48 2.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Jennie Stenerhag) 7:27.50 3.Galileo Risk Valencia (Theresa Ralph/Samantha Sanders) 7:53.44 Mixed 1.Sasol Racing (Catherine Williamson/Johan Labuschagne) 7:19.20 2.Team Garmin (Yolandi du Toit/Ben-Melt Swanepoel) 7:32.58 3.Kargo Pro MTB Team (Hayley Smith/Andrew Warr) 7:41.22 ADVENTURE STAGE 3 (JOLIVET FARM – SCOTTBURGH) Overall 1.Nivea (Wynand van der Berg/Philip Beukes) 3:08.09 2.Talon Tough Tools (Clinton Halsey/Liam Graham) 3:12.16 3.Cadence Cycling (Duane Stander/Mark Carroll) 3:12.43 GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Men 1.Nivea (Wynand van der Berg/Philip Beukes) 11:35.40 2.AHS Racing (Ashley Haigh Smith/Alistair Haigh Smith) 11:55.00 3.Talon Tough Tools (Clonton Halsey/Liam Graham) 12:00.30 Mixed 1.Kliipies en Cola (Desiree Strydom/Christiaan Pretorius) 13:28.28 2.Talbot Mix (Tersia Talbot/Bruce Talbot) 13:31.16 3.Keepin Up (Lynnette Jones/Melvin Jones) 13:35.22 Women 1.Team T and T (Jeanette Treherne/Vivienne Turvey) 14:52.06 2.W2W Poolnurse (Sunette Beyers/Alta Kriegler) 14.53.38 3.Club Nivea Girls (Natasha van der Berg/Annerie van Velden) 15:13.44
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