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  1. Matt Beers and Yolande de Villiers won the 2021 South African Cross-Country Marathon Championships in Paarl on Saturday, 1 May. The Type{DEV} NanoTime rider dominated the race, virtually from the gun, to win by 5 minutes and 21 seconds. While the women’s race had more drama as the Cycling South Africa commissaires had to adjudicate the winner following a protest, after Robyn de Groot had crossed the finish line first. Click here to view the article
  2. The challenging 85-kilometre route featured 2 100-metres of climbing, most of it falling within the first 50-kilometres. Hosted by the Paarl Adventure Trails a great deal of the course was made up of singletrack, including the Spice Route, Diamante Estate and Rhebokskloof cross-country loops. As such the strongest riders were always likely to emerge victorious. Matt Beers soloed to an impressive victory and his first national title in the 2021 South African XCM Championships; in Paarl on Saturday, 1 May. Photo by Chris Hitchcock. In the elite men’s race the field was stacked with South Africa’s top marathon mountain bikers. Alongside the pre-race favourite, Beers, were PYGA EuroSteel’s Matthys Beukes, Philip Buys and Gert Heyns; Insect Science’s Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning; DSV Pro Cycling’s Nicol Carstens and Jacques Janse van Rensburg; and Imbuko Giant’s Tristan Nortje and Rudi Koen. Alfa Body Works rider and Paarl local, HB Kruger was also one to watch. A fast start loop hardly spread the field as the leading men blitzed the first 6-kilometres of dual track. Then a steep climb towards the first singletrack of the day, the infamous Wall climb, stretched the group. Beers lead into the singletrack and rode it at a pace which had his rivals on the back foot. The Type{DEV} NanoTime star summited with the embryo of an advantage, which he would incubate into an unassailable lead over the next 70-kilometres. “I made my move on The Wall” Beers recounted. “Then tried to hold a pace which I thought the group behind would probably be riding. The route, with so much singletrack, did not really lend itself to groups working together, so I did not feel being on my own was much of a disadvantage. I saw Arno [du Toit] was chasing me initially; but when he dropped back, I just had to keep up my tempo.” “The last 5-kilometres or so were really though” Beers added. “I was cramping so badly. But I’m so happy to win the South African Marathon title. It’s been a big goal of mine for years, especially after missing the 2019 race, with a broken collar bone, and the 2020 race because of its Covid cancellation.” The 2021 South African XCM Championships were held in pristine conditions, on the Paarl Adventure Trails. The challenging 85km course included 2 100m of climbing and proved a stern but fair test for the elite men and women. Photo by Chris Hitchcock. Behind Beers, as Du Toit’s challenge for victory faded he was swallowed up by a chase group which constantly changed its composition. PYGA EuroSteel were represented throughout though as Heyns, Buys and Beukes all contributed to the pursuit of Beers. Du Toit’s Insect Science teammate Bontekoning, and the Imbuko Giant pair of Nortje and Koen also assisted in the chase. Eventually it was the experience of Beukes that prevailed. He and Du Toit distanced their companions, one-by-one, until they were able to contest a two-up sprint for second. Beukes pipped his former teammate to the line, in so doing securing his best South African Marathon Championships result. “I tried to ride my own race today” the PYGA EuroSteel rider reflected. “I started steady and rode my way into contention. But even if I could have gone with Matt [beers] earlier I do not think I would have been able to stay with him throughout the race. He was the worthy winner today.” In the women’s race De Groot, Amy McDougall and De Villiers distanced the rest of the field within the first 30-kilometres. The six-time champion then pulled away from her breakaway companions, quickly establishing a 4-minute advantage over the next 10-kilometres. Tragedy struck for the dormakaba rider in the Rhebokskloof singletracks however. She invertedly followed the wrong trail and cut 5-kilometres from her race distance. Yolande de Villiers was adjudged the 2021 South African XCM Champion, after the first woman across the finish line – Robyn de Groot – was disqualified for taking a wrong turn and missing a section of the route. Photo by Chris Hitchcock. Though De Groot crossed the finish line first; the victory, upon a careful examination of the leading women’s GPS files, was awarded to De Villiers. Having come back from a potentially career ending leg break, in 2019, the victory represents a remarkable return for the Mad Macs rider. De Villiers’ persistence and tenacity are an example to all young riders and an illustration of the rewards reaped from years of dedication. With De Villiers moving up to first, the South African Road champion, Hayley Preen, inherited second and McDougall stepped up onto the final podium place. “It was an incredible race” McDougall stated from the podium. Her sentiments were echoed by many a rider, as praise for the route was a common theme of the post-race interviews. “It was a proper race” Henry Liebenberg emphasised. “It was my first marathon since 2019, so it was though. But well done to the route team for putting together such an amazing course.” Given the change in UCI rules the marathon champions will now be able to wear their national colours in stage races. This means that Type{DEV} NanoTime will need to design Beers a new jersey, to incorporate the South African flag into their white and blue kit, before KAP sani2c. The three-day stage race from Underberg to Scottburgh, in KwaZulu Natal, starts on Friday, 14 May. Matt Beers had no time to take in the beauty of Paarl and the Cape Winelands as he time-trialled to victory, having established a lead within the first 10km of the 85km course. Photo by Chris Hitchcock. South African Cross-Country Marathon Championships ResultsElite Men: 1. Matthew Beers, Type{DEV} NanoTime (3:36:44) 2. Matthys Beukes, PYGA EuroSteel (3:42:06 | +05:21) 3. Arno du Toit, Insect Science (3:42:07 | +05:22) 4. Gert Heyns, PYGA EuroSteel (3:43:40 | +06:55) 5. Nicol Carstens, DSV Pro Cycling (3:45:47 | +09:02) Elite Women: 1. Yolande de Villiers, Team Mad Macs (4:27:46) 2. Hayley Preen, Team Reach for Rainbows (4:32:33 | +4:46) 3. Amy Mcdougall, Perigon Property Motor Lease (4:35:39 | +7:52) 4. Sarah Hill, Liv Racing (4:44:12 | +16:25) 5. Shauna Esmeyer (4:46:35 | +18:48) For the full results from the SA XCM Championships please click here.
  3. Matt Beers celebrates his Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen title. Photo by ZC Marketing Consulting. A muddy Beers was the first rider across the line and the only person to break the 5-hour barrier in 2020. His winning time of 4 hours, 59 minutes and 25 seconds was 12 minutes off the course record. That was no reflection on the effort the man from Knysna put in though. A slower first 30 kilometres, a head wind in the final 60 kilometres and tacky roads which pilfered momentum at every opportunity made for unfavourable conditions for chasing the record. “I’m almost glad I’ve had a 5-year break from the Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen” Beers joked upon crossing the finish line. “It gave me time to forget how tough it is!” Turning his attention to the explanation of how the race was won he revealed: “We were a fairly big group until nearly 30 kilometres to go. I’d increased the pace to try to shed a few riders from the group before that, but then on one of those long rolling climbs I attacked and got a bit of a gap.” Overcast skies, but no rain, in Oudtshoorn gave way to an increasingly persistent drizzle as the day wore on. Photo by ZC Marketing Consulting. “I had hoped that Wessel [botha] would be able to come with me, and maybe I should have waited. But it worked out fine in the end. I chose to ride with a dropper seatpost for the aero advantage of being able to get lower on the descents. That helped me tuck in and I extended my lead on that first descent in particular.” “I knew that Philip [buys], Matthys [beukes] and Gert [Heyns] would be trying to hunt me down, so I had to go full gas to the line. I won’t lie, it got dark at times. But not that dark, I could still push and I’m really happy with my form so early in the season. It’s a good sign” the 2020 race winner concluded. After Beer’s attack split the lead group apart, his teammate Wessel Botha held second position for nearly 25 kilometres. Matthys Beukes, who started the day as the defending champion, stormed past the 21-year-old NAD Pro MTB rider in the final 5 kilometres. Beukes caught Botha on the final climb, powering past. Botha was unable to jump onto Beukes’ wheel and the PYGA Euro Steel rider rode away to second position. Botha crossed the line third. In the women’s race Stenerhag made the racing from the first serious climb of the day. The Swedish marathon champion distanced her fellow elite women at the 30-kilometre mark and only Robyn de Groot could bridge across to her. “My chain had dropped just before that climb and when I saw Jennie [stenerhag] going I knew I had to put in an effort. I started the climb at the back of the group but dug deep to catch her over the summit” De Groot recounted. Jennie Stenerhag out-sprinted Robyn de Groot to take her maiden Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen win at the eighth time of asking. Photo by ZC Marketing Consulting. “I had hoped that Barbara [benko] or Yolande [de Villiers] would come with me. But it wasn’t to be. So, Jennie and I pushed on. We raced together for two and a half seasons so we know each other really well” De Groot added. The dormakaba rider was the first women over the Queen of the Mountain climb into the Attakwaskloof, followed closely by Stenerhag. The Fairtree Capital and dormakaba riders remained together until the finishing straight. “I’ve lost out in a sprint here before” Stenerhag said, reliving the heart-ache of 2019. “Last year I was coming back from an injury and didn’t contest the turn into the cement stripped descent into Pine Creek Resort as fiercely as I could have. This year I made sure to get onto that section first and around the penultimate corner in the lead. Then it was just about keeping the inside line and once I rounded the final bend to kick with everything I had.” Jennie Stenerhag and Robyn de Groot spent 90 kilometres together at the front of the women’s race. Photo by ZC Marketing Consulting. “I’ve tried to win this race 8 times now” Stenerhag smiled. “Each time before this year I’ve come up short, so that makes the victory all the sweeter.” Stenerhag’s winning time was 5 hours, 54 minutes and 23 seconds. De Groot crossed the finish line a single second later. Hungarian cross-country champion Barbara Benko was third, completing the podium in her Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen debut. Further back in the field there were big smiles, despite the rain. As the afternoon wore on the precipitation fell with increased intensity and each rider across the Pine Creek Resort finish line was muddier than the last. “One thing you can be guaranteed of at the Atttakwas is that it will be extreme” said Oliver Munnik, who finished in forty sixth position overall. “Revered for heat, the 2020 edition started the decade off with uncharacteristically cool weather which gave way to drizzle and a stiff breeze” Munnik continued. “Initially the wind was a tail wind before swinging to a lactic acid inducing head wind for the final 50 kilometres. The wet conditions did not dampen our spirits however and the camaraderie was awesome, with everyone suffering together. The challenges of the Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen made the Spur burger at the finish line, in Groot Brak, better than ever. It is one of those races which hurts at the time, but which you have to come back to every year.” Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen men’s podium (from left to right): Michael Olsson, Matthys Beukes, Matt Beers, Wessel Botha and Gert Hynes. Photo by ZC Marketing Consulting. Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen | Results:Men’s 1. Matt Beers, NAD Pro MTB (4:59:25) 2. Matthys Beukes, PYGA Euro Steel (5:06:26 | +07:01) 3. Wessel Botha, NAD Pro MTB (5:08:06 | +08:41) 4. Michael Olsson, Allerbike (5:10:19 | +10:54) 5. Gert Heyns, DSV Pro Cycling (5:11:20 | +11:55) Women’s 1. Jennie Stenerhag, Fairtree Capital (5:54:23) 2. Robyn de Groot, dormakaba (5:54:24 | +00:01) 3. Barbara Benko, Ghost Factory Racing (6:03:48 | +09:24) 4. Yolande de Villiers, Mad Macs (6:07:08 | +12:45) 5. Laura Stark, TB Werner (6:26:52 | +32:29) For the full results please visit www.atta.co.za.
  4. The Spur/Red-E and Spur/Valencia teams of Alan Hatherly, Matt Beers, Ariane Luthi and Amy-Beth McDougall secured the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, titles on Saturday the 21st of October in the Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. Though both the men’s and women’s general classification champions were unable to win the final stage, surrendering stage victory to NAD Pro MTB and Ascendis Health, they still secured the overall victory by 1 minute 42 seconds and 1 minute 40 seconds respectively. Click here to view the article
  5. The final stage of the race was a 64 kilometre long loop from Oudtshoorn, through the Chandelier Game Farm and back to the capital of the Klein Karoo. It featured 1 150 metres of climbing, most of which took place on a series of steep loose shale climbs in the game farm. The route was far from easy, despite its relatively short distance and in previous editions, the stage had caused general classification shake-ups with riders puncturing and haemorrhaging time as panic set in. Alan Hatherly (left) and Matt Beers (right), of Team Spur/Red-E, raced to victory with 6 stage wins at the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. Photo by Hayden Brown. Once again the grand finale served up drama, this time it was pre-stage however as the third-placed women’s team of Nicola Giliomee and Frankie du Toit were disqualified by the UCI commissaire for receiving outside assistance during stage 6. The Junto Ladies team had been forced to stop in the neutral zone to fix a broken valve stem. Team Spur mechanic JP Jacobs assisted Giliomee and du Toit in their repairs, as they were under the impression he could do so in the neutral zone, but the race commissaires ruled otherwise – evicting the third-placed team from the race. In the men’s race there was fortunately no mechanical or rule infringement induced position changes on the general classification. In fact, the only major team to lose ground was the SPOT Africa combination of Timothy Hammond and Derrin Smith. Smith is a part-time mountain bike racer, fitting training in around his busy farming schedule, and the exertions of the week were clearly taking their toll. He and Hammond eventually finished in sixth position on the stage, but managed to hold off the KTM Pro Team who finished above them on the stage to retain fifth overall. Gawie Combrinck attacks on a climb in Chandelier Game Farm in an final attempt to distance the Spur/Red-E team of Matt Beers and Alan Hatherly. Photo by Hayden Brown. At the front of the race Team Spur/Red-E were keen to make the going tough for NAD Pro MTB. Hatherly and Beers took the fight to Nico Bell, Gawie Combrinck and the KMC Fruit to Go team of Bram Rood and Gerben Mos. “We stayed with them for the first fifteen kilometres or so and then they just went to hard” Rood confessed. “We are happy with third place overall. The other teams are really strong so it’s okay that we are the best of the rest,” said the KMC rider. “The stage really suited me as it was either up or down, so there was no real advantage in drafting” Hatherly said. “As the yellow jersey wearers the unwritten rule is that we do not have to set the pace, we can just defend our lead. But we love to race so we helped NAD animate the racing” Beers elaborated. “It was pretty much full gas all day” Combrinck confirmed. “I really enjoyed the stage. I love this hard rocky riding.” Gawie Combrinck celebrates NAD Pro MTB’s first stage win of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. Photo by Hayden Brown. With both NAD Pro and Spur/Red-E driving the pace; the leading two teams flew through the final kilometres and entered Oudtshoorn together. Once again it came down to a sprint finish but this time Bell and Combrinck emerged victorious after both riders outmaneuvered Alan Hatherly ahead of the sharp final turn. NAD Pro claimed a consolation stage win, but the 2017 Cape Pioneer Trek title went to Spur/Red-E; by 1 minute and 42 seconds, after seven days of racing. The women’s race was also tightly contested on the final day with the Ascendis Health duo Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz racing to reel in the remaining 2 minute and 29 second deficit to Spur/Valencia. Try as they might though they could not shake Lüthi and McDougall; even a spectacular crash by Lüthi, which left her with a saddle pointing skywards for the final ten kilometres. Though De Groot and Spitz crossed the finish line first, 49 seconds ahead of Lüthi and McDougall the Swiss and South African paring had done enough to win the UCI women’s competition by 1 minute and 40 seconds. Amy-Beth McDougall (left) and Ariane Lüthi (right) put in a defensive racing master class to hang on to their lead in the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. The pair eventually won by 1 minute and 40 seconds over Ascendis Health. Photo by Hayden Brown. When asked if she dug deep to fight back from being physically and emotionally spent to rise to the level of her Ascendis Health rivals, to match the level of her partner Lüthi, or to prove a point to herself McDougall responded: “A bit of all of those really. I gave everything every day and finished completely broken after each stage. I started the next stage knowing I would have to give everything again. It was really tough but I think I have proved something to myself.” Amy-Beth McDougall and Ariane Luthi celebrate their 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, title. Photo by Hayden Brown. In a category where both De Groot and McDougall suffered from injury or illness during the event, their ability to battle through the pain barrier to not just complete the stages but to compete at the highest level displayed once again the courage required to race as a professional mountain biker. Sabine Spitz (left) and Robyn de Groot (right) won the final stage of the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen on Saturday the 21st of October. Photo bye Hayden Brown. With the conclusion of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, the mountain biking fans can relive the drama of the race for a final time with the daily highlight video. The stage 7 highlights can be viewed on the Cape Pioneer Trek Facebook page and the Dryland Event Management YouTube Channel from 20:00, Central African Time, on Saturday the 21st of October. For more information on Cape Pioneer Trek please visit www.capepioneer.co.za.21 Results: 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by BiogenUCI Men | Stage 7 1. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Gawie Combrinck (2:25:03) 2. Team Spur/RedE, Alan Hatherly & Matthew Beers (2:25:05 | +00:02) 3. KMC Fruit to Go, Bram Rood & Gerben Mos (2:31:39 | +06:36) 4. Kelly’s Bikeranch Team, Jiri Krivanek & Marek Rauchfuss (2:34:18 | +09:14) 5. KTM Pro, Moritz Bscherer & Manuel Pliem (2:34:36 | + 09:32) UCI Women | Stage 7 1. Team Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (2:42:16) 2. Team Spur/Valencia, Ariane Luthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (2:43:06 | +00:49) 3. Team Cape Brewing Company, Ila Stow & Marianne Bergli (3:15:41 | +33:24) 4. Team Bicycling, Jenna Borrill & Tandy Kitching (3:23:37 | +41:20) 5. Anderson Transport, Louise Bezuidenhout & Anneke Viljoen (3:32:41 | +50:24) UCI Men | General Classification after Stage 7 1. Team Spur/RedE, Alan Hatherly & Matthew Beers (21:52:57) 2. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Gawie Combrinck (21:54:39 | +01:42) 3. KMC Fruit to Go, Bram Rood & Gerben Mos (22:17:03 | +24:06) 4. Kellys Bikeranch Team, Jiri Krivanek & Marek Rauchfuss (22:36:14 | +43:17) 5. SPOT Africa, Derrin Smith & Timothy Hammond (22:51:43 | +58:45) UCI Women | General Classification after Stage 7 1. Team Spur/Valencia, Ariane Luthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (24:25:36) 2. Team Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (24:27:17 | +01:40) 3. Team Cape Brewing Company, Ila Stow & Marianne Bergli (29:34:16 | +5:08:40) 4. Team Bicycling, Jenna Borrill & Tandy Kitching (31:21:37 | +6:56:00) 5. Anderson Transport, Louise Bezuidenhout & Anneke Viljoen (32:09:03 | +7:43:27) For all the results from the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen please click here.
  6. The Queen Stage of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, saw the Team Spur/Red-E combination to Alan Hatherly and Matt Beers distance NAD Pro MTB in the final meters to claim a potentially decisive stage win. The sixth stage of the race, on Friday the 20th of October, featured a mammoth 2 700 metres of climbing and was won by the Team Ascendis Health duo of Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz in the UCI women’s competition. Click here to view the article
  7. The Swartberg Pass is an iconic feature of the Cape Pioneer Trek and after its absence in 2016, Dryland Event Management took the decision to reinclude the grand old dame in the 2017 event. The 95 kilometre long stage might have ended on the Swarberg Pass, but the National Monument’s roads – which date back to 1886 – only accounted for 800 metres of the total elevation gain, making the stage exceptionally brutal. Alan Hatherly and Matt Beers distanced Nico Bell and Gawie Combrink in the final 300 metres of the Swartberg Pass climb to claim victory on the Queen Stage of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. Photo by Hayden Brown. Once again the NAD Pro MTB team did their best to drive up the pace in the early phases of the race, but without a second equally strong general classification team to counter punch and put Team Spur/Red-E under pressure they could not force a split from the yellow jersey wearers. Despite crossing some typically technical Klein Karoo terrain, which shook off the other UCI men’s teams Spur/Red-E and NAD Pro started the final climb together. “I tried to set a tough pace in the hope of dropping Alan [Hatherly]” Bell explained at the top of the Swartberg Pass. “It is impossible to set the pace and attack so Gawie [Combrink] tried to attack a few times, with the idea of me riding across to him if he got away. But Alan [Hatherly] and Matt [beers] were too strong and could follow every move” he concluded. “My legs felt terrible on the final climb, but somehow I hung in there. Then in the last 500 metres they started to feel better, miraculously, so I thought we might as well go for it and see if we could gain a few seconds” Beers said. “Alan [Hatherly] is like a little rat, he climbs so fast” he laughed, “and I’m like an ogre, so I just have to hang in there.” Matt Beers looks back as he makes the decisive attack on the upper reaches of the Swartberg Pass. Photo by Hayden Brown. The sixth stage win of 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, for Team Spur/Red-E saw them cross the line 8 seconds ahead of NAD Pro MTB and extend their general classification lead to 1 minute and 43 seconds. The third placed team on the general classification, KMC Fruit to Go, crossed the finish line on the summit of the pass 6 minutes and 41 seconds behind the stage winners. The result sees Bram Rood and Gerben Mos slip to 17 minutes and 31 seconds down on the overall time sheets. In the women’s race Team Ascendis Health made the going brutally tough for Team Spur/Valencia. By the 45 kilometre mark De Groot and Spitz had established a lead of 2 minutes and 45 seconds. It looked for all money as if Ariane Luthi and Amy-Beth McDougall would falter, allowing the pink jerseys to slip from their shoulders. Robyn de Groot reaches across to congratulate her Ascendis Health teammate, Sabine Spitz, on another stellar stage. Photo by Hayden Brown. After three stages of struggling to match her partner’s pace McDougall put in a race saving ride on stage 6. The Valencia rider was the dominant partner in the team on the stage and rescued Team Spur/Valencia’s Cape Pioneer Trek title hopes. “Amy [McDougall] was so strong today, she really helped me so much” a grateful Lüthi said. “We gave it our all today” a visibly spent De Groot accounted from the top of the Swartberg Pass. “But it was not to be.” “That is racing” her partner Spitz concluded. An exhausted Ariane Lüthi recovers while Amy-Beth McDougall smiles in the knowledge that the Team Spur/Valencia pairing did enough to hang on to their pink leaders’ jerseys going into the final stage of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. Photo by Hayden Brown. Both the men’s and women’s races are far from decided however; the final stage, which takes in 1 150 metres of climbing in its 64 kilometre distance, dished up drama in last year’s edition of the Cape Pioneer Trek. The loose shale surfaces of Chandelier Game Farm provide for exhilarating mountain biking, but they can lead to serious mechanicals and spectacular implosions too. In 2016 both the Team Spur and Cape Brewing Co Elite squads lost their podium positions; after a side wall puncture for Julian Jessop, of Team Spur, and a complete draining of his energy reserves for Daniel Gathof saw both teams lose massive chunks of time. It remains all to race for then, with NAD Pro MTB and Team Ascendis Health afforded one final opportunity to topple Team Spur/Red-E and Team Spur/Valencia from the top of the men’s and women’s general classifications. To follow the action as it unfolds mountain biking fans can follow the event’s Twitter handle, @CapePioneerTrek, from 07:30 on Saturday morning. In addition to the live coverage on Twitter the highlights from every stage of the race can be viewed on the Cape Pioneer Trek Facebook page and the Dryland Event Management YouTube Channel from 20:00, Central African Time, daily. For more information on the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, please visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Results: 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by BiogenUCI Men | Stage 6 1. Team Spur/RedE, Alan Hatherly & Matthew Beers (4:07:08) 2. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Gawie Combrink (4:07:17 | +00:08) 3. KMC Fruit to Go, Bram Rood & Gerben Mos (4:13:50 | +06:41) 4. Kelly’s Bikeranch Team, Jiri Krivanek & Marek Rauchfuss (4:14:09 | +07:00) 5. KTM Pro Team, Moritz Bscherer & Manuel Pliem (4:22:57 | +15:48) UCI Women | Stage 6 1. Team Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (4:33:12) 2. Team Spur/Valencia, Ariane Luthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (4:35:50 | +02:38) 3. Junto Ladies, Nicky Giliomee & Frankie du Toit (5:41:41 | +1:08:29) 4. Team Cape Brewing Company, Ila Stow & Marianne Bergli (5:44:29 | +1:11:17) 5. Team Bicycling, Jenna Borrill & Tandy Kitching (6:02:16 | +1:29:04) UCI Men | General Classification after Stage 6 1. Team Spur/RedE, Alan Hatherly & Matthew Beers (19:27:51) 2. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Gawie Combrink (19:29:35 | +01:43) 3. KMC Fruit to Go, Bram Rood & Gerben Mos (19:45:23 | +17:31) 4. Kellys Bikeranch Team, Jiri Krivanek & Marek Rauchfuss (20:01:56 | +34:04) 5. SPOT Africa, Derrin Smith & Timothy Hammond (20:13:33 | +45:41) UCI Women | General Classification after Stage 6 1. Team Spur/Valencia, Ariane Luthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (21:42:30) 2. Team Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (21:45:00 | +02:29) 3. Junto Ladies, Nicky Giliomee & Frankie du Toit (25:09:30 | +3:27:00) 4. Team Cape Brewing Company, Ila Stow & Marianne Bergli (26:18:35 | +4:36:05) 5. Team Bicycling, Jenna Borrill & Tandy Kitching (27:57:59 | +8:30:08) For all the results from the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen please click here.
  8. The Team Spur/Red-E combination of Alan Hatherly and Matt Beers sprinted to victory on stage three of the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, on Tuesday, the 17th of October. Their female compatriots were not able to match their winning streak, however, as Team Ascendis Health raced to their first stage win of the race crossing the finish line, in George, first in the elite women’s competition. Click here to view the article
  9. The 99 kilometre long stage, from Mossel Bay to George, took in 2 000 metres of climbing, but the largely smooth road surfaces made for an easier day than on the preceding, rocky, stage. Once again the wind played its part, but unlike during stage two the South Westerly wind blew the riders towards their destination rather than impeding their progress towards it. In the elite men’s race the tailwind kept the leading group of riders together until the final water point at the 75 kilometre mark of the stage. By then the NAD Pro team, of Nico Bell and Gawie Combrink, and the Spur/Red-E combination had whittled the initial group of eight teams down to the four main contenders. Joining the general classification leaders and their nearest rivals at the front of the race were the Dutch KMC Fruit to Go team, of Bram Rood and Gerben Mos, and the Czech Kellys Bikeranch team, of Jiri Krivanek and Marek Rauchfuss. Alan Hatherly and Matt Beers further secured their grip on the yellow leaders’ jerseys with their third stage victory of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, in George on Tuesday, the 17th of October. Photo by Zoon Cronje. Krivanek and Rauchfuss were the first to falter in the stage’s first singletrack after the final water point. Then an acceleration from Hatherly reduced the group to just NAD and Spur/Red-E. “They are just stronger than us, so we are focusing on third” Rood confessed post stage. “We tried to race smart today and conserve energy for the final hour” Hatherly said. “We attacked on a sharp singletrack climb and got a little gap on NAD, but then I slipped and moved over on the next little climb – because it is the sporting thing to do – which allowed Nico [bell] and Gawie [Combrink] past” Beers elaborated. “Then we had to work hard to catch back up to them, and when we did we knew it would come down to a sprint” the Red-E rider concluded. The blustery conditions made for tactical rather than aggressive racing as the riders made their way through the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains on their way from Mossel Bay to George. Photo by Zoon Cronje. “I’m not known for my sprint so I knew we would have to go early and make it around the corner onto the sport fields first to take the stage win. I went with about 300 meters to go, but we could not hold them off” Combrink reflected on the decisive moment of the stage. Hatherly powered passed the NAD Pro pairing and Beers hung on as best he could to secure their third successive stage victory by a single second. The women’s race was also a war of attrition, with the last two days taking their toll on Amy-Beth McDougall in particular. “Yesterday was really hard and I struggled a lot, so I think it’s accumulative. I’ve been having a little bit of a chest problems too, so from 85 kilometres onwards I was suffering” McDougall elaborated. “Robyn [de Groot] and Sabine [spitz] were leading through the singletrack and after a slippery section, which we had to walk up, I lost concentration and fell. It was not a bad crash but they got a gap and we could not close it” she concluded. Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz, of Team Ascendis Health, pose for a post-stage photo after their first victory of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. Photo by Zoon Cronje. De Groot and Spitz raced to victory and in so doing clawed back 1 minute and 22 seconds to Team Spur/Valencia in the general classification standings. “Today went smoothly” De Groot said, after completing her first stage win of the race. “There was a lot of wind at the start and a few obstacles which kept the bunches together. We were fortunate to have a tailwind which blew us along the contours and towards George. It was pretty muddy and chilly. But I’m happy with how it went” she summarised. Ariane Lüthi and Amy-Beth McDougall remain in the pink jerseys, as the leading women’s team, though their advantage shrunk to 5 minutes and 47 seconds, after their second position on stage 3. Photo by Zoon Cronje. Stage four marks the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen’s first ever mid-race time trial. After a hint of the singletrack conditions in the forests above George, in the final ten kilometres of stage three, the riders by-in-large know what to expect from Wednesday’s 31 kilometre long stage. “It is going to be muddy and slippery, especially on the new trails” Bell predicted. “The downhill sections are fine because you can ride off the track on the grass, but the climbs are going to be tricky.” The leading men will probably take just over an hour to complete the route and while it is unlikely to provide a race winning time gain; it could cost a team the race, should they suffer a serious crash or mechanical. On the muddy trails, with the added pressure of the time trial, emerging unscathed could well prove more important than gaining a few seconds. To see how the action unfolds, during stage four, mountain biking fans can follow the event’s Twitter handle, @CapePioneerTrek, for live updates. The highlights from every stage of the race of the Cape Pioneer Trek can be viewed on the event Facebook page and the Dryland Event Management YouTube Channel from 20:00, Central African Time, daily. For more information on the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, please visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Results: 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by BiogenUCI Men | Stage 3 1. Team Spur/RedE, Alan Hatherly & Matthew Beers (3:58:17) 2. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Gawie Combrink (3:58:18 | +00:01) 3. KMC Fruit to Go, Bram Rood & Gerben Mos (3:59:44| +01:27) 4. Kelly’s Bikeranch Team, Jiri Krivanek & Marek Rauchfuss (4:03:40 | +05:23) 5. SPOT Africa, Derrin Smith & Timothy Hammond (4:04:57| +06:40) UCI Women | Stage 3 1. Team Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz ( 4:22:33) 2. Team Spur/Valencia, Ariane Luthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (4:23:54 | +01:21) 3. Junto Ladies, Nicky Giliomee & Frankie du Toit (5:02:54| +40:21) 4. Team Cape Brewing Company, Ila Stow & Marianne Bergli (5:21:40| +59:06) 5. Team Bicycling, Jenna Borrill & Tandy Kitching (5:31:31 | +1:08:58) UCI Men | General Classification after Stage 3 1. Team Spur/RedE, Alan Hatherly & Matthew Beers (10:36:07) 2. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Gawie Combrink (10:37:10 | +01:03) 3. KMC Fruit to Go, Bram Rood & Gerben Mos (10:42:35 | +06:28) 4. Kellys Bikeranch Team, Jiri Krivanek & Marek Rauchfuss (10:53:09 | +17:01) 5. SPOT Africa, Derrin Smith & Timothy Hammond (10:53:52 | +17:44) UCI Women | General Classification after Stage 2 1. Team Spur/Valencia, Ariane Luthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (11:45:48) 2. Team Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (11:51:35 | +05:47) 3. Junto Ladies, Nicky Giliomee & Frankie du Toit (13:24:49 | +1:39:01) 4. Team Cape Brewing Company, Ila Stow & Marianne Bergli (14:15:02| +2:29:13) 5. Team Bicycling, Jenna Borrill & Tandy Kitching (15:12:09 | +4:36:02) For all the results from the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen please click here.
  10. Alan Hatherly (left) and Matt Beers (right) raced to stage victory on Stage 1 of the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, on Sunday the 15th of October. Photo by Zoon Cronje. The 96 kilometre long stage, which challenged riders with 1 650 meters of climbing, started and finished at Milkwood Primary School, in Mossel Bay, and took in a scenic loop through ripening wheat fields and nature reserves boasting all the members of the Big Five. The day started with a 7 kilometre long neutral zone through the town and the pace stayed relatively steady for the next 28 kilometres as a big group of favourites, excluding the Team Ascendis Health duo of Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz, made their way towards the first serious challenge of the day. Just before water point one, at the 30 kilometre mark, Nico Bell upped the pace on the first technical climb of the race. Bell’s acceleration split the group and soon it was only Hatherly and Beers who could hold the wheel of Bell and his NAD Pro MTB teammate, Gawie Combrink. “When NAD upped the pace we were the only other team to stay with them so I knew it would probably be between us for the stage victory” Hatherly reflected post stage. Matt Beers in action on his way to stage victory, during the opening stage of the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen. Photo by Zoon Cronje. The Spur/Red-E and NAD Pro teams were chased by the Kelly’s Bikeranch combination, of Jiri Krivanek and Marek Rauchfuss, and the KMC Fruit to Go riders, Bram Rood and Gerben Mos. The chasing teams were able to bridge across briefly in the Gondwana Private Game Reserve but could not maintain the pace of the four South Africans. Exiting Gondwana, Hatherly suffered a slow puncture but a quick wheel change at the water point, 75 kilometres into the stage, kept him within striking distance of the leaders on the road, Bell and Combrink. The NAD Pro MTB and Team Spur/Red-E riders set the pace during Stage 1 of the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen on Sunday the 15th of October. Photo by Zoon Cronje. The leaders came back together shortly after the water point and on the final section of gravel Hatherly and Beers made the decisive move. “We had planned to attack where the route crosses under the N2 and it worked perfectly, Gawie [Combrink] looked to be struggling so we capitalised and pushed on and once we hit the tar roads through Mossel Bay I knew we could hold them off” Beers elaborated.The Spur/Red-E completed the stage in a time of 3 hours 35 minutes and 32 seconds, 55.91 seconds ahead of NAD Pro MTB. With six days and 457 kilometres left to race the time gap of less than a minute is hardly significant, especially considering Combrink suffered a mechanical in the closing kilometres. “I had a slow puncture which we eventually had to stop to bomb when we reached the tar. That cost us some time” Combrink explained. “But fortunately Nico [bell] is pretty quick on the road, so we limited our losses.” In the women’s race, the Spur/Valencia team was utterly dominant as Robyn de Groot struggled with a recurrence of the injury which has hampered her season since May. Lüthi and McDougall opened a lead of five minutes by the half-way point in the stage, but as the stage neared its conclusion De Groot’s injury gradually warmed up allowing her to transfer power more effectively. “The Cape Pioneer Trek was my first stage race and my first race on South African soil back in 2010, so it has always been special to me. I felt really good today and Amy [McDougall] and I rode well together” Lüthi said upon completing the stage victory. “We had fun out there” McDougall added, “though I did struggle a bit towards the end when my chest closed up a bit.” Amy-Beth McDougall (left) and Ariane Lüthi (right) made it a perfect start to the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, for Team Spur when they repeated the effort of the men’s team to win the opening stage. Photo by Zoon Cronje. “It was a tough day for me with my injury, so we just limited the losses as best we could” De Groot reflected. Spitz was more philosophical about their chances for the remaining six days “anything can happen in mountain biking” she smiled. “Of all people I know that,” she concluded, referencing her crash at the Absa Cape Epic earlier this year. The third women’s team was the Junto Ladies team of Nicky Giliomee and Frankie du Toit. “Today was the furthest Frankie [du Toit] has ever raced so we took it relatively easy”, Giliomee said. The shorter, punchy, stage two will better suit the young Junto women’s cross country strengths. Monday’s second stage – of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen – is 71 kilometres long, takes in 1 550 metres of climbing, and once again loops out and back from the Milkwood Primary School. The route explores the plains to the west of Mossel Bay and takes in the famous Pinnacle Point resort and the Bergsig Game Farm. Mountain biking fans can watch the highlights from every stage of the race on the Cape Pioneer Trek Facebook page and the Dryland Event Management YouTube Channel from 20:00, Central African Time, daily. While more information on the event is available at www.capepioneer.co.za and the stages can be followed live on event’s Twitter handle, @CapePioneerTrek. Results: Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen | Stage 1UCI Men: 1. Team Spur/RedE, Alan Hatherly & Matthew Beers (3:35:32) 2. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Gawie Combrink (3:36:28 | +00:55) 3. Kellys Bikeranch Team, Jiri Krivanek & Marek Rauchfuss (3:38:07 | +02:34) 4. KMC Fruit to Go, Bram Rood & Gerben Mos (3:38:50 | +03:17) 5. SPOT Africa, Derrin Smith & Timothy Hammond (3:41:49 | +06:16) Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, Stage 1 Podium. From left to right: Marek Rauchfuss & Jiri Krivanek (Kelly’s Bikeranch); Alan Hatherly & Matt Beers (Team Spur/Red-E), and Gawie Combrink & Nico Bell (NAD Pro MTB). Photo by Zoon Cronje. UCI Women: 1. Team Spur/Valencia, Ariane Luthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (3:57:05) 2. Team Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (4:00:52 | +03:47) 3. Junto Ladies, Nicky Giliomee & Frankie du Toit (4:21:22.934 | +24:17) 4. Team Cape Brewing Company, Ila Stow & Marianne Bergli (4:42:31 | 45:26) 5. Anderson Transport, Louise Bezuidenhout & Anneke Viljoen (5:12:05 | +1:15:00) Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, Stage 1 Podium. From left to right: Sabine Spitz & Robyn de Groot (Team Ascendis Health), Ariane Lüthi & Amy-Beth McDougall (Team Spur/Valencia) and Frankie du Toit & Nicky Giliomee (Junto Ladies). Photo by Zoon Cronje. For the full results from Stage 1 of the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, please click here.
  11. The Team Spur squads got the 2017 Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, off to the best possible start with stage victories for both the men’s and women’s teams. Alan Hatherly and Matt Beers claimed the win in the UCI men’s race for Team Spur/Red-E, while Ariane Lüthi and Amy-Beth McDougall were victorious on the first stage of the race, on Sunday the 15th of October, for Team Spur/Valencia. Click here to view the article
  12. Start of the Trans Baviaans 2017 in Willowmore. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais The 230 kilometer non-stop race from Willowmore in the Karoo to Jeffreys Bay on the East Cape Coast took 486 four, three and two person teams through the remote, rugged wilderness area of the Baviaankloof Mega Reserve. The initial phase of the race saw the main category contenders take a conservative approach as they cruised down the Nuwekloof Pass and through the Baviaanssluetel, the gateway to the World Heritage Site. Early lead by Bestmed Mitas Men and Ultimate Cycling Knysna around the 80km mark. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais The severe drought in the region has lead to extensive corrugations on the district dirt road which made for an uncomfortable ride for those who had chosen to tackle the face on hardtail bikes. Allied to those conditions was a stiff head wind for much of the race which deterred many teams from being aggressive. The infamous M.A.C as riders make their way to CP4 Bergplaas. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais The action up front started after the first of six compulsory check points at Geelhoutsbos. The Ultimate Cycling Knysna Mixed team of Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer and the Bianchi team of Gert Fouche, Hansie Joubert and Jaco Ferreira checked in and out and then opened up a small gap as they headed up the first big climb, Baviaans Back. Beers, riding his first Trans Baviaans and Hammond,the course record holder and two time winner, lost around 2 minutes as they replenished their bottles. Night Riding at its best in the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais In a race as long as the Trans Bavianns, regular nutrition and food intake is critical to success. The Western Cape based pair soon caught the lead group and when they reached the Fangs climb put in a meaningful attack. "I know it was a long way out but I looked at the climb and said 'cool, lets have a go here' and it paid off, only just though!" said the laid back Beers. The gap grew steadily as they took on the biggest climb, the 12 kilometers long Mother of All Climbs or MAC at 128 kilometers. Bergplaas Checkpoint 4. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais At the third check point at Bergplaas they had four minutes in hand over the chase group which included the top mixed pair of Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer of Ultimate Cycling Knysna and the Madmacs team of Etnard Louw and Charlie Mcfall. However the early pace and Beers' exceptional climbing form saw Hammond begin to take strain as they ground out the kilometers on the aptly named Neverender inside the last quarter of the race. Three teams strong with the addition of the Bianchi trio of Gert Fouche, Hansie Joubert and Jaco Ferreira, the chase group sensed an opportunity and closed the gap to around 70 seconds in the last 20 kilometers. #Langwater, the longest water crossing in the race. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais Hammond hit the wall and Beers nursed his Botswana partner through what many veterans of the race believe is the hardest part as they chased the sunset. Showing huge determination they dug deep to stay ahead until the threat from behind faded. "Matt was incredibly strong all day and just had to hang into his wheel for all I was worth! I suffered badly. Matt is an great partner." Hammond and Beers crossed the finish line at the Fountains Mall in Jefferys Bay after 8 hours 46 minutes and 16 seconds. Bianchi finished strongly four and a half minutes back in second place and the Madmacs,Mcfall and Louw were third Ladies Podium with winners Team Galileo Risk Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais Yolande De Villiers and Neill Ungerer were fourth overall and the leading mixed team, finishing an hour and 26 minutes clear of second placed Christo Roos and Tanya Kirstein of Enduroplanet, with former top pro Ischen Stopforth completing her 10th race,finishing third with husband Peter. Defending champion Theresa Ralph teamed up with cross country rider and Trans Baviaans novice Sarah Hill as Team Galileo Risk to take victory in the Womens team race ahead of Team Flugon of Natasha Viviers, Janine Muller and Mari du Toit. Anna Rosa le Roux and Chelna Neethling were third. All told 371 teams completd the Trans Baviaan Race within the stipulated 24-hour time limit, including five teams riding single speed hardtail bikes. The mixed team of Estian Stander Diederich Kruyt and Lere were the last official finishers in 22 hours 53minutes and 33 seconds. Mens Podium with winners Spot Africa Ryder Red E Matt Beers and Tim Hammond. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais A second, identical event, The Trans Baviaans Repeat,takes place this weekend when a full field of 458 teams will assemble in Willowmore for Saturdays 10am start. Entries for the 2018 Trans Baviaans will open on 1st December. For further details go to www.transbaviaans.co.za.
  13. Elite men lead by Gert Heyns (Ascendis Health) and followed by Matthys Beukes (Pyga Eurosteel) and Matthew Beers (Red-E Cannondale) at the Nissan TrailSeeker Western Cape Series in Grabouw. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Beers, who races for Red-E Cannondale, was involved in a three-way scrap with Ascendis Health’s Gert Heyns and Matthys Beukes (Pyga Eurosteel) for most of the 67km race. Towards the end though, Beukes and Heyns pulled clear of Beers, but missed a turn. Beers almost missed the turn too, but was quick to correct his error and was the first rider home to have completed the correct route and was declared the winner after some post-race deliberation by officials. Beukes and Heyns were subsequently disqualified. Beers’s winning time was 02 hours 46 minutes 34 seconds. Waylon Woolcock (Team BCX) was awarded second place with Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes) rounding out the podium places. “I lost touch with the leaders a few times during the race, but I managed to get back. I don’t really like to win this way. Matthys was strong. He attacked and got away up that last climb. But you also have to focus on where you a going. It’s a hard one but you can’t just go crazy and then not think where you’re going,” said Beers afterwards. Matthew Beers with head down and focused as he pushes up Grabouw steep ascents at the Nissan TrailSeeker Wester Cape Series in Grabouw. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “It was a good race otherwise. Matthys was the stronger rider for sure. It was a hard route with a cold start, but the route was amazing,” added Beers. “It was exciting racing. Me, Gert and Matt got away from the rest early on. The route was well marked overall, but at a crucial point, when the racing was on, it wasn’t marked that well, which is quite unfortunate but not much we can do about it,” said a disappointed Beukes, who had shown he was the strongest of the lead group of three by riding clear on the final climb. “I’m not sure where they went wrong. I didn’t find the route badly marked and followed the markers. I’m happy with my winter form, but it’s a long year so I’m building up for another peak in September and October. The rain and recent fires here made the sandy surface quite tough in places, but a pretty route nonetheless,” said Woolcock, winner of Round 1 of the 2017 Nissan TrailSeeker Series. Tandi Kitching crossing the finish line to claim her first ever overall marathon win at the Nissan TrailSeeker Western Cape Series in Grabouw. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za In the women’s division, the racing was also close among the title contenders for the majority of the race. Kitching proved the strongest in the closing stages though and claimed the victory in a time of 3:42:16. Louise Ferreira finished second with Jeanie de Villiers taking third.“It was very unexpected. This is the first time for an overall race win for me so I’m very chuffed. I battled a bit at the start in the cold, but I started reeling people in on the big climbs and from about two-thirds of the way through I managed to take the lead and hold it against some strong opposition,” smiled Kitching. “This whole area is gorgeous to ride in. The views are fantastic and the race organisation has been faultless, although I wouldn’t have minded a later start,” added Kitching. “I’m very pleased with my result. Tandi was a great competitor. The route was great with lots of super singletrack that was well marked and not that technical. It really caters for everybody and the weather was good too,” said runner-up Ferreira. In the 38km Half-marathon, Rossouw Bekker was the first male to finish in 1:28:13 with Mia de Villiers the first female home in 1:49:38. 2017 Nissan TrailSeeker Series, Western Cape Round 2, Grabouw Leading results: Overall men 67km marathon 1 Matthew Beers (Red-E Cannondale) 2:46:34 2 Waylon Woolcock (Team BCX) 2:53:19 3 Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes) 2:58:37 4 Dominic Calitz 2:59:03 5 Robert Hobson 3:03:15 6 Jarrod van den Heever 3:03:15 7 Alexander Rohrer 3:03:40 8 Chris Wolhuter 3:05:02 9 HB Kruger (Team BCX) 3:07:29 10 Justin Tuck 03:09:09Overall women 67km marathon 1 Tandi Kitching 3:42:16 2 Louise Ferreira 3:47:54 3 Jeanie de Villiers 3:50:19 4 Dene Conroy-De Wet 3:50:25 5 Courteney Webb 3:51:45 6 Luz Maria Martinez Mejia 3:55:50 7 Leorine de Wet 3:57:00 8 Sarita Louw 3:57:52 9 Kate Munnik 3:58:02 10 Janice Venter 4:01:45 Overall male 38km half-marathon 1 Rossouw Bekker 1:28:13 2 Jamie Penfold 1:28:42 3 Phillip Dicey 1:30:14 Overall female 38km half-marathon 1 Mia de Villiers 1:49:38 2 Amy Tait 1:50:00 3 Stefke Tolmay 1:51:00 For full results visit www.saseeding.co.za Round 3 of the 2017 Western Cape Nissan TrailSeeker Series takes place at Bosman Family Vineyards, Wellington on 5 August. Information and online entries at www.trailseekerseries.co.za
  14. With a large lead going into the final day, the racing was a formality for Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers (Topeak Ergon/RED-E). They simply had to get from start to finish without any hiccups - perhaps easier said than done consider the number of issues they pair had in the first two days of racing. In the end, they were able to ride comfortably and hassle-free through the short 50km day, taking second place on the day and claiming the overall win at their first attempt. Erik Kleinhans follows his teammate Matt Beers through a wine cellar on the day three of the 2017 Gravel & Grape Extreme MTB event. With a large lead going into the final day, the racing was a formality for Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers (Topeak Ergon/RED-E). They simply had to get from start to finish without any hiccups, which they duly achieved to claim overall honours at the event. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock. First over the line on stage 3 was Jurgens Uys and Nicols Carstens (02:01:13), but as they had withdrawn on stage 2, they were out of contending in the racing. The stage winners for the day were Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse & Robert Hobson (BREEDENET) in a time of 02:03:54, with Kleinhans and Beers home in second (02:03:58). Third on the stage went to Alexander Rohrer & Martin Freyer (Alex & Martin). “Overall, this was an excellent even with a great route,” said Erik Kleinhans. “There was a little bit of sand at the start in the finish on some days, but that is a minor point. It was all about the single track at Gravel & Grape, and it was fantastic.” Kleinhans and Beers kept it mellow on the final day. “Today we rode with Charl-Pierre (Esterhuyse) and Robert (Hobson); it was bit of an easier day for us and we had no mechanical issues, crashes or punctures today for the first time in the race,” said Kleinhans. “We had no need to ride hard today because of our comfortable lead, so we just rode with Charl-Pierre and Robert for the whole day, and let them take the stage win at the end. Our aim was simply to have a good time and get to the finish without any hassles. Matt and I both had a lot of fun.” Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock. In the Gravel & Grape Adventure, the two-day event that covers approximately half the distance of the Extreme’s final two days on the same route and terrain, Heine Kriegler Beukes and De Wet Steyn (Mohein) walked away as stage 1 and stage 2 winners, claiming the overall title comfortably ahead of second-placed Daniel Jacobus Van Tonder and Pieter Zirki du Toit (Rough and Ready). Third on the stage and overall were Francois de Wet and Andre Venter (Team Kallahariferarrie). “This was just a very enjoyable two days of racing,” said Beukes. “Even in the Adventure the route was quite challenging - with some decent climbs to keep the ego in check. For us, it was an amazing race. Today we attacked on the first climb and rode away from the field there - I dropped my bottle but luckily De Wet saw it; that was our only major issue! We will definitely be back to ride in this area again. It was a brilliant route.” The winners of the women’s category were Nicky Giliomee and British rider Catherine Williamson (Junto Ladies). Giliomee soldiered through the race with a broken foot, while Williamson was using the Gravel & Grape as a short farewell tour of South Africa. After arriving in the country for the Cape Epic, Williamson is heading home for the British summer. Nicky Giliomee and British rider Catherine Williamson (Junto Ladies) race to victory on the final stage of the 2017 Gravel & Grape Extreme, which took place in the stunning Breedekloof Wine Valley. Giliomee soldiered through the race with a broken foot, while Williamson was using the Gravel & Grape as a short farewell tour of South Africa. After arriving in the country for the Cape Epic, Williamson is heading home for the British summer. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock. “This was quite a special three days of riding,” said Williamson. “I am heading back to England now, and this was a fantastic way to end my stay in South Africa. Today was a good day of riding, nice and short but with some great trails; just a fun day on the bike in a beautiful setting.” To further highlight the unique nature of the Gravel & Grape, the last team to cross the line on the Adventure was the Oddwheelers pair of Donna Kisogloo & Piotr Wolski. They did the two-day ride on unicycles. “I’ve been riding a unicycle for 10 years,” said Kisogloo. “They are not many stage races that we can enter, so it was cool to ride at the Gravel & Grape. We did come in last; so clearly it’s quite tough on a unicycle! But we came here to enjoy the trails and scenery, and that’s exactly what we did.” ResultsGravel & Grape Extreme stage 3 1 Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse & Robert Hobson (BREEDENET) 02:03:54 2 Erik Kleinhans & Matt Beers (Topeak Ergon/RED-E) 02:03:58 3 Alexander Rohrer & Martin Freyer (Alex & Martin) 02:08:01 Gravel & Grape Extreme final GC 1 Erik Kleinhans & Matt Beers (Topeak Ergon/RED-E) 07:59:31 2 Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse & Robert Hobson (BREEDENET) 08:08:39 3 Alexander Rohrer & Martin Freyer (Alex & Martin) 08:22:23 Gravel & Grape Adventure stage 2 1 Heine Kriegler Beukes & De Wet Steyn (Mohein) 01:19:56 2 Daniel Jacobus Van Tonder & Pieter Zirki du Toit (Rough and Ready) 01:23:12 3 Francois de Wet & Andre Venter (Team Kallahariferarrie) 01:30:00 Gravel & Grape Adventure final GC 1 Heine Kriegler Beukes & De Wet Steyn (Mohein) 02:59:37 2 Daniel Jacobus Van Tonder & Pieter Zirki du Toit (Rough and Ready) 03:04:04 3 Francois de Wet & Andre Venter (Team Kallahariferarrie) 03:19:28
  15. Setting out from the race village of ATKV Goudini Spa, riders made their way towards Du Toitskloof Cellar and then on to uniWines Vineyards (Daschbosch), before heading back to the finish via Du Toitskloof once more. The Gravel & Grape Extreme (and the two-day Adventure) is a race, but it’s also a scenic tour of the best wineries in the Breedekloof Wine Valley. With a 20 second gap over overall leaders Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers, and heading into some sweeping single track early on in the second stage, Carstens had his race ended by a piece of wire that destroyed his spokes and derailleur. Just seven kilometres in to the racing, Carstens was out and teammate Uys decided to limp home with him. “It’s no fun to race by yourself when your partner is out,” said Uys. “You get out of the zone quickly, so it’s better to just call it a day and come back tomorrow.” Kleinhans and Beers, though, were unable to capitalise on their rivals’ misfortune, with Beers crashing around 10km into the stage and breaking his saddle. The on-site repairs cost the pair around five minutes, allowing Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse and Robert Hobson (BREEDENET) to race past and build a sizeable three-minute gap. With a skew saddle and time to make up, Kleinhans and Beers chased hard, passing the second-placed team on the big climb of the day, before reaching Esterhuyse and Hobson with 15km to go. “We worked hard on that climb to catch the guys,” said Kleinhans, “then once we caught them we rode together for a bit, but I think they blew quite badly because they just disappeared.” In the end, Kleinhans and Beers were able to race home - into a stiff headwind - and claim the stage win on a route that offered rocky terrain, testing single track and short punchy climbs throughout. Riders described it as a cross-country stage, with challenges lying around every corner. “We were slightly slower today, but that was mostly down to the crash,” said Kleinhans. “The route was quite technical, but lots of fun. The single track was excellent again, with the course playing like a long cross-country route; lots of short, punchy climbs. It was another lekker day.” Riders at the 2017 Gravel & Grape Extreme and Adventure are discovering a hidden gem of mountain biking, and enjoying the local wines at the same time. “It’s going well this year,” said race organiser Pieter Carstens. “The feedback has been very positive and people are enjoying themselves. This is not an easy route, but I think the riders are appreciating the beauty of the region and the amazing trails that are trail builders have built. We would love to see more people coming to ride in the valley; it’s raw and challenging, but unique and rewarding.” In the Extreme’s ladies race, it was stage 1 winners Nicky Giliomee and Catherine Williamson (Junto Ladies) victorious again with another strong ride. Giliomee came into the race with a broken foot, while Williamson recently completed the Old Mutual joBerg2c, so the pair’s performance is quite special. They both say that the route of the Gravel & Grape makes it worthwhile, though. “It’s tough out there,” said Williamson, “but because the days are short you can really enjoy it. The trails have been excellent so far; really good mountain bike riding. I have never ridden out here before, and I have to say that it’s incredibly beautiful here. I love doing new rides, and this has been a pleasure so far.” In the Gravel & Grape Adventure, a two-day shorter version of the Extreme, the first team was the junior pair of Heine Kriegler Beukes and De Wet Steyn (Mohein). “The route was quite rocky, with lots of loose sand,” said Steyn, “But it was a very nice race. I definitely underestimated it, although once we got into it, there was lots of nice technical single track. You can tell that a lot of effort has been put into the course. Our only issue today was that Heine and I crashed into each other at the start!” The final stage of the Gravel & Grape Extreme features more of the same for the riders, with a special treat coming in the shape of a purpose-built cross-country course in the early part of the stage. The route will also take riders into the magnificent Slanghoek Valley before returning to Goudini Spa. Gravel & Grape ExtremeStage 2 results Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers (Topeak Ergon/RED-E) 03:00:04 Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse and Robert Hobson (BREEDENET) 03:02:03 Martin Freyer and Alexander Rohrer (Alex & Martin) 03:04:38 Nicholas Allen and Marc Wells (WCH) 03:28:15 Wesley Lentz and Tiaan Jordaan (Team Easy Skips) 03:32:48 GC results Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers (Topeak Ergon/RED-E) 05:55:33 Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse and Robert Hobson (BREEDENET) 06:04:45 Martin Freyer and Alexander Rohrer (Alex & Martin) 06:14:22 Gravel & Grape Adventure Stage 1 Heine Kriegler Beukes and De Wet Steyn (Mohein) 01:39:41 Pieter Zirki du Toit and Daniel van Tonder (Rough and Ready) 01:40:52 Francois de Wet and Andre Venter (Team Kallahariferarrie) 01:49:28
  16. Leading South African professional Erik Kleinhans has reunited with Matt Beers (Red E-Topeak Ergon) in a combination that will probably start as favourites when the gun goes off for Stage 1 on May 5. They will, however, have a fight on their hands from the established pairing of Chris Wolhuter and Dylan Rebello (Imbuko Wines), who won the race last year and are highly motivated to defend their title. Dylan Rabello and Chris Wolhuter (Imbuko Wines) on their way to victory at the 2016 Gravel & Grape MTB stage; they'll be back in 2017 and highly motivated to defend their title at this year’s event. Photographer credit: Chris Hitchcock. “Matt and Erik will for sure most likely be our main rivals. They are both strong riders who we race against frequently,” says Wolhuter. “That being said, Jurgens (Uys) and Nicol (Carstens in Team Versus Socks) cannot be underestimated. Jurgens is coming back from an injury lay off and looks very motivated to get back to a high level.” Wolhuter says he and Rebello had a “good Cape Epic” last month but were hampered by some mechanical troubles: “So we are looking to make amends for that and will be going for the title again this year.” Beers, asked if he and Kleinhans would be going for the win, says: “Yeah for sure! But we always want to keep it fun and light-hearted after the race and talk nonsense with friends … I think it really helps mentally.” “We ride extremely well together and complement each other’s riding styles really well: our strengths are almost exactly the same. We are both powerful riders on the flats and can smash the descents too,” Beers adds. Riding together Beers and Kleinhans won the Berg&Bush stage race last year and four stages of the Cape Pioneer Trek. This is the third staging of the Gravel & Grape, which Wolhuter describes as “a great event”. “There are some great trails in the area. I know they have also done a lot of work in the Slanghoek region and the riding there last year was already fantastic,” he says. “The route profiles sometimes suggest an easier stage, but the region has some tough rocky sections which make it tougher than what it looks like on paper.” “Then there is a relaxed vibe in the evenings, which creates a great environment to interact with the other riders and enjoy a glass of wine.” Beers is also a fan of mountain biking in the area: “I have raced this event before back in 2015 in the mixed category with Nicola Giliomee. Apparently, they have done a lot of work so I am looking forward to riding some new trails and seeing different scenery.” The Gravel & Grape is taking place from 5 to 7 May. The event features two rides, the Gravel & Grape Extreme and the Gravel & Grape Adventure. In the women’s race the standout pairing is likely to be British pro Catherine Williamson and up-and-coming Knysna youngster Nicky Giliomee. “We'll be hoping to race as best as we can. I know Nicky is a strong rider and have raced against her at a few races last year and I know we'll have fun whatever happens,” says Williamson, a former winner of the women’s category at the Cape Epic. “I've never ridden Gravel & Grape before. I know the terrain can be very difficult, dry and rocky. But I always love racing in the Cape and as it’s getting towards winter I'm sure it'll be a bit cooler than the last time I was that way,” adds the Briton. The Extreme is the same three day race that hardcore mountain bikers have come to know and love over two years, while the Adventure is a two day challenge that covers 65km of cycling over the course of its stages. The Adventure is a solo or team event. Entries are for teams of two in two different categories: junior and open. The junior category is for both team members between the ages of 16 and 18 years, while the open category can be a son/daughter, husband/wife, daughter/father team or any two adults who would like to experience their first stage race. Both events feature expertly hand-cut singletrack. The Gravel & Grape is an event that sets out to take mountain biking back to its roots, focussing on fun but challenging riding with trails that reward the effort put in. “The Gravel & Grape delivers raw, rough mountain biking,” says Wolhuter. “A highlight was riding through some parts of the valley that were completely isolated. It was very beautiful, very serene.” “We want people to experience the valley and region as it is for us; beautiful, challenging, unique and exciting,” says one of the race organisers and Slanghoek Cellar’s Pieter Carstens. By involving a number of wine farms in the race, each day offers something different, from the highest peaks to the lowest valley floors.“Make no mistake, this is an event that will test you, but will also provide warm hospitality and the opportunity to indulge in our award-winning wines after each day’s riding,” says Carsten. The Breedekloof Valley is just one hour from Cape Town, and includes Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini & Breerivier. The event race village is based at Goudini Spa, making this a family weekend. Participants of the Gravel & Grape will have full access to the resort’s facilities, including the iconic warm baths. Although entries have already closed, the Gravel & Grape are offering an opportunity for 10 teams to enter by Sunday, 23 April.
  17. Now two South Africans in the 2017 field have put their faith in foreigners: Max Knox will be riding with Colombian legend Héctor Leonardo Páez Leon (Kansai Plascon) and young Matt Beers with Switzerland’s Konny Looser (RED-E/Ryder). Ewald Sadie. Cape Epic. Sportzpics. Knox, 29, represents the current generation of marathon specialists and was in compelling form in 2016. Beers is only 23 and his natural ability and appetite for hard work suggest he will be a star of the next generation. “Obviously the overall win is our main objective. But with it being a very new partnership with Leo and being the Cape Epic, where so much can go wrong, that will be a big challenge, says Knox, who won both the South African marathon championship and the National Marathon Series in 2016. “If we end up on another step of the overall podium that will be good, but the win is our main objective. Some stage wins may present themselves if we are in the mix for the overall, we will grab those opportunities of course,” says Knox, a seven-times Cape Epic finisher. Páez concurs: “I am going to try and win the race overall. I am going to rely on Max for the knowledge of the race and the conditions.” The Colombian was leading the Marathon World Championships in 2016 before a mechanical ended his title aspirations. Now he has set his sights on the world’s foremost mountain bike stage race. “I have heard a lot about the Cape Epic. I know it is the toughest stage race in the world and the most important one to win. If you are a serious mountain bike racer you must try to compete in the Cape Epic at least once,” Páez says. “I am looking forward to this experience. I have seen videos of the race on the internet and can see that it can be very hot and dry and that the surfaces are very rough in places. This means you need to look after your body and your bike every day or else you will be in trouble.” The fact that Knox and Páez are deadly serious is also evident in the fact that they will bring a support team: Italians Mirko Pirazzoli and Alessandro Gambino will back them up over the eight days and be on hand to help sort out mechanical issues if required. Nick Muzik. Cape Epic. Sportzpics. Looser and Beers have been putting in the hours in training but are cautious about making any predictions: “We are definitely not (among the favourites) for the overall podium, but I hope we can use this to our benefit and start the race with little pressure … which will maybe help us to calm down before the race,” laughs the Swiss star. “Personally, I think we should be able to finish the General Classification somewhere in the top 10, but our main goal will be to get on the podium on some stages.” Beers will bring his local knowledge to the partnership, but Looser has also been a familiar – and often successful – figure at stage races in the country in recent years. Beers says of the 2017 route: “I know a lot of the riding in those areas, especially Grabouw and Hermanus as I've done quite a few local races through those areas. It’s going to be extremely physically challenging, that’s for sure. You really have to work the bike on the trails around there. I actually haven't ridden in Greyton but I've heard it’s tough with super steep climbs. “I think the route this year is really going to separate the men from the boys, and I hope I'm one of those men.” Knox thinks it will suit him and Páez. “It looks like a balanced but challenging route,” he says. “I like that there is quite a high ratio of climbing and that there aren’t many places where guys can hide in a bunch. Lots of singletrack suits us, as does lots of climbing – especially steep, technical climbs. I think it’s a route that we can do well on.” He and Páez will only train together for total of 10 days before the Cape Epic, but Knox is not too concerned: “I will meet Leo in person for the first time in early March when he flies out here to prepare. He is one of the world’s best marathon racers, having two thirds and a fourth at the Marathon World Champs in recent years. We are both strong climbers and with cross country racing backgrounds are both skilled enough to race technical descents and singletrack well. “Leo doesn’t speak much English and I don’t speak Spanish, so communication could be a challenge,” admits Knox. “But at the end of the day, we are both mountain bike racers with the same objectives and that will hopefully be enough.” Beers explained how he and Looser came to race together: “We don't have teammates here in SA to partner with for stage races. We have raced (against each other) in the past and did well and we get on really well, so we chatted at one of the races and said let’s try be teammates for stage races in SA. Through the help and support of my sponsors we managed to get it right.” Nick Muzik. Cape Epic. Sportzpics. His partner Looser, a four-time Cape Epic finisher, says his mountain biking dream is to finish in the race’s top three: “For me, it's still the biggest and most prestigious race in the world of marathon mountain biking. As long as I'm riding, it will be my dream to finish this race once on the GC podium. The race, the route … everything is so challenging and I really like to test myself in the hardest race of the world.” Beers debuted in 2016 with another local rider, Oliver Munnik, and says “how painless and organised everything is was a real eye-opener … it really is on another level”. “The race itself is insane … nothing can prepare you enough for just how hard it really is.”
  18. No all-South African team has won the Absa Cape Epic overall, but riders from this country have enjoyed success across many categories when partnered with foreigners. Most notable among these was Burry Stander, who triumphed three times with Switzerland’s Christoph Sauser. Click here to view the article
  19. The penultimate day of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa’s Western Cape province added another twist to the 2016 tale with the rugged terrain delivering more tyre challenges that led to a shift in the overall podium positions with one day remaining. Click here to view the article
  20. Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers powered to their fourth stage win on Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za South Africans Matt Beers and Erik Kleinhans (Full Suss/Topeak Ergon/Red-E) stormed to yet another gutsy stage win to give them a total of four in six days. They moved up the General Classification to fifth, but it was ahead of them where the biggest shift occurred as Team Spur’s James Reid and Julian Jessop swapped places with The Dutch duo of Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappennbelt Specialized) dropping down to fourth. James Reid (left) and Julian Jessop moved into third place overall in the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Dutchmen had an early puncture and spent most of the stage chasing alone, which saw them lose almost five minutes to their primary rivals. But for Kleinhans and Beers, it was a matter of hunting down another stage win after having lost any hope of a final overall podium after surrendering so much time on Day 2. It was their third stage win in succession on a day that saw the unforgiving terrain leave the race splintered, with teams finishing in ones and twos. Chris Wolhuter (back) and Dylan Rebello mounted an early attack during Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Imbuko Freewheel Cycology Momsen pair of Chris Wolhuter and Dylan Rebello set the early pace with a brazen attack shortly after the start. But the pair were reeled in after 35km once the terrain became more challenging. After a couple of days of dealing with tyre issues, race leaders Combrinck and Bell were back to their proactive selves, but were once again victims to a flat tyre, as were many other teams. Kleinhans and Beers escaped the tyre ire of the Karoo and clocked a winning time of 03 hours 18 minutes 11 seconds, almost two minutes clear of Estonian duo, Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis (KOMO/RMW), who recovered well from two early punctures. Third place went to Reid and Jessop, another two minutes back. Gawie Combrinck (front) and Nico Bell managed to retain their overall lead after a challenging Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za “We took a different strategy because once the racing got serious, Bell and Combrinck started off attacking and we thought it would be a more defensive day for us. But on the first technical downhill they were quite cautious, obviously trying to protect their tyres. Matt and I just went hard on the technical downhills and that seemed to give us an advantage so we just pushed on from there,” explained Kleinhans. Cherie Redecker looks confident ahead of Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. She and teammate Mariske Strauss won the stage and extended their overall lead. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za In the women’s race, Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss (OMX Pro) remained the dominant team, collecting another stage win and further extending their GC lead. They rode much of the stage with the winning Mixed team, Yolande de Villiers and Neil Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling), who added another four minutes to their lead going into the final day on Saturday. Igna de Villiers and Fanie Venter (LGE Midas BusinessPrint) won the stage in the Veteran men’s race and extended their lead. Their main rivals, Vickus Boschoff and Iniel Hattingh (Klein Karoo Ko Op), had a difficult day with tyre drama and dropped from a close second overall to a distant third behind Belgians Hans Planckaert and Wim Tollenaere (Der Fietser Rotwild Zaes). Competitors found the steep, loose terrain challenging during Stage 5 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Leading Masters, Linus van Onselen and Izak Visagie also endured tyre trouble on Friday. However, their significant lead allowed them ample time to manage their crisis and still win the stage and stay out front with a day to go. In the Solo men’s race, Jiri Krivanek captured his fourth stage win to extend his overall lead, while the Solo women’s race saw its tightest contest yet, with Nicky Giliomee maintaining her perfect record, winning the stage and adding more time to her overall advantage. Competitors in the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race ease through the town of Oudtshoorn after the start of Stage 5 on Friday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Saturday’s final stage is a relatively brief 57km, starting at the Chandelier Game Reserve and ending at the Queens Hotel in the town of Oudtshoorn. It climbs a total of 1200 metres and is sure to be an intense contest as teams vie for a final shot at a stage podium finish. The action will once again be covered live on Twitter, so follow @CapePioneerTrek. The stage will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets
 Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek
 For more indepth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Stage 5 – 88km starting and finishing in Oudtshoorn Leading Results Men 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus/Topeak Ergon/Red-E 03:18:11 2. Peeter Pruus (EST) / Peeter Tarvis (EST) – KOMO/RMW 03:20:51 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 03:22:59 4. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 03:23:48 5. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 03:24:45Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 03:44:50 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 03:59:16 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 04:14:22 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 04:39:08 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 04:54:04 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 03:44:50 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo 03:48:57 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 04:02:02 4. Georg Schollerer (GER) / Kristina Schollerer (GER) – Schollerers 04:05:16 5. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 04:07:01 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 03:40:00 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 03:52:59 3. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 03:56:44 4. Andrew Donkin (RSA) / Mark Olivier (RSA) – The Invalids 04:06:09 5. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 04:08:48 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 03:53:07 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 04:13:57 3. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 04:17:43 4. Mike Thomson (RSA / Jan van der Berg (RSA) – Age is just a Number 04:42:46 5. Dirk Labuschagne (RSA) / David Johannes Fourie (RSA) – Clover RR 04:42:46 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 03:22:59 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 03:25:33 3. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 03:37:54 4. Marc Greyling (RSA) 03:51:36 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 03:48:57 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 04:08:51 2. Sabine Stampf (GER) 04:13:58 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 04:17:28 4. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 04:21:41 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 05:35:03 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification – After Stage 5 Leading Results Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 17:04:51 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 17:13:53 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 17:15:48 4. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappenbelt Specialized 17:18:02 5. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus 17:18:41 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 19:53:08 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 21:33:16 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 22:07:21 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 23:40:27 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 24:31:03 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 19:24:09 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 19:34:50 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 20:42:45 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 21:21:53 5. Luc Bellings (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 21:42:49 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 19:04:30 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 19:34:31 3. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 19:39:56 4. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 20:35:16 5. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 20:51:39 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 19:40:53 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 22:04:49 3. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 23:07:35 4. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 24:07:37 5. Daniel Evrard (BEL) / Joseph Kerkhofs (BEL) - tean joven 24:14:41 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 17:16:18 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 17:41:49 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 18:42:11 4. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 19:08:19 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 19:15:52 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 21:05:49 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 22:24:10 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 22:34:44 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 22:35:33 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 28:23:09
  21. South Africans Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers turned up the heat even further on Thursday to win Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race; as overall leaders, Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell, lost a chunk of their advantage when they endured mechanical problems. Click here to view the article
  22. Encounters with wildlife continued as the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race moved into the Karoo region during Stage 4 on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. Day 5 of the race took riders on a 94km leg from the lush green forests of George to the hot, dry Karoo region and the finish in Oudtshoorn. The mercury was in the high 30s, adding a further challenge to the riders who were also faced with unforgiving, rough terrain that saw numerous riders suffer tyre problems, including the leaders in three categories – Men, Women and Mixed. Kleinhans and Beers (Full Sus/Topeak Ergon/Red-E), clearly the strongest team in the race on Thursday, clocked a winning time of 03 hours 23 minutes 35 seconds. They were followed home 2:39 later by the Swiss/German pair of Konny Looser and Daniel Gathof, who out-dashed Team Spur’s James Reid and Julian Jessop for the runner-up spot. Competitors climbed over the Outeniqua Mountains via the iconic Montagu Pass during Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. Combrinck and Bell (NAD Pro) finished 7:16 down, leaving a noticeable dent in the 10-plus-minute lead they held at the start of the day. They still hold a relatively comfortable 8:05 gap over second-placed Looser and Gathof, with the Dutch pairing of Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized) at 10:39 back in third. After leading the race on Day 1, Kleinhans and Beers dropped well down on Day 2 due to Kleinhans suffering with illness. Kleinhans is clearly back to full health but they’re still too far down on time to be a threat to the overall podium. However, their aggression is certainly adding pressure to the other teams, which is making for an exciting contest at the sharp end and could still see a further shake up in the podium dice over the final two days. Encounters with wildlife continued as the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race moved into the Karoo region during Stage 4 on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za. “Two days ago the sealant in our tyres wasn’t doing its job and we had to stop and plug small holes. Today was a different story. The rough terrain through the Chandelier Reserve saw Gawie smack something, which resulted in a small cut. We repaired it, but it the tyre lost pressure and he damaged it again. We didn’t panic though. We have quite a decent buffer and didn’t overextend ourselves today. We still feel good for the last two days,” smiled Bell. “At about 60km, as we turned off the gravel road onto a rough farm road, Erik just laid down the hammer. I was a bit shocked. What is he doing? I thought. There’s more than 30km to go still!” explained Beers afterwards. Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race took competitors to Oudtshoorn via the semi-arid lands of the Karoo on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za “But I just had to go with him. It was a complete gamble, but it paid off. Erik’s racing experience and knowledge of this event put us at an advantage for sure. We didn’t know there was all that mechanical carnage happening behind us, so we just kept focussed on staying steady and holding everyone off. It was a bit upsetting that we lost so much time on Day 2, but that’s racing and now we are just making the most of what’s on offer,” concluded Beers. In the women’s race, Mariske Strauss and Cherie Redecker (OMX Pro) recorded their fifth stage win, but it required the repair – and subsequent replacement – of Strauss’s tyre to get them across the finish line. They still hold a significant lead over stage runners-up, Catherine Williamson and Leana de Jager (Klein Karoo Ladies). Despite some tyre trouble, Mariske Strauss was all smiles as she and Cherie Redecker won their fifth consecutive stage of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Mixed category race also had its share of drama when leaders Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling) had to deal with rope entangled in De Villiers’ rear derailleur. They lost around 10 minutes and conceded the stage win to arch-rivals, Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed). De Villiers and Ungerer still hold the overall lead, but it’s been trimmed to 6:34 over the Barnards, setting the stage for an exciting final two days. There was a close battle for the stage podium places in the Veteran men’s division, with Vickus Boschoff and Iniel Hattingh (Klein Karoo Ko Op) securing the win 1:19 ahead of Belgians Hans Planckaert and Wim Tollenaere (Der Fietser Rotwild Zaes). Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas Businessprint) were another 14 seconds back in third, but still hold the overall lead by 6:38 over Hattingh and Boschoff. South Africans Izak Visagie and Linus van Onselen (Anderson Masters) continued their complete dominance of the Master’s category, winning their fifth consecutive stage and extending their overall lead. The category leaders pose for the media prior to the start of Stage 4 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Thursday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za The Solo men’s race was a much tighter contest on Thursday, with Franco Pelser taking the stage win just 30 seconds ahead of overall leader, Jiri Krivanek (CZE), with Brandon Stewart 1:11 down in third. Nicky Giliomee maintained her firm grasp on the Solo women’s race, claiming another stage win and stretching her overall lead over Mariane Bergli. Friday’s Stage 5 is over 88km with 1700 metres of ascent. Riders will circumnavigate the Kammanassie Dam and tackle a section through a private game reserve before heading back to Oudtshoorn. While the weather will be slightly cooler the, terrain will be as unpredictable and unforgiving as that on Stage 4, so expect more drama. The stage will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets
 Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek
 Watch the live #PioneerSpirit show online on Friday 21 October at 18h15 CAT/17h15 CET on www.capepioneer.co.za.
 For more indepth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Stage 4 – 94km from George to Oudtshoorn Leading Results Men 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus 03:23:35 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 03:26:14 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 03:26:16 4. Bram Rood (NED) / Gerben Mos (NED) – KMC Fruit to Go 03:26:45 5. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 03:26:47Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 04:04:30 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 04:09:30 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 04:28:09 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 04:47:57 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 04:47:58 Mixed 1. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo 03:50:57 2. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 03:56:31 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 04:07:56 4. Georg Schollerer (GER) / Kristina Schollerer (GER) – Schollerers 04:12:01 5. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 02:53:18 Veterans 1. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 03:49:32 2. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 03:50:51 3. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 03:51:05 4. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 04:07:22 5. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 04:07:48 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 03:50:56 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 04:19:06 3. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 04:19:42 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 04:37:01 5. Dirk Labuschagne (RSA) / David Johannes Fourie (RSA) – Clover RR 04:47:39 Solo Men: 1. Franco Pelser (RSA) 03:26:17 2. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 03:26:47 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 03:27:28 4. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 03:49:32 5. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 03:54:29 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 04:04:31 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 04:23:41 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 04:29:16 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 04:38:31 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 05:50:33 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification – After Stage 4 Leading Results Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 13:41:03 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 13:49:08 3. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 13:51:42 4. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 13:52:49 5. Bram Rood (NED) / Gerben Mos (NED) – KMC Fruit to Go 13:55:33 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 16:08:18 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 17:34:00 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 17:52:59 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 19:01:19 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 19:36:59 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 15:39:19 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 15:45:53 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (FRA) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 16:40:43 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 17:14:52 5. Luc Bellings (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 17:28:01 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 15:24:30 2. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 15:31:08 3. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 15:41:32 4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 16:35:50 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 16:38:32 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 15:47:46 2. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 17:43:45 3. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 17:50:52 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 18:49:53 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 19:20:56 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 13:53:19 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 14:16:16 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 14:48:55 4. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 15:26:55 5. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 15:30:25 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 16:56:58 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 18:02:29 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 18:17:16 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 18:21:35 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 22:48:06
  23. Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers relished the forest singletrack and secured their second stage win of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Beers and Kleinhans (Full Suss/Topeak Ergon/Red-E) were the primary aggressors from the start of the relatively short 57km stagea, which started and finished at Van Kervel School, George. They crossed the finish line in a time of 02 hours 10 minutes 50 seconds, just one second ahead of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (Team NAD Pro), the overall leaders. There was another sprint for third place between Team Spur’s James Reid and Julian Jessop and CBC Elite’s Konny Looser and Daniel Gathof, with Reid and Jessop just grabbing the final podium spot. European marathon champion, Peeter Pruus (pictured) and his teammate, Peeter Tarvis, were severely hampered by tyre trouble, slipping from second to seventh overall on Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Tuesday’s stage winners, Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis (KOMO/RMW) had a nightmare of a stage with first a crash and then ongoing tyre trouble that saw them finish 13th, 26:28 down. This dropped them from second on the General Classification overnight, just 13 seconds off Yellow, to seventh, over 26 minutes back. The setback to the Estonian pair, winners of Stage 2, sees Combrinck and Bell now hold a comfortable lead of 12:41 over new second-place holders, Looser and Gathof, who are 2:02 up on Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized) with three days of racing remaining. “I was already feeling better yesterday after being so ill on Monday’s stage. Must have been a stomach bug. But Matt and I decided that we would attack and make the pace hard from the very start today,” explained Kleinhans. “Matt grew up on a farm near here and I come from George, so this was our only real shot at some home-town glory. We were both super motivated and really didn’t have anything to lose. A few teams hung on to us, but in the end, only Gawie and Nico were able to stick with us on what really was a great day. Nico Bell (pictured) and Gawie Combrinck finished second and improved their grip on the overall lead on Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za “There was quite a lot of singletrack, which we loved and the route was really scenic. The fact that it was relatively short also made for more intense racing, which increases the pressure too,” added Kleinhans, confirming that he and Beers would be more conservative on Thursday’s longer stage. Cherie Redecker and Mariske Strauss (OMX Pro) won another stage to grow their lead in the women’s category. But an exciting battle for second place ensued between Catherine Williamson and Leana de Jager (Klein Karoo Ladies) and Hannele Steyn and Katja Steenkamp (CWC Breakaway). Mariske Strauss (pictured) and teammate, Cherie Redecker, were all smiles after winning another stage and extending their overall lead on Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Williamson and De Jager eventually claimed the runner-up spot on the stage and moved into second place overall, on a day of reprieve after having struggled with tyre trouble on Stage 2. Steyn and Steenkamp, are just 20 seconds back in third in the overall, partly as a result of the withdrawal of Team Garmin’s Aurelie Halbwachs and Yolandi du Toit. Halbwachs struggled with illness on Stage 2 and was unable to continue. In the Mixed category, Yolande de Villiers and Neil Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling) secured another stage win, extending their overall lead to just over 12 minutes on main rivals, Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed). In the Veteran men’s division the two top teams were virtually inseparable on Wednesday. They finished with a sprint that saw Iniel Hattingh and Vickus Boschoff (Klein Karoo Ko Op) claim first place ahead of Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas Businessprint). However Venter and De Villiers maintain their eight minute lead in the overall race. The majority of the competitors sleep in tents in the race village at the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in South Africa. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Linus van Onselen and Izak Visagie (Anderson Masters) continued their dominance in the Master’s race on Wednesday, winning their fourth successive stage and increasing their lead to 1:27:13 over the Pitstop pair of Niccolo Violati and Roberto Gallo. The shorter stage saw smaller time gaps in the Solo men’s race, but Czech rider Jiri Krivanek maintained his superiority by winning the stage and adding more time to his overall lead over Franco Pelser, while in the Solo women’s race Nicky Giliomee extended her overall lead with another commanding stage win. The shorter stages ensure more intense racing and close finishes, including this group gallop at the end of Stage 3 of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Wednesday. Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za Thursday’s Stage 4 over 94km with 1650 metres of ascent sees the race move into the Karoo, a semi-desert region with unforgiving terrain and extreme heat. The riders will head from George to Oudtshoorn via the iconic Montagu Pass and Chandelier Game Reserve. The stage will start at 07h30 Central African Time/06h30 Central European Time. To stay up to date with the action: Follow @CapePioneerTrek on twitter for live tweets
 Check out the Facebook page for daily updates and photo galleries – Cape Pioneer Trek
 Watch online the live show #PioneerSpirit today and 21 October at 18h15 CAT/17h15 CET: www.capepioneer.co.za
 For more indepth route descriptions and other information on the 2016 race, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 Stage 3 – 57km around George Leading Results Men 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Matt Beers (RSA) – Full Sus 02:10:50 2. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 02:10:52 3. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 02:16:00 4. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 02:16:01 5. Erik Groen (NED) / Jeroen Boelen (NED) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 02:17:08Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 02:42:58 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (GBR) – Klein Karoo International 02:52:03 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 02:54:38 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 03:12:38 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Duoch Jag 03:16:58 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 02:34:54 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo 02:37:27 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 02:47:18 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 02:53:18 5. Bellings Luc (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 02:58:03 Veterans 1. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 02:34:00 2. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 02:34:01 3. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 02:38:51 4. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 02:46:17 5. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 02:46:53 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 02:37:53 2. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 02:55:44 3. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 02:57:46 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 03:10:18 5. Joseph Kerkhofs (BEL) / Daniel Evrard (BEL) – tean joven 03:10:23 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 02:18:00 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 02:20:05 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 02:24:34 4. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 02:30:41 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 02:34:02 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 02:49:34 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 02:59:30 3. Collette Bastard (RSA) 03:06:35 4. Sabine Stampf (GER) 03:11:32 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 03:41:47 Cape Pioneer Trek 2016 General Classification – After Stage 3 Leading Results Men 1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 10:10:12 2. Konny Looser (SUI) / Daniel Gathof (GER) – CBC Elite Pro 10:22:37 3. Erik Groen (Netherlands) / Jeroen Boelen (Netherlands) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 10:24:56 4. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 10:26:33 5. Bram Rood (Netherlands) / Gerben Mos (Netherlands) – KMC Fruit to Go 10:28:48 Women 1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 12:03:12 2. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (UK) – Klein Karoo International 13:24:30 3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 13:24:50 4. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 14:13:22 5. Susanna Lagerqvist (SWE) / Maria Runeteg (SWE) – Du och Jag 14:49:00 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 11:42:47 2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 11:54:56 3. Daniele Troesch (FRA) / Max Friedrich (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 12:32:47 4. Jens Schoenhofen (GER) / Gwenda Ruesing (GER) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 13:01:09 5. Luc Bellings (BEL) / Pokobova Vladislava (BEL) – gastro bikes 13:08:31 Veterans 1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 11:33:25 2. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 11:41:36 3. Hans Planckaert (BEL) / Wim Tollenaere (BEL) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 11:50:41 4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 12:28:02 5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale's Hire 12:31:10 Masters: 1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 11:56:50 2. Niccolò Violati (ITA) / Roberto Gallo (ITA) – Pitstop 13:24:03 3. Mark de Beule (NED) / Robbert De Moor (NED) - Cyclingteam Delta 13:31:46 4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 14:12:52 5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 14:30:39 Solo Men: 1. Jiri Krivanek (CZE) 10:26:32 2. Franco Pelser (RSA) 10:49:59 3. Brandon Stewart (RSA) 11:21:27 4. Andrew Cairns (RSA) 11:35:56 5. Bart de Boeck (BEL) 11:37:23 Solo Women: 1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 12:52:27 2. Marianne Bergli (NOR) 13:38:48 3. Sabine Stampf (GER) 13:43:04 4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 13:48:00 5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 16:57:33
  24. After winning on Sunday and then almost pulling out on Monday, Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers bounced back in spectacular fashion on Wednesday to win Stage 3 of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa, shaking up the overall title race in the process. Click here to view the article
  25. Late entrants Erik Kleinhans and Matt Beers were rewarded for their spontaneity when they won the opening stage of the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in Mossel Bay, South Africa on Sunday. Click here to view the article
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