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  1. The duo’s finishing power on the final ascent was too much for their rivals and, after dislodging them, they were able to cruise home in 2:40:07 after 67km of undulating racing. HB Kruger (left) leads BCX teammate Waylon Woolcock on a climb on stage one of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Shayne Minott. Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit of Ascendis-LCB, who clocked 2:41:36, was next to reach the finish at the Zuurberg Mountain Village with Marco Joubert and Andrew Hill of TIB Insurance-Momsen third in 2:42:02. Woolcock, who won the three-day Winelands Encounter in the Western Cape alongside the 26-year-old Kruger last month, said the race was far from finished. “The lead we have means very little in mountain biking terms and we will go into tomorrow knowing that we have to be cautious while also trying to maintain the pressure on our rivals,” said the 34-year-old from Stellenbosch. He said all the favourites were together as they hit the first major descent and their sole focus was on making sure they didn’t have any mechanicals. “We went into the first single-track and all the cross-country boys were very excited, but all I could think of was safety first – look after your tyres, look after your bike and yourself,” he said. “Arno and Gert went screaming down the single-track and had gapped us quite a bit, but when we came around a corner, we saw that Arno had a puncture.” The two teams joined forces as they headed towards the day’s first major test. “On the climb just before the waterpoint, about 20km in, we saw Arno was taking a bit of strain, so we gapped them quite a bit,” explained Woolcock. “But we knew it was too early to ride alone from there as there are a lot of flat sections before the final climb.” After the waterpoint, two teams – Hill and Joubert and Chris Wolhuter and Craig Boyes of Imbuko Wines – rode up to the leaders and Woolcock said the workload was shared evenly at that point. “There was nothing tricky or technical as it was jeep track and mostly open district roads, but we knew the last climb was going to be decisive.” As soon as they started to climb Zuurberg Pass that linked the valley at the bottom with the hotel at the top, Kruger went clear at the front while Imbuko Wines started to falter at the back. Mixed team Neill Ungerer (left) and Yolande de Villiers of Dryland-Ultimate Cycling en route to winning stage one of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Full Stop Communications. “HB had a gap of a few hundred metres and when I could see that Arno couldn’t respond, I attacked him and rode across,” said Woolcock. “Once I got there, HB kept up the tempo to give me a bit of breather and we then worked together to keep the gap until the finish.” Woolcock said the nature of the course on the opening day played to their strengths as they were both good climbers. “I might have the edge on the climbs, but HB is able to keep a higher tempo on the flats and rolling climbs.” Woolcock said being in front was the best possible scenario. “It’s always better to lead than to chase. I wouldn’t say it takes the pressure off, but it does mean we don’t have to force it. “Tomorrow we will work to look after the bike because it’s better to lose a few seconds in a technical section than to try to close the gap after having a puncture. “So it’s always a bit of a relief to have that buffer.” Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers of Dryland-Ultimate Cycling, who won the GR300 last month, finished in 3:02:26 to lead the mixed section. Women’s team Annie Davids (left) and Siska van der Bijl of GZT-Ladies win the first stage of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Shayne Minott. Andrea and Steven Shirley of On Your Bike finished second in 3:25:46 with Roan Rossouw and Heather Slabbert of Totally Stoked third in 3:48:48. Siska van der Bijl and Annie Davids of GZT-Ladies were the first women home in 3:45:44. Riders will tackle the queen stage over 78km with 1 750m of climbing on Saturday.
  2. Trans Baviaans first timer Lourens Luus teamed up with old hand Billy Stelling to successful effect as the PowerBar 1 pairing rode to Trans Baviaans victory on Saturday 13 August. The race was the first of two weekends of Trans Baviaans action and joining Luus and Stelling on the top step of the podium were; Yolandi de Villiers, Johan Labuschagne and Neill Ungerer, of Ultimate Cycling TBC, in the mixed category and Theresa Ralph and Amy McDougall, of Galileo Risk Valencia in the women’s category. Click here to view the article
  3. Hanco Kachelhoffer, of Altech-Autopage, leading the Trans Baviaans peloton into the Baviaanskloof. Photo by Seamus Allardice. The 230km race started at 10:00 in Willowmore on Saturday morning. A steady early pace was set by in large by the ASG Best-Med teams, with Labuschagne and Ungerer also doing turns on the front. The expected tail wind failed to materialise and instead a slight head wind kept the lead bunch together until around the 80km mark when the jockeying for positions heading into Check Point 2, at 104km, started. At Check Point 2 the experience started to show for teams like Ultimate Cycling TDC as they tended to navigate the potentially confusing check point zones; where riders had to check in, fill bottles, stock up on nutrition, collect essentials for the next leg from their check point boxes and check out again in good time. Stelling and Luus had clearly planned their check point strategy too and managed to minimize their time off the road. The leading mixed team of Johan Labuschagne, Yolandi de Villiers and Neill Ungerer, of Ultimate Cycling TBC, heading up The MAC. Photo by Seamus Allardice. Heading into the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve the race started to splinter as first the Frangs and then The Mother of All Climbs (The MAC) took their toll. Up front Stelling and Luus were joined by the Altech-Autopage duo of Pieter Seyffert and Hanco Kachelhoffer. Behind them on the road the leading mixed team of de Villiers, Labuschagne and Ungerer were riding with the third placed men’s team of Steven Shirley and Juan-Pierre Minnie riding as team On Your Bike. A little further back the race for second in the mixed category was hotting up as the RMB Change A Life duo of Martin Dreyer and Jeannie Bomford had caught the Merrell Mixed trio of Craig Boyes, Timo Cooper and Nicky Gillomee. Amy McDougall leading her Galileo Risk Valencia teammate, Theresa Ralph, into the Baviaanskloof. Photo by Seamus Allardice. Stelling appeared to be struggling up The MAC, so Seyffert and Kachelhoffer attacked in the final phases of the climb to claim the PowerBar King of the Mountain prize. However, once over the climb the four leaders all missed the Bergplaas check point at the crest of the climb and had to track back, nullifying the 20 second gap the Altech-Autopage guys had garnered. The first woman to crest The MAC climb and claim the PowerBar Queen of the Mountain was the high flying de Villiers. Amy McDougall of Galileo Risk Valencia stops to fill up her bottles at a Trans Baviaans river crossing. Photo by Seamus Allardice. Descending the Big Dipper Seyffert and Kachelhoffer again pulled a lead on Stelling and Luus, but Luus dug deep when they reached the kloof below to re-join the leaders. For the next 50km Luus sat at the front of the lead group setting a steady pace, while Stelling recovered on the back of the group. Heading up the Never Ender climb the race for outright victory appeared to enter a stale mate. Where Team Spirit Gets A Whole New Meaning is the new tag line for the Trans Baviaans and that spirit was epitomise by the Merrell Mixed team of Nicky Gillomee, Craig Boyes and Timo Cooper. Photo by Seamus Allardice. The Trans Baviaans is famed for its need for strong teamwork and in the final reckoning it was teamwork that settled the two closest battles. In the mixed category race for second the advantage of having three riders in a team allowed the Merrell Mixed trio to reel in the RMB Change A Life duo. Gillomee took turns hanging on Cooper and then Boyes’ pockets as they powered up the Never Ender passing Dreyer and Bomford. In the men’s race the decisive move came at the self-service Check Point 6. Stelling passed the check point tag to Luus in the approach to the check point and while the stronger Luus stopped to tag the PowerBar 1 team in Stelling continued up the road. The Altech-Autopage team stopped together, but when Luus accelerated away from the check point to catch Stelling they were unable to hold his wheel. Despite having nearly 40km to race Stelling and Luus managed to hang on; eventually even extending their lead when Seyffert and Kachelhoffer eased off the pace in the closing kilometres once it became clear the pursuit was futile. Lourens Luus leanding his partner, Billy Stelling, a pocket to help him up The MAC. Photo by Seamus Allardice. In the mixed category the Ultimate Cycling RDC team of de Villiers, Labuschagne and Ungerer crossed the finish line, at the Fountains Mall, hot on the heels of team On Your Bike, the third men’s team made up by Shirley and Minnie who they’d ridden with for most of the day. The trio’s victory was their fourth in the Trans Baviaans mixed category. Behind them Boyes, Cooper and Gillomee, of Merrell Mixed, finished strongly to claim second while the RMB Change a Life duo of Martin Dreyer and Jeannie Bomford were third. Lourens Luus of PowerBar 1 leads his teammate, Billy Stelling, and the Altech-Autopage duo of Pieter Seyffert and Hanco Kachelhoffer up The Mac. Photo by Seamus Allardice. The women’s category race failed to ignite into a racing spectacle when an early mechanical for Hanlie Booyens dropped her and her Tiletoria Ladies teammates, Fienie Barnard and Esther Lategan off the pace of eventual winners Ralph and McDougall. Riding on tired legs, following her recent Iron Bike stage race exploits in Italy, McDougall was not happy with the time she and Ralph managed. The very competitive pair would have liked to have challenged the mixed teams more closely, but it wasn’t too be so their attention shifted to enjoying the route and there surely could not have been a team who finished the first event of the 2016 Trans Baviaans with bigger smiles than the Galileo Risk Valencia duo. Closing out the women’s podium was the Ander Fairies duo of Franci Joubert and Lolita van Aardt. The race-winning move was made at Check Point 6 where Pieter Seyffert waited for his Altech-Autopage teammate Hanco Kachelhoffer to complete the check-in process, alongside Lourens Luus, while Billy Stelling raced ahead. Photo by Seamus Allardice. With the first of the two Trans Baviaans events wrapped-up the attention now shifts to the second event, which takes place on the 20th and 21st of August. Along with the other prizes the victors of the second Trans Baviaans event win entries to the first event in 2017 to ensure that the strongest possible field attend the first event each year. To stay updated on all the action from the second Trans Baviaans event follow @EcoBoundMTB on Twitter, @transbaviaans on Instagram, and like the Trans Baviaans Facebook page. For more information and all the results from the first 2016 Trans Baviaans visit www.transbaviaans.co.za. Selected Results: 2016 Trans Baviaans | Race 1 Men: 1. Lourens & Billy Stelling (PowerBar 1) 08:40:52 2. Pieter Seyffert & Hanco Kachelhoffer (Altech-Autopage) 08:49:06 3. Steven Shirley & Juan-Pierre Minnie riding (On Your Bike) 08:553:59Mixed: 1. Yolandi de Villiers, Johan Labuschagne & Neill Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling TDC) 08:54:07 2. Craig Boyes, Timo Cooper & Nicky Gillomee (Merrell Mixed) 09:11:04 3. Martin Dreyer & Jeannie Bomford (RMB Change A Life) 09:19:27 Women: 1. Theresa Ralph & Amy McDougall (Galileo Risk Valencia) 09:54:26 2. Hanlie Booyens, Fienie Barnard & Esther Lategan(Tiletoria Ladies) 10:46:09 3. Franci Joubert & Lolita van Aardt (Ander Fairies) 11:00:43 Keeping your feet dry for the 150km and long hours ahead is a good idea when crossing the many rivers of the Baviaanskloof. Credit: www.jacquesmarais.co.za / Pentax. Friendly Baviaanskloof locals going about their daily lives as the Trans Baviaans rolls by. Credit: www.jacquesmarais.co.za / Pentax. The MAC – A.K.A. The Mother of all climbs, snaking from the valley floor up into the clouds. Credit: www.jacquesmarais.co.za / Pentax. Riding into the night is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. It’s one of the features which keep riders returning to the Trans Baviaans. Credit: www.jacquesmarais.co.za / Pentax. Rolling under the Spur arch at the Fountains Mall in Jeffrey’s Bay to complete the Trans Baviaans with teammates by your side is one of the unique highs of mountain biking. Credit: www.jacquesmarais.co.za / Pentax.
  4. The three day Glacier Storms River Traverse wrapped up with a final beautifully scenic stage through the Tsitsikamma Forest on Monday the 8th of August. The race victory was secured by Etnard Louw and Hanco Kachelhoffer of Team NFB Altech Autopage but their elation was shared by every rider in the field. Click here to view the article
  5. Anthony Fogel cranks up a forest climb during Stage 3 of the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Photo by: Oakpics.com. Riders were treated to clear skies throughout the third and final stage, which didn’t seem likely during Sunday night when the heavens opened for a typical Storms River downpour. Fortunately the rain blew over and although the Stage 3 route was the wettest of the race it didn’t damped anyone’s spirits. The race leaders, including Hanco Kachelhoffer and Etnard Louw, crossing the Storms River. Photo by Oakpics.com. Louw and Kachelhoffer rode to an assured stage victory to claim the general classification victory, despite Louw crashing spectacularly on a muddy descent. The leading mixed team remained Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer, who capped a fine weekend – during which they proved to be the most festive of the riders competing for overall victory – with another stage victory. The women’s team category saw Wendy Brand and Tania Hanekom claim stage and general classification victory after the Cape Brewing Co women dropped out of contention. Wynand Louw navigates a tricky descent during the final stage of the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Photo by: Oakpics.com. The muddy trails meant that the water point support crew had to work overtime cleaning drivetrains as the riders enjoyed the treats on offer at the water point tables. The highlights of the Stage 3 route were the long indigenous forest sections, where the sunlight filtered through the leaves and Knysna louries called from the canopy. Though the riding was by no means tough, the average pace dropped for the final stage as the riders seemed to be soaking up every last moment at the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Mixed category winners Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers lead the field through the indegenious forests of the Tsitsikamma. Photo by Oakpics.com. As the riders crossed the finish line and enjoyed a final scrumptious lunch the conversation around the lunch tables soon turned to the 2017 Glacier Storms River Traverse. And though entries aren’t open yet many an accommodation booking was made for next year’s race. For riders who enjoy the socialising after each stage as much as they do the actual riding the Glacier Storms River Traverse truly is a must do event. Warren Medina e Vasconcelos and Attie Jacobs celebrate completing the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Photo by: Oakpics.com. 2016 Glacier Storms River Traverse | Selected Results Men’s Teams: 1. Etnard Louw and Hanco Kachelhoffer 2. Cwynton and Richard Collett 3. Carl Rohwer and Juan SlabbertMixed Team: 1. Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer 2. Liza and Michael Kingston 3. Ross and Victoria Reuvers Women’s Teams: 1. Wendy Brand and Tania Hanekom 2. Vanessa Irvine-Fortescue and Tanya Gazet 3. Jade de Hutton and Kathy Crabbe
  6. A rider winds his way along a scenic MTO Forestry road during Stage 2 of the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Photo by: Oakpics.com. At the sharp end of the race, Etnard Louw and Hanco Kachelhoffer of Team NFB Altech Autopage added a second stage victory to the one they claimed on Stage 1. Crossing the line in second position overall and in first in the mixed teams’ category were Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer, while the Cape Brewing Co combination of Anja van Zyl and Gemma Grobbelaar won the stage in the women’s category. Bernhard Scmidt ploughs through a puddle during day two of the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Photo by Oakpics.com. For the less competitively inclined riders the route provided amazing views around every twist and turn in the trail. With the Glacier Storms River Traverse route being made up by-in-large of jeep tracks and plantation roads it’s a deliberately non-technical ride. Dryland Event Management have kept the stage distances short and with the absence of technical challenges and a competitive racing vibe riders can take in the scenery. The tour style atmosphere allows riders to keep their heads up and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings, rather than being on the rivet and staring at their stems or focusing intensely on the trails as they white knuckle their way through technical terrain. With the Tsitsikamma Mountains in the background a group of riders roll through a young plantation. Photo by: Oakpics.com. The stage started with a trip through the Storms River Village before descending under the N2 and climbing into a picturesque indigenous forest. Crossing back under the N2 and heading for the coast riders made their way to the Storms River Pass. The steep switchbacks of the tar road descent were taken with more trepidation than one might expect. But given the number of Glacier Storms River Traverse riders who had watched Vincenzo Nibali’s dramatic Olympic road race crash the evening before, maybe it wasn’t that surprising. Theo Oosthuizen powers up the tough climb from the Storms River Mouth to the cliff-top above. Photo by Oakpics.com. For every descent there has to be a climb however and Stage 2 of the Glacier Storms River Traverse featured a dusi. Rising from sea level, at the Storms River Mouth, to the cliff-tops 200 odd meters above in just over one kilometre the cement paved climb featured sections of 22% gradient. Many riders trudged up the climb, knowing a water point awaited like an oasis at the top. More rode sections – rested briefly and rode on again – and others simply powered up the climb with the aroma of ostrich steaks and burgers on the braai, at the cliff-top water point, providing nearly as much motivation as the bragging rights that clearing the climb earned. Monday’s Stage 3 will be the last chance for riders to soak up the scenery, indulge at the Dryland Water Points and revel in the relaxed atmosphere of the Glacier Storms River Traverse. The final stage features a 50.7km route which takes in 830m of climbing. Johan and Ronelle Engelbrecht celebrate at the finish of day two of the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Photo by: Oakpics.com. To view more photos from the 2016 Glacier Storms River Traverse like the Facebook page;Storms River Traverse or follow @SRTraverse on Twitter or followdrylandeventmanagement on Instagram. For all the results click here and to find out more about the Glacier Storms River Traverse visit www.stormsrivertraverse.co.za.
  7. The second stage of the Glacier Storms River Traverse took place on the forestry roads around the Eastern Cape village of Storms River on Sunday the 7th of August. The 43.2km stage featured a notoriously tough climb and lots of scenic riding. Click here to view the article
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