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  1. At 03:00 on Sunday morning, an emergency consultation was held with the Venue Operations Centre (VOC) Safety Officer, the title sponsor of the race, Medihelp Medical Aid, PPA Management and the Risk Assessment and Event Managers from ER24. The various assessment teams were sent out to evaluate the conditions and communicated visuals to the VOC of extremely unsafe conditions along the route, upon which the decision was made to cancel the race. “It is truly disappointing that we were forced to cancel the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour due to these extreme weather conditions. Being one of our flagship events, a lot of time and effort has gone into the preparation of this event. The PPA, however, places the safety of cyclists first and foremost,” said Rens Rezelman, Chairman of the PPA. Newly appointed Principal Officer of Medihelp Medical Aid, Ettie da Silva, said that Medihelp donated the food which had been prepared for the day to The Haven Kensington charity. “We would like to thank everyone for entering the race as well as all our suppliers, sponsors and partners for being so understanding on the day,” Rezelman concluded.
  2. Photo credit: Sam Clark. Helshoogte is the biggest climb on the 102km circular route and comes well after halfway, rather than at the start of the race. This will necessitate a slightly different riding strategy. We quizzed a few locals on how they would attack it. “It is crucial to eat and drink enough in the first 65kms,” advises marathon-distance specialist Ariane Lüthi, a long-time Stellenbosch resident who does much of her training on the climb. She suggests cyclists start fueling after about an hour. “At the latest,” she says, “not after two hours, which is what a lot of people do because that’s when they start feeling hungry. Then it is usually too late.” Photo credit: Sam Clark. As predominantly a mountain biker, she is also all-too aware of the benefits a rider can get from riding cleverly in a bunch. “Ride smart and draft as much as you can – while taking your turn at the front of course – to conserve as much energy as possible.” Men’s elite racer Max Sullivan, who also trains on the pass almost daily with his team, Mad Macs presented by Häzz, echoed Lüthi’s sentiments. “Ride smart and then be ready for the climb,” he says. According to Sullivan, whether a climb is at the start or the end of a race, it always helps knowing how long they are, both in distance and in time. “Strava has the pass set as a category three climb, although a European mountain goat would refer to it as a speed bump,” he jokes adding that the official Strava segment is 4.6km long at an average gradient of 5%, with the first 500m or so are at around 10%, whilst the rest of the climb meanders between a gentle 1 and 5 percent. “Gert Heyns, the South African XCM champ, has the fastest time at just under nine-and-a-half minutes, whilst the elite bunch is likely to go just over 10 minutes on a good day. Most riders will spend anywhere between 14 and 25 minutes getting up the climb,” he says. Photo credit: Sam Clark. Sullivan advises riding the first steep section as steady as possible. “Keep a rhythm spinning through the pedals as the gradient is very consistent. Find that rhythm that you can hold for the first five minutes or so and stick to it, the rest of the climb will be a breeze once you've crested the first rise,” he says. “From there on you can shift up into the big ring or down on the cassette, for the racing bunch this is where the speed picks up and the fun starts. There are a couple little ramps around some of the corners, so I suggest building up speed on the flatter sections and carry momentum whilst shifting up the gears as you hit the kickers.” Photo credit: Sam Clark. Upon cresting Helshoogte, cyclist will be treated to a spectacular view of the Winelands and the Franschhoek Valley, followed by the pedal-free descent into Pniel, which will allow some recovery before tackling the last, fast 30kms to the finish. “For the elite racers, the new route will change the game somewhat, with more fatigue and tactics at play, there's no telling how the race will unfold,” Sullivan says of the sharp end. “Personally, I expect fireworks and explosions on the climb, with a small group going clear to the line, it is close enough to the finish to have a crack and really give it some. The new venue, route and event date is a change for the good, I'm looking forward to lining up on the start line on Sunday and kicking 2019 off with a race to remember,” he says.
  3. Event Date Sunday, 3 December 2017 Please note that there will be NO late entries or registration available on Race Day. Number Collection Info Thursday, 30 November 2017 - Southern Suburbs The Oaks Room, Sahara Park, Newlands 11:00 – 19:00 Friday, 1 December 2017 - Northern Suburbs Chris Willemse Cycles, Willowbridge 11:00 – 19:00 Saturday, 2 December 2017 - Stellenbosch Stellenbosch High School, Stellenbosch 09:00 – 13:00
  4. As the race tore onto Helshoogte, the first of the days Hell’s was unleashed on some of the riders’ legs. Others, like Will.I.Am who had started at the back of the group, enjoyed the challenge on the climb. We think he started at the back just to pick up 4th overall on the Helshoogte Strava segment. The group split into five groups on the climb with the 5th group not seeing the front of the race for the remainder of the event. By the time the peloton rolled onto the R45 it was only the 4th group on the road that had not made contact. In this group, the Stevens brothers along with the chaps from Aurecon handed out some pace lining 101 spark notes to some of the riders and by the time they passed Val de Vie they had made it back to the Peloton. This is also when the race winning move by Giant broke away from the Peloton and were not seen again. Photo credit: Full Gas Racing. The pace in the peloton remained constant all the way to Wellington when it started to get strung up on the drag to into the town. This intensified on the run up to Windmeul with the snake behind the lead riders becoming longer and thinner. This is when a split formed as a group of 20 riders forged over the top of Windmeul. An Alpha bodyworks rider suffered some terrible luck having a puncture at the four way stop in Wellington. This then led to that team having to lead the chase for those up ahead. After 5km of hammering on the front, the chase lost impetus and let the individuals take on the work at the front. When the second of the day’s hell did arrived, the rain, which weather forecaster Kevin said would not arrive did arrive, it did so with vengeance. This allowed the cyclists of Cape Town who froth about the awesomeness of the spring classics to experience a modicum of the weather first hand. As the peloton crested the last roller Will made a final dig and went off the front again into the darkness, only to be reeled in 3km later by the rolling cloud of mist with some bikes in it. As we passed the line of cones coming into Stellenbosch one of the We Do What We Want riders decided to tail whip one of the traffic cones, luckily coming off just a little paler! The last corner onto Helshoogte road is interesting in the dry and when wet it seemed to turn into an ice rink. As soon as the peloton hit the ice rink a hand full of riders ended up on the deck with bikes and water bottles littering the corner. Luckily the Savages managed to avoid the carnage and with Waldo driving the pace, set off on the front over the top of the final ramp. Having the group up the road did not stop people deploying their Cavendish sprint skills, this inevitably led to a few more bodies on the deck. The remainder of the group crossed the line safely although drenched to the bone four minutes behind the winner. However, the drama did not end at the line though as someone stopped to high five a little too early and caused the final accident for the morning. Well done to Rohan du Ploy for the win in tough conditions and Liezel Jordaan taking the win in the ladies event. Congrats to everyone that toughed it out and finished the event on Sunday and to those that hit the deck, we hope you heal up fast and have hassle free dealings with your insurance companies.
  5. With the Coronation Double Century done and dusted it is that time of the year again when you roll the dice and see what you have left in the legs for the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. On collecting our race packs we were given a lucky packet full of arts and crafts with two shirt numbers, a start card, chip boards, and number boards. Having learnt from previous editions of the race, we made sure to get a good position in the start chute to make sure we were not out the back before the start of the climb. Click here to view the article
  6. Liezel Jordaan (Route 62 Cycles) claimed the victory in the women’s race in a time of 02:31:35. Second and third were Katie Lennard (02:31:36) and Lucy James (02:31:38) respectively. Du Plooy said the pace was fast right from the beginning with attacks taking place throughout the race. There was a break away at Val de Vie and with the help of his team mates Du Plooy was able to successfully drive to the finish. Jordaan explained that the women’s race was a bit different with the women sticking in a bunch for most of the race and a sprint to the finish taking place right near the end. Over five thousand cyclists lined up on a wet Sunday morning in Stellenbosch to take part in the second biggest road race in the Western Cape and the final premier seeding event for the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour. Director of Marketing, Media and Sponsorship for the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, organisers of the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, David Bellairs said, “Despite the weather conditions prevailing on the day, a large number cyclists turned out for the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. Our thanks goes out to the intrepid cyclists who braved the rain to participate in the 2017 edition. To our sponsors, Medihelp, on behalf of the cyclists and organisers thank you for a great event.” Heyn van Rooyen, Medihelp Medical Scheme’s Principal Officer says, “It’s a privilege for the Scheme to be associated with a challenging race and meeting of like-minded health conscious participants who share Medihelp’s passion for a healthy lifestyle.” 97km Race ResultsElite Men 1st: Rohan Du Plooy (Team Giant) (02:16:14) Elite Men 2nd: Craig Boyes (Specialized) (02:16:38) Elite Men 3rd: Dan Craven (Namibia) (02:17:01) Elite Ladies 1st: Liezel Jordaan (Route 62 Cycles) (02:31:35) Elite Ladies 2nd: Katie Lennard (The Gear Change) (02:31:36) Elite Ladies 3rd: Lucy James (02:31:38) Get the full results on Racetec here.
  7. The Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour is an ideal course for novice cyclists. It offers a great opportunity to gain experience riding in a bunch and climbing hills, while also providing pro riders with a challenging course including 1 285 metres of ascent. No wonder it’s the Western Cape’s second-largest road cycling event! Heyn van Rooyen, Principal Officer of Medihelp, says that Medihelp is proud to be associated with this popular event. “What makes the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour ideal is the fact that it caters for novice and experienced cyclists alike, giving everybody the opportunity to improve on their personal best performance.” says van Rooyen. Adding to the excitement, those who enter before 6 November stand a chance to win a Bianchi bicycle valued at R40 000! The 2017 Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour will take place on Sunday, 3 December, starting and finishing at Stellenbosch High School. “The 97 km route climbs the New Helshoogte Pass shortly after the start, and once over the top, you’re rolling fast through spectacular scenery,” said David Bellairs, a director of event organisers, the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust. “It really is a great tour and whether you’re experienced or a novice rider, this is an excellent goal to fire up your training schedule for next year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour in March.” Entries cost R330 for PPA members and R350 for non-PPA members. To follow developments regarding the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, visit the website at www.stellenboschcycletour.co.za, the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stellenboschcycletour or follow them on Twitter at @StellenboschCT.
  8. The Stellenbosch Cycle Tour is traditionally the last race on the calendar (in the Western Cape of course) and has always been a personal favourite for Pure Savage. As such we’ve always had a pretty solid presence in the peleton and this year wasn’t any different with 5 of us lining up in Elite $, 3 in % while Klyde brought up the rear in 1A. With the summer sun breaching the horizon from as early as 5:15am the start gun went off at 6:01am signaling an early leg-tester up the 5km Helshoogte climb. Click here to view the article
  9. View from the very back of the #bunch. The pace was pretty stiff compared to previous editions and soon the bunch splintered. As usual Brendon and Calvin were late. We’ve got a sneaking suspicion Calvin was keener on embracing the comfort of his bed (and fetal position) but sanity prevailed – sort of... This tardiness meant they had no choice but to start at the back which put them at a disadvantage because by the time they reached the foot of Hels the majority of the bunch were already 300m up the climb. Start of Hells. Photo credit: Jon Clark. It was hard work just hanging onto the tail of the peleton but after cresting the summit Aaron and Kevin managed to rejoin the safety of the group with Will mixing it up at the front with the climbers. The usual descent through Pniel was fast and furious and once the peleton turned right and sailed past L’Omarins, Brendon and Calvin realised their fate was sealed and futile chase back resulted in dead wheels and unwilling contributors. They had no choice but to wait for % train to collect them. However, unlike the fast-paced action taking place in the among the Dollars things were more sedate for Percenters – see, the racing ladies were fighting it out in the same bunch and nobody seemed keen to work on the front. In fact things got so relaxed 1A eventually caught them. This meant Klyde was somewhere in the bunch. In this past this would be a bad omen as if you saw Klyde you weren’t riding fast enough but this is a very different Cannonball to one we’ve come to love. A much more thinned out #group. Photo credit: Jon Clark Klyde is riding like a beast at the moment and took it upon himself to Cannonball off the front on the group at regular intervals, laying down his high-revving wattage in his typical quasimodo-like riding style replete with Chesire cat grin. Why the grin again? Well, all Klyde had to do was to finish in the bunch to beat the entire % complement – including the likes of Carl, Brendon, Jon, Calvin and Waldo, quality scalps the lot of them. Back in the Dollar group things were hotting up as Team Giant and Alfa Body Works launched attacks – even UCT put in a few efforts off the front. That said every attack was reeled in owing to the unrelenting pace of the chasing peleton. The minimal presence by Savage this year meant Kevin and Aaron could only watch from the bunch while Wiley Will had other ideas…The constant surging and high speed was proving rather uncomfortable for the plethora of wheel suckers and soon the main bunch was whittled down from 160 starters to around 100 riders. Then came the crashes or human skittles, as we like to call it. Even Will got taken down in one of these stupid falls, breaking his shoe and scraping his cheek, arm and hip in the process. While the others involved were left to struggle in the that space between groups we like to call the purgatory, Will time-trialed his way back to the bunch. Soon the pace slowed to a rather docile 30kph – a harbinger of an imminent attack. There were many but none got away. 3 Regroups. Photo credit: Jon Clark. The race only really started once the R301 reached the R44, at which point the bunch became edgy and nervous with panic breaking the order of the moment. One of the riders (dressed in red) even took it upon himself to relieve his bladder while sitting in the peleton – this isn’t Europe young man and we’re not World Tour Pros so stop next time instead of endangering the other riders in the bunch. Twat. Last year (in fact every year) the R44 and its famous crosswinds wreak havoc with the riders. The section coming into Stellies is an interesting stretch as the rolling topography really kills the legs – it should in fact be renamed lactic lane. Many felt cramps and the soaring temperatures did little to thwart that terrible sensation of tight and twitching muscles pin-balling under the skin like rabid squirrels. All you can do is push through the pain and discomfort or risk getting dropped. Again, the sound of freshly mashed carbon and flesh punctuated the final kilometres to the Helshoogte finish line kicker. I lost count of how many riders went down but in times like these – especially in the racing bunch – you’re just thankful it’s not you mangled on the floor. Final hammer to Stellies. Photo credit: Jon Clark. As the headwind picked up in knots the bunch began in string-out in single final, weaving and slithering like a snake on scorched desert sand. It really is a spectacle. There were dead wheels aplenty here and the last of the stragglers and suckers were shot out the rectum of the Dollar group like skunk juice before they even knew it. With 5km to go the formations started among the competing teams and pacelines were running up the flanks for the best possible lead-out train for the left-hander up to the finish. With only Will and Aaron in the bunch at this point (Kevin was spat out back) it was a case of every man for himself and soon, Will disappeared up the road with the hope of securing a top ten placing. But it wasn’t to be. The bunch was just too big. Even Team Giant struggled to give their sprinter and eventual winner, Bernard Esterhuizen, a proper lead-out. In the end the first 70 riders across the line registered times of 2h21m (with variations in seconds of course). All Savages that crossed the line under 2:31:27 The rest of the team came in 10 minutes later. Klyde was the fourth fastest Savage after Kevin who finished 2min behind Will. I. Am and Bottle. Overall it was a pretty decent day out for Savage. The decent showing across the board will undoubtedly help the seeding indexes and, who knows, we may have 10 Savages starting in A at the next race. Re-hydrating and race reports For a second race in a row Klyde managed to secure the Savage of the moment award. If he’s fine run of form continues, he may be able to secure that elusive sub-3 Argus but, with Christmas lunch juts a few weeks away, that goal might be wishful thinking. Until next year – be safe, ride hard and hammer!
  10. Event Name: Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour When: 4 December 2016 Where: Stellenbosch High School Category: Road I see this one doesn't have it's own thread yet...
  11. Team Giant’s Bernard Esterhuizen took the win at the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour this morning in idyllic racing conditions, finishing the 97km route in 02:21:11, pipping Brandon Christians (Alpha Body Works) and Graeme Ockhuis (Yorkshire) to the post, who finished in second and third respectively. Click here to view the article
  12. Bernard Esterhuizen and Anriëtte Schoeman. Photo credit: Sam Clark. Defending Champ, Anriëtte Schoeman (Team Africa Silks Bestmed) claimed the victory in the ladies race in a time of 02:32:15. Second and third were Celeste Renaud (UCT Private Client Holdings) and Carmen Buchacher (Velocity Sports Lab) respectively. 2012 Olympian on the track and 2010 Junior World Track Champ, Esterhuizen said the goal was always to come and win with a full lead out, but the final few kilometres didn’t exactly go according to plan. “My teammates did a great job of getting me to the front but then in the final run-in I lost them, and had to fend for myself, so with 200 metres to go I started my sprint and was very happy to take the win.” It was Schoeman’s third win at this event and she was suitably thrilled with her victory. “It was a great race in perfect conditions. It’s always stressful when you know it’s going to be a bunch sprint but I managed to stay out of trouble and pull it off, so I was really happy!” As the final premier seeding event for the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour, over five thousand cyclists lined up to participate in the second biggest road race in the Western Cape. Anriëtte Schoeman. Photo credit: Sam Clark. The organisers of the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour are excited to have Medihelp Medical Scheme as the new Naming Rights sponsor for this popular event. Medihelp Medical Scheme is one of the top open medical schemes in South Africa, covering more than 198 000 lives. Director of Marketing, Media and Sponsorship for the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, organisers of the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, David Bellairs, believes there is great synergy between the philosophies of Medihelp and the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. “They constantly measure their clients’ experiences and use the results of those measurements to get better insight into how to better meet expectations,” he said. “We at the CTCTT are constantly striving to improve our events, based on rider feedback.” Heyn van Rooyen, Medihelp Medical Scheme’s Principal Officer says, “It’s a privilege to be associated with an event like this that promotes a healthy lifestyle, and we’re very happy to continue our support for the 2017 event, so we look forward to seeing all cyclists back here next year!” 97km Race ResultsElite Men 1st: Bernard Esterhuizen (Team Giant) (02:21:11) Elite Men 2nd: Brandon Christians (Alpha Body Works) (02:21:11) Elite Men 3rd: Graeme Ockhuis (Yorkshire) (02:21:11) Elite Ladies 1st: Anriëtte Schoeman (Team Africa Skills Bestmed) (02:32:15) Elite Ladies 2nd: Celeste Renaud (UCT Private Client Holdings) (02:32:15) Elite Ladies 3rd: Carmen Buchacher (Team Velocity Sports Lab) (02:32:15)
  13. “We’re delighted to welcome Medihelp to the fold, effective immediately,” Bellairs said. Medihelp is one of the top open medical schemes in South Africa, covering more than 198 000 lives, and Bellairs believes there is great synergy between the philosophies of Medihelp and the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. “They constantly measure their clients’ experiences and use the results of those measurements to get better insight into how to better meet expectations,” he said. “We at the CTCTT are constantly striving to improve our events, based on rider feedback.” Medihelp's Principal Officer, Heyn van Rooyen, says that Medihelp is proud to be associated with such an esteemed event in the racing calendar. Medihelp Medical Scheme has a national footprint of members and supporting events that promote a healthy and active lifestyle is at the core of Medihelp's sponsorship strategy, and this is why the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour is a great fit,” Van Rooyen says. The Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, as it will be called from now on, is the Western Cape’s second-largest road cycling event and the 2016 edition will be the final premier seeding event for the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour (taking place on 12 March 2017). The Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour will take on Sunday, 4 December and Stellenbosch High School will once again play host. The 97-kilometre route has some 1285-metres of total ascent, with the major climbing being the New Helshoogte Pass, which comes shortly after the start. Once Helshoogte is done the route is rolling yet fast, taking in some of the finest winelands and mountain scenery of the Boland – and offering every opportunity for a fast time and the opportunity to improve your seeding for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Entries for the 2016 race open on Tuesday, 18 October at 1pm. To enter, visit www.stellenboschcycletour.co.za. Entries cost R320 for PPA members and R350 for non-PPA members. To stay informed of developments of the Medihelp Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, join their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/stellenboschcycletour or follow them on Twitter at @StellenboschCT. For more information on Medihelp Medical Scheme visit www.medihelp.co.za.
  14. The organisers of the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour are excited to announce Medihelp Medical Scheme as the new Naming Rights sponsor for this popular event. The announcement was made today by David Bellairs, Sponsorship, Marketing and Media Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust (CTCTT), organisers of the event. Click here to view the article
  15. Nolan Hoffman from Team Alfa Body Works clinched the 9th Stellenbosch Cycle Tour title this morning in idyllic cycling racing conditions for the front runners, finishing the slightly longer 101km route in 02:20:10 and edging out second place Evan Carstens (Team Giant Durbanville) by half a tyre width. Click here to view the article
  16. In a sprint finish, Carstens held off stiff competition from Shameeg Sale (Team Cape Town Giants) who secured third place to complete the men’s elite podium at the 2015 race. Local cycling superstar Nolan Hoffman wins the 2015 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. Team Africa Silks Bestmed’s Anriëtte Schoeman won her second Stellenbosch Cycle Tour title after pipping 2013 winner Jennie Stenerhag (Team Ascendis Health) at the post to finish in a time of 02:33:54. Team Seatlle Coffee’s Carmen Buchacher finished third to take bronze. Hoffman was delighted to secure the top spot. “I had a good day on the bike - when you're winning it's always a good day! The weather played it's part and wasn't too hot - perfect for riding. Traffic services and organisation at this event is always incredible. For us, the detour didn’t have a big impact - I'm a local boy and I know the roads, so I'm familiar with the route. I'm also used to longer distances so that played in my favour.” Thousands of cyclists lined up to participate in the last seeding event of the year in windless conditions that resulted in extremely hot temperatures as the morning wore on. 2015 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour men’s and ladies elite winners, Nolan Hoffman and Anriëtte Schoeman. Commenting on her second victory, Schoeman says, “I'm thrilled to win, because I've just come back from a bit of a holiday. On any given day, going up against Jennie is tough because she always brings her A-game. She was really strong in the race, but I expected that, so I just rode my own race and concentrated on getting myself to the finish line.” Liberty – Own your life Rewards, the value added services and rewards business for the Liberty Group, came on board as a sponsor of the event last year. Rebecca Eliot, Managing Director Liberty Value Added Services and Rewards, says: “Liberty is proud to be associated with this iconic and well organized event and it’s a great opportunity to promote our new virtual cycling club, ProTouch. Cycling enthusiasts can join the ProTouch Cycling Club and enjoy free and race entries, Italian-made cycling kit, special invites to rides, tours and packages.” 101km Top Race Results: Elite Men 1st: Nolan Hoffman (Team Alfa Body Works) (02:20:10) Elite Men 2nd: Evan Carstens (Team Giant Durbanville) (02:20:10) Elite Men 3rd: Shameeg Sale (Team Cape Town Giants) (02:20:10)Elite Ladies 1st: Anriëtte Schoeman (Team Africa Skills Bestmed) (02:33:54) Elite Ladies 2nd: Jennie Stenerhag (Team Ascendis Health) (02:33:55) Elite Ladies 3rd: Carmen Buchacher (Team Seattle Coffee) (02:33:56) Full results available on RaceTec here.
  17. Cyclists taking part in the scenic Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. 1. The Scenery The Western Cape and Boland are two of the most beautiful places to ride a bike – the spectacular peaks, vineyard-lined slopes and valleys and winding roads make for the most picturesque and interesting places. Stellenbosch is a fitting base venue from which to head out. “If I had to make a list of my favourite places in the whole wide world, Stellenbosch would definitely make my list of top three,” says Stellenbosch Cycle Tour’s 2014 women’s champion, Anriëtte Schoeman. “Plus, racing my bike there makes it an even better reason, as I love living life riding my bike!” 2. The Distance The race is just under 100-kilometres, which makes it ideal for riders and weekend warriors who want to test their early season form. Says Schoeman, “You don’t have to be in perfect form to enjoy the route.” The scenic route takes riders up Helshoogte Pass, through Pniel, toward the Franschhoek valley. A highlight for me is passing the Drakenstein Correctional Centre (formerly Victor Verster Prison) where Nelson Mandela spent the last three years of his 27-year political incarceration. From there, the route takes in Paarl and Wellington before the rolling hills of the R44 take riders home to the finish in Stellenbosch. Anriëtte Schoeman. 3. The Vibe “The vibe at the event is fantastic, the venue is also super convenient and parking is never a problem,” says Schoeman. Stellenbosch High School will once again play host to the event. The venue lends itself to great pre-race chatter and post-race festivities, plus there is enough space for the whole family to chill and enjoy the mountain view while waiting for their riders to come home. 4. The Timing “The tour is normally end November or beginning December,” says Schoeman (this year it takes place on Sunday, 29 November 2015). “This makes it ideal to start training in September and still be properly prepared for the event, especially for those who prefer to skip riding during winter.” 5. The last chance at improving your seeding Most riders in the lower seeded batches go all-out in this event, whether they’ve put in the hours through winter or not. The reason? “The Stellenbosch Cycle Tour is the last seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour,” Schoeman says. This makes it the last chance for anyone entered into the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour to improve their seeding and start time in that event. “The route makes for some pretty fast and enjoyable riding. So you can test your early season fitness and improve your seeding all at the same time,” she says.
  18. Defending women’s champion, Anriëtte Schoeman, talks about what makes the Western Cape’s second largest cycling event so special. Click here to view the article
  19. Starting and finishing once again at Stellenbosch High School in Jannasch Street (just off Merriman Street) the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour takes place on Sunday 29 November 2015, taking riders through the Boland’s scenic Wemmershoek and the New Helshoogte Pass. A director of event organisers, the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, David Bellairs says: “The Stellenbosch Cycle Tour takes place in what is undoubtedly one of the oldest, most scenically attractive towns in South Africa. The route will remain the same this year and presents a healthy challenge to our cyclists, while also affording them a final seeding opportunity for the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour. We are proud to once again offer riders a top class cycling event to end the year on a high note.” Liberty - Own your life Rewards, the value added services and rewards business for the Liberty Group, came on board as a sponsor of the event for the first time last year. Managing Director, Rebecca Eliot says, “Liberty is always looking for ways to engage more with its customers. We have a high percentage of our customers participating in the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour event so this gives us a great opportunity to add value and interact, while they are doing something they enjoy.” She adds, “Liberty has recently introduced a range of benefits linked to cycling that include access to free and discounted race entries, free Italian-made cycling kits, special invites to rides, tours and packages as well as discounts on a range of products and services. These are all available to customers who subscribe to the ProTouch Cycling Club as either their Cycling SA registered club or as an enhancement to their existing club membership. Customers will be able to find out more at the event or email cycling@ownyourliferewards.co.za”. Entries for the 2015 race are limited to 7 500. Cyclists can visit www.stellenboschcycletour.co.za from Tuesday 13 October at 1pm for further instructions. Entries cost R330 for PPA members and R350 for non-PPA members. The challenging 95km route is the final seeding opportunity for next year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour, which takes place on Sunday 6 March 2016. Riders are encouraged to avoid disappointment and enter early to secure their spots in the ninth Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. To stay informed of developments of the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, join their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/stellenboschcycletour or follow them on Twitter at @StellenboschCT. For more information about the Liberty – Own your life Rewards programme, visit www.ownyourliferewards.co.za.
  20. Entries to the Western Cape’s second-largest road cycling event, the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, presented by Liberty – Own your life Rewards, will open on Tuesday 13 October at 1pm. Click here to view the article
  21. James Tennent from Team Giant Durbanville clinched the 8th Stellenbosch Cycle Tour title this morning in superb weather conditions, finishing the 95km route in just 02:15:25 and edging out second place Jos le Roux (Team Lights by Linea) by half a tyre width. Click here to view the article
  22. Sprint finish between James Tennent (left) and Jos le Roux (right) for the men's elite title. In a sprint finish, Le Roux held off stiff competition from Nolan Hoffman (Team Abantu) who secured third place to complete the men’s elite podium at the 2014 race. Team Africa Silks Bestmed’s Anriette Schoeman won her first Stellenbosch Cycle Tour title after pipping Maroesjka Matthee (Team Craft Racing) at the post to finish in an impressive time of 02:25:05. 2013’s winner, Team Cape Brewing Company’s Jennie Stenerhag, missed out on securing her seventh win by finishing third to take bronze. 2014 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour women’s elite winners (l-r) Maroesjka Matthee (2nd), Anriette Schoeman (1st) and Jennie Stenerhag (3rd). With almost 7 000 riders lining up in a wind-less Stellenbosch this year, the race (formerly known as Die Burger Cycle Tour) provided the winners with a tough field of top local cyclists including Evan Carstens (Team Giant Durbanville) and Stefan Ihlenfeldt (Team Lights by Linea), as well as international pro cyclists from Team Bulls, Simon Stiebjahn and Stefan Sahm. Tennent was ecstatic to secure the top spot and end off his year on a high note. “Today was perfect racing weather. We were all together going up the New Helshoogte Pass so it was great to sit in the bunch with my teammates. I broke away about 6km from the finish, and with things quite evenly matched and me not being the greatest sprinter, I wasn’t sure I would get the win. I am very happy with my result today.” Commenting on securing her first victory at this event, Schoeman says, “This race is always so well-organised and runs smoothly. Everything came together for me today – the fantastic conditions and the climbs. There were quite a few ladies in the bunch and luckily things worked out in my favour. It has been a long season, but I love racing in Cape Town and this is definitely one of my favourite events.” The 2014 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, presented by Liberty – Own your life Rewards, saw a significant change to the route with the inclusion of the New Helshoogte Pass to replace the currently unsuitable Old Helshoogte Pass, reducing the race distance marginally from 97km to 95km. Liberty – Own your life Rewards, the value added services and rewards business for the Liberty Group, came on board as a sponsor of the event for the first time this year. Katy Caldis, Head of Product and Marketing for Liberty – Own your life Rewards, who also tackled the 95km route, says: “This event is iconically beautiful and the decision to rebrand this year is certainly the right step to putting it on the global map. Cycling speaks to our target market who are healthy lifestyle individuals, and we continually strive to give greater value to our clients. We are proud to support events that our clients both enjoy, and in which they take part.” 95km Race Results: Elite Men 1st: James Tennent (Team Giant Durbanville) (02:15:25) 2nd: Jos le Roux (Team Lights by Linea) (02:15:25) 3rd: Nolan Hoffman (Team Abantu) (02:15:42) Elite Ladies 1st: Anriette Schoeman (Team Africa Skills Bestmed) (02:25:05) 2nd: Maroesjka Matthee (Team Craft Racing) (02:25:05) 3rd: Jennie Stenerhag (Team Cape Brewing Company) (02:25:05) 2014 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour men’s elite winners (l-r) Jos le Roux (2nd), James Tennent (1st) and Nolan Hoffman (3rd).
  23. Both Rabie and Stenerhag secured podium finishes at the FNB Wines2Whales MTB race earlier this month, and have set their sights on finishing the year on a high at the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. Rabie, who clinched the title in 02:27:04 in 2013, says: “Hopefully I can win the race again this year. I completed the short route a couple of times when I first started cycling, and I’ve won the long route twice. I always enjoy this race because it is the last event of the year for me. I’ve done a lot of racing recently and am starting to feel a bit tired, but am going to give it my all and look forward to another win on Sunday.” Commenting on the route change this year, Rabie adds, “I enjoyed the Old Helshoogte Climb, but I like the fact that the New Helshoogte one is a bit tougher. I love this race because it’s a local ride close to home, and I can’t wait to tackle it again.” Stenerhag holds the record for the most wins in this race. She clinched the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour title (previously named Die Burger Cycle Tour) six times in the past seven years, only missing out in 2012 when she finished third. Coming off the back of a victory in the Bestmed Paarl MTB Classic, followed by her team’s win in the mixed category at the Coronation Double Century last Saturday, Stenerhag says she’s relishing the opportunity to defend her title. “My training has been going really well and I feel I am really getting into the swing of things now. I often train on the Old Helshoogte Pass because I live in the area so I know it really well. The New Helshoogte Pass is a lot tougher as it’s quite a bit steeper in the beginning, but I’m excited about the change of scenery this year.” Stenerhag finished in a time of 02:41:47 in 2013, adding “It really isn’t about the time that I finish in, but rather the effort I put in and how well I do in terms of skill and technique on the day.” Other top riders looking to wrestle the trophy from 2013’s champions include 2010 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour champion, Moolman Welgemoed and 2013’s third place finisher, Stefan Ihenfeldt. 2014 PPA OneTonner, winner Shameeg Salie and newly-crowned 2014 Coronation Double Century champion, Evan Carstens are also likely to provide fierce competition on race day. 2014 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour event details: The Western Cape’s second-largest road cycling event will once again start and finish at Stellenbosch High School in Jannasch Street (just off Merriman Street), with the first group of riders scheduled to start at 06h00. The challenging 95km route will remain the final seeding opportunity for next year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour, which takes place on Sunday, 8 March 2015. To stay informed of developments of the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, join their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/stellenboschcycletour or follow them on Twitter at @StellenboschCT.
  24. Winners of the 2013 Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, Johann Rabie and Jennie Stenerhag have set the benchmark for this year’s race, aiming to defend their titles at the 8th instalment of the event on Sunday, 30 November 2014. Click here to view the article
  25. If there is anyone who can't make it to ride the Burger Stellenbosch Cycle Tour next weekend and wants to sell the event entry, please contact me and I'll take your entry off your hands. Just need confirmation well in advance in order to secure flights etc.
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