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  1. So Trans Baviaans got moved on by 2 weeks. With the covid figures seemingly on the decrease its looking positive that the race will go ahead. How is everyones training going? Im feeling good despite just recovering from chickenpox. General thoughts/ opinions on the event coming up?
  2. I'm a new cyclist, does anyone have suggestions on lights for my mountain bike. I want to do the Trans Baviaans.
  3. Gerrit de Vries leads Gawie Combrinck through the notorious Langwater crossing, just after Check Point 3, on their way to Trans Baviaans Repeat glory. Photo by Jacques Marais. Combrinck has only recently retired from elite mountain biking, but showed that he was still the pedigree rider in the 1 250-rider strong field. The former NAD Pro MTB rider, who has been spending long hours riding his gravel bike in the Low Veld this winter, put the years of mileage to great use. “Gawie was the only rider working for the first 100 kilometres today” his partner De Vries praised. “We went it alone from Check Point 2 (at the 93 kilometre mark) and just rode tempo. Gawie worked for probably 220 kilometres, I did about 10. So, it was all Gawie today” De Vries recounted. Chipping in Combrinck added, with a laugh: “Unfortunately I have it on a GoPro where Gerrit rode away from me on a climb, so I won’t hear the end of that”. From Bergplaas at the 140km mark the route to Jeffery’s Bay was muddy in places following the, much needed, rain the region experienced that morning. Photo by Jacques Marais. Behind the race winners the Trans Baviaans Repeat riders battled in, splatted with mud and grateful to be out of the wind. “It was just the wind which was a killer” Garth Ennion, of ESA Partner, said upon sealing second position. “The temperature was actually alright.” “Head wind all the way, except for the last 5 kays” his teammate Wesley Lentz was quick to point out. “Ja”, agreed Ennion with a rueful smile, “except for the railway line singletrack.” The challenging weather conditions ensured that team spirit came to the fore even more than usual during the 2019 Trans Baviaans Repeat. Photo by Jacques Marais. A little further down the field the famous Trans Baviaans team spirit came to the fore. Riding for the event’s official apparel partners, Ciovita, Jaco Pelser and Raymond Cox had a longer and harder day than they had anticipated. “Ray had a terrible day. I had to pull him all the way” Pelser said with a grin at his teammate. “The road was definitely not smoother and that headwind was brutal. I’m shattered!” he finished; before setting hungrily to work on the post-Repeat Spur burger, chips and a Darling Brew beer. Bryan and Lauren Allot became the first riders to complete the Trans Baviaans on gravel bikes when they rolled into Jeffery’s Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning. Photo by Jacques Marais. While the times were significantly slower than in the previous weekend’s Race one new record was set in the Trans Baviaans Repeat. Bryan and Lauren Allot, riding as Team PowerBar 2, became the first riders to complete the event on gravel bikes. The couple are preparing for the 1 000 kilometre long Munga in December. “I figure if I can do this then the Munga will be just as easy” Bryan smiled a little nervously on the start line in Willowmore. “There might be no suspension, but you get rattled around anyway. The corrugations are always smoother on the other side of the road. But it’s a photograph ride, we are aiming to take it easy and enjoy it.” The Allot’s did just that, finishing in a steady time of 17 hours, 53 minutes and 56 seconds. The water crossings in the forests between the base of the Big Dipper and Check Point 5 were deeper than they had been the week before, forcing riders to get creative to keep their feet dry. Photo by Jacques Marais. It was arguably not the year to take on the Trans Baviaans on a gravel bike though. “It was the toughest one I’ve done in the last 12 years” Vickus Boshoff rated. Boshoff, who owns the Coimbra bike shop in George, has completed an event in each of those 12 years and knows a thing or two about surviving the Baviaanskloof. His and Jan-Paul Gerber experience in the event helped them to third overall, just two seconds ahead of the Pure Savage team of Waldo Zevenster and Malcolm Isaacs. Zevenster and Isaacs had by all accounts been two of the strongest riders in the field, but mechanical issues kept them off the podium. The dense indigenous forests of Cambria, in the eastern part of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, feature spectacularly gnarled old trees. Photo by Jacques Marais. Like in the first weekend’s Race mechanical misfortunes played a significant role in the Repeat riders’ stories. Many failed to heed the warnings about the state of the road and the pre-race rain did not help matters either. A steady drizzle fell on the final 100 kilometres, from Bergplaas to the finish, in the morning before the first riders summited the Mother of All Climbs. From Bergplaas, at 140 kilometres in, to the finish muddy roads and a thick mist made the already challenging riding conditions even harder. Each and every rider who completed the Repeat should thus be justifiably proud of their achievement. After seeing their supporters for the first time in 170km riders struck out from Hadleigh, at Check Point 5, and started the gradual grind up the Neverender Climb. By night the only indication of where the summit my be hidden is provided by the bike lights ahead. Photo by Jacques Marais. Results Men’s 1. Gerrit de Vries & Gawie Combrinck (Uncle Fish) 9:25:20 2. Garth Ennion & Wesley Lentz (ESA Partner) 9:27:22 3. Jan-Paul Gerber & Vickus Boshoff (Coimbra) 9:29:18Women’s 1. Ilse Nel & Cherise Odendaal (Sumeil 1) 12:46:50 2. Salomie Kolbe & Elize da Ponte (Chatting Blades) 13:50:47 3. Adelle & Marleen Jeppe (Jeppe Jets) 14:55:34 Mixed 1. Jay Carneiro, Bruce & Tracey Cambell (Cyclopro) 10:56:17 2. Dirk Pienaar & Johanet Cilliers (Douglas Breakaway) 10:58:58 3. Hannele Steyn & Waleed Baker (Passion4Wholeness Mixed) 11:08:38 For the full results from the 2019 Trans Baviaans Repeat please visit: www.transbaviaans.co.za.
  4. Derrin Smith, of dormakaba, leads the reduced group from which both the first and second place at the 2019 Trans Baviaans Race came. Photo by Jacques Marais. Those ruts would be felt later rather than when they were assaulted, on fresh legs, because a steady tail wind blew from the North West as riders left Willowmore for Jeffery’s Bay. A frenetic pace was set from the off by the Hausberger team, of Werner Roux and Jono Cloete. Roux revealed at the finish that it had not been part of their race plan. “Jono [Cloete] attacked in the first kilometre” he said shaking his head. “We hadn’t even left Willowmore yet. I didn’t want to follow but I didn’t really have a choice.” Cloete’s brave move echoed the acceleration by Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit in 2018, when the pair set the current course record. It also played into the hands of the race favourites, Mike Posthumus and Derrin Smith, of dormakaba. “It suited us, them [Roux and Cloete] making it so hard” Posthumus recounted. “It forced quite a select group to form; with them, us and the guys from ProTouch. We got away and then at 90 kilometres we saw them hesitating at a Check Point and we [smith and Posthumus] pushed on from there.” “It was a solo ride from 90 kilometres” he continued with a grimace. “It was awful. It was so rough. I had between 10 and 15 chain-drops off my chainring and had to keep stopping to put that back on and then chase back. So that burnt a few matches. Then Dez [smith] started cramping with about 120 kilometres to go. It was a rough second half for him and I started cramping too, but luckily not as bad as him.” Dane Walsh (far) completed his sixteenth Trans Baviaans. Riding alongside Craig Edwards (near) the Distinguished Voodoo Grinders finished eighteenth overall this year. Photo by Jacques Marais. Addressing the slip; which saw them penalised with a 20 minute time addition Posthumus explained: “We made an error at Check Point 7 by not taking our lights.” “The plan had been to beat the setting sun. And though we didn’t manage it technically, at least we didn’t need our lights” he laughed off the mistake which ended up not costing them too dearly. Having crossed the line 28 minutes and 53 seconds ahead of Roux and Cloete; but 19 minutes after their targeted time of 8 hours the 20 minute the penalty did not deny them the win or a personal best. Posthumus, Smith, Roux and Cloete were joined on the podium by Jaco Davel and Ignus Oosthuizen. Davel and Oosthuizen had suffered their own cramps earlier in the race but stormed through the final 50 kilometres to overhaul the ProTouch team of Pieter Seyffert and Myles van Musschenbroek. Seyffert and Van Musschenbroek had been among the race’s main protagonists, so slipping from the podium was exceptionally cruel; but that is the nature of the Trans Baviaans. It often provides a vicious sting in the closing kilometres as the accumulated effects of 8 hours of racing starts to tell. Galileo Risk’s Sarah Hill contemplates the challenge ahead; as she lined up to start the 2019 Trans Baviaans in Willowmore on the morning of Saturday the 10th of August. Photo by Jacques Marais. Two riders who know exactly how to pace their efforts, in the Trans Baviaans, are Galileo Risk’s Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill. Having won the previous two editions together they use the race as a benchmark for their development as a team. “Today we really pushed hard” Ralph said, just after crossing the finish line. “Sarah [Hill] has grown so amazingly. I remember the first one I did with her, I could have pedalled with one leg. Now she’s putting me in the hurt-locker for a lot of the race. We really had a good dynamic, sharing the load.” Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) follows Deon Kruger (Humankind Masters) along a section of relatively smooth district road. Photo by Jacques Marais. “The corrugations were a lot like the first time we rode the Trans Baviaans” Hill added. “And the headwind was so tough. There was a time when I thought there was no way we would even get close to our record, especially on the Neverender. But then we found such a good rhythm and we were feeding off each other’s energy. We ended up getting so close… so we’ll have to try again next year” Hill laughed. Ralph and Hill were joined on the women’s podium by former Olympian and 2009 IRONMAN South Africa champion Lucie Zelenková and her partner Laura-Beth Eicker-Harris. The third placed team was the Kekkel en Kloek team, of Nickey Botes and Esmari de Wet. The Langwater crossing – which comes 123 kilometres into the route, in the middle of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve – caused more than just wet feet in 2019. Photo by Jacques Marais. In the mixed category there was a proposal on the finish line after Tanya Kirstein and Christo Roos had raced to victory. Fortunately for Roos the endorphins of the win were clearly running high as Kirstein accepted instantaneously. The newly engaged couple were joined on the podium by ECC-Bestmed’s Anriette Schoeman and Kevin Taljaard; as well as by Urcycling’s Mariske Smith and Wayne van der Walt. To further relive the 2019 Trans Baviaans Race mountain biking fans can follow @EcoBoundEvents on Twitter or @transbaviaans on Instagram. Additionally liking the Trans Baviaans Facebook will provide access to photos and videos from the race. The action commences next weekend, on Saturday 17 August, with the Repeat; which will see a more social ride from Willowmore to Jeffery’s Bay take place through the magnificent Baviaanskloof. Part of the Baviaanskloof’s appeal as a mountain biking and tourist destination is its rural charm. Photo by Jacques Marais. 2019 Trans Baviaans Race | Results: Men’s 1. Mike Posthumus & Derrin Smith (dormakaba) 08:39:32 2. Werner Roux & Jono Cloete (Hausberger) 08:48:25 3. Jaco Davel & Ignus Oosthizen (Jocoignus) 08:50:25 4. Pieter Seyffert & Myles van Musschenbroek (ProTouch) 08:57:59 5. Fred Buter & Deon Kruger (Humankind Masters) 09:06:00Women’s 1. Theresa Ralph & Sarah Hill (Galileo Risk) 09:06:01 2. Lucie Zelenková & Laura-Beth Eicker-Harris (Trifactri Chics) 11:35:15 3. Nickey Botes & Esmari de Wet (Kekkel en Kloek) 11:49:57 4. Illiska Verwey & Tanja Schutte (Die Heart) 12:00:11 5. Alisha Myers & Kateryna Tertiienko (DC Gals) 12:07:52 Mixed 1. Tanya Kirstein & Christo Roos (Enduroplanet) 09:38:09 2. Anriette Schoeman & Kevin Taljaard (ECC-Bestmed) 09:56:15 3. Mariske Smith & Wayne van der Walt (Urcycling) 10:18:25 4. Jana Kruger & Nichol Jordaan (Hansie en Grietjie) 10:35:12 5. Liesel & Ken Prentis (Prentis) 10:56:09 For additional information please visit www.transbaviaans.co.za.
  5. Trans Baviaans founder Wikus van der Walt in action on the Momsen Vipa Ultra. Van der Walt and Sharples completed the event in a time of 13 hours and 23 minutes. Photo by Jacques Marais. For the second weekend in a row a wrong-turning, by the race leaders, provided the decisive and most drama filled moment of the event. This time though there was no need for the race commissaire to get involved; the leaders on the road, Ignus Oosthuizen and Jaco Davel, simply missed the turn off to Jeffreys Bay. The pair had held the lead since Check Point 2, 104 kilometres into the race, when the large peloton of riders who had covered the relatively easy early kilometres together started to break up. Powering over the Baviaans Back, the Fangs, MAC and Neverender, Oosthuizen and Davel managed to gradually extend their lead to twenty minutes at Check Point 7; with 27 kilometres remaining. Their wrong turn kept them on the undulating ridgeline jeep track, which takes riders up the Mini MAC and certainly helped expedite their time losses as their pursuers turned towards the coast – on long, flowing downhill district road. The primary beneficiaries of this were the Cadence Tygervalley team of Johan Coetzee and Gys Malan. The pair did however not realise that they had moved into the lead until they reached the finish line at the Fountains Mall. Upon hearing Paul Valstar announcing that they were riding home to claim the Trans Baviaans Repeat victory they were taken completely by surprise. Yolande de Villiers rode to her second Mixed Category victory in as many weeks in the Trans Baviaans, following up her Race win with the Repeat title. Photo by Jacques Marais. Behind Coetzee and Malan there was a sprint for second between Spur C4D’s Jacques van Staden and Marshall Hendricks and the ESA Partner combination of Garth Ennion and Leon Erasmus. Van Staden and Hendricks had put in a strong ride over the final 60 kilometres and kept the ESA Partner pairing in their sights throughout that time – eventually setting up a sprint after nine hours of racing. In the Mixed Category the East Coast Cycles quartet of Kevin Taljaard, Wynand Mulder, Yolande and Henties de Villiers claimed another Repeat title. Taljaard and Yolande de Villiers had finished second and first in the Trans Baviaans Race in the Mixed Category the weekend before; and were ecstatic to retain their title in the Repeat. Henties de Villiers meanwhile does not manage to make as much time to train as his wife and battled valiantly to ensure he clung to the wheels of his powerful teammates. Trail runner AJ Calitz took on the Trans Baviaans challenge and finished in 16th overall, alongside Brett van Coller. Photo by Jacques Marais. The sub-plot to the Repeat was undoubtedly Wikus van der Walt riding his first Trans Baviaans. After fifteen years of organising the event the founder eventually got his chance to experience it for himself, alongside his long time stage race partner John Sharples. Van der Walt rode the new Momsen Vipa Ultra for his Trans Baviaans adventure and was exceptionally impressed with the bike. “It descends very well and I’m sure my struggles on the climbs were more down to my legs than the bike” Van der Walt joked upon finishing. Stephen Drew (left) and Jeffrey Willcocks (right) inspired all around them by finishing the Trans Baviaans Repeat. Photo by Craig Giese. Another hero of the Trans Baviaans Repeat was Stephen Drew. In recent years Drew has survived a brain tumour and then the amputation of his right leg following a motorcycle accident. Drew is an inspirationally positive character and there was never any doubt in his mind that he would be back on the bike following his accident. Equipped with a state of the art prosthetic, which was custom made in George, Drew completed the Trans Baviaans Repeat alongside fellow amputee Jeffrey Willcocks. Reaching Bergplaas before sunset is an achievement worth celebrating. Photo by Jacques Marais. Mountain biking fans and Trans Baviaans riders can recap on all the action from the 2018 Race and Repeat on the event’s Facebook page, Trans Baviaans. While for more information please visit www.transbaviaans.co.za. Results: Trans Baviaans Race Men: 1. Cadence Tygervalley (Johan Coetzee & Gys Malan) 08:55:44 2. Spur C4D (Jacques van Staden & Marshall Hendricks) 09:02:58 3. ESA Partner (Garth Ennion & Leon Erasmus) 09:02:59 4. Wildfire (Dawie van Rensburg & Angus McGuffog) 09:03:04 5. Jaco Ignus (Ignus Oosthuizen & Jaco Davel) 09:03:15Mixed: 1. East Coast Cycles (Kevin Taljaard, Wynand Mulder, Yolande & Henties de Villiers) 09:30:06 2. Ferocity (Adriaan Botma, Martie & Johannes Joubert) 09:38:56 3. Cyclopro (Jay Carneiro, Bruce & Tracey Campbell) 10:09:53 Women: 1. Trans Vrystaat (Cherise Odendaal & Ilse Nel) 12:23:19 2. Chatting Blades (Elize de Ponte & Salomie Kolbe) 13:15:15 3. Despicable Us (Marelise Bardenhorst & Nicole Morse) 15:57:02 To view the full results from the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race click here.
  6. Timothy Hammond leads Ben Melt Swanepoel up the MAC in pursuit of Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit in the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race. The Insect Science/Garmin team past the DSV Pro Cycling riders after confusion leaving Check Point 7, but the teams were awarded the joint victory. Photo by Jacques Marais. There was drama in the men’s race, outright dominance in the women’s and a legacy sealing victory in the mixed; as the racing categories were wrapped up within nine hours of the event’s start. Never have so many records been set in one event and the new men’s course record is all the more remarkable, given the teams setting it made a wrong turn. The race, which started in Willowmore on Saturday morning, was agitated from the off by the DSV Pro Cycling team of Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit. “Nobody really thought it was possible to go from the gun, so we kind of wanted to prove them wrong” Du Toit explained. The initial attack by DSV was followed by the Honingcraft Five duo, Dirkus Coetzee and Alwyn Steenkamp. Behind; Insect Science/Garmin’s Timothy Hammond and Ben Melt Swanepoel worked with William Simpson Cars’ Mike Posthumus and Derrin Smith to ensure the gap between the leaders and the chasing peloton remained at one minute. Heading into the Baviaanskloof Reserve a puncture for Steenkamp cost Honingcraft Five the chance to contend for victory. This left Heyns and Du Toit alone at the front, but over Baviaans Back the Fangs and MAC the chasing peloton gradual broke apart until Hammond and Swanepoel where pursuing on their own, with Posthumus and Smith also isolated in third on the road. The leading three teams were separated by just four minutes heading into the decisive final 30 kilometres. Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit spent nearly 200km in the lead of the Trans Baviaans Race, after a brave attack in the opening kilometres. Photo by Jacques Marais. Disaster struck for all three the leading teams just after the final check point when they were diverted them from the unmarked Trans Baviaans route onto a permanently marked route in the Zuurbron Bike Park. Hammond and Swanepoel were first to realise that they were off the route and back-tracked, managing to maintain their position ahead of Posthumus and Smith. Heyns and Du Toit however were not as fortunate and ended up losing their lead. Posthumus and Smith also regained the correct route ahead of the DSV pairing. “Everyone got lost in Zuurbron” Posthumus explained. “Then heading home we saw Gert (Heyns) and Arno (du Toit) [riding through] the bush so we waited for them and rode home for them” he elaborated. Given the nature of the obstruction and the time losses all the teams suffered, the race commissaire adjudged the obstruction in the route to have hindered riders’ ability to determine the correct route and thus awarded the victory jointly to DSV Pro Cycling and Insect Science/Garmin. The unfortunate outcome should not detract from the amazing rides both teams put in however. “They (Heyns and Du Toit) went from the start. It was an incredibly brave ride, I’ve never seen anyone go from the start like that” Hammond praised his rivals, upon crossing the finish line first. The MAC, or Mother of All Climbs, is one of the primary obstacles between Willowmore and Jeffreys Bay. Photo by Jacques Marais. The Insect Science/Garmin combination’s ride was likewise one for the history books; as they kept DSV in sight from the Fangs to the turn off to check point seven. Hammond was the reigning course record holder, for the route which finishes at the Fountains Mall, but he and Swanepoel smashed over twenty five minutes off that time. The pair stopped the clock in an astonishing time of seven hours, fifty one minutes and six seconds – a time which was retrospectively also awarded to Heyns and Du Toit. The third placed team of Posthumus and Smith crossed the line shortly after Heyns and Du Toit, having gallantly declined to contest the sprint – given their rivals’ loss of time in the confusion after check point seven. The William Simpson Cars’ riders still managed to beat the sun too though, breaking the eight hour mark by three minutes. The record breaking feats were even more remarkable in the women’s race were Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill took fifty eight minutes off Ralph and Amy McDougall’s 2016 record time. The Galileo Risk riders rode a flawless race. “Everything went perfectly today” Hill said afterwards. “We always stayed slightly uncomfortable. We agreed on a scale system before the race, and we kept communicating, staying at a level eight” she explained. The pair has now defended their Trans Baviaans title as a team while Ralph added a third successive Race victory to her palmarès. They were keen to play up the event to their fellow elite women’s mountain bikers too. “Women’s mountain biking has really picked up in the last couple of years” Ralph started. “And we love the competition between the ladies, and actually we’re all friends. So it would be nice if they could come and join us, we could have a more competitive race and then we could all have a beer together at the end. It would be marvellous if other ladies could come give us some gears” the Galileo Risk champion enthused. Riding into the night, in the depth of the Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve where light pollution is non-existent, is one of the highlights of the Trans Baviaans for the non-elite riders. Photo by Jacques Marais. In the mixed category the seemingly undefeatable combination of Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer, riding in the colours of Ultimate Cycling Knysna, continued their undefeated run at the Trans Baviaans. The 2018 Race marks their sixth successive category victory and their second as a two person team, having won the first four with the able assistance of Johan Labuschagne. “I felt like I died seven times out there, especially on the Fangs,” de Villiers half-laughed half-grimaced after securing the victory. “Neill (Ungerer) was a machine out there” she concluded, heaping praise on her partner. The pair’s time of eight hours, twenty three minutes and nineteen seconds was twenty minutes faster than their own previous course record. Despite blitzing the course they were not really aware of just how fast their time was until the final phases of the race. “We went through this last little dip, at Mooidraai, and it was still light. I thought: ‘what’s going on here? Did we start earlier’” Ungerer revealed. “It was a long day. But a fast day” he concluded with a smile, clearly ecstatic to be able to put his feet up early ahead of his second attempt at the 230 kilometre long course next weekend – in the Trans Baviaans Repeat. Results: 2018 Trans Baviaans Race Men: =1. Insect Science/Garmin (Ben Melt Swanepoel & Timothy Hammond) 07:51:06 =1. DSV Pro Cycling (Gert Heyns & Arno du Toit) 07:51:06 3. William Simpson Cars (Mike Posthumus & Derrin Smith) 07:57:00 4. Bianchi (Jac-Louis van Wyk & Gert Fouche) 08:18:40 5. Bikelane/SPH Transport (Steven Philip Hayes & Andreas Studer) 08:21:47Mixed: 1. Ultimate Cycling Knysna (Yolande de Villiers & Neill Ungerer) 08:23:19 2. East Coast Cycles (Kevin Taljaard & Siska Van Der Bijl) 09:14:44 3. Enduroplanet (Christo Roos & Tanya Kirstein) 09:41:01 4. Urcycling (Pierre Smith & Mariske Mclean) 10:19:04 5. Siverfish (Tania & Werner Visser) 10:24:31 Women’s: 1. Galileo Risk (Theresa Ralph & Sarah Hill) 08:58:02 2. Riding for Jason (Sarah van Heerden & Cindy Theunissen) 11:41:44 3. Long Life (Marle Kotze & Naomi Visser) 12:30:33 4. Cycles Direct (Gina Wills & Sannelize Janse van Rensburg) 13:02:29 5. Mud & Muck (Tilly Ferreira & Marie-Daleen Serfontein) 13:36:15 To view the full results from the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race click here.
  7. Wikus van der Walt is the patriarch of the EcoBound family. From left: William, Alexander (on William’s shoulders) Marelize, Nina, Terence, Maia (being held by Terance), Wikus, Elmarie, Carmen, Lukas (being held by Zane) and Zane . Photo by Jacques Marais. Over the years van der Walt has poured his passion for mountain biking into event organising and ensuring others get to experience his twin loves for the sport and the environment in which it takes place. Since 1995, when the first To Hell and Back took place, he has been a pivotal figure in the local mountain biking community. While his three daughters were at school van der Walt and his wife, Elmarie, were exceptionally active in the organising of age group racing – particularly in the Southern Cape. Here’s the first sneak peek of the all-new Momsen Vipa Ultra in its production paint work. Photo by Momsen Bikes. Now with the Trans Baviaans running like a well-oiled machine he can delegate to his trusted team of children, their spouses and long-time crew members, and take the opportunity to experience one of the events he created for himself. He will be setting out from Willowmore alongside his partner for the initial To Hell and Back trial ride, 24 years ago, John Sharples and MP Heyns, father to one of the race favourites Gert Heyns. Do not be fooled into thinking that van der Walt is a stranger to riding a bicycle through the Baviaanskloof however. Wikus van der Walt and his famous beard, have been at the forefront of the South African mountain biking community since the inaugural To Hell and Back stage race in 1995. Photo by Jacques Marais. He is a firm believer in the principle that an event should never take in a trail he has not ridden himself. Over the years he has ridden through the Baviaans numerous times on reconnaissance rides and most recently while undertaking the Freedom Challenge in June this year; though that crossing of the Baviaanskloof was done in the opposite direction and on a heavily loaded bicycle. Those recent memories and his new purposely endurance-designed Momsen Vipa Ultra are sure to make his Trans Baviaans ride a far more enjoyable experience. Wikus van der Walt and his fellow Trans Baviaans riders will need to conquer the Mother of All Climbs en route from Willowmore to Jeffreys Bay. Photo by Jacques Marais. Designed and developed by EcoBound’s bicycle partners, Momsen Bikes, the Vipa Ultra is a complete re-engineering of the original Vipa full suspension mountain bike platform. Showcasing the modern trend for full suspension race bikes to feature longer top tubes, slacker head angles and more capable performance in technical terrain the Vipa Ultra is not only lighter than its predecessor the Vipa Race but is also more comfortable (now with 100mm rear wheel travel) and confidence inspiring. Key to an ultra-endurance event like the Trans Baviaans is the Vipa Ultra’s ability to fit two bottle cages inside the main triangle and the presence of integrated storage compartments in both the top and down tubes. It is a bike that not only lives up to the Momsen motto of “Forged in the untamed” but is superbly equipped to conquer the Baviaanskloof. “After 15 years of organising the event, I look forward to taking part in my first official Trans Baviaans, to experience the highs and lows of the event with my fellow riders,” van der Walt said. “I’m especially looking forward to doing this event on the brand new Vipa Ultra as it is a bike made and developed for this type of riding” he concluded. The Momsen Vipa Ultra builds on the heritage of the Vipa Race, which proudly sported the contours of the Baviaanskloof on their top tubes. Photo by Jacques Marais. The 2018 Trans Baviaans takes place over two weekends in August, with the Race starting on Saturday the 11th and the Repeat the following weekend on the 18th. Mountain biking fans can follow Wikus van der Walt and his fellow riders’ progress throughout both events online at www.transbaviaans.co.za or on social media, by liking the Facebook page, Trans Baviaans, following the Instagram handle, @transbaviaans, and following the EcoBound Twitter handle @EcoBoundMTB.
  8. The 2018 Trans Baviaans will feature a number of familiar faces at the sharp end of the field including Neill Ungerer, Yolande de Villiers, Mike Posthumus and Timothy Hammond. Photo by Jacques Marais. The men’s race is always fiercely contested at the Trans Baviaans with pre-race favourites and the inevitable dark horse team or two duking it out over the 230 kilometre long course. The 2018 field of favourites includes defending champion and current record holder Timothy Hammond, South African marathon champion Gert Heyns, the perennial nearly men of the Trans Baviaans Hanco Kachelhoffer and Pieter Seyffert, the 2017 dark horses Hansie Joubert and Jaco Ferreira, and a series of experienced campaigners including Riccardo Stermin, Adreas Studer, Mike Posthumus, Derrin Smith and Ben Melt Swanepoel. Gert Heyns will be riding the Trans Baviaans competitively for the first time this year. Photo by Jacques Marais. Given their recent results it is hard to look past Heyns and Arno du Toit, who will be riding as DSV Pro Cycling, for the title of favourites. Heyns was crowned South African marathon champion in July has ridden the Trans Baviaans before, but only socially, while his teammate Du Toit is making his debut. “I don't really see the national jersey as adding any extra pressure as I feel me and Arno (du Toit) are still very new to this racing format,” Heyns said ahead of the race. “We have a lot to learn so in a way I don’t think we should necessarily be considered as favourites. The Trans Baviaans is very different to any other marathon race and I don't really know what to expect, but I'm looking forward to my first race in the new jersey” he concluded, playing down his and Du Toit’s chances. A pair who calmly own the pre-race favourites tag are the Insect Science/Garmin team of Hammond and Swanepoel. “I do feel a bit calmer with each year I race the Trans Baviaans, I know what needs to be done now. That being said, it doesn’t make it any easier on the day” confessed the course record holder and defending champion. “This year has an incredibly strong field which is exciting so I don’t think we will be the targets specifically. It’s the type of race where you should ride your own pace, if you let someone else dictate your pace your wheels will fall off later on. Jaco (Ferreira) and Hansie (Joubert) showed that last year when they nearly rode back to us in the final 20km’s” Hammond elaborated. Picking up the explanation Swanepoel continued: “Tim and I have been looking for an opportunity to race together for a while. So I am glad things allowed us to race Trans Baviaans as a team. Tim's experience at the event will be a big asset to us because the Trans Baviaans is all about teamwork. When you race 230 kilometres all members of a team will have highs and lows, so I guess it's all about surviving the lows and capitalising on the highs to bring out the best in each individual.” Hanco Kachelhoffer and Pieter Seyffert (in the Altech Autopage kit) placed second in the 2016 Trans Baviaans and fifteenth last year after significant tyre related drama. Photo by Jacques Marais. A quartet who know all about the challenges of managing the physical, psychological and especially mechanical difficulties of the race as a team are the Ellsworth ASG squad of Kachelhoffer, Seyffert, Armand Swanepoel and HB Kruger. Three of the four completed the Trans Baviaans together last year and the addition of HB Kruger, who has been selected to represent South Africa at the Marathon World Championships in September, has further strengthened the team. “Trans Baviaans being a 230 kilometer MTB race is all about tactics. It starts with who you select as a partner. This year we will be a four-man team,” Kachelhoffer stated. “It’s the first time HB (Kruger) will do the race, but after his second place finish in the African jersey competition at the Absa Cape Epic, we are confident he will be a big asset to our team. Last year we got a puncture and lost valuable time. Though we know having four riders in a team, means we have to look after eight wheels and the chances of a flat wheel are greater; but in the same breath, having four riders also means we have more depth should conditions on the day demand more team work” the Ellsworth ASG rider expounded. The 2017 runners up Joubert and Ferreira come into the race with more attention focused on them, but also with more experience and better preparation. “Fitness most certainly plays a role, but it becomes a mental game as the distances increase” Ferreira responded when asked how he and Joubert manage to compete with full-time elite riders. “It’s about how well you pace yourself and manage your body throughout the entire 230 kilometres, compared to only a ‘sprint’ 50-80km event. Knowing the route most certainly adds an advantage as well” he smiled. Hoping to exploit their experience and route knowledge to the full will be the PowerBar team of Stermin and Studer. The pair has won the Repeat multiple times over the last few years, but work schedules have never allowed them to match themselves against the more competitive field of the Race. It will be interesting to see if their familiarity with the event provides them with a racing edge on Saturday the 11th. Another fascinating battle within the race is the one between coach and athlete, which plays out between Posthumus and Heyns. The Team William Simpson duo of Posthumus and Smith will be eager to out-do, the highly regarded sport scientist, Posthumus’s athlete Heyns and his partner Du Toit. “I also expect Derrin (Smith) and Mike (Posthumus) to be fast and I'll definitely feel some pressure not to be beaten by my own coach” Heyns laughed. The famously powerful Mike Posthumus will be teaming up with Derrin Smith as Posthumus takes one of his charges, Gert Heyns. Photo by Jacques Marais. In the women’s race the defending champions Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill, riding for Galileo Risk, are out to knock an hour off their 2017 winning time. “Trans Baviaans is a magical race that is never the same” the three time winner Ralph said. “I have experienced a wet Trans, a dry Trans and a very bumpy Trans. All provided their own challenges. It is possibly those jaffels, at check point seven, that keep bringing me back though. This year Sarah (Hill) and I have a goal to better our time by an hour and hopefully we will do that as Sarah has grown from strength to strength over the past year and we will definitely be much faster” she elaborated. Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph have their sights set on beating their 2017 winning time by at least an hour. Photo by Jacques Marais. As in the women’s race the mixed category sees one team stand head and shoulders above the rest as race favourites: the Ultimate Cycling Knysna team of Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer. “The mixed category is very difficult especially for the woman” De Villiers, who was also recently selected to represent South Africa at the Marathon World Championships, revealed. “I am usually in my red zone all the way just trying to hold on to Neill (Ungerer’s) wheel. But I’m very fortunate to have Neill as a partner, because he is always looking after me asking me if I am all right and if the pace is good. Communication is very important and telling each other when you go through a bad patch” she advised to less experienced Trans Baviaans riders. Gert Heyns will be riding the Trans Baviaans competitively for the first time this year. Photo by Jacques Marais. Racers and riders hoping to simply finish in a good time alike will be pleased to know that the weather conditions for the Trans Baviaans Race are looking advantageous for a fast time. There is no rain predicted throughout the event; while in Willowmore and the Baviaanskloof the expected temperatures range from 5 to 17 degrees centigrade, with a light to gentle breeze from the north west blowing throughout the morning and afternoon. In the evening once the teams have crossed into the coastal region approaching Jeffreys Bay the mercury is predicted to read between 18-14 degrees, with a light tail wind blowing from the north east. Saving energy and hiding from the wind is the aim of the game in the first 100 kilometres of the Trans Baviaans. Photo by Jacques Marais. Riders are encouraged to keep an eye on the race’s social media channels and the EcoBound Explorer mobile application, for iPhone and Android devices, for updates on the road and weather conditions closer to the time. While mountain biking fans are reminded that they will be able to follow the action live on the race website, www.transbaviaans.co.za. Alternatively, they can share in the Trans Baviaans experience by liking the Facebook page, Trans Baviaans, following the Instagram handle, @transbaviaans, and the EcoBound Twitter handle @EcoBoundMTB.
  9. We are looking to do a super long ride (160-180km) this coming Saturday from Van Gaalens over Breedtsnek, but I haven't really ridden there before. It seems like a start at Van Gaalens would work best, maybe do a small loop in there, but I don't really know the routes in the area. Can anyone help me with suggestions on how we can get the kms we need?
  10. It all started with a phone call on the Tuesday before. Hey Brad, keen ride Baviaans, my partner is sick and can't make it? Having just taken part in a surfing comp the weekend before I saw all the bikes coming back thinking what an amazing experience they have just had. So without hesitation, I said I am keen not knowing what I was getting into. Corne and Heino from Rockhopper were amazing. Prepping my bike and mentally preparing me for what lay ahead. Friday came and the Rockhopper van arrived to pick me up and off we went. The entire drive to Willowmore was all about bikes, learning the technicalities as Heino waxed lyrical. We arrived in the chilly town of Willowmore to register. This was a different race, the vibe was different. Nothing like a normal chest puffing racing vibe that you usually find. The air was filled with mutual respect and a hint of nervousness. After collecting our tub and loading our warm kit for check point 4, we were off home. Heino was amazing prepping my bike with such care as if it was his own. After some wine and braai vleis we were off to bed. I hardly slept, the anxiety and excitement was setting in. Just as I was starting to really get some good shut eye, the alarm goes off. Brekkie and off we went. 6 degrees. We arrive in town and jump into our kit and head to he start. The vibe was insane. Bumping into so many brave souls that you know. After singing the national anthem the race began. The trick is to hold back at a pace which feels good but not too much that you can't make the first checkpoint. Again, the vibe was insane. Some amazing chirping and banter as we all faced the giant. After about 85km Heino and I were both on a big dip. We rode in silence. Checkpoint 2, more amazing food then the two climbs known as the fangs started to scare the legs. Checkpoint 3... loading up as the long river crossing and MAC (Mother of all climbs) lay ahead. With 130km in the legs, this hill was no joke! The only relief was the amazing sunset we were experiencing glad to see the views in the day as we watched in the valley the string of lights for the poor buggers who would have to climb MAC in the dark. Check Point 4 was incredible knowing the dreaded climb was in the bag. Using Heino's (doing his 6th race) prep plan we changed into fresh kit and dressed warm for the Big Dipper decent. This stage we cruised arriving in Check Point 5 greeted by Milo and Slap Chip roles. I thought I was in heaven. Feeling broken, we sat by the fire and just soaked up the heat and he music. Off we went. We approached the climb called 'Never Ender' - with 180km in the legs and a hill aptly named, we struggled to maintain our sense of humor. After what really felt like forever we came to the self checkin No6 and a few km's later checkpoint 7 for some more Milo and an amazing Jaffel. With 23 km to go, Heino was like a horse going back to the stable. He rode like he stole his bike. The 23 km were not free, there was one more climb and then a long steady uphill singletrack that lay between us and the finish. Crossing the finish line was amazing. The toughest single day stage race in the world and it was conquered and the medal a cherished reminder. We had zero technicals and the choice of Lube (Smoove) proved a wining formula. The Cannondale Scapel SI really was a privilege to ride. The bike is reliable, light and strong and the lefty was the only thing that stopping me quitting when being attacked by the dreaded zinkplaat that plagued this years race. A huge thank you to Heino and Corne from Rockhopper. You guys are amazing. I have never experienced such great service. Until next time. #Rockhopper #lefty #cannondale #smoove
  11. The Repeat is a replica of the Race. 468 teams made up of 2,3 or 4 riders took on the considerable challenge of riding 230km from Willowmore in the Karoo to Jefferys Bay on the East Cape coast, traversing the remote Baviaanskloof en route. Riders travers the beautiful Baviaanskloof a World Heritage site. 2015 winners Studer and Stermin went into the Repeat uncertain about their race form. Following an accident in November last year, Stermin spent 27 days in traction and a further three months on crutches to repair a broken hip. The Repeat was the 54-year-olds first race back since resuming riding in April. "I stuck to my recovery program and when I began training for Trans Baviaans I hit decent numbers soon enough to know that I could do the distance. But racing is a different matter, thankfully I was able to draw on my experience. Andreas was very strong and helped me through some dark moments." After the mid-morning start in Willowmore, the early undulations in the Karoo and the serious road corrugations shook the big group up, separating the pretenders from the contenders. Night riding this weekend hit freezing temperatures in some place on the route. The drop down the Nuwekloof Pass saw a group of 25 riders hammering along at close to 50 kilometers an hour. The pace was controlled by the Power Bar pair, with former winner Vicus Boshoff and debutant Jan Paul Gerber (Coimbra1), Johan Coetzee and Jan Malan (Cadence Tyger Valley) and the mixed team of Kevin Taljaard, Wynand Mulder and husband and wife Henties and Yolande de Villiers (East Coast Cycles Mixed) keeping a close watch on the race favourites. After the first of six mandatory checkpoints at Geelhoudtsbos at 104 kilometers, Stermin and Studer used the climb up Baviaans Back to test their rivals' legs. "We were first in, refilled our bottles and first out and we just decided to attack on the first proper climb." said Stermin. The crisp, clear air was in contrast to the cloud cover of a week earlier and gave the Repeat riders a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the spectacular views of the Baviaanskloof, which was declared a World Heritage site in 2002. Studer and Stermin continued to ride at an even tempo and opened up a four-minute gap over Boshoff and Gerber up the two Fangs climbs. Studer edged ahead of his teammate and crested the M.A.C ascent first to claim the Power Bar King of the Mountains prize. This was where the winning move was made by Team PowerBar getting in and out of CP2 Geelhoutbos the fastest. With 8 minutes in hand, they could afford not to take any risks on the Big Dipper descent after check point 3 at Bergplaas. The tussle for second place was intense as 10-year veteran and former winner Vicus Boshoff drove his young novice partner JP Gerber as hard a possible in an effort to close the gap. The relentless pace took a toll on Gerber and he began fading over the last forty kilometers. They were soon passed by Johan Coetzee and Jan Malan (Cadence Tyger Valley). The combination of the early corrugations and a constant stiff headwind made for exceptionally tough conditions for the entire field. There is nowhere to hide on the 25-kilometer Neverender climb and Stermins early aggression began taking a toll on the former road racer. Studer, who also has a road racing background did much of the work on the front into the wind as they pushed for the finish in the early evening. In so doing they extended their lead to over 12 minutes and crossed the finish line at Fountains Shopping Mall after 9 hours and 42 minutes. Mens podium at The Repeat with winners PowerBar – Ricardo Sternim & Andreas Studer, 2nd Cadence Tygervalley – Johan Coetzee & Jan Malan, 3rd Coimbra1 – Vickus Boshoff & JP Gerber, 4th Rudolf Pretorius, Klaas Meintjies and Rudolph Du Randt and in 5th Pure Event Gear with Pierre Grifieon and Dewald Lotter. Both Studer and Stermin joined the five-time finishers club and were unequivocal in their assessment of this year's event. "This was, without a doubt, the toughest Trans Baviaans I have done, not so much the corrugations, that's part of mountain biking, but it was the headwind that drained us," said Studer afterward. Malan and Coetzee were 12 minutes and 46 seconds back in second place, Boshoff and Gerber were a further 1 minute and 46 seconds back in third place. Alma Colyn and Anneke Viljoen (KWP/ Helderberg Cycle World) took control of the Women's race from the moment they turned onto the Baviaanskloof road and were never passed, Colyn riding her third race and Viljoen her first finished in 11 hours 21 minutes and 11 seconds. Bridgitte Joubert and Tracey Campbell (Lunachix) were 51 minutes back with Leorine de Wet and Hanli Cilliers third. Ladies podium at The Repeat with winners KWP/Helderberg Cycle World – Anneke Viljoen & Alma Colyn, 2nd Lunachix with Bridgette Joubert & Tracey Cambell and in 3rd Loerine De Wit & Hanlie Cilliers. Having won the mixed category in the Race last week with Neill Ungerer, Yolande de Villiers teamed up with husband Henties, Kevjn Taljaard and Wynand Mulder (East Coast Cycles) to win the mixed at the Repeat. They were 7th overall, in 10 hours 19 minutes and 46 seconds. Race Director Zane Schmahl of Ecobound Events said the 2017 Trans Baviaans events, both of which were fully subscribed, had run very smoothly, although there was a surprisingly high rate of attrition. "We've had worse weather in previous years, but the corrugations due to the drought and the headwind on both weekends played a role in the biggest rate of team withdrawals we have ever had." 5 year shield awarded riders of the Trans Baviaans. 347 teams completed the Trans Baviaans Repeat, only the top three teams finished in under ten hours and the vast majority finished between 8pm on Saturday night and 6am on Sunday morning. The slowest of them was a Tandem, team CHM in 22 hours 56 minutes and 15 seconds. "I think this underlines just how tough the Trans Baviaans is. It seems it has lived up to its reputation as the toughest team single stage mountain bike race in the world." Schmahl added. The Trans Baviaans, now in its 14th year, is one of South Africa’s most popular mountain bike events. "Once again we are amazed at the fantastic support we receive from the mountain biking community, we were sold out in just 3 hours last year and, judging from the rider's response this week we expect the same to happen when entries for the 2018 Trans Baviaans Open on the 1st of December." added Schmahl. #Langwater river crossing. For more information on the event go to www.transbaviaans.co.za.
  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. While most riders take on the Trans Baviaans in teams of three or four the elite race has most often been won by teams of just two riders. Photo by Jacques Marais/Pentax. Heading up the race favourites are Timothy Hammond and Matthew Beers, riding in the colours of SPOT Africa Ryder RED-E. Hammond set the current course record with Timo Cooper in 2013, stopping the clock after 230 kilometres of racing in a time of 8 hours 17 minutes and 45 seconds. Speaking two weeks before the race Hammond reflected that his training has gone well. “The bulk of my training over the past month has been strength work on and off the bike. I did two weeks at altitude in Europe towards the end of June in preparation for the rest of the season. The next two weeks will involve some high intensity sessions to prepare for the efforts needed on the big climbs in the middle of the race” he said. The infamous MAC, or Mother of All Climbs, to Bergplaas will be slightly easier this year as Eastern Cape Parks has laid cement tracks up the climb. Photo by Jacques Marais/Pentax. While Hammond’s Trans Baviaans partner Beers is arguably the strongest rider in the race, his pedigree lies in single day marathon events and stage races rather than ultra-marathons. “It’s been good pretty much the same preparation as normal, I just had to throw in some long rides, but I think you just have to be tough mentally at the end of the day” Beers commented when asked about his preparation. Looking to challenge Hammond and Beers’ perceived favourite status are last year’s runners-up, Hanco Kachelhoffer and Pieter Seyffert, and the winners of the second event in 2016, Mike Posthumus and Chris Wolhuter. Kachelhoffer and Seyffert are joined in their Ellsworth NFB 1 team by Armand Swanepoel. Adding a third rider to the team has always proved tricky in the quest for Trans Baviaans victories, but as Seyffert explained Swanepoel will add local knowledge to the squad: “Armand is a local rider from the Baviaans area, he was inspired by our performance in last year's event decided to challenge himself a bit with us by asking if he could ride in our team this year. We make a point of it to bring as many people as possible back to events that we really enjoy and this is definitely one of those events.” “We really enjoyed last year's event but made every mistake possible, so the goal this year would be to make fewer mistakes and to try to be as constant as possible” Seyffert continued. “From our experience in last year's event the ideal place to attack would be ‘Neverender’. It is very late in the race were you really start feeling pressure so if you were able to conserve some energy until there it would be the perfect place to go.” Part of the unique appeal of the Trans Baviaans is the way time has stood virtually still in the kloof. Photo by Jacques Marais/Pentax. In the 2016 race Billy Stelling and Lourens Luus did just that. Stelling, who had appeared to be struggling leading up to ‘Neverended’ forged ahead while Luus stopped at the self-check-in check point atop the climb. Seyffert and Kachelhoffer stopped together and were then unable to react when Luus attacked to rejoin his partner up the road. A similar mix of power and race wiles can be expected from Posthumus and Wolhuter. When asked who he expected their toughest competition to be Beers responded: “I would have to say Mike Posthumus and Chris [Wolhuter]... I know Mike very well and he is an animal…” For his part though the renowned doctor of Sport Science had the following to say: “I expect the race to start warming up coming out of water point two at the 113 kilometre mark, unless Hammond and Beers decide that the first 100 kilometres is too pedestrian for them. But a race like Baviaans is not won by an attack; it’s won by not blowing or fading in the last 50 kilometres!” The 2016 men’s race podium, will Pieter Seyffert and Hanco Kachelhoffer be able to claim the top step in 2017? Photo by Jacques Marais/Pentax. Among the other favourites are Timo Cooper and Erik Smuts; Richard Simpson and Joshua Nuttal; and Pieter and Heine Lategan. The Lategan brothers still hold the record time for the fastest ever Trans Baviaans, but that was set in 2010, while the course was still a few kilometres shorter. They have not raced the event for a number of years and while outsiders for the podium, they could capitalise on other teams getting their race strategy wrong and expending too much energy early on. Cooper and Smuts are in a similar situation with full time jobs limiting their training time, Cooper in fact rated “the distance and us being unfit” as their biggest challenges at the 2017 Trans Baviaans. The final team of pre-race favourites previewed here are the UCT Cycling Club team of Simpson and Nuttal. It will be the pair’s first Trans Baviaans together and Nuttal’s debut. “The plan of action for us is just to ride and see how the race develops. Rich [simpson] rode the race last year with his Dad, William Simpson, and thus knows the route a bit better than me as I am a newbie at this event. At the end of the day, we will have to see how the legs are feeling on route. We entered the event to ride bikes... a good result is a bonus!” Nuttal concluded. 2016 champions Theresa Ralph and Amy McDougal might still miss the 2017 race which would throw the women’s race wide open. Photo by Jacques Marais/Pentax. The women’s race has been thrown wide open by the potential absence of the defending champions Theresa Ralph and Amy McDougal, the pair were dominant in 2016, when they rode as Galileo Risk Valencia, and McDougal in particular has been in fine form thus far in 2017. Likewise the mixed category could see a closer race than in recent years, as Johan Labuschagne will not be partnering up with perennial category favourites Neil Ungerer and Yolandi de Villiers. The Ultimate Cycling Knysna team will for the first time compete as a duo rather than trio; but such is their strength and Trans Baviaans experience that they will still be tough to beat. Mike Posthumus and Chris Wolhuter won the second event at the Trans Baviaans in 2016 but this year they line up against the rest of the elite field in the first race. Photo by Jetline Action Photo. Mountain biking and Trans Baviaans fans will be able to find out all about the 2017 race by going to the Live Event Page and by watching the live race show on the Trans Baviaans Facebook page, at 22:00 on Saturday the 12th of August. Fans can also stay updated throughout the event and follow the race build-up by following @EcoBoundMTB on Twitter or @transbaviaans on Instagram. For more information visit www.transbaviaans.co.za.
  14. Hi Hubbers Does anyone have suggestions for Trans Baviaans training routes near Cape Town (within 45min's drive)? I did most of my training last year on the peninsula because it was convenient, but I would like to start throwing in some more district road if possible. Thanks a lot!
  15. Entries opened at 8am this morning and our team is in - first to register, last to finish, but we will finish. That sets up the training schedule for next year, already excited by the possibilities when it's on paper. Getting the practice to match will make all the difference.
  16. Michael Posthumus and Chris Wolhuter receiving their Trans Baviaans winner’s prizes. Photo by Jetline Action Photo. Despite the relatively slow first 100km to Check Point 2, at Geelhoutbos, Posthumus and Wolhuter managed to beat Lourens Luus and Billy Stelling’s time from the previous weekend by just over five minutes. The PowerBar pairing managed to complete the 230km race from Willowmore to the coast in an impressive 8 hours, 35 minutes and 38 seconds. A 1 069 rider strong field started race two of the Trans Baviaans, 28 more than the previous weekend. Roughly 80% of the riders lining up were first time Trans Baviaansers and the inexperience showed in a larger number of technical issues compared to race one. Another side effect of the inexperienced field was the early pace. Encouragingly the first time riders heeded organisers EcoBound’s advice and started conservatively rather than racing out of the blocks in Willowmore. The Darkhorse - Auto Den team of Dusty and Tyler Day heading up The MAC. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax. In the race for Trans Baviaans victory, the first team to make a move was the Darkhorse - Auto Den pairing of Dusty and Tyler Day. The brothers attacked out of the lead group from Check Point 2 and soon established a gap on the chasing pack. But tragedy struck on the lower slopes of The Mother of All Climbs (The MAC) when they punctured. While fixing the puncture they were caught, and passed, by the PowerBar team of Posthumus and Wolhuter. Heading up The MAC and down the Big Dipper the new race leaders used their superior technical riding skills to establish a lead, which they extended from four and a half minutes at Bergplaas to ten minutes by Check Point 5. The pair have contrasting styles on the bike – Wolhuter is seemingly effortlessly smooth while Posthumus is exceptionally powerful – but despite this they were well matched throughout and managed to finish strongly to claim the win by 20 minutes over the Day brothers. The Darkhorse - Auto Den team were proud and disappointed, in equal measures, in their second position. On crossing the finish line Dusty Day said they “didn’t do too badly, for roadies” and with a strong first attempt at the Trans Baviaans it’s likely the pairing will return to challenge for victory again next year. Tony Aspeling making his way across a Baviaans water crossing. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax. The third men’s team across the line was the Jakkalsvlei team of Henri Meyer and JC Visser. In the women’s race, Anni Uys and Heleen Rossouw took the win with the four woman team of Ernestine Safar, Arouchelle Nieuwenhuis, Cherise Odendaal and Maroshell Odendaal placing second. Rounding out the podium were the Hillcrest Hoodlums, Shelley Durrant and Lynne Baxter. In the mixed category, Andrew Payne and Bianca Martinaglia were first with Kevin Taljaard, Yolande de Villiers and Henry de Villiers second while Henning Blaauw, Louise Ferreira and Pierre Conradie were third. The victors of the second race of the 2016 Trans Baviaans win entries to race one of the 2017 event; along with the other fantastic prizes, including cash prizes and Citizen Watches. This sets up a potentially spectacular duel between the PowerBar teams of Luus and Stelling, victors from race one, against Posthumus and Wolhuter the winners of race two in twelve months’ time. Riders grinding their way up the infamous Mother of All Climbs. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax. For would be Trans Baviaans riders and old hands alike the important dates to diarise for 2017 have already been announced. Race one takes place on the 12th and 13th of August, while race two takes place the following weekend, on the 19th and 20th. Entries for the 2017 events open on the 1st of December 2016. To catch up on all the action from the 2016 Trans Baviaans visit www.transbaviaans.co.za where you’ll find all the results, race information and be able to watch the #TransTalk chat show; which was filmed live from the finish line, at the Fountains Mall in Jeffrey’s Bay, on Sunday the 21st of August. To view all the spectacular photos, taken by Jacques Marais, from the 2016 events like the Trans Baviaans Facebook page or follow @EcoBoundMTB on Twitter and @transbaviaans on Instagram. The hand-made five-time finisher’s plaque awaiting the addition of the 2016 Trans Baviaans medal. Photo by Jetline Action Photo. Selected Results: 2016 Trans Baviaans | Race 2 Men: 1. Chris Wolhuter & Michael Posthumus (PowerBar 2) 08:35:38 2. Dusty & Tyler Day (Darkhorse - Auto Den) 08:55:56 3. Henri Meyer & JC Visser (Jakkalsvlei) 09:17:46Mixed: 1. Andrew Payne & Bianca Martinaglia (John O’Connor Mixed) 10:03:41 2. Kevin Taljaard, Yolande de Villiers & Henry de Villiers (East Coast Cycles Mix) 10:21:56 3. Henning Blaauw, Louise Ferreira & Pierre Conradie (Gemini) 10:39:44 Women: 1. Anni Uys & Heleen Rossouw (Willekatte) 16:34:43 2. Ernestine Safar, Arouchelle Nieuwenhuis, Cherise & Maroshell Odendaal (All Girls) 16:39:33 3. Shelley Durrant & Lynne Baxter (Hillcrest Hoodlums) 17:18:26
  17. The second race of the 2016 Trans Baviaans again saw a PowerBar team emerge victorious. This time it was the Sport Scientist and professional mountain biker combination of Michael Posthumus and Chris Wolhuter who crossed the finish line, at the Fountains Mall in Jeffrey’s Bay, first. Click here to view the article
  18. For riders taking part in the second event of the 2016 Trans Baviaans many of the mysteries of the kloof have already been revealed. Even first timers will know exactly what to expect having spoken to riders who took part in race one last weekend. But knowing what you’re about to face doesn’t make it any easier. Click here to view the article
  19. Donkey carts are as much part of the Baviaanskloof as the iconic Trans Baviaans mountain bike race. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax. The massive demand for Trans Baviaans entries meant that in 2015 EcoBound Events decided to stage a second event the following weekend and, as was the case last year, both events sold out completely in 2016. The second event follows the exact same route, boasts the same hospitable water points and challenges riders to conquer the 230km trip from Willowmore to Jeffrey’s Bay in under 24 hours. The only difference between the events is that EcoBound encourage the professional and highly competitive riders, who intend to race for overall or category victories, to enter the first event. The second event therefore is expected to feature a slower winning time, but with the riders being more evenly matched across the field one can expect groups to remain together for longer than they did during race one, making it harder to pick winners. When mountain biking across such vast distances the weather plays a crucial role and for the second event of the 2016 Trans Baviaans riders can expect chilly conditions; especially on Saturday morning for the start in Willowmore and again in the early hours of Sunday morning as they ride towards the Fountains Mall in Jeffrey’s Bay. There are a few millimetres of rain predicted in the lead-up to the race, but as no precipitation is forecast during the Trans Baviaans the little that falls pre-race won’t even linger long enough to dampen the roads and keep the dust in check. The main concern for riders taking on the second event though is the forecast for a gentle breeze. The high ridges of the Baviaans Mountain Range twist and refract the wind making it swirl into a seemingly constant head wind. The gentle breeze should be blowing by-in-large over the riders shoulders, providing a little forward impetus, but what the weather charts say and the mountains of the Baviaans determine don’t always synchronise. Riders can expect to get their feet wet at least twice during race two of the 2016 Trans Baviaans, before and after Check Point 3. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax. The Trans Baviaans riders will once again be treated to PowerBar nutrition products at every check point along with a range of First Choice dairy products – including flavoured milks, high protein recovery drinks and even jellies – as well as all the traditional Trans Baviaans treats like roosterkoek at Check Point 1 and braaivleis at Check Point 3. For the slower riders who expect to descent the Big Dipper from Bergplaas in the dark a warm change of kit is recommended for your Check Point 4 box as is stopping to enjoy a hearty mug of soup, before starting the descent. Extreme Lights will be stationed at Check Point 5 with spare batteries and a charging station, but riders should ensure they have at least two fully charged batteries available if they expect to be riding throughout the night. Though the surface is makes it rideable throughout the length and gradient of The MAC will have many Trans Baviaans riders pushing their bikes. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax. There is also a social media competition for riders to get involved with; by simply tagging their Trans Baviaans race day photos with #TransBaviaans2016 they can win a pair of Adidas sunglasses. Plus riders and supporters can also treat themselves to Trans Baviaans goodies from Capestorm, check out some of the 2017 Momsen Bikes’ range and stock up on last minute essentials from the Trans Baviaans Expo at registration in Willowmore. On the racing front, race two is expected to be tightly contested between the Darkhorse Racing Team of Dusty and Tailor Day, the George locals Vickus Boshoff and Chris Herbst riding in the Coimbra Cycle House colours, and the PowerBar duo Chris Wolhuter and Mike Posthumus. Wolhuter in particular will be highly motivated to secure a Trans Baviaans victory as his usual stage racing partner, Craig Boyes, fell one position short during race one when he and his Merrell Mixed team failed to match the Ultimate Cycling TBD trio. A hearty welcome awaits Trans Baviaans finishers in Jeffrey’s Bay complete with Spur burgers and Darling Brew craft beers. Photo by www.jacquesmarias.co.za | Pentax. Though the weather will surely play a role in the outcome of the race, riders will be comforted by the fact that the roads used by the Trans Baviaans are all in fairly good conditions. Despite The Mother of All Climbs (The MAC) losing more of its concrete strips over the winter the surface is still ridable throughout – if you have the legs that is. The water level in the Baviaanskloof is on the low side with only two water crossings, either side of Check Point 3 possibly requiring riders to dismount. EcoBound Events would like to encourage every rider to soak up the experience, of riding through the Baviaanskloof, but also to keep the kloof clean and carry all nutrition wrappers back out with them. Non-riders and support crews will be able to follow race two of the 2016 Trans Baviaans via social media. Follow @EcoBoundMTB on Twitter, @transbaviaans on Instagram, and like the Trans Baviaans Facebook page to stay updated throughout the weekend. For more information on the Trans Baviaans and to watch the Trans Talk live chat show, from the finish line at the Fountains Mall, from 09:15 on Sunday 21 August please visit www.transbaviaans.co.za.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. The 230km, 24 hour, Trans Baviaans is upon us, with the first event taking place this weekend; from the 13th to the 14th of August 2016. The weather prediction is looking good and there’s even a chance of a tail wind in the Baviaans Kloof, but be warned the Trans Baviaans didn’t earn the tagline of the toughest single stage MTB race in the world. Click here to view the article
  23. Trans Baviaans is famous for its river crossings and you can expect to get your feet wet this year, even with the rivers at a moderate level. Photo by Jacques Marias | Sony. The full weather prediction for the race is for clear but chilly conditions, with a slight tail wind – perfect for the race favourites to set a blistering time. For the riders expecting to finish closer to the 24-hour cut-off time though getting the careful packing of checkpoint boxes will be essential. The roads in the Baviaans Kloof are notoriously rugged and this year will be no different. Riders can also expect a moderate amount of water on route, with the area receiving steady recent rains, but nothing significant in the final week leading into the first event riders can expect numerous but no particularly challenging river crossings. For 2016 the Trans Baviaans gets a new tag line: “Where Team Spirit Gets A Whole New Meaning. Photo by Jacques Marais | Sony. For 2016 the Trans Baviaans will also be implementing a few exciting new features on the back of staging a second running of the Trans Baviaans in 2015. Official nutrition sponsor, PowerBar will be providing their Tour de France proved race nutrition at every checkpoint for both 2016 events. Moreover, new sponsor First Choice®, the proud producers of farm fresh milk, will be providing riders with a selection of their products including their flavoured milks at each checkpoint and a High Protein Recovery drink on the top of the mountain at Bergplaas. There will also be a Trans Baviaans Expo at the registration in Willowmore on Friday the 12th of August. Event sponsors Momsen Bikes, Extreme Lights, Capestorm and Oakley will be showing off their latest products and some Trans Baviaans specific gear. While for the riders who would like to take the edge off the nerves and catch up with the familiar faces from previous Trans Baviaans races the Darling Brew Coldspot will be worth a visit for a craft beer or two. With tough climbs, like The MAC, The Fangs and Never Ender, the Trans Baviaans riders will need to pace themselves to avoid burning all their matches far from the Fountain Mall. Photo by Jacques Marais | Sony. A capacity 1 200 riders will line up in Knysna Road, Willowmore, for the start of the Trans Baviaans at 10:00 on Saturday morning. The pre-race favourites include the PowerBar pairing of Billy Sterling and Lourens Luus, while the women’s race is expected to be tightly contested between Hannele Steyn and Tina Brenzel, and Theresa Ralph and Amy McDougall. The super-fast locals, Yolandi de Villiers, Johan Labgaschagne and Neill Ungerer will surely be the mixed team to beat. The Trans Baviaans starts at 10:00 to ensure that even the fastest riders will ride out of an African sunset and into the night. Photo by Peter Kirk Media. The Baviaans Kloof is the largest wilderness area in South Africa and a World Heritage Site, so being able to ride through it is a unique experience. It’s an experience that EcoBound Events are endeavouring to share with non-riders and mountain biking fanatics who couldn’t secure an entry for the 2016 Trans Baviaans by keeping the world outside the Baviaans Kloof updated via social media. Though the remoteness of the kloof presents considerable challenges plans have been put in place to ensure you can follow the Trans Baviaans action from home like never before. Follow @EcoBoundMTB on Twitter, @transbaviaans on Instagram, and like the Trans Baviaans Facebook page to stay updated throughout the weekend. For more information on the Trans Baviaans, please visit www.transbaviaans.co.za. Fast Facts: Trans Baviaans Race 1 Dates: 13 & 14 August Registration: 12 August from 14:00 | Willowmore Town Hall Start: 13 August 10:00 | Knysna Street, Willowmore Finish: 14 August by 10:00 | Fountains Mall, Jeffery’s Bay Distance: 227km Altitude Gain: 2 843m Cut-Offs: Check Point 4, Bergplaas, 02:00 | Finish, Fountains Mall, 10:00
  24. The idea was borne and the race has grown from about 250 riders in the first year to now having 2 events on 2 consecutive weekends and both are sold out. Team Ecobound embarked on a roadshow this year visiting the main centres with a Trans Baviaans Information session dubbed the Trans Talks. The tour started in Johannesburg at the Sportmans Warehouse in Fourways and then moved to The Bike and Brew in Port Elizabeth, Sportmans Warehouse Bloemfontein, Greg Minnaar Cycles in Pietermaritzburg, Knysna Cycle Works in Knysna and then the last evening was at Sportmans Warehouse Rondebosch Cape Town. All the evenings where well attended and enjoyed by everyone. We had expert advise on nutrition from PowerBar, Extreme Lights got technical with light information, Squirt gave away some goodies for everyone that attended and Darling Brew did tastings in Cape Town. The stores that hosted the Trans Talk’s offered some great specials to everyone that joined. Special speakers included veteran Berend Maarching (who did every single race) with some of his tips, podium finishers like Nick Cape and more. “We will make a downloadable version of the presentation available to all that did not attend the Trans Talks” said Zane Schmahl Event Organiser. “The Trans Talk Roadshow will be launched again for 2017 with hopefully more towns to be visited in our country after many requests confirming the demand for them” said Wikus van der Walt Race Director. The team from Ecobound will now turn their full focus to the event itself that will take place on 13 & 20 August 2016 which is just around the corner.
  25. The first Trans Talk took place way back in 2004 right before the very first Trans Baviaans 24hr MTB marathon. The distance was unheard of, the riders didn’t know if it was possible to do, there was a buzz of excitement and nerves mixed together in the month leading up to the inaugural race. A couple of locals from Knysna asked Wikus van der Walt the founder of the race to come and tell them what to expect! Click here to view the article
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