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  1. With three events to choose from (a +-60km/Marathon; a +- 28km/Half Marathon and a 15km Fun Race), plenty of mountain biking challenges, heaps of family fun and a scenic day out of the city, the Fedhealth MTB Challenge catered for all levels of mountain bikers. BCX riders HB Kruger and Waylon Woolcock took the 60km/Marathon in their stride crossing the finish line in a comfortable first and second place position respectively in 02 hours 51 minutes. Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger. Photo credit: Tobias Ginsberg. “The Fedhealth MTB Challenge is on our doorstep and is organised by a local event organiser that always puts on a good show. Entering was a no brainer,” says Woolcock. “HB and I didn’t have any real strategy beforehand. We wanted to use the event as training for the remainder of the season. Boschendal Wine Estate is such an awesome venue. The route was tough, which is typical of the Banhoek Valley. We really enjoyed the race.” HB Kruger made his Fedhealth MTB Challenge debut on the day. “The event was awesome. I train a lot in this area and was really looking forward to the race. The single track was absolutely amazing. It was special to be able to ride with Waylon all the way, this being a one-day event. I’m actually a Fedhealth member. It’s awesome to see Fedhealth giving back to the sport that I love so much.” Jurgens Uys claimed the final spot on the podium in the 60km/Marathon. Katie Lennard obliterated the field in the women’s 60km/Marathon crossing the finish line first in 03 hours 24 minutes 55 seconds. “It was just an awesome day on route, perfect weather and cool trails,” says Lennard. “I love racing at Boschendal Wine Estate. The idea is always to win. I went out steady and then cranked up the pace. I love the new venue. It was definitely a great move. Although the route was tough, the amazing single track distracted me from the pain.” Louise Ferreira came in second, while Courteney Webb finished third. Katie Lennard. Photo credit: Tobias Ginsberg. Jamie Penfold was the rider to beat in the men’s +- 28km/Half Marathon with a winning time of 01 hour 18 minutes 05 seconds. Daniel Van Der Walt came in second, while Sven Swart finished third. Stefke Tolmay was the first woman home in the +- 28km/Half Marathon, her winning time was 01 hour 38 minutes 42 seconds. Michaela Beaton came in second, while Nienke Mostert finished third. Hendre De Villiers’ finish time of 36 minutes 33 seconds secured him the top spot on the podium in the men’s 15km Fun Race. Philip George Van Schalkwyk came in second, while Alec Coleske finished third. Olivia Penfold completed the 15km Fun Race in 38 minutes 06 seconds. Kayleigh Scholtz came in second, while Amelie Owens finished third. Says Jeremy Yatt, Fedhealth Principal Officer: “Our third event and first Fedhealth MTB Challenge at Boschendal Wine Estate has been a huge success, with our participants really shaking it up on the new trails. Thank you for all the riders who joined us – we trust you smashed your personal bests and that you got to relax with your families as well. Being active and healthy is really important to the Fedhealth family, which is why we look forward to hosting many more of these events in future. See you next year!” RESULTS: 2017 Fedhealth MTB Challenge +- 60km / MarathonMen 1 HB Kruger 02:51:00, 2 Waylon Woolcock 02:51:00, 3 Jurgens Uys 02:54:40, 4 Dominic Calitz 02:54:41, 5 Tristan De Lange 02:56:49, 6 Trevor McCarthy 02:58:28, 7 Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse 03:01:40, 8 Craig Uria 03:03:17, 9 Matthew Keyser 03:04:19, 10 Stephan Esterhuyse 03:05:32 Women 1 Katie Lennard 03:24:55, 2 Louise Ferreira 03:39:39, 3 Courteney Webb 03:39:41, 4 Tanja Oosthuyse 03:44:00, 5 Anja Van Zyl 03:47:50, 6 Marleen Lourens 03:50:16, 7 Jane Seggie 03:50:33, 8 Shereen Horsford 03:51:56, 9 Candice Lundin 03:52:47, 10 Anneke Hanekom 03:52:49 +- 28km / Half Marathon Men 1 Jamie Penfold 01:18:05, 2 Daniel Van Der Walt 01:18:06, 3 Sven Swart 01:19:58, 4 Luke Moir 01:20:56, 5 Rudi Koen 01:23:13, 6 Joshua Burger 01:24:49, 7 Daniel Moolman 01:25:17, 8 Johan Hendrik Kruger 01:26:07, 9 Justin Chesterton 01:27:23, 10 WG Van Der Walt 01:29:23 Women 1 Stefke Tolmay 01:38:42, 2 Michaela Beaton 01:45:46, 3 Nienke Mostert 01:49:40, 4 Andrea Chofman 01:53:29, 5 Michael Reuvens 01:56:29, 6 Kayleigh Stevenson 01:56:30, 7 Nita Van Rensburg 01:56:35, 8 Nophiwo Hala 01:57:34, 9 Arelene Mulder 01:58:10, 10 Jacqui Jackson 01:59:37 15km / Fun Race Men 1 Hendre De Villiers 00:36:33, 2 Philip George Van Schalkwyk 00:36:00, 3 Alec Coleske 00:36:33, 4 Helgardt NortjT 00:36:34, 5 Jeandre Ungerer 00:36:35, 6 Luke Kavanage 00:36:36, 7 Peter Lukoff 00:38:04, 8 Luc Mouton 00:38:05, 9 Henry Owens 00:39:09, 10 Robert Phillip Nieuwenhuizen 00:39:15 Women 1 Olivia Penfold 00:38:06, 2 Kayleigh Scholtz 00:40:56, 3 Amelie Owens 00:42:03, 4 Samantha Visser 00:44:06, 5 Megan Scholtz 00:44:48, 6 Christine Van Der Walt 00:44:51, 7 Dawn Swart 00:44:54, 8 Chloe Chesterton 00:46:11, 9 Edna Ytier 00:46:18, 10 Ilanca Jordaan 00:47:40
  2. Waylon Woolcock (left) and HB Kruger of BCX negotiate a technical section en route to winning the final stage and overall title at the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Full Stop Communications The BCX duo had a keen tussle with their rivals on the third and final day to emerge victorious by 20 seconds at the Zuurberg Mountain Village, which is perched above the Addo Elephant National Park. Riding in the event for the first time, the Western Cape pair finished the 50km stage in 2:11:40 for a combined race time of 8:08:01. They were followed home by the Ascendis-LCB outfit of Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit, who finished in 2:12:00 to consolidate their runner-up spot in the overall standings in 8:12:30. Gert Heyns pushes the pace on the third and final stage of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Shayne Minott Defending champion Andrew Hill, who teamed up with Marco Joubert for TIB Insurance-Momsen, finished third on the day in 2:12:16 as well as in the general classification in 8:15:49. With a four-minute buffer going into the technically challenging final stage, Woolcock said their strategy was based on defence rather than attack. “If you look at the route we were probably at a slight disadvantage today against some of the more technical riders. “But something seriously would have to go wrong to lose a four-minute advantage in 50km, so we just tried to make sure that did not happen.” The top three teams rode together for nearly the whole stage until BCX spotted an opportunity with about a kilometre to go. “It wasn’t really planned, but we saw Arno taking a bit of strain coming up the last drag to the finish so we just put the hammer down for the stage win,” said Woolcock. Reflecting on the event, he said they were very happy with their decision to compete. “The hospitality and organisation have been top-notch and it is one of the best events I have been to,” he said. “Besides that, the terrain is amazing, with lots of variety and it can be quite gnarly and rough in some places. “As a climber, I enjoyed the fact that the stages finished at the top of a mountain every day.” Having added the Zuurberg title to the Winelands Encounter they won last month, Woolcock said it was important for them to show their credentials. “At the end of the day it’s all about giving back to our sponsors and getting as much coverage as we can so this win fits in with our team objectives. “It’s important for us to aim high and doing well gives us and our sponsors great exposure and that’s always an incentive to go for the win.” Knowing they needed to force the pace for a shot at the overall victory, Heyns and Du Toit said their mindset was to be aggressive from the start. “But the BCX guys rode very well defensively and kept getting onto the single-track in front and we couldn’t really get away,” said Du Toit. “Still, it was an awesome experience with some great trails and we really enjoyed the vibe on and off the bike.” Hill, who won in 2014 and last year, said he and Joubert also tried to go hard from the start, but always felt it would come down to the final climb. “We knew BCX would try to put the hammer down there and that’s what happened. We almost got second, but didn’t quite make it, and that’s how racing goes.” Mixed section champions Neill Ungerer (front) and Yolande de Villiers of Dryland-Ultimate Cycling in action during the third and final stage of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Shayne Minott The mixed title went to Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers of Dryland-Ultimate Cycling, who dominated all three stages for a decisive victory. Ungerer said the race was memorable, even though the last climb “is always a little killer”. “But when you have a partner like Yolande you couldn’t ask for better. Everything went well, with awesome trails and a great vibe off the bike.” De Villiers paid tribute to the organisers for their efforts. “Today was more like a play day with great single-track and full marks to the organisers. “From the trails to the route marking and waterpoints, everything was spot on. This is an event that everyone should do.” Siska van der Bijl (left) and Annie Davids of GZT-Pedigree celebrate stage and overall victory on the final day of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Shayne Minott GZT-Pedigree’s Siska van der Bijl, who won the women’s category alongside Annie Davids, said the event had a bright future. “Trevor and Rob Hayter (the race founders) and their team did a wonderful job and the amount of work they put in was amazing.” The overall men’s podium at the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race, which took place outside Port Elizabeth, are, from left, Andrew Hill and Marco Joubert (TIB Insurance-Momsen), HB Kruger and Waylon Woolcock (BCX) and Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit (Ascendis-LCB. Photo: Shayne Minott Results – Stage 3 Men1. HB Kruger, Waylon Woolcock (BCX) 2:11:40 2. Gert Heyns, Arno du Toit (Ascendis-LCB) 2:12:00 3. Marco Joubert, Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance-Momsen) 2:12:16 4. Bradley Weiss, Stuart Marais (Huguenot Hackers) 2:20:27 5. Jason Peach, Jason Reed (Saddle and Cleats) 2:25:03 6. Anele Mtalana, Tshepo Tlou (Exxaro) 2:26:58 7. Joel Stransky, Andrew Mclean (Cycle Lab) 2:28:37 8. Bruce Campbell, Tim Ellerbeck (Cyclo Pro) 2:37:06 9. Kyle Bradford, Brent Pheiffer (UPC) 2:39:19 10. Grant Daly, Richard Allen (Engeli) 2:40:27 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer, Yolande de Villiers (Dryland-Ultimate Cycling) 2:34:15 2. Andrea Shirley, Steven Shirley (On Your Bike) 2:52:27 3. Hildegarde Cronje, Victor Terblanche (Victoryhill) 3:19:38 Women 1. Siska van der Bijl, Annie Davids (GZT-Pedigree) 3:10:34 General classification Men 1. HB Kruger, Waylon Woolcock (BCX) 8:08:01 2. Gert Heyns, Arno du Toit (Ascendis-LCB) 8:12:30 3. Marco Joubert, Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance-Momsen) 8:15:49 4. Bradley Weiss, Stuart Marais (Huguenot Hackers) 8:44:36 5. Jason Peach, Jason Reed (Saddle and Cleats) 8:51:31 6. Joel Stransky, Andrew Mclean (Cycle Lab) 9:08:45 7. Anele Mtalana, Tshepo Tlou (Exxaro) 9:18:33 8. Derrick Venter, Geoffrey Lee (Absa) 9:44:25 9. Bruce Campbell, Tim Ellerbeck (Cyclo Pro) 9:50:25 10. Raynard Tissink, Louis de Villiers (2XU) 9:56:21 Mixed 1. Neill Ungerer, Yolande de Villiers (Dryland-Ultimate Cycling) 9:29:19 2. Andrea Shirley, Steven Shirley (On Your Bike) 11:00:27 3. Hildegarde Cronje, Victor Terblanche (Victoryhill) 12:26:13 Women 1. Siska van der Bijl, Annie Davids (GZT-Pedigree) 11:51:00
  3. The duo’s finishing power on the final ascent was too much for their rivals and, after dislodging them, they were able to cruise home in 2:40:07 after 67km of undulating racing. HB Kruger (left) leads BCX teammate Waylon Woolcock on a climb on stage one of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Shayne Minott. Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit of Ascendis-LCB, who clocked 2:41:36, was next to reach the finish at the Zuurberg Mountain Village with Marco Joubert and Andrew Hill of TIB Insurance-Momsen third in 2:42:02. Woolcock, who won the three-day Winelands Encounter in the Western Cape alongside the 26-year-old Kruger last month, said the race was far from finished. “The lead we have means very little in mountain biking terms and we will go into tomorrow knowing that we have to be cautious while also trying to maintain the pressure on our rivals,” said the 34-year-old from Stellenbosch. He said all the favourites were together as they hit the first major descent and their sole focus was on making sure they didn’t have any mechanicals. “We went into the first single-track and all the cross-country boys were very excited, but all I could think of was safety first – look after your tyres, look after your bike and yourself,” he said. “Arno and Gert went screaming down the single-track and had gapped us quite a bit, but when we came around a corner, we saw that Arno had a puncture.” The two teams joined forces as they headed towards the day’s first major test. “On the climb just before the waterpoint, about 20km in, we saw Arno was taking a bit of strain, so we gapped them quite a bit,” explained Woolcock. “But we knew it was too early to ride alone from there as there are a lot of flat sections before the final climb.” After the waterpoint, two teams – Hill and Joubert and Chris Wolhuter and Craig Boyes of Imbuko Wines – rode up to the leaders and Woolcock said the workload was shared evenly at that point. “There was nothing tricky or technical as it was jeep track and mostly open district roads, but we knew the last climb was going to be decisive.” As soon as they started to climb Zuurberg Pass that linked the valley at the bottom with the hotel at the top, Kruger went clear at the front while Imbuko Wines started to falter at the back. Mixed team Neill Ungerer (left) and Yolande de Villiers of Dryland-Ultimate Cycling en route to winning stage one of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Full Stop Communications. “HB had a gap of a few hundred metres and when I could see that Arno couldn’t respond, I attacked him and rode across,” said Woolcock. “Once I got there, HB kept up the tempo to give me a bit of breather and we then worked together to keep the gap until the finish.” Woolcock said the nature of the course on the opening day played to their strengths as they were both good climbers. “I might have the edge on the climbs, but HB is able to keep a higher tempo on the flats and rolling climbs.” Woolcock said being in front was the best possible scenario. “It’s always better to lead than to chase. I wouldn’t say it takes the pressure off, but it does mean we don’t have to force it. “Tomorrow we will work to look after the bike because it’s better to lose a few seconds in a technical section than to try to close the gap after having a puncture. “So it’s always a bit of a relief to have that buffer.” Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers of Dryland-Ultimate Cycling, who won the GR300 last month, finished in 3:02:26 to lead the mixed section. Women’s team Annie Davids (left) and Siska van der Bijl of GZT-Ladies win the first stage of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. Photo: Shayne Minott. Andrea and Steven Shirley of On Your Bike finished second in 3:25:46 with Roan Rossouw and Heather Slabbert of Totally Stoked third in 3:48:48. Siska van der Bijl and Annie Davids of GZT-Ladies were the first women home in 3:45:44. Riders will tackle the queen stage over 78km with 1 750m of climbing on Saturday.
  4. Last year Woolcock and Kruger were riding with different partners and were leading after Days 1 and 2 respectively when mechanicals robbed them of their chances of victory. This year they will be looking for a bit of better luck and some old-fashioned team work to give them an edge. HB Kruger (left) and Waylon Woolcock will be joining forces at the 2017 KAP sani2c. Zoon Cronje/ Gameplan Media. "My strength as a mountain biker in team stage races has always been not racing against my partner," said Woolcock when assessing the chances of the BCX pair at this year's event. "Some teams seem to go out there to hurt each other – and look, it does seem to work for some teams who can race each other even in team events, but I have always felt that you are only as strong as the weakest member of the team. "I think it probably comes from my background as a road rider, where we used to have a team of six to eight guys all working together for one person. It always surprised me when I came across from the road how the mountain bike guys did not understand the team tactics." Woolcock's shift from the road to the dirt came with some different ideas of how team work works, even in each-man-for-himself races. "When I was first riding mountain bike with Neil MacDonald we would always work for each other, even in the individual events. The other mountain bikers would be amazed when I told them we split the prize money. "With all my partners, Neil, HB and Darren (Lill) we have always split the prize money. "HB and I are still a relatively new team. We have only been riding together for about a few months and I think it takes at least a year to completely understand each other. "We are starting to have a good understanding and are getting a good feel for each other, but still need to verbally communicate. Once you have ridden together enough you start to know what the other rider is going through. "With Darren I used to know what he was thinking sometimes even before he thought it." That team work took Woolcock and Lill to victory in 2015 at the sani2c and seemed to be working last year until Woolcock cracked a wheel on Day 2 after they had taken the lead on the opening stage from Himeville to Mackenzie Club near Ixopo. In an ironic twist, Woolcock's partner for this year's race, together with his partner Johann Rabie, benefited from that misfortune and took over the lead at the end Day 2. But Kruger and Rabie then punctured on the fast Day 3, which allowed Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns to secure a somewhat fortunate victory. Beukes is the favourite to add a second KAP sani2c title to his resume, but will be riding with Philip Buys and they have been an almost unbeatable pairing in stage races this year. As the PYGA Euro Steel team they were the top African team at the Absa Cape Epic and then last weekend ended off a dominant Old Mutual joBerg2c with a win over the NAD Pro team of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell. "The PYGA guys are probably the team to beat at this year's sani, along with NAD," said Woolcock. "But there are always a lot of other teams that get together just for the sani2c and who I only realise are riding together when I get there and see them on the start line, so you never really know. "HB and I would like to at least get on the podium this year, but obviously we would also like to win it and I think we have a chance. "Both of us have had really good form post Epic: I won the TrailSeeker Western Cape Series in Tulbagh at the weekend and the week before HB and I won the Liberty Winelands Encounter together, so our form seems to be there." Woolcock has mixed feeling about the changes to the route, particularly what many feel could be the long and tough race-deciding new climb out the Umkomaas Valley on Day 2. "We did not do the joBerg2c (which includes the three stages which make up the sani2c) so the new climb out the Umkomaas could mean we are at a bit of a disadvantage. I spoke to Darren (Lill), who rode joBerg, and he told me what to expect and told me what the climb is like, but you never really know until you get there. "But I think from what he said the new climb will suit us. It is a bit more difficult than the old climb by the sounds of things, and we are usually both very solid on the climbs." For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  5. The elite men lined up at the start of the Nissan TrailSeeker Western Cape Series in Tulbugh on the Saronsberg Wine Estate. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Almost 700 riders participated in the event, which offered four distances and which took place in hot, breezy conditions. The prestigious series attracted most of the Western Cape’s top racers in the marathon event, with a strong Youth and Junior category showing in the half-marathon. In the men’s marathon, a lead group of six formed early on comprising Alan Hatherly (Team Spur), Gert Heyns (Ascendis Health), Woolcock (Team BCX), Matt Beers (Red-E Cannondale), HB Kruger (Team BCX) and Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes). Hatherly, Beers and Heyns were the aggressors and the pace they set soon saw their rivals drop off as they charged clear on the 68km route. Early formation of the elite men comprising of Alan Hatherly (Team Spur), Gert Heyns (Ascendis Health), Woolcock (Team BCX), Matt Beers (Red-E Cannondale), HB Kruger (Team BCX) and Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes). Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za But the unexpectedly hot conditions began to take their toll and with 20km remaining, the experienced Woolcock reeled the leaders in and focussed his efforts on maintaining his lead until the finish, even opting to skip a stop at a water point, despite having no water. He survived the conditions better than his rivals and rolled across the finish line first in a time of 02 hours 56 minutes 02 seconds. Joubert managed the conditions well too and claimed the runner-up spot a minute and a half later, with Heyns rounding out the podium places in 2:59:10. “Tulbagh never disappoints when it comes to a hard route. I also made the race bit harder for myself when I clipped a rock and damaged a pedal. That saw me struggle on the singletrack. Luckily the last half of the race had less singletrack so I was able to keep a good rhythm,” said Woolcock Waylon Woolcock (Team BCX) arms raised in victory as he crosses the finish line in first place at the Nissan TrailSeeker Western Cape Series in Tulbagh. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “I had no water at all with 20km to go. I was too afraid to stop at a water point because when you’re leading you never know what the gaps are like behind you. I’m really happy to take the win against quite a classy field,” added Woolcock. “It was quite brutal. Alan, Matt and Gert set a hard pace from the start. The last 20 kays the heat started to affect all of us. Then it was a battle for survival and to see who could last. Luckily I managed to hold off Gert and Alan and get second place, but Waylon was just too strong and deserved the win,” said Joubert. “It was quite hard from the start. I got away with Alan and Matt. It was a game of cat and mouse the whole race. With 20 kays to go, Waylon came from behind. We were all a bit tired and running a bit low on water. In the circumstances, I’m happy with third,” said Heyns. Jennie Stenerhag (CBC/Abro) raises an arm as she claims the women’s marathon victory at the Nissan TrailSeeker Western Cape Series in Tulbagh. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za In the women’s race, Stenerhag (CBC/Abro) and Vera Adrian (Team dormakaba), set the pace from the outset. They were locked together for more than half of the race with Stenerhag doing most of the pace-setting. But at 40km Adrian stopped to fill a bottle and Stenerhag pushed on, creating the race-deciding split. Stenerhag rode on alone out front in the hot, windy conditions to finish first in a time of 3:24:46. Adrian secured second place in 3:28:15 with Carmen Buchacher (Velocity Sports Lab) third in 3:37:26. “It was quite a hard race and the heat made it even harder. The route was quite hilly and there was wind, so the conditions were tough. Vera stopped at a water point and I just went through. Then I never saw here again for the rest of the race. I’m very happy with the win,” said Stenerhag. “Tulbagh is fantastic for mountain biking. I’ve been here quite a few times for weekends away, training camps and many races, so I know the trails very well. It’s a hidden gem. More people should come and ride here,” added Stenerhag. Vera Adrian (Team dormakaba) works her way past the men on a farm road in Tulbagh at the Nissan TrailSeeker Western Cape Series. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “The first hour was lovely. We were in the shade of the mountains where most of the climbing was. Lots of lovely singletrack! It got really hot later though. At 40km I had to stop for water. I knew I wouldn’t make it to the finish on what I had left. That’s where Jennie opened the gap and I just couldn’t close it,” explained Adrian. In the Half-marathon over 40km, Junior Rossouw Bekker, was the first male home in 1:48:45, while Junior Mia de Villiers was the first female to finish in 2:18:23. 2017 Nissan TrailSeeker Series, Western Cape Round 1, Saronsberg, Tulbagh Leading results:Overall men 68km marathon 1 Waylon Woolcock (Team BCX) 2:56:02 2 Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes) 2:57:36 3 Gert Heyns (Ascendis Health) 2:59:10 4 Alan Hatherly (Team Spur) 3:00:39 5 HB Kruger (Team BCX) 3:08:14 6 Matthew Beers (Red-E Cannondale) 3:09:44 7 Robert Hobson 3:11:25 8 Dylan Rebello (Imbuko Momsen) 3:11:47 9 Luke Evans 3:14:58 10 Craig Gerber 3:15:51 Overall women 68km marathon 1 Jennie Stenerhag (CBC/Abro) 3:24:46 2 Vera Adrian (Team dormakaba) 3:28:15 3 Carmen Buchacher (Velocity Sports Lab) 3:37:26 4 Katie Lennard 3:40:31 5 Louise Ferreira 3:55:44 6 Courteney Webb 3:56:22 7 Leorine de Wet 4:02:08 8 Tandi Kitching 4:06:29 9 Jana Kruger 4:14:00 10 Lehane Oosthuizen 4:16:08 Overall male 40km half-marathon 1 Rossouw Bekker 1:48:45 2 Jamie Penfold 1:50:47 3 Joshua Laughton 1:55:13 Overall female 40km half-marathon 1 Mia de Villiers 2:18:23 2 Tessa Keers 2:24:56 3 Alison Morton 2:26:42 For full results visit www.saseeding.co.za Round 2 of the 2017 Nissan TrailSeeker Series takes place at Grabouw on 24 June. Information and online entries at www.trailseekerseries.co.za
  6. The Stellenbosch professional, who won last weekend’s Liberty Winelands Encounter alongside BCX teammate HB Kruger, said he was excited about targeting the Eastern Cape race based at the Zuurberg Mountain Village for the first time from May 26. “The Eastern Cape is one of the areas where I have not mountain biked a lot, although I’m reasonably familiar with the type of terrain,” the 34-year-old said in reference to the route that takes in portions of the Addo Elephant National Park. “I have ridden a lot in the Karoo near Oudtshoorn so I have experienced the types of trails we will face.” BCX’s Waylon Woolcock (left) and HB Kruger will target overall victory at the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race, which takes place at the Zuurberg Mountain Village near Port Elizabeth next month. Photo: Ewald Sadie Woolcock said he competed in a host of events around the country and was used to adapting to different conditions and terrain and that Zuurberg, just outside Port Elizabeth, would be no different. Although he said he and Kruger would aim for the top spot on the podium, he acknowledged there would be plenty of competition. “It is always a goal to win an event we enter, but you are definitely seeing more professional teams competing in these types of races. “As a professional doing it for a living we have to try to give back to our sponsors so the greater the exposure we get, the better it is for everyone. “We choose events which suit us and our sponsors, and I think the GZT will be a really good one.” Although Woolcock and Kruger swept aside their competition at the Winelands Encounter, he acknowledged one could never be sure of the outcome in mountain bike racing. “I think the GZT will be a really interesting test because there are a couple of good teams in the mix.” He said one never knew who might end up on the start list, but felt defending champion Andrew Hill and new teammate Marco Joubert (TIB Insurance-Momsen), as well as TransCape champions Pieter Seyffert and Travis Walker (ASG-Ellsworth), would be two of the teams to watch. Woolcock praised the efforts of the organisers in supporting a professional field. “They have definitely helped to draw us to the event and have made it as attractive as possible. “I’m looking forward to a great race in a lovely part of the country and we are grateful for the backing the organisers have provided.”
  7. HB Kruger (front) and Waylon Woolcock, of BCX, lead the way en route to their third stage win and overall victory in the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, near Wellington in the Boland today. Photo: Ewald Sadie Using the same strategy as before, the BCX duo were again able to build up a lead during the first half of the 48km final stage in the Wellington area en route to winning in 1:49:34. On the day, they were followed by Versus Socks’ Jurgens Uys and Nicol Carstens (1:51:07) and TIB Insurance-Momsen Valley Light’s Andrew Hill and Marco Joubert (1:52:34). Woolcock and Kruger sealed the title with an overall racing time of 6:18:53, ahead of Hill and Joubert (6:28:01) and Uys and Carstens (6:30:57). Sweden’s Jennie Stenerhag added the women’s title to the Cape Epic crown she won last month when she and her Cape Brewing Company teammate Katie Lennard completed a comfortable overall victory in 7:38:48. Katie Lennard (front) and Sweden’s Jennie Stenerhag, of Cape Brewing Company, took the honours in the women’s race of the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, which finished near Wellington in the Boland today. Photo: Ewald Sadie Reflecting on the race, Woolcock said he felt their success had been built on the opening stage when they created a three-minute lead which they gradually increased. “We came here with a goal of winning the race and we always knew it would be important to get a gap on the opening day,” he said. “Besides giving you a buffer, it also gives you a mental head start on the rest if you can show you are the strongest. “We went hard from the start on the first day on probably the toughest stage of the three, so that set up our advantage.” Kruger said they began the final leg with the aim of staying near the front and avoiding mechanicals or crashes. “We managed to get a gap fairly early on and then rode at a steady tempo and it was cool to win our third stage in a row,” he said. “As we both come from the region – I’m from Paarl and Waylon from Stellenbosch – it was very satisfying to win this title. It gives us a positive attitude looking ahead to our next races.” HB Kruger, of BCX, leads the bunch on the third stage of the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, which finished near Wellington in the Boland today. Photo: Ewald Sadie Kruger said they had particularly enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB. “Generally it was quite a relaxed vibe, some really good routes, and we could not have asked for better weather. It’s a great event and hats off to the organisers for their hard work.” Stenerhag was pleased with her effort after she and Lennard won the final stage ahead of Companero’s Jana Kruger and Ilse Viljoen. “I particularly enjoyed riding with Katie, who was always very good on the technical sections. Overall it was a good experience and the organisation was great.” She said she would be riding in the TrailSeeker Series in Tulbagh next weekend before returning to Europe. Corne Barnard (front) and Vera Adrian, of dormakaba RA, took the honours in the mixed category of the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, which finished near Wellington in the Boland today. Photo: Ewald Sadie In the mixed category, dormakaba RA’s Corne Barnard and Vera Adrian won their third stage in a row in 2:03:10 to head the general classification on 7:07:28. Home Ice Cream’s Matthew Stamatis and Carmen Buchacher were second on the stage in 2:06:34 and overall in 7:16:12, followed by Bestmed-Ellsworth-ASG’s Pieter Seyffert and An-Li Kachelhoffer in 2:13:58 and 7:38:48.
  8. HB Kruger (front) and Waylon Woolcock, of BCX, built an overall lead of just more than six minutes after winning the second stage in the three-day Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, today. Photo: Ewald Sadie The BCX pair used their knowledge of the region – Woolcock is from Stellenbosch and Kruger from Paarl – to build a six-minute lead going into the final stage tomorrow. They completed the 57km stage from Franschhoek to Wellington in 2:17:21, finishing ahead of Andrew Hill and Marco Joubert (TIB Insurance-Momsen Valley Light), who clocked a time of 2:20:35. Jurgens Uys and Nicol Carstens (Versus Socks) were third for the second consecutive day, finishing in 2:23:00. Dylan Rebello, of Imbuko Wines, leads the bunch on the 57km second stage of the three-day Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, from Franschhoek to Wellington today Photo: Ewald Sadie The stage’s outcome gave Woolcock and Kruger an overall time of 4:29:00, just more than six minutes clear of Hill and Joubert (4:35:27). Uys and Carstens (4:39:50) are third. Woolcock said it was not a case of making any significant moves on the day, but maintaining the pressure on their rivals until the climb up Cascade Manor 40km into the race. “The first 15 to 20km were fairly fast and flat, but knowing the trails pretty well, it was a matter of just keeping up the pace,” he said. “The guys were on and off us the whole time and we had a gap of about one minute when we hit the big climb of the day.” He added that they wanted to build up a decent gap going up Cascade Manor to the Hawekwa Plantation. “We managed to achieve that and still had something in reserve because there have been some fires in the region, which meant we had to be fairly careful on the single-track down to the finish,” said Woolcock. After riding a large part of the first stage of the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, at tempo, he said they had been able to ease back even more today. “You could see that fatigue had set in with some of the riders and I always believe in keeping something in reserve rather than trying too hard and making mistakes.” Kruger said they were still in good shape, having maintained their momentum without “pushing ourselves into the red”. Even with a fairly comfortable lead, he said they would not take anything for granted going into the final stage. “The race is never over and we will definitely have to ride smartly tomorrow,” he said. “We don’t want to run the risk of any mechanicals and crashes, or get caught at the back on some of the single-track. “So we will definitely be on our toes and make sure we are up near the front.” Jennie Stenerhag and Katie Lennard, of Cape Brewing Company, lead the bunch on the second stage of the three-day Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, from Franschhoek to Wellington today Photo: Ewald Sadie Swedish Cape Epic champion Jennie Stenerhag and South African partner Katie Lennard continued to call the shots in the women’s race, crossing the line first in 2:47:10. This puts them in the general classification lead on 5:22:10, well ahead of Jana Kruger and Ilse Viljoen (Companero), who finished in 3:15:14 for an overall time of 6:23:05. In the mixed category Corne Barnard and Vera Adrian (dormakaba RA) took the day’s honours in 2:37:03. They were followed home by Matthew Stamatis and Carmen Buchacher (Home Ice Cream) in 2:37:47 and Pieter Seyffert and An-Li Kachelhoffer (Bestmed-Ellsworth-ASG) in 2:44:26. Barnard and Adrian lead the general classification on 5:04:18, giving them a decent lead over Stamatis and Buchacher (5:09:38) and Seyffert and Kachelhoffer (5:24:50). Mixed category leaders Corne Barnard and Vera Adrian, of dormakaba RA, tackle a single-track section on the 57km second stage of the three-day Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, from Franschhoek to Wellington today Photo: Ewald Sadie
  9. Although the BCX pair were pushed at times, they eventually got away about midway through the stage to take the top spot on the podium after finishing the 54km course to Franschhoek in 2:11:39. Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger (front), riding for BCX, set the pace on the opening day of the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek today. Photo: Ewald Sadie Andrew Hill and Marco Joubert (TIB Insurance-Momsen Valley Light) followed them home in 2:14:52, with Jurgens Uys and Nicol Carstens (Versus Socks) third in 2:16:50. Although Woolcock, from Stellenbosch, and Kruger, from nearby Paarl, are riding the race for the first time, they said they were familiar with the area. Not even a slight spill by Woolcock could derail their winning effort as they exerted the pressure from the outset and never relinquished their lead. “We spoke about it before the start and knew we had to make an effort on the first climb,” said Woolcock. “I also know that section very well so our plan was always to try to get away there.” He said the dry conditions made the route tricky at certain sections and they had to keep their concentration throughout the stage. “When I did lose a bit of concentration I had a slight front wheel drift and ‘bought a small plot’, but no major damage was done,” said Woolcock. “The handlebars were slightly skew, but I managed to straighten them a bit on the fly and then, when we got to a tar section, I took time to loosen a bolt and straighten them properly.” After the early climb, Woolcock said Uys and Carstens came back at them, something the third-placed pair repeated after the leaders made a surge on a second ascent. “They came back at us on the single-track but I know how things turn out because although we were both putting in a big effort, they were riding five per cent harder just to get back to us. “We were riding tempo and actually saving energy. “Once we exited Boschendal on the mountain side towards the Rupert’s L’Ormirans Wine Farm, they held on for a few kilometres before we broke away again and kept the gap until the end.” Woolcock said Kruger also had a “little play in the dust” but from then on they rode at an even pace and tried to avoid any serious crashes or mechanicals. “We took the single-track steadily because it is so dry that even though you know the trails it’s very unpredictable. You can come around a corner and the trail can crumble underneath you.” Despite their three-minute lead, Woolcock said they would not be thinking too far ahead, particularly given the quality of the opposition. “We can’t relax at any stage and our opponents are the types of riders who will be on our heels to make the best of any slip-up. You can never count anything out in mountain biking.” Cape Epic champion Jennie Stenerhag, of Sweden, (front) and South African partner Katie Lennard won the women’s opening stage in the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek today. Photo: Ewald Sadie In the women’s race, Swedish Cape Epic champion Jennie Stenerhag and her South African partner Katie Lennard (Cape Brewing Company) took a firm grip on proceedings by finishing the stage in 2:35:00. This gives them a decisive lead over Jana Kruger and Ilse Viljoen (Companero), who filled second spot in 3:07:51. Riding the race for the first time, Stenerhag said they broke away early on and built up a sizeable lead. “It was a very good day and we rode steadily after getting away from the start,” she said. “The stage was a really good challenge, especially the early climb up to Skyfall when you can definitely feel it in your legs. “After that it was nice and we felt good throughout as we raced our own race.” The mixed category is led by Corne Barnard and Vera Adrian (dormakaba RA), who finished the stage in 2:27:15, followed by Matthew Stamatis and Carmen Buchacher (Home Ice Cream) in 2:31:51. TransCape men’s champion Pieter Seyffert and An-Li Kachelhoffer (Bestmed-Ellsworth-ASG) were third in 2:40:24. Tomorrow’s second stage will cover a distance of 54km from Franschhoek to Wellington.
  10. The 28-year-old Capetonian, who will partner Dylan Rebello in the three-day race that starts in Stellenbosch tomorrow, was not shy to talk about his ambitions. Chris Wolhuter, who will be riding for Imbuko Wines with Dylan Rebello, will be aiming for his third straight title at the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, this weekend. Photo: Ewald Sadie. “Three in a row would definitely be a goal for us, but I think the level of competition is increasing with each event,” said the Imbuko Wines rider, who won alongside Craig Boyes last year. He said accomplished mountain bike exponents like Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger and Andrew Hill and Marco Joubert would likely be in the mix and was “an indication of the challenge we will be facing”. With prize-money of R100 000 on offer, Wolhuter, who lives in Wynberg, said there had been a significant increase in the strength of the teams. “Last year there were more teams than the first year and this year there is a further increase, so it just shows how the event is growing. “The prize-money is an attraction and it raises the general level of the race in more than just one aspect.” Wolhuter and the Stellenbosch-based Rebello, his teammate for almost a year, aimed to finish among the top three African teams in the recent Cape Epic until several mechanicals put paid to their chances. Although that race did not go quite according to plan, he said it was a good experience and they had recovered nicely from the effort. “We are feeling quite good after the Epic and often when you have had good rest you can bounce quite well off it. But this will obviously be our first real test since then.” Feeling that the format of the Liberty Winelands Encounter, in partnership with STANLIB, suited his riding style, Wolhuter said he was looking forward to the race. “The multi-stage events require a different skill set and I do tend to get a bit stronger as the races go on. The longer it is, the better it suits me.” He added that the race – which plays out in the Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington areas – was a major attraction for riders in the Western Cape given its location and superior experience offered by the organisers. “For us in Cape Town it is super easy to travel to because you don’t have to fly anywhere or worry about equipment logistics. “In addition, they have done a lot of work on the course and you could see a significant improvement in the trails last year. Off the bike, they create a five-star experience so it’s always one to remember.” Wolhuter said he was comfortable with his form this season, having won the Simonsberg Contour MTB stage race in February ahead of Czech rider Dominik Buksa. “It was nice to see we can compete with overseas riders,” he said. “I also came second in the PE Plett solo category, so I’m happy with the way things have gone.”
  11. A thirsty Buys said he and Beukes found their race pace relatively easy, but maintaining strength throughout the day became a challenge. Matthys Beukes of PYGA Euro Steel during stage 1 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from Hermanus High School in Hermanus, South Africa on the 20th March 2017. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS “It was fine for the first half until we got to that major climb at Haarkappersroete, and that’s when we started taking some strain. Once we got to the other side the heat also started to be a major factor. “I lost one of my bottles and had to stop once to fill up the other, and from there it was just survival along the flat section. We have the Absa African jersey so that’s good for now. We are looking to keep it steady for the next few days,” said Buys. Ten seconds adrift of PYGA Euro Steel in the overall standings, BCX’s Woolcock says they owe their good fortune to pre-race preparation and staying out of trouble. Waylon Woolcock during stage 1 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage. Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS “I think we found good momentum because we didn’t face any problems and that’s what we wanted. In a race like this you don’t want to end it on Stage 1 with a serious technical or crash.”“With a lot of these routes you are able ride here any time of the year, so we came and did some of the climbs, like a lot of other riders did, but I think it gave us the edge in knowing where the climbs were. It helped manage the pressure points and technical descents,” said Woodcock. Woolcock enjoyed the course but, like Buys, maintains the first stage is one of the toughest of this year’s Epic. “There is no easy riding apart from the tar road in the beginning, but even that is uphill, so it’s just one of those relentless stages where you don't get any rhythm. There isn’t much district road so it’s all just jeep track and rough farm roads.” Riding with Kruger as his new partner, Woolcock felt he and his teammate learned valuable lessons about each other after the 101km Stage 1. “I’ve got a slightly different riding style. I rather force my way into the front and do a little more hard work in the beginning, because that’ll stop that concertina effect through corners and single track. After today I think HB will have seen that trying to boss your way in there helps for the fight in the beginning.” Woolcock added that they “… are happy, but there is still a long way to go and anything can happen. We will just tick off the days and take it day by day. It’s good to have Stage 1 under the belt because it’s usually the toughest in terms of finding your feet and your form.” In the race for the Exxaro Special Jersey, Velokhaya/Thesele lost their five-minute stage one lead at the third water point after one of the team had difficulties with dehydration and was unable to continue, giving the lead to Diepsloot MTB Academy. William Mokgopo and Phillimon Sebona of Diepsloot MTB Academy now lead that race after a Stage 1 time of (5:39.48). They finished the first stage with a 13-minute lead over second-placed Luyanda Thobigunya and Baphelele Mbobo (BMT Academy Fairtree).
  12. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje. Tell us about the frames you’re riding: WW: SwiftCarbon Evil Twin full suspension, both size Medium. It’s really great that frame holds two bottles – a must, as most of the Cape Epic stages are over 100km, sometimes in severe heat.HB: I like a bike that is extremely stiff on the climbs and when you stand up, this bike goes forward. Climbing is great... WW: Yes it’s very direct. It’s go more of a ‘hardtail’ geometry so it’s able to make direction changes quickly, but it’s also pretty composed on the descents. Once you have the suspension dialed to your style, it handles very well. What set up do you have, with shock pressures and dampening? WW: I run around 85-90psi in the fork and 120psi on the rear shock. I like to have a softer, plush suspension and harder tires for puncture safety. I run the rear open mostly – the climbs are often very rough and this gives extra traction.HB: We had the old RockShox forks and tried them at the early season races, and we swapped them out for the new SID World Cups for Epic – they’re really nice. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje. What kind of cockpit setup do you like? WW: I use nothing less than a 710mm bar. I prefer to have the wider bar for the control and comfort.HB: We both have Ritchey WCS. I run a 100mm stem with 710mm bars, which fits my shoulder width – grips are ESI Extra Chunky. WW: Brakes are super important with the speeds we ride at, close to the other riders in the bunch with all the dust, and rocks flying up… we’re really happy with the SRAM Guide Ultimates we picked. 160mm rotors front and back. Any particular reason you went for a 1x12 setup on the drivetrain? WW: When we had 1x11 we would swap between a 32T and 34T depending on the stage profile. 1x12 has changed the game though, and riders are using 36T and we don’t have to swap blades between stages because of the gear range.HB: We run SRAM XO1 Eagle 1x12. I also will be riding 36T in front and the 10-50 combination at the back – perfect for the Cape Epic stages that require small gears up the steep climbs without spinning out on the flats and downhill sections. WW: I like the Rotor Rex 1 cranks because they make 172.5mm length arms (HB has 175mm). I like it to be the same as on the road – personal preference. I also prefer standard round blades. I have tried oval before but went back. Maybe I’m just old school… HB: We will have full shifter/cable/derailleur spare in our tech boxes, with gears already preset. If we break a derailleur we just replace the entire setup, quickly. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje. You are using ceramic bearings. Is there a noticeable advantage? WW: I do feel they last a bit better than standard bearing and possibly do give a slight advantage. At a race like the Epic I’ll take any marginal gain I can so I’ll be sure to have them on my bike. Any reason you picked Look MTB pedals? HB: Look S-Track – very reliable pedalsWW: Agree! Photo credit: Zoon Cronje. No doubt you spent some time debating wheel choice, resulting in South African made South Industries rims specced on the bikes. WW: South Industries built us some sets with Hope hubs. These carbon rims have an internal width of 28mm which is pretty wide for the average XCM/XCO wheel. The trend is wider on the rims these days. I enjoy the extra width as it gives the tyre that extra volume. There’s a lot of talk about which rubber is best for the race. What’re your thoughts? WW: Big debate here! I’ve started using the new Specialized Renegades and so far I’ve been impressed – a good balance of qualities, very low rolling resistance but enough grip. The grip is very predictable – on some tyres the grip holds, then suddenly gives way. It’s a decent weight and has good puncture resistance. I’m running 2.3” on the front for a little more volume and 2.1” on the rear. On the spare wheels we will have Maxxis Icons. Also, predictable tyres.HB: Schwalbe Rocket Ron SnakeSkin 2.25” front and back. Easy. All converted to tubeless of course – the only way at Epic. WW: Pressure on the front is 21psi, rear is 23psi. HB: 18psi front, 20 rear. What about seating? HB: I like my Fizik Tundra M3! Ritchey WCS carbon seatpost.WW: Specialized Power saddle. Also my own. No dropper posts for us, I don't feel it’s needed for our marathon and stage races. HB: Save some weight… Photo credit: Zoon Cronje. What’s your hydration arrangement? HB: 2x Lezyne bottle cagesWW: Evox Nutrition bottles. Conditions are usually always hot this time of year so I try carry as much on me as possible. Any other additions and accessories? Where do you put spares? WW: I prefer to have some of my spares in my pockets. I put different tools in different pockets for easier retrieval. I do however mount my plug and CO2 canister on my bike for the quickest reach. My CO2 canister is mounted behind my seat post and a plug underneath my top tube.HB: I will be carrying a multitool with a chain breaker, some plugs and the Sahmurai sword tyre plug devices in my handlebar ends. I will also take a couple of chain links as spares, plus one tube between Waylon and I for emergencies. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje.
  13. It’s not as much a new team, but a new look as BCX takes over from Telkom as the primary sponsor of South Africa’s most competitive professional cycling team. BCX, a newly launched brand, is Africa’s premier end-to-end ICT solutions provider and serves the enterprise sector under the umbrella of the Telkom Group. The official launch of the BCX team was held at the Sandton Sun on 23 February to introduce the riders and sponsors to the media and showcase the new team look. Click here to view the article
  14. The eight-man BCX team comprises six road and track riders and two mountain bike specialists. The primary team objective is to be a dominant force at the major South African races, including the popular one-day road races, the National and Continental Track Championships and the high profile mountain bike stage and one-day races. From left: Steven van Heerden, Reynard Butler, Calvin Beneke, Nolan Hoffman, David Maree and Wesley Eslick, who make up the road and track contingent of Team BCX. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “It’s an ambitious project trying to spread the team across three different cycling disciplines, but we feel that we have enough talented, committed riders to achieve our objectives,” said Malcolm Lange of Lange Sports, the company that owns and manages Team BCX. “Track racing has always formed the foundation for any good road racer and unfortunately the South African cycling events scene marginalised track racing somewhat in the last decade and a half. With Team BCX we are making track a key part of our team’s training and racing for 2017,” said Lange, himself a former multiple national track and road champion. The Team BCX road/track squad is headed up by Nolan Hoffman, South Africa’s most successful road and track sprinter over the past few years and man with a wealth of experience. He will once again be aiming for wins in the country’s three most popular road races, the Cape Town Cycle Tour (Argus), Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge and Tsogo Sun Amashova. Ably backing Hoffman is another experienced campaigner, David Maree, who won the Berge en Dale Classic and finished second at The Fast One, getting the team’s 2017 racing year off to a successful start. Maree’s ability to read a race makes him an astute tactician, as can be confirmed by his winning of two South African track championship titles in the Elimination Race. Team BCX will be racing on Swift bikes in 2017. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Reynard Butler is a quick sprinter that can also climb, as confirmed by his stage win at the recent Mpumalanga Tour, while Steven van Heerden is a new rider on the team for 2017, bringing his track cycling prowess to the team, which will be very useful in road sprints. Wesley Eslick is also new to the team. He has been racing full time in the USA for the past two years and will add great value as a team workhorse as he continues to develop his strengths. Calvin Beneke adds great depth to the team. He raced for the MTN team in 2015 and is an accomplished allrounder with a strong awareness of tactics as seen in his winning last weekend’s Dischem Ride for Sight. “It’s a really good mix of riders in our squad. We have a well-rounded blend of talented riders that have shown great commitment and produced a number of podium finishes already this year. Team BCX should be able to challenge for podiums at each event we enter,” said Lange. Showing the new Team BCX road and track racing jerseys are (from left): Calvin Beneke, Nolan Hoffman, David Maree, Steven van Heerden, Wesley Eslick and Reynard Butler. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za The two mountain bike racers are HB Kruger and Waylon Woolcock . Both come from road racing backgrounds with Lange Sports and will also be used to add firepower to the road team when their schedule allows. Kruger is a rising star in the mountain bike discipline, while Woolcock is an experienced campaigner who counts among his highlights winning the African jersey and finishing sixth overall at the Absa Cape Epic last year. They finished a respectable second overall at the recent Momentum Health Tankwa Trek against a strong international field. They’ll be tackling the 2017 Cape Epic as Team BCX as well as all the other high-profile stage races, including Sani2c and Wines2Whales and the Ashburton Investments National Series. “I’m excited about this combination. Waylon’s experience will undoubtedly help hone HB into an even more formidable mountain bike racer. I am sure we’ll be seeing the BXC kit on a number of podiums this year and are offering them maximum support at the Cape Epic, which really is a massive international event,” added Lange. “We are thrilled to be the sponsor of the newly minted BCX cycling team,” said Johann Henning, chief customer officer, BCX. “These riders are truly a premier South African team, and are uniquely suited to represent the premium ICT Solutions BCX provides for its customers. It’s a perfect match.” The team’s manager is Magnus Gouws, a man with years of pro-team support experience. Team BCX 2017Riders: Nolan Hoffman (road & track) Reynard Butler (road & track) Wesley Eslick (road & track) Steven van Heerden (road & track) David Maree (road & track) Calvin Beneke (road & track) Waylon Woolcock (MTB) HB Kruger (MTB) Bike Technician: Chris Wagner Manager: Magnus Gouws Owner: Malcolm Lange Marketing: Adri van Zyl Follow the progress of Team BCX on the following social media accounts: Twitter: @TeamBCX - #TeamBCX Facebook: TeamBCX Instagram: Team_BCX For more information on BCX, visit www.bcx.co.za. For more information on Lange Sports, visit www.langesports.co.za.
  15. No all-African team has won the Absa Cape Epic since it was launched back in 2004, but Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes want to change that in the not too distant future. Click here to view the article
  16. “I think we have matured enough as a team and partnership to set the Cape Epic win as our ultimate goal for the next few years,” Buys says. “We will be disappointed (this year) with anything less than an overall podium and the Absa African jersey.” The distinctive red jersey in question goes to the first all-African team to finish the event and has become fiercely-contested in recent years. Philip Buys. Matthys Beukes. Former Olympian Buys and his partner Matthys Beukes will be riding under the Team Pyga Euro Steel flag in 2017. Their biggest challengers for the Absa African special jersey are likely to be Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger (Team BCX), who will bring a compelling combination of experience and youth to the event.Beukes says: “I’ve had a rough 2016 with injuries that put me back quite a bit, but thankfully I’m almost back to full strength. I didn’t even make the start line in 2016 so in all honesty the first objective is to be on the start in 2017, healthy and fast.” “Then I’d like to take on where we left off, gunning for an overall podium finish,” Beukes adds in reference to their fifth overall in 2015, when they took home the Absa African jersey. “I’ve done three Epics and won the Absa African title all three times, so it is time to move on and set our sights on yellow (the overall winners’ jersey).” This year they will face a fired up Woolcock and Kruger in the battle for the red jersey. In 2016 Woolcock and Darren Lill took the jersey home at the fourth time of trying. Woolcock has been at or near the top of the South African tree for many years and his experience at the Absa Cape Epic should prove invaluable to younger partner Kruger, who pulled out of his first event last year after being felled by a virus. “The African Jersey is top priority and whatever overall position comes along with that,” Woolcock says. “Last year I was secretly hoping for a top five and we missed that by one place. This year I feel the overall competition is a lot stronger so it’s going to be interesting.” “We will be aiming for the African jersey this year,” Kruger adds. “With Waylon winning it last year I am very confident that we do stand a good chance to get it.” Talking about his 2016 experience, he says: “Three days before the Prologue I got quite a bad stomach virus and had to go on antibiotics two days before we started in Meerendal. I thought I would ride myself into it and out of the sickness, but unfortunately that was not the case. I finished the prologue and started Stage 1 but the virus was not out yet and had to make a call to abandon after that day. So I’ve got quite a lot of unfinished business at the Absa Cape Epic.” And what do the South Africans think of the 2017 course? “I like the course … I think it has a good mix,” Woolcock says. “I enjoy the Grabouw area a lot.” “I’m excited for the stages in and around Hermanus,” Buys says. “And the Grand Finale stage finishing at Val de Vie looks like a fun stage where we can pull off something special again.” Buys has three stage wins to his name and Beukes two, and in 2015 they rode together and finished fifth overall – winning the African jersey. “Stage wins are really nice and exciting but thats not the goal,” Beukes explains. “We’ll race for an overall but if the opportunity to grab a stage win comes up we’ll definitely take it.” Woolcock takes a more conservative view: “To win a stage you either need to be the strongest or take big risks. But if we see an opportunity we’ll take it.” Buys and Beukes will be on locally-designed Pyga bikes: “Our previous bike sponsor informed us that they wont be continuing their successful partnership with us after achieving what they set out to achieve with the sponsorship at the end of 2016,” Buys says. “This opened up the exciting opportunity for us to partner with a proudly South African bike brand, Pyga. Over the next few years the ultimate goal will be to be the first all African team to win the Absa Cape Epic, and now we will also be on a locally-designed bike.” And what keeps them coming back? “It’s the biggest MTB stage race in the world, the Tour de France of mountain biking,” Beukes says: “So this is the biggest possible stage for us to perform on and its in our backyard.” Woolcock smiles: “Good question. It’s a gruelling event and lots of sacrifice is required to compete at this level … I think it becomes addictive.” Also in the field are NAD Pro’s South African pairing of Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck, veterans of the local scene and both with several Cape Epics under their belts. They will, however, be riding in support of Investec Songo Specialized’s Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy – potential overall winners – and may have to sacrifice their own ambitions to helping the team leaders. If, however, they are not called on to hand over a wheel or help fix mechanicals the South Africans will expect to be in the Top 10 and also scrapping for the red jersey.
  17. Pro cyclists and USN Purefit team mates, Darren Lill (front) and Waylon Woolcock (back) are looking forward to being a part of The Cows' 100 Miles of Nowhere annual fund raising event on Friday, 24 June with their 4-man team mates Candice Neethling (Dormakaba) and USN Purefit Brand Manager, Timo Cooper. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The Cows – a group of individuals who utilise their interest in endurance events to raise money for CHOC’s (Children’s Haematology Oncology Clinics) childhood cancer treatment and support programmes – gather annually for this gruelling fundraiser in which participants cycle 160km on a stationary bicycle, raising money for their efforts along the way. For the four Cape Town based cyclists, joining the 100 Miles of Nowhere initiative is a rare opportunity to give back to those in need and one they are thrilled to be a part of. “It's a pleasure being involved in the 100 Miles of Nowhere!” says USN Purefit’s Woolcock. “It's not always possible for us as professional cyclists to attend such charity events so I'm super happy to able to support this CHOC foundation focused event.” Woolcock’s USN Purefit team mate, Lill shares similar sentiments. “For me, using my sporting ability to try give something back to others in need is a no brainer!” “I see me being able to do what I do as a blessing and a gift and in turn I’m passionate about using it to bless others where I can; this year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere is a great opportunity to do so.” Cooper – who retired from competitive cycling a year ago – also values being a part of an event that is more than just a race. “At USN, we always encourage to Darren and Waylon to look out for opportunities like the 100 Miles of Nowhere because giving back to individuals and worthy causes is just as important as their racing!” says Cooper, USN Brand Manager. “So many people are often out there, supporting our guys while they’re competing and so it’s great to be able to give a little back to them as well.” The renowned passion and buzz that follows The Cows’ herd wherever they go is another exciting element of the day and one Dormakaba’s Neethling is relishing being a part of for once. Dormakaba cyclist Candice Neethling is relishing the opportunity to join the energy and excitement of The Cows and returning some of the many chirps she has received from them at races when she, together with USN Purefit's Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock as well as USN Purefit Brand Manager Timo Cooper, tackle Friday, 24 June's 100 Miles of Nowhere. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media “It’s great to take part in an event that for once is not about us trying to win as that allows us to get involved in the real meaning behind the 100 Miles of Nowhere,” says Neethling. “I actually saw a lot of people dressed up as The Cows at the National Marathon in Van Gaalen last weekend and I had to smile because they are always so full of energy and so chirpy, even though they’re probably so hot and bothered in those suits! “I am excited to be taking part in a very different kind of event like the 100 Miles of Nowhere as well as making a small difference in people’s lives through what I love doing while I’m also really looking forward to having the chance to return some of those jokes those mad cows often throw at me at races,” laughs the Dormakaba rider. Full schedules and race commitments for the remainder of the weekend mean it is unlikely the quartet will be drawn into any record time heroics come Friday, 24 June’s challenge. USN Purefit Brand Manager, Timo Cooper has confirmed he will rely on his team mates - USN Purefit's Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock and Dormakaba's Candice Neethling - to push the pace while he just focuses on completing his 40km share at The Cows' 100 Miles of Nowhere on Friday, 24 June. Supplied/ Gameplan Media However, with just 40 kilometres to be completed by each of the elite competitors, those joining Lill, Woolcock, Neethling and Cooper at the Tyger Valley facility will need to be on top of their game if they are to succeed in hanging onto the pros’ stationary bike’s back wheel. “I don't think any of us will be in too much of a hurry,” suggests Woolcock. “We haven't really thought of a time goal too much but I'm guessing it will take us around 5hrs or so,” adds Lill. Cycling enthusiasts in the Western Cape are encouraged to join the day’s mooovement and rub shoulders with some of their cycling heroes at the Tyger Valley Cadence Cycling Performance Centre. Those wanting to take part can enter in either one, two or four-man teams with entries costing R1000, R600 per person or R350 per person respectively while sponsorship of each participants’ efforts are also welcome. The Cows’ 100 Miles of Nowhere takes place on Friday, 24 June in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. Entries can be submitted and more information found at www.100milesofnowhere.co.za.
  18. 2016 ABSA Cape Epic African jersey winning duo, Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock have joined with 2008 Beijing Olympian, Candice Neethling and former elite mountain biker, Timo Cooper in a four-rider team for The Cows’ 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge at the Tyger Valley Cadence Cycling Performance Centre on Friday, 24 June from 14h00. Click here to view the article
  19. USN Purefit rider Waylon Woolcock talks about his pre-race attitude, expectations and experiences of past races ahead of the 2016 edition of sani2c. Click here to view the article
  20. The opening stage of the 2016 KAP sani2c saw the USN-Purefit duo of Darren Lill (left) and Waylon Woolcock (right)repeat their 2015 effort by taking the stage win on Thursday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The USN-Purefit pair of Lill and Woolcock were just as dominant as they were in 2015, putting some significant daylight between themselves and the second placed duo of Johann Rabie and HB Kruger of Team Telkom. "In a short, fast race like sani2c, you basically have to pound it from the beginning," Lill said after their stage one victory. "You need to try and put the rest of the teams under pressure and that is what we set out to do today and we are happy with our two minute lead over second and third." It was a solid ride from the Team Telkom pair of Johann Rabie (left) and Hendrick Kruger (right) on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c.Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The Queen stage on the second day of the event is often seen as one which shakes the race up and Lill is under no illusions about how tough it is still going to be with their 2015 second stage potentially playing on their minds. "Our advantage does not mean that the race is sewn up by any means because anything can happen on the second stage of the race, but it does take the pressure of having to chase off us. "The pressure is actually now on the guys behind us because they have to try and win back the time. "Last year we were in a good position until I picked up a puncture with about 20 kilometres to go and put us under pressure, but hopefully nothing like that happens tomorrow and we are just looking forward to enjoying the stage," a relaxed Lill added. It was a difficult day out for the NAD Pro MTB Team duo of Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell, who had to fight hard to keep within touching distance of the two teams ahead of them as they powered home in third place. It was a difficult day for the NAD MTB Pro Team pair of Gawie Combrinck (back) and Nico Bell (front) who had to settle for second place on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media "I could still feel that we haven't quite recovered from joBerg2c," a visibly disappointed Combrinck said. "We just didn't have the legs today after the guys really made it hard from the gun on the first single track and we battled to stay with them." "We managed to close the gap towards the end but we couldn't get passed the other guys. "The first stage is usually the worst for us so hopefully tomorrow the legs will feel better and we can make up some time." The ladies race was a full-throttle battle from start to finish as the Dorma Time Freight pair of Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian put the more fancied Team Ascendis Health brace of De Groot and Stenerhag under unexpected pressure, forcing the latter pair to dig deep towards the end of the stage. The Dorma Time Freight pair of Candice Neethling (pictured) and Vera Adrian pushed the leaders all the way to the end on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media Vera Adrian (pictured) and her Dorma Time Freight partner Candice Neethling finished in a close second place in the ladies race on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Kevin Sawyer/ Gameplan Media "The race got a bit tighter than we would have liked!" current South African Marathon Champion, De Groot admitted. "We made a slight tactical error when we stopped at water point two and Candice and Vera rode through, leaving us with a big chase and we only caught them just in time to take the stage win!""It is always fantastic have some good competition though and it sets up the race for some really exciting days of racing tomorrow and on Saturday. "It is great to see Vera and Candice racing so well as it makes the entire race more exciting for everyone, which is great!" The pace at the front of the ladies race was blistering however it was the Team Ascendis Health pair of Jennie Stenerhag (front) and Robyn de Groot (back) who took the spoils on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Swedish star Stenerhag has been on the road to recovery recently following a heart operation earlier in the year and the first stage of the sani2c was one of her first real hit outs since her surgery. "I am feeling fine," mentioned Stenerhag. "Although I know that I am not in the best shape of my life, I am feeling alright and looking forward to tomorrow!" "It was nice to have Jen back next to me and also all the support that we got out there today!" added De Groot. In what was an eleventh hour entry, the Sasol Racing duo of Catherine Williamson and Johan Labuschagne were the strongest mixed pair on the day. As Labuschagne goes in pursuit of another sani2c mixed title, the pair opened up a two minute lead over the Team Garmin pair of Yolandi du Toit and Ben-Melt Swanepoel, a handy lead going into Friday's second stage. Following a dominant showing from Sasol Racing's Johan Labuschagne (left) and Catherine Williamson (right) they were in the mixed category pound seats on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Meanwhile, the Adventure event’s 99km second stage from MacKenzie Club to Jolivet Farm saw Nivea's Wynand van der Berg and Philip Beukes extend their overall lead after claiming their second consecutive stage victory despite two serious mishaps along the way. The first, a serious fall during the steep descent into the legendary uMkomaas Valley that many onlookers believed would spell the end of the pair’s race. The duo managed bounce back though, only to then to have to deal with a slipping seat post issue for the remainder of the testing Queen stage. Riders were treated to some brilliant conditions on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Van der Berg and Beukes raced home ahead of Clinton Halsey and Liam Graham (Talon Tough Tools) while Brandon Harcus and Brett Parker finished third on the day. Halsey and Graham's effort was enough to see them join the Nivea pair in the General Classification's top three however AHS Racing's pair of Ashley and Alistair Haigh Smith's second stage fourth place effort sees them remain in second place overall. On what is the hardest of the the three days riders had to take on the mighty Mkomaas Valley on Thursday during day two of the Adventure event the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media Despite for the warm weather riders had to deal with some tricky sections due to the recent rains on Thursday which was the first day of the Race event at the 2016 KAP sani2c. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Riders were greeted to some incredible scenery on Thursday during day two of the Adventure event the 2016 KAP sani2c. Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media Thursday's action also saw the curtain come down on the first of the 2016 KAP sani2c events – the Trail, which got underway in Tuesday - with broad smiles on the faces of all those who successfully navigated their way down to Scottburgh Main Beach.Friday sees all the action of the third and final day of the Adventure unfold from Jolivet Farm to Scottburgh Main Beach while the Race's racing snakes head off on their second stage from MacKenzie Club to Jolivet Farm. More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za. SUMMARY OF RESULT - 2016 KAP SANI2CRACE STAGE 1 (GLENCAIRN FARM TO MACKENZIE CLUB) Overall 1.USN-Purefit (Darren Lill/Waylon Woolcock) 02:48.13 2.Team Telkom (Johann Rabie/Hendrick Kruger) 02:50.25 3.NAD Pro MTB Team (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 02:50.38 4.Contego/Red E (Adriaan Louw/Matthew Beers) 02:52.07 5.Scott LCB Factory Racing (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 02:53.13 6.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Timothy Hammond) 02:57.31 7.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Tyrone White) 02:58.53 8.Biogen Centurion Cyclery (Gordon Gilbert/Paul Theron) 03:01.09 9.RoadCover 40+ (Grant Usher/Nic White) 03:02.15 10.KAP Restonic 1 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenage) 03:02.55 Women 1.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Jennie Stenerhag) 03:13.38 2.Dorma Time Freight (Candice Neethling/Vera Adrian) 03:13.53 3.Galileo Risk Valencia (Samantha Sanders/Theresa Ralph) 03:26.23 Mixed Category 1.Sasol Racing (Catherine Williamson/Johan Labuschagne) 03:10.39 2.Team Garmin (Yolandi du Toit/Ben-Melt Swanepoel) 03:12.41 3.Underdogs (Brennan Anderson/Cindy Theunissen) 03:13.27 ADVENTURE STAGE 2 (MACKENZIE CLUB TO JOLIVET FARM) Overall 1.Nivea (Wynand van den Berg/Phillip Beukes) 4:41.06 2.Talon Tough Tools (Clinton Halsey/Liam Graham) 4:42.52 3.Mambas (Brandon Harcus/Brett Parker) 4:46.14 GENERAL CLASSIFICATION 1.Nivea (Wynand van den Berg/Phillip Beukes) 8:27.31 2.AHS Racing (Ashley Haigh-Smith/Alistair Haigh-Smith) 8:38.40 3.Talon Tough Tools (Clinton Halsey/Liam Graham) 8:48.14
  21. The 2016 KAP sani2c's Race event got off to a blistering start on Thursday as one of the best mountain biking fields assembled in years were blown away by defending champions Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock who took line honours whilst it was the expectant Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag who took the spoils in the women's race. Click here to view the article
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXfoeEJQvos Watch the Epic Diaries for each stage on Facebook here.
  23. Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock put in a huge effort to win the African Jersey at the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. In these videos they reflect on their race, the hard work and the experience it takes to be the first African team home after 8 days of fierce racing. The duo also reveal that they have extend their relationship with USN Purefit which will see them racing in the SA Marathon Champs, sani2c and abroad at the Trans Alps. Watch the videos below for the full story. Click here to view the article
  24. After their tumultuous build-up to the 2015 race, the defending champion pair of Waylon Woolcock and Darren Lill are in a far better space going into the 2016 KAP sani2c which should sound the warning sirens for the rest of the elite field contesting the iconic race from 12-14 May. Click here to view the article
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