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  • Writer's pictureMountain Abandon

April Race Recap - CYCLING

A summary of results at April's top gravel, XCO, MTB, road and team races!


Gravel: Swartberg 100 - 29 April 2023


South Africa’s premier gravel race, the 2023 Swartberg 100, saw a host of cyclists qualify for the UCI Gravel World Championships on 29 April 2023. One of the toughest Gravel Fondos on the circuit, riders race in and around the Western Cape town of Prince Albert.

A gravel cyclist at the foot of the Swartberg Pass, Western Cape
Let the climbing begin!

In order to qualify for the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships to be hosted in Italy in October, riders had to finish in the top 25% of their age and gender category.


In the Gran Fondo event, 28 of the 32 women who started managed to finish. Catherine Colyn came first, Teresa Rindler Bachl was in second, and Anneke Lund rounded off the podium. On the men’s side, 252 cyclists crossed the finish line of the 261 that started the race. Gustav Basson took top honours, with Db Loubser coming in second and Kent Main in third.


In the 75km Medio Fondo event Michelle George beat Pauline Tunstead and Alma Colyn in the women’s category. In the men’s race Jimmy Mills beat Shawn Kirschner and John Bos in a time of 3h 10m 25s.


In the relay event - the Swartberg 100 Staffette - the women’s race was won by TEAM Gin &Tonic, who beat out the only other team in the category, TEAM Biking Babes. The men’s race was won by TEAM Daikin/Toac Air Conditioning SA. Team LUIGAT came second, and TEAM Codger third. In the mixed division TEAM Nemesis Grvl took gold, followed by TEAM Basement Buddies and TEAM Record.


The Piatta, the shortest of the races at just 43km, was won by Elaine Batteson, who beat Dee Beukes and Jorinda van Staden in the women’s race. Ryno Schutte won the men’s race. Luke Keyser came in second followed by Luandro Sass.


Gran Fondo men who qualified for the UCI Gravel World Championships:


19 -34 age bracket: Gustav Basson, Db Loubser, Kent Main, Gert Heyns, Jaedon Terlouw, Erick Hayns, Matthew Keyser, Philipp Bachl, Rogan Smart, Freddie Visser, Keanan Roodt.


35-39: Dusty Day, Matthys Beukes, Jarryd Haley, Raoul Goetze, Dana Cottzee, Brett Wegner.


40-44: Alex Pavlov, Donovan Geldenhuys, Isak Mare, Derek Venter, Neil Timm, Maniora Regis, Brad Venter, Cobus Swanepoel


45-49: Johann Naude, Thys Oosthuizen, Kevin Evans, Frans Fourie, Ben Meit Swanepoel, Vickus Boshoff, Julien van der Pluym, Jean Fourie, Mark Pretorius, David Labuschagne, Robert Cornforth, Jaques de Bruyn, Rowan Voster.


50-54: Chris van Rooyen, Jeandre van Schalkwyk, Gert Nel, Andreas Studer, George Dimopoulos, Russell Lund, Michael Dundulakis, Paul Lewis Enright, Tinus Scheepers, Francois Kemp, Hennie du Plooy, Dean Rosin, Martin Sanders.


55-59: Gavin Viljoen, Dirk Nel, Pete Nelson, John Horn, Christiaan Beyers, Dawid de Bruin, David Knee, Sean Stephenson.


60-64: Vaughan Ulyate, Kobus Venter, Adriaan Beukes, Peter Stopforth, Johan Fourie.


65-69: William Simpson, Graham Monteith.


70-74: Alewyn Voster.


75-79: Charles Steyn.


Gran Fondo women who qualified for the UCI Gravel World Championships:


19-34: Catherine Colyn, Theresa Rindler Bachl.


35-39: Lasqueve Raubenheimer, Kerri Anderson.


40-44: Anneke Lund, Juanita Mackenzie.


45-49: Karyn Adendorff, Ingrid Serritslev Talbot.


50-54: Ischen Stopforth, Jolanda Rosin.


55-59: Jenny Reynolds.


60-34: Brenda Coomer.




XCO: National Championship - 15-16 April


The 2023 South African Cross Country Short Track (XCC) and Cross Country Olympic (XCO) national championships were hosted by Gauteng’s Thaba Trails in the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve in the south of JHB. This was the first time that Cycling SA has hosted a XCC Short Course National Champs for Elite Men and Women, and South Africa’s top athletes from across the country arrived to compete for the coveted national titles.


In the Elite men’s XCO event, Philip Buys caused quite a stir as he showed off his impressive post Absa Cape Epic form, riding away from his competitors to take gold. He finished the grueling course in a time of 1 hour 28 minutes and 26 seconds. Alan Hatherly, who regularly represents South Africa on the XCO world circuit, admitted to suffering from the high altitude and finished in second place almost two minutes down, followed by Arno Du Toit in third place.


In the Elite women’s XCO event, Candice Lill and Amy Wakefield, recent Cape Epic partners and second place finishers at the multi-day event, took first and second place respectively. Lill showed no sign of fatigue as she dominated the competition, finishing the challenging course in a time of one hour twenty-seven minutes and forty-one seconds. Amy Wakefield put in a valiant effort, but ultimately finished in second place, followed by Steph Wohlters in third place.


The Under twenty-three Men’s category was won by Johan Van Zyl as he powered to the line even after a flat tyre halfway through the race. Second Place went to Luke Moir in a tight sprint finish with Jaedon Terlouw, who took bronze.


Tyler Jacobs proved to be in a class of her own, winning the under twenty-three women’s category event almost nine minutes ahead of second and third place finishers, Karlise Scheepers and Jade Skinner respectively.


The inaugural XCC event was equally exciting. The very tactical race culminated in a sprint finish and had the spectators on the edge of their seats. The men’s race consisted of 20 minutes plus one lap and Alan Hatherly took home the gold medal. Philip Buys came second, followed by Arno Du Toit in third place again.


In the women’s XCC event, Candice Lill took home another gold medal, racing well clear of her competitors. Tyler Jacobs finished in second with Andrea Schöfmann rounding off the podium in third.

A total of twenty-one National Jerseys were awarded over all the different categories. The event showed the highest number of entrants for a National XCO Championships to date, confirming the interest and growth within the mountain-biking discipline.


Overall, the National Championships for XCO and XCC cycling events showcased some of the best cycling talent in the country, with athletes pushing themselves to their limits. Congratulations to all the winners and participants for their hard work and dedication in this prestigious event, and thank you to all the spectators for their energy and support over the weekend.


MTB: KAP Sani2C - 28-30 April


One of South Africa’s oldest and most renowned stage races, Sani2C, hosted another successful running of their event in April of 2023.


According to the organisers, “We had a huge group of new riders this year, experiencing the sani2c journey for the first time and making memories to last a lifetime. Once again it was the coming together of so many people - riders, event crew and surrounding communities - that made the wheels turn on this thing to create a positive change in people’s lives that will be felt for years! To all who came together at sani2c 2023, the biggest of thanks!”

Two mountain bikers from Team Insect Science riding through forest.

In the men’s race, Matt Beers and Tristan Nortje of Toyota-Specialized had a brilliant race and on the final stage only had to stick to the wheels of their closest rivals to ensure overall victory.

On an exciting last day, Imbuko {Type} Dev’s Marco Joubert and Wessel Botha made a valiant effort to make a break, but Beers and Nortje did not give them an inch, until a sprint finish gave a stage win to the Imbuko {Type} Dev A team.


Less than two minutes later, a split-second finish between Imbuko {Type} Dev B’s Pieter du Toit and Franko van Zyl, and the Insect Science team of Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning, decided third and fourth for the stage, but it was not enough to prevent Insect Science from claiming the third place in General Classification.


Beers says they were happy to rather play it safe and take the overall win, rather than try increase the gap: “I put in a few little digs just to show them they were not going to drop us, it was a bit of a mental game, but they rode a good race at the end tactically.”

Marco Joubert says they gave everything to take the stage win: “We gave a good showing, and really took the race head on, and took two of the three stages. Matt and Tristan are tough to beat.”


In the women’s race, Efficient Infiniti’s Kim Le Court and Samantha Sanders dominated the race with their clean sweep of the stage wins.

Le Court says: “It’s always good to come back to this event, for the family vibe and the way the school kids and the community are all involved in the organisation. It’s an awesome event.”


Sarah Hill and Elrika Harmzen of HH Women’s Racing, while not able to challenge Le Court and Sanders, had a solid ride in what was Harmzen’s first sani2c. She says: “Everyone said it was the fastest stage race in South Africa and it definitely lived up to that. Poor Sarah had to wait for me and made me dig deep, and I would love to be back next year.”


Hill says: “It is so good to be back. This is the fastest sani2c I have ever experienced, with immaculate trails. It is awesome for us as an all-South African racing team to show up and really start breaking some barriers, getting back into racing as the new team on the block. I think next sani2c we will be more competitive.”


The Imbuko {Type} Dev women’s team of Danielle Strydom and Karla Stumpf ended their campaign on the first day after stomach issues saw them withdraw. This left the Veteran Women’s Double Spoke team of Kerry Campbell and Cheryl Robinson to take third place in the GC.


Bell Equipment’s Jason Davies and Hayley Smith convincingly won the Mixed category in a time of 03:17:30. Smith says they had an awesome three days of riding and worked well as a team.


“We just flew today, and loved every minute of it!”


General Classification


MEN

1. Toyota-Specialized (Matt Beers/Tristan Nortje) 08:50:25

2. Imbuko {Type} Dev A (Marco Joubert/Wessel Botha) 08:52:54 +2:28

3. Insect Science 1 (Arno du Toit/Keagan Bontekoning) 09:00:24 +9:58

4. Imbuko {Type} Dev B (Pieter du Toit/Franko van Zyl) 09:04:02 +13:56

5. Trek SA (Kai von During/Justin Chesterton) 09:13:12 +22:46


WOMEN

1. Efficient Infiniti (Kim Le Court/Sam Sanders) 10:42:41

2. HH Women’s Racing (Sarah Hill/Elrika Harmzen) 11:32:01 + 49:19

3. Double Spoke (Kerry Campbell/Cheryl Robinson) 14:36:44 + 03:54:03


MIXED

1. Bell Equipment (Jason Davies/Hayley Smith) 11:06:54

2. Restonic-02-AmriC-Faces (Rimani Sutton/Fritz Pienaar) 11:57:06 + 50:11

3. The Peanut Gallery (Steve Mee/Caitlin Mee) 12:18:28 + 1:11:33

Four mountain bikers riding on jeep track through pine plantations at Sani2C race.

Road Cycle: Die Groot Trap - 3 April


"The race deservedly attracted in the region of 2000 riders, a 30% increase vs last year's inaugural event and was held in near-perfect weather conditions."


Well done to Gustav Bassonand Cherise Willeit on their fantastic victories in this year's Die Groot Trap!


Men’s 105km: Gustav Basson (1) Kimhan van der Merwe (2) Christiaan Klopper (3)


Women’s 105km: Cherise Willeit (1) Lize-Ann Louw (2) Melissa Kretzinger (3)


Maluti Double 90


The Maluti Double 90 Powered by Biogen is not for the unfit, or the faint-hearted. The route starts off deceptively gently, with mild undulating hills from Clarens towards Bethlehem. But over the full 180km riders gain 2220m of elevation and reach a high point of 2050m above sea level in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The steepest gradient is the Mine Shaft at 22%, roughly the 155km into the race!

Team of road cyclists riding through the Free State.

Open Team Results:


1. TeamDMS / TufoBMC0 (4:22:49)

2. TBC RAF Büddy Club (04:37:36)

3. e2e Steady Regulars (04:43:39)


Team members were as follows:


TeamDMS / TufoBMC: Jacques MARAIS, Jose KLEINSMIT, Damon FOUCHEE, Kent MAIN, Gustav BASSON, Ruan ENGLAND, Kimhan VAN DER MERWE, Dirk NEL, Nick JAMES, David MAREE, Eric KROS, Keanan ROODT.


TBC RAF Büddy Club: Chris VAN ROOYEN, Derek VENTER, Jeandre VAN SCHALKWYK, Rudolf NAUDE, David LABUSCHAGNE, Wayne VAN DER WALT, Kent KIRKWOOD, Jacques HUMAN, Johan PIEKAAR, Gert NEL, Martin STRYDOM, Jules VAN DER PLUYM.


e2e Steady Regulars: Fourie FRANS, Darian WAIT, Mik WERTHEIM AYMES, Werner ROUX, Drikus VAN DER WALT, Alex PAVLOV, Robert CORNFORTH, Andrew WESTAWAY, Roland BOTHA, Wesley BRINK, Franco FERREIRA, Desmond REILLY.


Mixed Team Results:


1. Big Chainring Racing (05:03)

2. The Albion Express (05:10)

3. Subaru Race Team (05:31)


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