The 230 Km Trans Baviaans Mountain Bike race is regarded as the toughest MTB event in the world and it ends right here in Jeffreys Bay.
Having to traverse the splendour of the Baviaanskloof, take on the Mother of all Climbs” near Zuurbron and endure whatever the elements will throw at the riders, makes for a challenging ride.
The winners of the 2014 Trans Baviaans were Timo Cooper and Timothy Hammond who finished in a time of 8 hours 57 minutes.
This year the Baviaans was very dry and dusty with a Easterly wind in the riders faces all the way from Willowmore to Jeffreys Bay.
The first JBay riders home were Kevin Taljaard and Jacques Herselman, who both had a great Trans Baviaans this year.
This is the second Trans Baviaans for Herselman, who says that this year was much easier for him than in 2013.
“The first Trans Baviaans I rode with Andrew Stokker and Bennie Jansen van Vuuren and the name Team JAB (Jacques,Andrew,Bennie) was born.
We were real rookies and planned on doing our first one in 14 hours. We completed it in 12 hours 28 minutes, and in the first 100 teams.
It a good day in the saddle with a Westerly wind in our backs. We ended up to the mall with a gale-force Westerly wind and ice rain in our faces,” said Herselman.
A total of 1 112 riders finished the 2013 Trans Baviaans.
“This year just Andrew and myself rode as Team JAB, as Bennie had joined a mixed team, added Herselman.
“I had personally learned a lot over the last year and had a 100% better ride than 2013. I felt good and strong right to the end.
Andrew had to pull out at the 180 km as his body did not allow him to continue.
I joined Kevin Taljaard whose partner also pulled out at 180 km.
The last 50 km was a “sit on Kevins wheel” for me. He had a strong finish and completed the race in just over 12 hours,” concluded Herselman.
1 194 riders completed the race this year, the biggest field to ever finish a Trans Baviaans.
“The Trans Baviaans is a great event for Jeffreys Bay and the finish at Fountains Mall is awesome. It is a super feeling when you come into the finish with loads of locals cheering you on,” said Herselman.
“Kevin and myself were the first “local boys” that came in and we even had a banner at the finish line.
The involvement of the restaurants at the Mall was great for the supporters.
I had a cup of coffee at E-street Cafe very late the Saturday night and had a breakfast there very early the Sunday morning as I started thinking about Trans Baviaans 2015,” added Hersleman with a big smile on his face.
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