Trans Baviaans first timer Lourens Luus teamed up with old hand Billy Stelling to successfully ride to victory on Saturday 13 August.
The race was the first of two weekends of Trans Baviaans action and joining Luus and Stelling on the top step of the podium were; Yolandi de Villiers, Johan Labuschagne and Neill Ungerer, of Ultimate Cycling TBC, in the mixed category and Theresa Ralph and Amy McDougall, of Galileo Risk Valencia in the women’s category.
The 230 km race started at 10:00 in Willowmore on Saturday morning.
A steady early pace was set by in large by the ASG Best-Med teams, with Labuschagne and Ungerer also doing turns on the front. The expected tail wind failed to materialise and instead a slight head wind kept the lead bunch together until around the 80km mark when the jockeying for positions heading into Check Point 2, at 104 km, started.
Heading into the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve the race started to splinter as first the Frangs and then The Mother of All Climbs (The MAC) took their toll.
Stelling appeared to be struggling up The MAC, so Seyffert and Kachelhoffer attacked in the final phases of the climb to claim the PowerBar King of the Mountain prize.
Descending the Big Dipper Seyffert and Kachelhoffer again pulled a lead on Stelling and Luus, but Luus dug deep when they reached the kloof below to re-join the leaders.
For the next 50km Luus sat at the front of the lead group setting a steady pace, while Stelling recovered on the back of the group. Heading up the Never Ender climb the race for outright victory appeared to enter a stale mate.
The Trans Baviaans is famed for its need for strong teamwork and in the final reckoning it was teamwork that settled the two closest battles.
In the men’s race the decisive move came at the self-service Check Point 6. Stelling passed the check point tag to Luus in the approach to the check point and while the stronger Luus stopped to tag the PowerBar 1 team in, Stelling continued up the road.
The Altech-Autopage team stopped together, but when Luus accelerated away from the check point to catch Stelling they were unable to hold his wheel.
Despite having nearly 40km to race Stelling and Luus managed to hang on; eventually even extending their lead when Seyffert and Kachelhoffer eased off the pace in the closing kilometres once it became clear the pursuit was futile.
With the first of the two Trans Baviaans events wrapped-up, the attention now shifts to the second event, which takes place on the 20th and 21st of August.
For more information and all the results from the first 2016 Trans Baviaans visit www.transbaviaans.co.za.
Selected Results: 2016 Trans Baviaans | Race 1
- Lourens & Billy Stelling (PowerBar 1) 08:40:52
- Pieter Seyffert & Hanco Kachelhoffer (Altech-Autopage) 08:49:06
- Steven Shirley & Juan-Pierre Minnie riding (On Your Bike) 08:553:59
- Yolandi de Villiers, Johan Labuschagne & Neill Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling TDC) 08:54:07
- Craig Boyes, Timo Cooper & Nicky Gillomee (Merrell Mixed) 09:11:04
- Martin Dreyer & Jeannie Bomford (RMB Change A Life) 09:19:27
- Theresa Ralph & Amy McDougall (Galileo Risk Valencia) 09:54:26
- Hanlie Booyens, Fienie Barnard & Esther Lategan(Tiletoria Ladies) 10:46:09
- Franci Joubert & Lolita van Aardt (Ander Fairies) 11:00:43