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Klaassen and Erlangsen victorious at SA MTB National Downhill Championships

A beautiful summer day saw epic conditions for the SA National DH Championships at Contermanskloof, Paarl, Western Cape.

Race Day on 28 March, was warm and dry with very light winds blowing from the south was a good day for competing.

As sports events start opening up across the country and the world, it was great to see so many people competing at the DH Championships. The competition was fierce from the get-go. Riders were primed and ready, and the event was packed.

There was an incredible number of riders entered into the event, possibly the most competitors for this race in the last 20 years, with so many regulars and new faces entered.

In the Elite Men’s Division, Theo Erlangsen had an excellent day’s competition to emerge victorious in a highly competitive field.

“So happy with the win,” said the stoked Monster Energy rider of his win. “It was hot and dry in Paarl, and the track is quite a short track with no line choice, but it was such a good day for the competition. There were so many people, including all the crew from Joburg and Maritzburg, and it was good to see everyone here.”

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“I took it fairly easy in my qualifier as I didn’t want to show them everything that I’ve got,” said Erlangsen of his strategy. “Then I had just enough left to take the win. It was a close one from Johann Potgieter.

I took the win in 2019, and then he beat me last year when my chain came off, so this year was my redemption. It was definitely a case of hard work pays off, seeing as I have been training so hard over COVID. Hopefully, we can get to Europe soon to compete.”

Theo Erlangsen en route to victory © @grant_mclachlan

Young Stellenbosch rider Ike Klaassen also had an excellent day, taking the Junior division. The young Monster Energy rider was a bit nervous, with so many people on the track.

“It had the most entries ever, and with so many riders, the track was changing all the time,” said Ike of the conditions today.”We were just watching the track change in front of us. I got good times, though, and am very happy with my performance. Next up, we might get to Europe, depending on if the events are going to run, but either way, we’ll just keep on training this side.”

Klaassen won the Junior SA Champ title with a 2.2-second margin, an impressive feat on such a tight track, beating Rory Kirk who came second. This meant that Klaassen was the fifth-fastest rider overall on the day.

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