Home of the Western Province Mountain Biking Commission

Month: June 2014

WC Czech & Albstadt…A race report from Mariske Strauss

Originally posted on Mariske’s site over here. Mariske is one of our own. Her dad, Bryan, is the WC Commissioner and our track designer and general dogs body.

O my gosh I can’t believe its June already!

Okay so I am back home safe and sounds and thought I will take a quick minute or two to report back.

As many of you know this past two weekends what the 3rd and 4th rounds of the EU world cups. The first one was two weeks ago in Czech Republic.Image

What a trip, we took bit of a detour through Frankfurt…bit of a oops but arrived in Czech with our trusty motor home (Charlie 🙂 ). From there it was the usual story to get race ready…and trying to not think too much of the upcoming exams. Needless to say I wasn’t too successful at wiping Uni stress from my brain and must say this one was a little bit of a floppy race. It was almost like an out of body experience and it took me three laps to gather myself and get going…by that time I had lost a lot of places and I was 80%, very crappy feeling…but o well there was no times grovel over the bad result (that also happens) and my dad didn’t raise me to give up that easily 😉.

Next up was Albstadt, and I was super fired up and ready for action. The track was pretty similar to the previous years and must say there is just no way to describe how steep it is 🙂.

Anyway prep went well and before I knew it race day arrived. EXCITING…

With the lap being a little shorter, and faster, than last year we had a superb 7 laps waiting for us…ouch.

I must say that I don’t think those prerace jitters ever really goes away, think you just get used to dealing with it. So with my butterflies fluttering around my tummy and the race vibe consuming every other thought in your mind we lined up.

After the race started everything seemed to slot into place.  I kept calm and tried not to focus too much on the riders around me, you see this track is pretty much single track…with some sections being just wide enough to squeeze past but that being said on one side you have a wall and on the other there was a sheer drop, so passing in the single trImageack is a little silly (which one girl soon realised when she was pushed off the track by the rider she tried to pass haha, see you even get in race entertainment!) So needless to say overtaking in the single track is a no no , unless you come up at Mach 4 and surprise attack them the flats were the best bet for a pass 🙂, and that what I did… mach 4 ‘ed them on my trusty Poly-GONE haha , kidding I just did that once the rest were on the jeep track sections 😛. Before I knew it we were out on our last lap…unfortunately my engine was fading a bit but luckily my amazing Swable rocket rons helped keep me gripping to the finish I unfortunately just didnt have the legs to stay with the German rider that caught me on the last lap which meant a 23rd spot in the end.

I am super thankful to everyone that has helped me and keeps offering me support. I can not thank you all enough! Orange Monkey Pro team thanks for all the tech support, Shimano for the amazing equipment Polygon…keeping me going forward, Swable for keeping me rubber side down 🙂. Then MASSIVE thanks to my amazing coach ! Jeroen I can’t imagine training with anyone else the professionalism support and scientific approach to training is just second to none, thanks for  all the help, cant wait to see what we can achieve 🙂

Then lastly, my family and friends…YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for loving and having my back so blessed :)!!

Till next time…now to go kill some exams YES!! 😉 

Keep it safe out there in the cold wet winter ( o and by the way if you are looking for phone cases to ride with this winter go check out OverBoardAfrica…awesome product! ) 

M 🙂 


Post MTB / DHI Blues…

Gratefully, due to the tireless efforts of our media officer, the WC MTB / DHI Champs were well attended, and bar a few – few being the operative word – accidents along the way, the event proved to be a resounding success. Although a number of our elite riders were drawn further afield in search of glory on the international stage, racing was tough and at times hair-raising (particularly looking through some of the DHI photos over at ESP).

We are grateful to a number of portals and online publications for making the most of it leading up to the event:

And although we have to wait for our hard copy publications to get the fantastic story of the WC Champs to print (Bicycling, Ride and Die Burger), here are some teasers:

  • The Hub SA covered the XCO and DHI.
  • Enduroplus had some post race commentary from an exceptional team.
  • Enduroplus also had some tweets during the event that make us feel part of the 21st century too:
  1. https://twitter.com/EnduroPlus/status/472617754240225280
  2. https://twitter.com/EnduroPlus/status/472637816238006272

Enjoy the awesome photos. And thanks to all who made it a great day.

I must say, that I have learnt much from Ewald Sadie (Ewald has some great shots over at his site of all the races and participants) and Chris Hitchcock regarding framing a good action photo. But the shot of the day must, for now anyway, go to Ewald for this fantastic shot down the valley on Sunday (reminds me of when I was in the Isle of Man).

Contermanskloof in all her glory

Contermanskloof in all her glory

Western Cape MTB XCO Championships 31 May 2014

Saturday, 31 May 2014 was a very important day in the MTB racing calendar for many of our Cross Country (XCO) riders. Besides the fantastic day of racing, it was the last chance for riders who did not accumulate sufficient points in the first three races to qualify for provincial colours. It was also the opportunity for the qualified riders to stamp their authority on the 2014 season.

The racing took place at the Contermanskloof MTB trails on the H.L. Starke farm. There were predictions of strong winds in the morning which thankfully never transpired. Riders and spectators only had to endure a sharp drop in temperature (at one point it was only 9 degrees!) due to mist, which cleared in time for the Elite race at 12h55.

This event was made possible by a number of generous sponsors; NMC Construction Group, Paarl Media Group, PWC, Mondi, Durbanville Commercial Printers, Cycle Funatic, Gecko Cycles, Dragon Sports and Red Bull. We are also grateful to Rob Starke for making the farm available to us.

Bryan Strauss, better known as “Oom Bryan” to some, laid out a challenging course with about 150 meters ascent from the start to the top of Cheeky Corners. At some points on the climb the incline reached up around the 17% mark which proved to be a challenge for many riders. At the bottom of Cheeky Corners the riders dived into the gum trees and raced down towards the big jump of the day (although many favoured the chicken run).

The morning started out with the Nippers race on a shortened version of the course. Alec Coleske dominated the boys’ category with Hendre de Villers coming in shortly after second. The Nipper girls podium was claimed Anna Marx in first and Olivia Penfold in second.

The Sprog boys and girls raced alongside the Sub-juniors for the first time this year as both categories raced the same full course. Luke Moir (of TeamPaarlMedia) who was racing the in the Sprog category, broke away and convincingly, not only placing first in the Sprogs, but Sub-juniors too – an impressive effort from the young rider.

Renay Groustra won the Elite men’s race, with Nico Pfitzenmaier coming in second to close the days racing.  Lolita van Aardt took first place in the ladies with a convincing win over the rest of the field.

The hero of the day goes to Manie Lubbe who completed his race after puncturing twice and also breaking his chain right at the start. Hats off to this young man, we have great hopes for his future in this sport.

Full official results of the all the category races are available here or right here on our website.

The official photographer has posted all the event pics for you which you can view here and purchase if you wish. 

We are certain the folks from Big Shot Media got some great footage as we are really looking forward to the fruits of their labour. We will keep posted of when this production will be aired on SuperSport.

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(All Photo's courtesy Shane Wilson, unless otherwise specified)