Cape Town - The
first day of joBerg2c, a 114km journey from Heidelberg to Frankfort, doesn’t
count at all, with every rider getting the same time on the neutral Stage 1.
it does come in handy as a last minute bit of race prep. Riders are able to
find their legs, test their fitness and settle into a groove that should
(hopefully) carry them through the 8 stages to come.
all 800 participants across the line first was solo rider Jako Montgomery
is brilliant, the trails are amazing - the guys have done a brilliant job this
year. The stronger riders held back a bit which made it a little easier to keep
up with them. I’m feeling really strong and excited for tomorrow and the
days to come,” said Montgomery.
the men's teams, race favourites NAD Pro MTB and Pyga Euro Steel crossed the
line together (4:43.00). NAD Pro MTB’s Nico Bell enjoyed the neutral stage but
did find some aspects of racing in the day's riding.
want to use your legs a bit, so for us, we tried to get to the finish quickly
to be ready for the real racing on day 2. It was quite hot, so we didn’t want
to be out there for too long,” said Bell.
for the days ahead, Bell feels there will be many opportunities to attack.
think you can gain time on any of the stages so we just need to be ready.
Usually the first day is a flat out sprint and then things become more
technical and tactical as the days go by.”
Euro Steel Rider Philip Buys agrees, meaning his team will follow a similar
there is a gap and we see we have the upper-hand somewhere, we will definitely
use it and ride hard. This is our first time here - so the first few days are
like going into the unknown.
like NAD Pro MTB have been here before and know what to expect so they have an advantage
for now. We do know the Berg & Bush stages so we know what is to come,”
Garmin riders Yolandi du Toit and Ben Melt Swanepoel finished first in the
mixed category (5:00.29). After opening a shaken bottle of sparkling water on
the finish, du Toit and Melt Swanepoel were soaked as the refreshment sprayed
uncontrollably. Du Toit laughed and said her day was “sizzling”, but the
neutral stage was also about finding balance.
a tricky one though because you don’t want to ride too slow and be out there
for too long - it’s pretty warm out there. You want to find a nice balance by
coming in early to start recovering for the next day, but you don’t want to
exert yourself to get in quickly.”
Over the years, the joBerg2c has become a favourite event for strong mixed teams to test
their mettle. 2017 is no different.
Chasing Du Toit and Swanepoel for the category this year will be 2016 champions
Darren and Candice Lill (dormakaba) and Grant Usher and Amy Beth
McDougall (Lanham-Love Valencia). Candice Lill
is coming off a very impressive debut Cape Epic, while Usher and McDougall were
also impressive at the 2017 Cape Epic. Also in mixed category contention are
Catherine Williamson and Johan Labuschagne (The Bicycle Company Mitas). The
pair have a lot of experience riding together and will only get stronger as the
week goes on.
93km Stage 2 - when the real racing of the joBerg2c begins - takes
riders from Frankfort to Reitz. For the racing elite, the stage will be fast
and furious, while for the rest of the field highlights will include the water
point hosted by Skewerkop Boere Vereeniging and the Husky Romi Wolf Sanctuary just outside Reitz.