Cape Town - Defending champion Chris
Wolhuter and protégé Craig Boyes crushed their rivals on the second day of the
Liberty Winelands MTB Encounter to build up a comfortable lead going into
Sunday’s grand finale.
As they had done on the
opening day, the Imbuko-Freewheel Cycology professional team set the pace for most of the
way to win the 57km stage between Franschhoek and Kleine Valleij outside
Wellington in 2:20:00.
They got the better of
Altech-Autopage’s Colin Noel and Hanco Kachelhoffer, who finished a distant second
After CP van Wyk’s horrific
crash the previous day while fighting for stage honours, he and his Momsen
team-mate Dylan Rebello put in a superb ride to place third in 2:29:47.
Wolhuter, from Cape Town, and
Boyes, who lives in Stellenbosch, head the general classification with a
combined time of 4:46:34.
They are followed by Noel and
Kachelhoffer (5:05:22) with Rebello and Van Wyk (5:11:25) in third.
Boyes said they had again got
off to a flying start as they pushed hard up front alongside Noel and
Kachelhoffer with Rebello and Van Wyk in tow.
“Unfortunately Hanco punctured
and he and Colin lost touch,” said the 25-year-old.
“About 5km after exiting the
Drakenstein prison grounds, we took a gamble and went really hard as we headed
towards the first waterpoint.
“Fortunately we know the route
and Chris has been unbelievably strong so we were able to just roll on to the
finish after that.”
Although they would not be
taking anything for granted, Boyes said they were looking forward to the final
“We have managed to build up a
comfortable buffer and are really aiming to enjoy the final day and the
Boyes said his maiden Liberty
Winelands MTB Encounter was a special experience.
“Everyone has made us feel so
welcome. The friendly reception and the work the organisers have put in have
After solid early-season
performances at the GR300 and Cape Epic, where they were third overall and
fourth African team respectively, Boyes said they were keen to graduate to the
top step of the podium.
Team Spur’s Stephan Senekal
and Ariane Kleinhans completed back to back victories in the mixed section when
they placed fifth on the stage in 2:45:14.
Their aggregate time of
5:35:49 puts them in a comfortable lead in the overall standings ahead of
Everett and Anna Haywood and Ricky and Kerry Tomaselli.
The final stage, which starts
and finishes at Kleine Valleij, will be over a distance of 48km with
1 100m of climbing.