Cape Town - Overnight
leaders Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger completed a clean sweep of stage wins to
claim overall honours in the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside
Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
BCX duo had a keen tussle with their rivals on the third and final day to
emerge victorious by 20 seconds at the Zuurberg Mountain Village, which is
perched above the Addo Elephant National Park.
in the event for the first time, the Western Cape pair finished the 50km stage
in 2:11:40 for a combined race time of 8:08:01.
were followed home by the Ascendis-LCB outfit of Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit,
who finished in 2:12:00 to consolidate their runner-up spot in the overall
standings in 8:12:30.
champion Andrew Hill, who teamed up with Marco Joubert for TIB
Insurance-Momsen, finished third on the day in 2:12:16 as well as in the
general classification in 8:15:49.
a four-minute buffer going into the technically challenging final stage,
Woolcock said their strategy was based on defence rather than attack.
“If you look at the route we were
probably at a slight disadvantage today against some of the more technical
“But something seriously would have to
go wrong to lose a four-minute advantage in 50km, so we just tried to make sure
that did not happen.”
top three teams rode together for nearly the whole stage until BCX spotted an
opportunity with about a kilometre to go.
“It wasn’t really planned, but we saw Arno
taking a bit of strain coming up the last drag to the finish so we just put the
hammer down for the stage win,”
on the event, he said they were very happy with their decision to compete.
“The hospitality and organisation have
been top-notch and it is one of the best events I have been to,” he said.
“Besides that, the terrain is amazing,
with lots of variety and it can be quite gnarly and rough in some places.
“As a climber, I enjoyed the fact that
the stages finished at the top of a mountain every day.”
added the Zuurberg title to the Winelands Encounter they won last month,
Woolcock said it was important for them to show their credentials.
“At the end of the day it’s all about giving back to our
sponsors and getting as much coverage as we can so this win fits in with our
“It’s important for us to aim high and
doing well gives us and our sponsors great exposure and that’s always an incentive to go for the
they needed to force the pace for a shot at the overall victory, Heyns and Du
Toit said their mindset was to be aggressive from the start.
“But the BCX guys rode very well
defensively and kept getting onto the single-track in front and we couldn’t really get away,” said Du Toit.
“Still, it was an awesome experience
with some great trails and we really enjoyed the vibe on and off the bike.”
who won in 2014 and last year, said he and Joubert also tried to go hard from
the start, but always felt it would come down to the final climb.
“We knew BCX would try to put the
hammer down there and that’s
what happened. We almost got second, but didn’t quite make it, and that’s how racing goes.”
mixed title went to Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers of Dryland-Ultimate
Cycling, who dominated all three stages for a decisive victory.
said the race was memorable, even though the last climb “is always a little killer”.
“But when you have a partner like
Yolande you couldn’t
ask for better. Everything went well, with awesome trails and a great vibe off
Villiers paid tribute to the organisers for their efforts.
“Today was more like a play day with
great single-track and full marks to the organisers.
“From the trails to the route marking
and waterpoints, everything was spot on. This is an event that everyone should
GZT-Pedigree’s Siska van der Bijl, who won the
category alongside Annie Davids, said the event had a bright future.
“Trevor and Rob Hayter (the race
founders) and their team did a wonderful job and the amount of work they put in
HB Kruger, Waylon Woolcock (BCX) 2:11:40
Gert Heyns, Arno du Toit (Ascendis-LCB) 2:12:00
Marco Joubert, Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance-Momsen) 2:12:16
Bradley Weiss, Stuart Marais (Huguenot Hackers) 2:20:27
Peach, Jason Reed (Saddle and Cleats) 2:25:03
Anele Mtalana, Tshepo Tlou (Exxaro) 2:26:58
Joel Stransky, Andrew Mclean (Cycle Lab) 2:28:37
8. Bruce Campbell, Tim Ellerbeck (Cyclo
Kyle Bradford, Brent Pheiffer (UPC) 2:39:19
Grant Daly, Richard Allen (Engeli) 2:40:27
Neill Ungerer, Yolande de Villiers (Dryland-Ultimate Cycling) 2:34:15
Andrea Shirley, Steven Shirley (On Your Bike) 2:52:27
Hildegarde Cronje, Victor Terblanche (Victoryhill) 3:19:38
Siska van der Bijl, Annie Davids (GZT-Pedigree) 3:10:34
HB Kruger, Waylon Woolcock (BCX) 8:08:01
Gert Heyns, Arno du Toit (Ascendis-LCB) 8:12:30
Marco Joubert, Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance-Momsen) 8:15:49
Bradley Weiss, Stuart Marais (Huguenot Hackers) 8:44:36
Jason Peach, Jason Reed (Saddle and Cleats) 8:51:31
Joel Stransky, Andrew Mclean (Cycle Lab) 9:08:45
Anele Mtalana, Tshepo Tlou (Exxaro) 9:18:33
Derrick Venter, Geoffrey Lee (Absa) 9:44:25
Bruce Campbell, Tim Ellerbeck (Cyclo Pro) 9:50:25
Raynard Tissink, Louis de Villiers (2XU) 9:56:21
Neill Ungerer, Yolande de Villiers (Dryland-Ultimate Cycling) 9:29:19
Andrea Shirley, Steven Shirley (On Your Bike) 11:00:27
Hildegarde Cronje, Victor Terblanche (Victoryhill) 12:26:13
Siska van der Bijl, Annie Davids (GZT-Pedigree) 11:51:00
The overall men’s podium at the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race, from left, Andrew Hill and Marco Joubert
(TIB Insurance-Momsen), HB Kruger and Waylon Woolcock (BCX) and Gert Heyns and
Arno du Toit (Ascendis-LCB) Photo: Shayne Minott