Cape Town - The third and final stage of the Momentum Health Tankwa
Trek, presented by Biogen, was won by Nicola Rohrbach and Daniel Geismayr
(Centurion Vaude by Goldwurst Power), and Yolande de Villiers and Mariske
Strauss (Silverback Volvo OMX); but despite a tense moment for the leading
women neither the pink or yellow jerseys changed hands.
No mountain biking fan
can argue that dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Helen Grobert, and Canyon Topeak
Factory Racing’s Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek were deserved winners of the
2018 edition of the race.
Stage 3 of the Tankwa Trek featured a rolling start which
saw the entire field take to the district roads which separated the race
village, Kaleo, from the superb Houdenbek singletracks. Once the Centurion
Vaude by Goldwurst Power combination of Rohrbach and Geismayr reached the famed
trails they virtually immediately went on the offensive.
“I was a little behind and I moved up next to Nicola
(Rohrbach). We attacked on the first two little climbs and then on the two
hundred meter long climb we attacked again and started to open up a gap”
“My partners keep letting me down” Rohrbach joked,
referring to Lukas Flückiger’s stomach bug last year and Geismayr’s series of
punctures on Stage 2.
“I think next year we come back with a full team, four
riders and support staff. Then we try to win the Tankwa Trek” the powerful
Swiss rider declared.
Rohrbach and Geismayr went on to win the final stage of the
race by soloing to victory from 40km out. They had only the out of
category rider, Henrique Avancini for company - but as Avancini had dropped
from the UCI Men’s field when his partner Manuel Fumic retired during Stage 2
he was unable to assist the leaders in any way.
Behind the eventual stage winners the final stage proved a
tense affair. The leading group of general classification riders never dropped
to below six teams. The only casualty on the stage was a significant one, with
ramifications beyond the Tankwa Trek.
team in contention for second position on the stage and the fourth placed team
going into the final stage, the Spur Specialized combination of Alan Hatherly
and Simon Andreassen, were rocked by the South African cross-country champion
crashing out of the race. Hatherly’s crash left him with a broken radius, in
his wrist, and with just under a month to go before the UCI World Cup campaign
kicks off in his home town of Stellenbosch the injury is even more unfortunate.
South African mountain biking fans had great hopes of Hatherly claiming the Under-23 race victory at the Stellenbosch World Cup, but now the young star
could well miss a significant part of the season.
The Tankwa Trek would
thus like to wish both Alan Hatherly and Esther Süss, who crashed out on Stage
2, speedy and full recoveries.
The six remaining teams in the leading men’s group contested
a chaotic sprint for second position, with PYGA Euro Steel’s Philip Buys and
Matthys Beukes taking the honours. The third team across the line was the
yellow jersey wearing Canyon Topeak pair of Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek.
“For sure it’s a big win for us” Hynek reflected after
securing the general classification victory with the third place position.
more importantly it is a sign that we are in a good way and working together
The women’s race saw the dormakaba team of Candice Lill and
Helen Grobert suffer their first misfortune of the race, but despite taking longer
than they would have liked to fix a puncture their overall lead was never truly
in doubt. The Silverback Volvo OMX team had set the pace once the women entered
the singletrack, but Lill and Grobert did not appear to be in any discomfort as
they tracked the third placed general classification team. Ascendis Health’s
Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz were slightly off the pace, but with a 12
minute buffer on De Villiers and Strauss they were at no risk of losing their
second position overall.
“I have fixed many punctures in my career before and they
can be stressful in a racing situation, but it was definitely more stressful
fixing a puncture in the leaders’ jersey in the final 15 kilometres of a stage
race” Lill laughed.
“I did not even see Ascendis go past us” she confessed.
Grobert had seen the second placed general classification
team pass them though and set the pace as the dormakaba women fought their way
back to insight of De Groot and Spitz.
“Once I saw them as we were able to
enter the last bit of singletrack I knew we had won” Grobert said.
just ride the trails with flow and have fun” the stage race rookie responded.
“It was Helen (Grobert)’s first stage race. But I have done
quite a few” Lill continued.
“We made a really good team and maybe there are
more opportunities for partnerships in the future.”
Thus concluded a memorable Tankwa Trek: with the crowning of two worthy winning teams; the 2018
women’s champion, the dominant dormakaba squad, and the men’s champions the
tactically astute Canyon Topeak Factory Racing.
Results: 2018 Tankwa Trek:
Stage 3 - Men
1. Centurion Vaude Goldwurst Power, Nicola Rohrbach &
Daniel Geismayr (2:54:50)
2. PYGA Euro Steel, Philip Buys & Matthys Beukes (2:59:37
3. Canyon Topeak, Alban Lakata & Kristian Hynek (2:59:40
4. NAD Pro MTB, Nico Bell & Matt Beers (2:59:42 | +03:09)
5. Cannondale 2, Maxime Marotte & Marcel Guerrini (2:59:47
Classification after Stage 3
1. Canyon Topeak, Alban Lakata & Kristian Hynek (9:56:40)
2. Cannondale 2, Maxime Marotte & Marcel Guerrini (9:59:11
3. PYGA Euro Steel, Philip Buys & Matthys Beukes (10:00:18
4. NAD Pro MTB 1, Nico Bell & Matt Beers (10:02:11 | +05:31)
5. NAD Pro MTB 2, Gawie Combrinck & Wessel Botha (10:14:04
Stage 3 - Women
1. Silverback Volvo OMX, Yolande de Villiers & Mariske
2. Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (3:22:44
3. dormakaba, Candice Lill & Helen Grobert (3:23:11 | +02:12)
4. dormakaba 2, Samantha Saunders & Carmen Buchacher
(3:30:26 | +09:27)
5. Team joBerg2c, Amy McDogall & Bianca Haw (3:31:28 | +10:29)
Classification after Stage 3
1. dormakaba, Candice Lill & Helen Grobert (11:32:46)
2. Ascendis Health, Robyn de Groot & Sabine Spitz (11:36:35
3. Silverback Volvo OMX, Yolande de Villiers & Mariske
Strauss (11:47:11 | +14:25)
4. Team joBerg2c, Amy McDogall & Bianca Haw (12:01:33 | +28:47)
5. dormakaba 2, Samantha Saunders & Carmen Buchacher (12:24:19
For the full results and more information, visit: www.tankwatrek.co.za