Cape Town - HB Kruger and Matt Beers timed
their attack to perfection to snatch the stage win on the second day of the
Liberty Winelands Encounter mountain-bike race in Franschhoek on Saturday.
The ASG-NAD pair outsprinted
stage one winners and overnight leaders Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit at the end
of a 48km loop from the Le Franschhoek Hotel and back.
Kruger, from Paarl, and Beers,
from Kenilworth in Cape Town, crossed the line in 1:42:09 with the DSV Pro
Cycling duo three seconds adrift.
Dylan Rebello and Marco Joubert
of Imbuko-Momsen completed the podium.
Heyns and Du Toit’s combined time of 3:34:28 puts them just under two
minutes ahead of Kruger and Beers in the general classification with one day to
go. Rebello and Joubert are in third.
Kruger, who won the title
alongside the now retired Waylon Woolcock last year, said it was a quick and
aggressive stage, “with a lot less climbing than
was a 10km neutral zone on the tar until we turned up Matoppie Hill, which is a
steepish, rocky climb,” he said.
had a good tempo and Matt and myself, along with Gert and Arno, managed to get
away as we went up that section.
did drop off slightly at one stage, but we managed to get back to Gert and Arno
at the top and we rode together for the rest of the way.”
Describing it as a “flattish, rough course”,
Kruger, who won the seven-day Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter with Stuart
Marais in February, said it was difficult to make a move to create a gap.
raced together, not pushing too hard, but making sure we were checking each
into the finish we saw an opportunity to go for a stage win and we came
sprinting out of the last single-track.
was in the last kilometre and Arno came around us but Matt and I knew we just
had to stay ahead of Gert and we were able to do that.”
Kruger said although time was
running out, they were still focused on making up time on the final stage.
stages are relatively short so it’s really difficult
to create a big gap,” he said.
tomorrow has some testing areas, too, so we will definitely not just give it
[victory] to them.
will be trying our best to see what opportunities arise to make up some time.
We are definitely keen to win what is a very special event.”
Kruger fell ill after last
month’s Cape Epic and was on antibiotics for a period.
yesterday was a bit of a shock to the system, but my partner Matt is looking
really good so it’s nice just to sit behind him
and follow his moves,” he said.
the mixed category, overnight leaders Matthew Stamatis and Samantha Sanders (Home Ice Cream-dormakaba) took stage
honours in 1:56:18.
They finished ahead of Carmen
Buchacher and Paris Basson, with Everett and Anna Haywood third.
stage winners consolidated their overall lead with their combined time of
4:02:50 giving them a buffer of more than half an hour over Buchacher and
Louise Ferreira and Marleen
Lourens continued to dominate the women’s
category, winning the stage in 2:13:36 to increase their sizeable lead in the
They were followed home today
by Ilse Viljoen and Jana Kruger, with Alta Kriegler and Sunette Beyers third.
Tomorrow’s final stage of the Liberty Winelands Encounter,
presented by STANLIB, will be contested over 50km between Le Franschhoek Hotel
and Nederburg Wine Estate near Paarl.
Results: Stage 2, 48km
1. Matt Beers & HB Kruger (ASG-NAD)
2. Gert Heyns & Arno du Toit (DSV
Pro Cycling) 1:42:12
3. Marco Joubert & Dylan Rebello
David Garrett & Craig Gerber (Western Racing) 1:54:42
Leon Boshoff & Daniel Pikker (Edge Telematics) 1:59:18
Louise Ferreira & Marleen Lourens (Louise-Marleen) 2:13:36
Ilse Viljoen & Jana Kruger (Companero) 2:25:49
Alta Kriegler & Sunette Beyers (Pool Nurse) 2:42:23
Matthew Stamatis & Samantha
Ice Cream-dormakaba) 1:56:18
Carmen Buchacher & Paris Basson (dormakaba) 2:13:50
3. Everett Haywood & Anna Haywood (Fu King Fast) 2:31:26
John Soper & Michelle van Aswegen (Gurit-AMT Composites) 2:36:31
Nick Dickens & Alexa Terblanche (The Avengers) 2:41:29
Alan Botten & Paige Botten (Upstream) 2:43:15
Gert Heyns & Arno du Toit (DSV Pro Cycling) 3:34:28
Matt Beers & HB Kruger (ASG-NAD) 3:36:33
Marco Joubert & Dylan Rebello (Imbuko-Momsen) 3:40:59
Richard Simpson & Alexander Rohrer (First Ascent) 3:55:30
David Garrett & Craig Gerber (Western Racing) 4:02:17
Louise Ferreira & Marleen Lourens (Louise-Marleen) 4:36:20
Ilse Viljoen & Jana Kruger (Companero) 5:10:12
Alta Kriegler & Sunette Beyers (Pool Nurse) 5:43:46
Matthew Stamatis & Samantha Sanders (Home Ice Cream-dormakaba) 4:02:50
Carmen Buchacher & Paris Basson (dormakaba) 4:36:38
Everett Haywood & Anna Haywood (Fu King Fast) 5:10:29
John Soper & Michelle van Aswegen (Gurit-AMT Composites) 5:23:54
Nick Dickens & Alexa Terblanche (The Avengers) 5:39:43