Erik Kleinhans and James Reid (RECM) secured the overall men’s Tankwa Trek title after three days of fierce racing in the Kouebokkeveld region of South Africa’s Western Cape province on Sunday. In the women’s race, Ascendis Health’s Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag secured a third consecutive stage victory and the overall title.
Germany’s multiple Cape Epic winner, Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls), racing in the smaller Solo division, confirmed his good form with a third stage win, a dominant category win and the fastest time overall.
In the women’s race, Ascendis Health’s Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag secured a third consecutive stage victory and the overall Tankwa Trek title. In the process, they confirmed their status as genuine podium contenders at next month’s Cape Epic. Catherine Williamson (Asrin Cycling) secured another stage win and the overall title in the Solo women’s category.
Michael Posthumus and Yolandi du Toit (Garmin) grabbed their first Mixed division stage win on the final leg, but stage runners-up, Craig Boyes and Candice Neethling (Asrin Cycling) claimed the overall Mixed category crown.
The final stage over 61km was relatively short, which resulted in a higher intensity and average speed compared to Stages 1 and 2. There was a frantic scramble during the first five kilometres of gravel road by riders eager to reach the long first section of singletrack in a good position. It’s extremely difficult to overtake on singletrack, which can lead to gaps forming and critical time being gained – or lost…
In the men’s team battle, Woolcock and Lill used a climb called Heartbreak Hill, just 11km from the finish to make their move. Both strong climbers, they increased the pace up the gravel road ascent which put Reid into difficulty. Reid’s teammate, Kleinhans, enjoying the form of his life currently, seemed unaware of Reid’s detachment from the leading pack when they entered the next piece of singletrack as he kept setting a high pace at the front.
In the women’s race RECM’s Arianne Kleinhans and Cherise Stander managed to get into the first section of singletrack in front of De Groot and Stenerhag, but as the race moved onto a gravel road climb, the Ascendis Health pair took the lead, which they maintained until the finish. They clocked a time 2:31:05, two-and-a-half minutes ahead of Kleinhans and Stander, the latter finishing with a lacerated knee sustained in a crash.
“Being a shorter stage, the pace was really fast today. But the pressure was the same as the other days and we’re happy to have been able to win the stage and the overall title,” said De Groot. “It was a great team event for Jennie and I in terms of our stage-racing partnership and the terrain offered some really testing riding , which is similar to what we will experience at the Cape Epic.”
DUTOIT TANKWA TREK 2015
Final General Classification
1 James Reid (RSA) / Erik Kleinhans (RSA) Team RECM 9:28:28
2 Darren Lill (RSA) / Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Red-E Blend 9:33:37
3 Lourens Luus (RSA) / Adriaan Louw (RSA) Contego 9:44:27
4 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) / Johann Rabie (RSA) EAI Cycling 9:51:17
5 Hanco Kachelhoffer (RSA) / Chris Wolhuter (RSA) Altech Autopage 10:17:41
1 Stefan Sahm (GER) Team Bulls 9:26:02
2 Tyronne White (RSA) 9:50:54
3 Timo Cooper (RSA) 9:57:11
4 Ben Melt Swanepoel (RSA) 10:04:18
5 Derrin Smith (RSA) 10:21:36
1 Robyn de Groot (RSA) / Jennie Stennerhag (SWE) Ascendis Health 10:53:34
2 Cherise Stander (RSA) / Arianne Kleinhans (SUI) Team RECM 11:00:27
3 Yolande de Villiers (RSA) / Bianca Haw (RSA) Sasol Racing 11:31:25
4 Ann Harrison (RSA) / Marleen Lourens (RSA) Dawn Wing Momsen 12:49:34
5 Nina Hind (RSA) / Kathy Crabbe (RSA) Fruit Sizers 15:40:04
1 Catherine Williamson (Asrin Cycling) 11:16:40
2 Cherie Vale (RSA) 11:47:40
3 Christine Jansen van Rensburg (RSA) 11:53:35
4 Jane Seggie (RSA) 12:31:24
5 Monica Glover (RSA) 13:22:22
1 Candice Neethling (RSA) / Craig Boyes (RSA) Asrin Cycling 11:13:06
2 Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Michael Posthumus (RSA) Garmin 11:23:40
3 Leana de Jager (RSA) /Johan Labuschagne (RSA) Sasol Racing 11:58:11
4 Carmen Buchacher (RSA) / Allan Cox (RSA) VSL Mixed 12:07:31
5 Joanne Bentley (RSA) / Craig McKune (RSA) Stynky Lynxes 13:25:24