We take a look at the 2019 Enduro Western Cape season opener.
Following a super successful first year of the Enduro Western Cape series during 2018, the EWC is back with a bang in 2019, selling out entries and topping out at 230 riders. With the weather gods on their side, riders were treated to an awesome day out at a green and grippy Contermanskloof, with the 5 stages and liaisons covering 27km with around 2100m of combined vert. A few changes to last year’s stages included the scrapping of the wide & off-camber stage 1, and a new section added onto stage 4, as well as a few other small adjustments. The series also sees the addition of the E-bike category, as well as the return of the lite category where newcomers have the opportunity to only do 3 of the 5 stages.
It's a beautiful day.
Riders line up at registration to get a number board and timing watch.
Harry Millar with race briefing before riders head up liaison 1.
Let faster riders past. Assist injured riders. Blue flags = pro line. Pink flags = easy line. Ride within your limits. Have fun!
Some spectators bringing the gees on Stage 1.
On the racing front, it was Franki du Toit that took top spot in the women’s category with a total racing time of 18:19.781. Following her in 2nd was Katja Steenkamp with a time of 19:33.698 and Colleen de Oliveira in third about one minute 15 seconds off the pace coming it at 20:45.776.
Landowner, beer-brewer and trail-builder Robert Starke again put down the fastest time in the men’s category with a time of 15:22.841, just 16 seconds ahead of young pinner Luke Moir (15:38.432). Rounding out the podium, just 2 seconds behind Moir, was Dane Olsen with a time of 15:40:148.
It was so good to race on my home trails again, after racing the EWS Madeira. It really opened up my eyes to the level of riding and the trails those guys are building, it was truly inspiring. Often I hear local riders say our (RSA) trails are not good enough for an EWS but they are very wrong, they certainly are right up there. The race went really well apart from SS5 when I almost flatted at the top rock garden but thanks to my foamos I made it home with 15psi to spare and got to share my first podium with my brother! Vibes on the trails and race village was simply epic, it’s amazing to see how this awesome sport is growing. Big thanks to the EWC crew for making it happen!
Robert Starke | 1st male
It was so so cool too see so many people here. I think Conties is always such a nice venue because they do such a good job with the race village and its quite a vibe down there, and the trails are good, with LOTS of climbing. I was happy with how I rode and I really enjoyed it. Coming back from Europe, this is a completely different style of racing again. I punctured at the start of S5 but luckily I could make it down! Overall it was an amazing event.
Franki du Toit | 1st female
Full results can be found here.
We try to organise events that push riders. Putting in some big climbs and gnarly downhills made us nervous. We expected a backlash. Lo and behold, we didn’t need to fret. The racers took the punch in the face like the prize fighters they are are. Well done guys and girls. You’re tough as nails.
Rupert von Tutschek | President of Stage Creation and Marketing
Big shout out goes to Giant Bicycles, Tygerberg MTB club, Robert Starke, Starke brews, all the marshals and volunteers, and finally to Rupert, Harry, Daniel, Jacques, Michelle and Ezanne for putting together these awesome events, and making it a huge success.
Photos and words by Ewald Sadie | www.esphotography.co.za