The winners and positions were confirmed on Friday’s final racing stage and riders were encouraged to enjoy the communal party atmosphere at the final overnight stop at Jolivet in Highflats, before their untimed ride to Scottburgh. At the finish each rider was presented with their finishers medal and a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate the completion of the nine-day journey.
The big winners at the front of the field were: Amy McDougall and Arno du Toit (dormakaba Mixed Team) who were crowned as the inaugural AmaBokkeBokkie Global Mixed Champs; Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck (NAD Pro) who were unbeaten for all seven timed stages in the prestigious men’s team category; Matthys Beukes (PYGA Eurosteel) who ended up as the overall winner and the top solo rider; and the clear winners of the women’s category, Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill (Galileo Risk).
But the final stage was not about racing and there were more than a few riders who struggled over the floating bridge on the Scottburgh Lagoon wishing they had retired to their tents at Jolivet a bit earlier – including a few racing snakes mentioned above who were spotted in the bar area long after most riders were snoring in their tents amongst the macadamia nuts.
The final neutral day has also become a chance for lycra-clad mountain bikers to test their clothing boundaries and a disturbing number of riders of both sexes opted to don tulle tutus for the 84km ride from Jolivet to Scottburgh – and there were other sartorially disadvantaged riders in pyjamas, farm clothes, cow outfits and lots of tinsel and other accessories from oversized glasses to glitzy sequins and some very bubbly baubles.
In all, riders completed 904km in their journey from Heidelberg to Scottburgh over the nine days. The length of time spent in the saddle ranged from Beukes’s 32 hours 55 minutes (an average of 3 hours 40 minutes a day) to the Seattle Coffee Co team of Andrew Langford and Mike Breckenridge whose official total time of 66:58 meant they spent just under seven and a half hours a day on the trails – although the two untimed stages where Langford and Breckenridge are credited with the fastest times of the day, mean the two spent significantly longer on the bike.
Now it is time to look forward to the 2019 event which promises to be extra special as it is the 10th anniversary of joBerg2c. In light of the anniversary event, entries for the 2019 event will open at 10 minutes to 10am on June 10 with a 10th year special which lasts for 10 days only – you cannot afford to be tentative.
At the conclusion of this year’s event. Old Mutual Head of Brand Thobile Tshabalala was full of praise for all riders. “Congratulations to every mountain biker who took part in the 9-day Old Mutual joBerg2c. It’s a fantastic achievement and we share in everyone’s jubilation. We also want to thank all the riders for doing great things and supporting the communities along the route.”
AMABOKKEBOKKIE GLOBAL MIXED CHAMPS: 1 Amy Mcdougall, Arno Du Toit (Dormakaba Mixed) 35:14:33, 2 Darren Lill, Candice Lill (Team Summit) 35:46:14, 3 Johan Labuschagne, Catherine Williamson (Sugeons for Little Lives / Mitas) 36:17:50.
MEN'S TEAMS: 1 Nico Bell, Gawie Combrinck (NAD Pro MTB) 33:06:02, 2 Alan Gordon, Timothy Hammond (Insect Science) 33:40:11; 3 Shaun-Nick Bester, Declan Sidey (Silverback Best4Sports Mad Macs) 34:11:25.
INDIVIDUAL: 1 Matthys Beukes (PYGA Eurosteel) 32:55:38, 2 Phillimon Sebona (PYGA Eurosteel 2) 34:03:42, 3 David Cooke 35:32:26.
WOMEN'S TEAMS: 1 Sarah Hill, Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) 38:49:31, 2 Adele Ambrose, Lauren Walker (Nix and Del) 42:50:30, 3 Johanita De Waal, Wilmien Chamberlain (2 nam bred Moms) 44:50:29.