Heyns’ combined time of 17:01,8 was eight seconds faster than second place, with all of the top six completing the four-stage event in under 18 minutes.
“I really enjoyed the event,” Heyns commented afterward, visibly elated with his win, although it wasn’t his first enduro title. “I’ve always liked the gravity side of things and about a year ago I bought an enduro bike, just for fun - mostly just to practice my skills and enjoy the trails. The week I got the bike there was an enduro happening so I took part and surprised myself with the win,” he said.
“This event fitted into my programme perfectly so I was eager to give it a bash again.”
According to Heyns – who hails from George – he went into the event confident of a good showing but weary of the tough competition. “I tend to be quite good at racing blind and reading the lines and those kinds of things,” he said. “However, being Jonkershoek I knew that everyone knew those trails well, so it felt a bit more like a downhill race where everyone already knew the lines and I was worried that that might count against me.”
While that may have been a factor on the day, conditions certainly weren’t. Sunday 31 July proved the ideal day for enduro racing, as it day dawned cold and misty but cleared up during the morning. There had been a fair amount of rain in the week leading up to the event, leaving the trails grippy and dust free for the 90-odd riders to take on the four timed stages.
According to Heyns the racing was important to him but it was far more important to soak up the vibe and enjoy the good trails on offer. “The vibe at these events is a lot more chilled than at the marathon and cross-country races I’m used to,” he said. “It’s all about having a good weekend and having fun on the trails and riding with your mates - it was good to step into that kind of atmosphere.”
And he will most likely be in the hunt for a few more titles this season. “The rest of my racing season is pretty relaxed and I can do the events I want to do and I think there are a few of the enduro races that fits into my schedule so I’m going to try and fit them in.
- Gert Heyns
- Lance Morris
- Theo Erlangsen
- Gary Barnard
- Martin Zietsman
Photos by Ewald Sadie | www.esphotography.co.za.