In the men’s race, Heyns (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing) and Matt Beers (Red-E Cannondale) managed to take an early lead up a steep climb. The pair then worked together throughout the race, gradually extending their lead over the field. But Heyns was simply too strong for Beers in the finale and powered over the finish line first in a time of 02 hours 55 minutes 43 seconds.
Beers was the runner-up 13 seconds later with a fast-finishing Waylon Woolcock (USN Purefit) claiming third place just over half a minute back.
“I was quite surprised at how fun the trails were. The race duration wasn’t too long – around 3 hours – and the route had a lot of cool singletrack. It was a very enjoyable race and a nice one to win,” smiled Heyns.
“Gert and I broke away early and rode together. But when we got to the last singletrack my legs were dying and I just couldn’t match him over the last 500 metres or so. I’m feeling good for Sani2c though,” said Beers.
“It was a tough, but stimulating route. The rough surface in places, some steep climbs and the strong wind made for a solid challenge. I’m happy with third place because I took a break after SA marathon champs, so am not at a peak currently, said Woolcock.
In the women’s race Jennie Stenerhag (Ascendis Health) used the steep early climbing to her advantage and was able to extend her lead gradually throughout the 70km race to finish first in a time of 3:41:11. Katie Leonard grabbed second place less than two minutes later with Carmen Buchacher another 10 seconds back in third.
“I found the race really hard from the start. The wind was very strong but I got away from the other ladies on the steep climb at around 11km and kept a steady pace the rest of the way. It was actually a tough race, but it feels good to be healthy again,” said Stenerhag.
Over 1000 riders tackled the four distances, which started and finished at a new TrailSeeker Series venue, Boschendal Wines. The routes included the 2.5km descent down the switch-backed Skyfall descent as well as a traverse through the Banhoek Valley, home of some pristine singletrack.
Round 2 of the Nissan TrailSeeker Western Cape Series will be at Grabouw on 25 June 2016. To enter, visit www.trailseekerseries.co.za