With the cold front passing through the Cape, spectators and riders faced the cold morning breezes with lots of coffee and warm up sessions. Pro riders were yet again responsible for bringing the heat to the start of the SA XCM Champs.
The pro men were first out of the blocks with Shaun-Nick Bester in the lead within the first 10-kilometres. Rain poured down and made the trail even muddier and more slippery after the previous night’s rain. Matt Beers caught up with the leaders and soon after Gert Heyns attacked along with the rest of the batch where they to take over the lead. Their positions stayed unchanged throughout the day and left the rest of the field consistently playing catch up. Gert Heyns claimed the title of Elite Men SA XCM Champion when he crossed the line with a phenomenal finish.
The pro ladies stepped up to the start and headed onto the cold wet track. Samantha Sanders took the lead, along with Amy Beth McDougall, Sarah Hill and Robyn de Groot at 14-kilometres. Robyn de Groot lead the climb with Samantha and Amy Beth close behind. 35-Kilometres in, Amy Beth took over the lead and set the pace for the long climb ahead. Robyn de Groot dominated the rest of the race, increasing the gap with every kilometre she covered. A strong finish after a tough day out, made Robyn de Groot the Elite Women SA XCM Champion for the sixth time.
The Oak Valley Wine Estate and surroundings provided a memorable day out for both spectators and the competitors. Congratulations to all who finished the race.
2018 Nissan Trailseeker MTB Series #3, Western Cape
Oak Valley, Grabouw
Elite Men Podium
Gert Heyns – 03:29:30
Matt Beers – 03:33:25
Gawie Combrinck – 03:34:09
Elite Women Podium
Robyn de Groot – 03:58:47
Amy Beth McDougall – 04:00:05
Samantha Sanders – 04:20:23