Langvad smashes Attakwas record on debut

Denmark’s multiple mountain bike world champion, Annika Langvad (Specialized) beat off a strong field to win the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge in a new women’s record time in South Africa on Saturday.

Langvad and de Groot Attakwas.jpg
Annika Langvad (right) and Robyn de Groot lead the women’s front pack during the early stages of the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge that took place in South Africa on Saturday. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie

 

It was Langvad’s debut appearance at the demanding 121km event, which is considered South Africa’s toughest one-day mountain bike race. She clocked a time of 05:25:55 to slice almost five minutes off the previous record of 05:30:58, set by five-time winner, Ariane Lüthi in 2015 in cooler, calmer conditions.

 

South African champion and 2016 winner, Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health), finished second in 05:30:00 with Swedish champion, Jennie Stenerhag (CBC/Abro) rounding out the podium places. Lüthi (Team Spur), the Swiss champion, finished fourth, with South Africa’s Amy Beth McDougall in fifth.

 

From the first climb at 5km, it was essentially a four-rider battle for the coveted title. De Groot, Lüthi, Stenerhag and Langvad moved off the front and stayed close together for the next 25km through the Karoo, an inhospitable semi-desert region. But at the summit of Sonnop, a technical ascent at 30km in, Langvad held a 15-second lead over De Groot and Stennerhag with Lüthi cresting a minute-and-a-half later in fourth.

 

Robyn de Groot Attakwas.jpg
Robyn de Groot on her way to second place at the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge that took place in South Africa on Saturday. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie

 

De Groot and Stennerhag then rejoined Langvad and the trio entered the Attakwas Reserve together with De Groot impressing on one of the technical climbs, riding away briefly from Langvad and Stenerhag, who had to climb off and push.

 

But Langvad, a former three-time marathon world champion, three-time Absa Cape Epic winner and current XCO World Champion, was in her element through the Attakwas Reserve, an isolated wilderness region, which includes a series of impossibly steep climbs and rough, rocky descents. She took the lead, claimed the Queen of the Mountain title and went through Waterpoint 4 (with 35km remaining) holding a 2:00 lead over De Groot.

 

Jennie Stenerhag Attakwas.jpg
Jennie Stenerhag on her way to third place at the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge that took place in South Africa on Saturday. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie

 

“I had a really good time. I tried to keep reminding myself to just enjoy this. But you know, when you’re sitting there pedalling in so much pain, it’s hard to enjoy the views. But when I did look up it was amazing, especially coming out of the Attakwas valley. It was so beautiful, but you could have turned down the headwind at the end of it,” smiled a content Langvad.

 

Annika Langvad Attakwas.jpg
Annika Langvad on her way to victory and a new course record at the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge that took place in South Africa on Saturday. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie

 

“Obviously we come here to win, but losing to Annika isn’t too bad. It’s an honour to race against her. I was pretty surprised that I was able to stick with her as long as I did. I enjoyed the race. It’s a good start to the year, I’m happy with where I’m at,” said De Groot.

 

The 121km race from Chandelier Game Lodge, Oudtshoorn to Pine Creek Resort, Groot Brak includes 2900 metres of vertical ascent. For the first time this year it holds International Cycling Union status, which allows top finishers to earn UCI rankings points.

 

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The women’s 2017 Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge podium (from left): Ariane Lüthi (4th), Jennie Stennerhag (3rd), Annika Langvad (1st), Robyn de Groot (2nd) and Amy Beth McDougall (5th). Photo credit: Ewald Sadie

 

 






11 Comments

Jaco-fiets, Jan 21 2017 05:47

So Ariane is picking up where she left off last season........not really in the mix anymore

BrandonF_, Jan 21 2017 05:49

Super Human being! Well done lady

Rick Sanchez, Jan 22 2017 10:38

Ariane does not look happy on that photo

Mamil, Jan 22 2017 11:50

No she doesn't look happy at all, her expression in stark contrast to all the others.

What an incredible achievement it is to even finish this event. One day when i'm big.

'Dale, Jan 22 2017 12:13

Those marathon rainbow stripes...

Nicely done by this PRO.

Formallyknownas, Jan 22 2017 12:20

Robyn' legs look best in that picture.

Vetseun, Jan 22 2017 05:48

Denmark’s multiple mountain bike world champion, Annika Langvad (Specialized) beat off a strong field to win the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge in a new women’s record time in South Africa on Saturday.Click here to view the article

Brilliant

Rick Sanchez, Jan 23 2017 09:24

Robyn' legs look best in that picture.

Nah, Ariane all the way ;)

Robbie Stewart, Jan 23 2017 10:14

Ariane does not look happy on that photo

 

methinks she just realized the epic is no longer exclusively hers...by not having superwoman Langvad as her partner.

N-I-N-J-A, Jan 23 2017 11:47

Why doesn't she ride in her rainbow jersey?

Rick Sanchez, Jan 26 2017 12:35

So Ariane is picking up where she left off last season........not really in the mix anymore

Well, she did win the Swiss XCM champs