SRAM Western Province Downhill & SA Championships 2020 | Jonkershoek

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Jonkershoek. Arguably SA’s best trail network. Countless events have treaded these hills, from enduro MTB to trail running to marathon stage races like the Cape Epic. This weekend however was the turn, and return, of the Western Province Downhill series. After a 2 year hiatus, the track was revived and renewed by master trail builder Bennet Nel, but remained relatively unaltered in terms of features, layout and length from previous years.

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Similar to Round 1 at Paarl in January, the track received some light rain the previous day, but not enough to produce any form of hero dirt which would have been very welcome on an already rutted and blown out track, even before race day. The massive field of 108 riders quickly added to the destruction, and the track become even more blown out, loose and unpredictable - just the way we like it. The south-easter also showed up in full force and really affected the riders line choice and overall speed.

 

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In addition to this being round two of the Western Province Downhill series, it also doubled up as SA Downhill Cup round 1, as well as SA Downhills Championships, meaning riders from all over SA - most notably the McMaster brothers, Sharjah Johnson and Sabine Thies from from KZN - pulled in to throw down the gauntlet and see who’s fastest in the country. With Theo Erlangsen and Sabine Thies the reigning men’s and women’s SA Champs respectively, they had a big target on their back, and the likes of Johann Potgieter, Tim Bentley, Frankie du Toit and Steffanie Grossmann were eager to dethrone them. Changing up the format to one seeding and one race run, Frankie du Toit was able to lay down the top time (02:51.755) for the women, and Johann Potgieter throwing down a blinder or a run to narrowly edge out Theo Erlangsen by 1.7 seconds to take the top step on the men’s podium.

 

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Conditions were really tough, the track was really dry and dusty and ridden out. Yesterday during practice it was raining a bit and it made things a tad more tacky, but today was just super dry and super super windy, which made things even more tough. During my seeding run I went off the track, and in the finals I managed to lay down a good one and the guys couldn’t get back at me so I’m super super stoked. No 5 in the bag. Johann Potgieter

 

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The day was super windy and as the guys went down the track it kept on changing and getting more and more blown out. But I quite enjoyed the track and the roughness of it. My seeing run wasn't that great, I slipped out in a few corners and I didn’t do any of the jumps at the bottom because of the wind. And during my race run I just decided to go for it and send some of the jumps at the bottom which helped me carry speed. Overall it was a good day out and a really cool vibe with so many people at the event. Frankie du Toit

 

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Top 5 Men
  • Johann Potgieter 02:19.343
  • Theo Erlangsen 02:21.080
  • Timothy Bentley 02:23.500
  • Adi Van Der Merwe 02:23.556
  • Niko Velasco 02:25.567
Top 5 Women
  • Frankie Du Toit 02:51.755
  • Sabine Thies 02:55.774
  • Rika Olivier 02:56.585
  • Steffanie Grossmann 02:58.066
  • Gina Nixon 03:12.507
Full results here.

 

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Again a big shout out must go to our title sponsor SRAM, as well as Commencal, and LYNE Components. Following up a very successful round 1, hopefully the momentum will carry on through the rest of the season, and continue to pull in the numbers and introduce new faces to the sport. See you all at Zevenwacht on the 28-29th of March!

 


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5 Comments

Christofison, Feb 24 2020 08:38

Kudos on the super quick article.

xamnam, Feb 24 2020 08:59

First class photos - well done

KirJOL, Feb 24 2020 11:12

The photos are unreal, wow!

Headshot, Feb 24 2020 11:18

Rad pics, really captured the dusty loose track. Learned to ride those bumpy ruts this weekend and conquer some fears to make a clean finals run. I recommend all #enduro riders do at least one DH event just to experience how different it is. Character building stuff. Youngest racer was 7, oldest 63 I believe.

Bos, Feb 25 2020 05:00

@Headshot, Id be very keen to get one of these done. Getting 2days off from the family is going to be tough, but doing shuttles on the Saturday then Racing on the Sunday one should be getting plenty of Gnar and high speed stuff. I've been off the bike for 3 months since its been stolen but should be up and riding within the next week, but even before that, I found I got slightly uncomfortable at speed and would back it off just a tad.