Looking back at the Sani2c I am very excited to the depth of our team. With Philip not ready to race yet we again pulled in Pieter from our Academy to race with Phillimon and wow did they do good.
Unfortunately I fell sick the week of Sani2c and could not go but Philip raised his hand to take over my duties and I think it shows that we not just about racing but that everything is a team effort.
Below some words from the riders and their experience, thank you Graham Daniel for the awesome pictures.
Matthys Beukes - 3rd Overall
Although I was aware of the fact that I was in with a shot at a hat trick of wins at Sani2c I did feel that it would be unrealistic to expect that dream to realize at this time.
With Phil still out and Julian having to focus on his studies (writing exams during this time) I knew that we were there to compete for a podium position and not necessarily gunning for the win.
I have immense respect for Julian who is doing a great job at juggling two very difficult focus point at this time and want to thank him for giving 100% and never giving up even though he went through some dark places!
I am happy to walk away with 3rd place knowing that, as a team we did everything we could and left it all out there.
Thanks to Philip who stepped in as manager and looked after us so well. Also to Lazy and Matt, once again you guys never stopped putting in the hard work!
Looking back over the first half of the season I am thankful for the opportunities, health and fitness I had but are also quite happy it is done. I am now super excited to start my preparations for SA Champs and then World Champs coming up in July and September. I am certain that the best of 2018 is yet to come!
Thanks again to everyone for the support through the good and not so good, but still good times!;)
Julian Jessop - 3rd Overall
Day 1 Our game plan was to conserve as much as possible until the last 5km where we hoped to attack our rivals and put as much time into them as possible. At the beginning I was worried about the big climb of the day which was 5km in length and had a mean drag just before it. Unfortunately, I was dropped up this climb by NAD which left us in the chasing group. The chasing group slowly diminished until there was just two teams left; DSV and us. I was feeling better and better as the stage went on. At 10km to go I unfortunately experienced mechanical issues with my bike and was forced to stop. This resulted in us losing 2 minutes. We then chased back as hard as we could to try limit our losses. We finished 3rd on the stage.
Day 2 I was really excited for this stage as it would be my first time descending down the famous umko single track. I had heard so many stories about this trail and it really did live up to its reputation. Unfortunately, I slid out going around a corner and grazed my left hand side of my body. After fighting back to get a good position, I had such fun descending down the umkomaas valley. Up the main climb, called the iconic climb, I slipped off the back of the leading two teams again. At the top of the climb we managed to claw some time back on the flats however going into the last few climbs disaster struck me. I think I had a sugar low as my eyes went black around the outside and I was incredibly weak. I was trying my best to not let Matthys and the team down. I suffered so much just trying to ride my bike, never mind ride it fast. It was a really hard and tough day for me. We finished in 4th place on the stage.
Day 3 After my poor performance the day before I focused as much as possible on my recovery for the next day. The next day I lined up hoping not to repeat the day before. Up the first climb of the day, I managed to stay with the leading two teams for the majority of the climb. We then chased at the top of the climb and rejoined the leaders. I felt like today was going to be a much better day than yesterday. Over the course of the stage I got distanced a few times at the very top of climbs but then I managed to ride back onto the group on the downhills and flats with Matthys’s help. With 10km to go NAD put down an attack and dropped me and then DSV. We could see that Gert was suffering so we put in an effort and rejoined DSV briefly before making a final surge to the line. We managed to hold them off and finish 2nd place on the last stage and 3rd overall.
Thank you to Matt, for all the work on our bikes – they ran super sweet. Thank you to Lazzy for all the washing of bottles and kitchenware and all the behind the scene work you do. Also thanks to Philip who was our manager for the weekend, who made sure everything ran smoothly.
Phillimon Sebona - 4th Overall
I would to thank you for the opportunity to take part in the Sani2c Race 2018.
This was the first sani2c I did and I find it very interesting and much more fun. The stages were bit longer as usually with a lot of fun in between and I have find the Vibe very relaxed and more welcoming into the event .
The racing level on the sani2c is the top racing level in South Africa and I would like to thank my partner Pieter Du Toit he is an amazing partner, always relaxed having no fear in any kind of conditions that racing will put us on. He is a very strong rider and respects every person that we came across, greeting everyone during the race and even after the race .
I have had the best times with my partner, he is young but at his age being able to hold on my wheel and at the later stage finding myself being pulled by him I would like to say our partnership have changed, it became much better and our communication became much more maturing in terms of knowing how to ride together and where to go and how to pull each other on the long open roads. I was happy to finish in the top 4 every day that shows my performnce it's getting better and I am getting to know how my body is recovering in that top level of racing, with my position 4 GC finishing I am happy.
I would like to thank the top riders in the team that is always giving me tips and advise before every race, by them knowing what I will experience as they have been there before and knowing how the racing is the in the front of the race they have given me a lot of info and am still looking for more as my way is still bit longer. I wish to race in the europian level I am sure that one of the days the planning and the experience and the info will get a way of working together to make me a better rider in the world class level.
I would like to thank the team that was working together to help us day by day and looking after our bikes. I would like to Philip for making sure that we are ready in the mornings before the race that we have eaten and our bottles are ready.
Thank you from everyone who made sure that we take part in that race .
Pieter Du Toit - 4th Overall
My first Kap Sani2c with team Pyga Eurosteel !
I had the honour this year to do the Sani2c. What an amazing race it was.. A major thank you to Pyga Eurosteel for all of the support and to my partner, Phillimon, for the great spirit and teamwork throughout the race !
Let me tell you how my race went..
When we walked out of the super cool team truck, there was mist all around us and it was cold so I made our way to the start line with 3 jackets. Luckily Philip was there standing in as team manager while Ruan is sick. I gave all my jackets to Phillip and took of into the mist !
The race went really well! Myself and Phillimon managed to take 4th place behind fellow teammates Matthys and Julian! After the stage Lazarous took our bikes for a wash and Matt serviced them so that they would be ready for stage 2 .
Stage 2 was a very early start and so another day in the cold. I can honestly say that it was the most scenic ride with the best and most fun single tack I have ever done in a race. We (Phillemon and myself ) felt really great on the queen stage. We raced with the front guys untill we got to the renowned climb - ICONIC ! Team NAD and DSV were strong and they attacked and broke away there. I just gave my all to stay with Julian and Matthys while Phillimon was motivating me throughout the climb. From thereon we sat behind the Matthys train, as the cyclist will call it. Unfortunately Julian had a bad crash and struggled for the rest of the race with some pain. So Phillimon and I raced until ahead of them and claimed 3rd on stage2.
After the queen stage all of us concentrated on recovery and to prepare for the last stage down to the sea. It was the sleep-in morning because we only started at 10am and so we had good breakfast and a few coffees before the race. It was the fastest stage of the race, like really fast. But the main bunch dropped us on 12km and we almost raced alone until the finish. Team NAD2 came past us at a stage and we finished in 5th that day although on the GC we had the 4th place with our name on it.
I want to give a big thanks to Pyga Eurosteel for supporting me during the race. Then to Ruan, who is still sick, get well soon and thanks for organizing everything for me. Thank you Philllip for taking over as manager while you are healing - hope to see you back on your bike and racing again soon!