With our first Tankwa Trek behind us we can look back on a very successful weekend, thank you Dryland Events for hosting us and making our weekend one to remember. See you again in 2019 :-)
I would like to give a BIG shoutout to Ashley and Tienie from Subaru, in the past two weeks we travelled more than 13000km with 4 different Subarus, everyone safe and sound! Thank you for going the extra mile to accommodate us and making our travels easier, safer and more enjoyable!
With a very deep and competitive international field at Tankwa this was a great test for the legs and all the equipment leading up to Epic!
If you havent seen the recap videos yet below are the links and words from the athletes.Thank You Big Shot Media for the amazing scenes and the help to produce these!
1. Stage 1 - https://web.facebook.com/africanmtbteam/videos/1566332380080558/
2. Stage 2 - https://web.facebook.com/africanmtbteam/videos/1567257429988053/
3. Stage 3 - https://web.facebook.com/africanmtbteam/videos/1568122473234882/
Matthys Beukes - 3rd overall
It was my first Tankwa Trek and I was really looking forward to see for myself what all the hype was about.
Great event, superb trails, super fast racing and a lekker atmosphere all made for a great weekend.
Overall I think we can be happy with our performance and proved to ourself that we can mix it up with the worlds best when it comes to marathon and stage racing. Was it not for the cramps on day 1 and my puncture on day 2 I honestly believe we had a shot at the win but that is racing and some other really strong guys also had their misfortune so no excuses.
Onto a big block of training for me starting tomorrow and then ease it into Epic, super excited!
Thanks to everyone for your support, it really means the world to us!
Philip Buys - 3rd overall
This was our first Tankwa Trek experience and the event really lived up to the hype. The trails on stage one were my favourite and to have the opportunity to race against some of the worlds top riders is also a plus.
On stage one we managed to stay at the front for most of the day until the last climb where both Matthys and I started to struggle with some muscle cramps. Might have been the traveling the day before the event. Our day still finished off with a solid 4th place.
Stage 2 was a big day with Marino Monster as the last obstacle to overcome before we hit a long and rough downhill to the finish. My biggest concern is always the longer climbs over 20 minutes, but it was a great confidence booster to be able to stay with the yellow jersey wearers to the top on this 40 minute climb.
Unfortunately on the way down we lost some time when we had to plug a tire, but still a solid finish in 4 place. We moved up into 3rd GC now.
The last day was a super fast 89km where it would be difficult to get away from anyone. I pushed myself too far in the red with one acceleration and was on the edge for the rest of the day and could not do anything to move up a spot or two.
A third overall at the end of this race against some of the hot favourites for Epic is a satisfying result. We probably could have raced a bit smarter here and there, but a game of intimidation to show our Epic competitors that we are not scared to challenge them is also not a bad thing I reckon.
Phillimon Sebona - 10th overall
Hi everyone i would like to take this opportunity to say thank u to be part of the team first.
The first stage was very good i had a great start, i was feeling good and lucky my partner also was feeling good even though he did not have a great start but he picked up during the race the only thing we were trying to keep up for was to finish in the good position.
Stage 2 was the queen stage, one of the hard stages since it had two major climbs, i was feeling good me and julles manage to ride harder away from the people that finished in front of us on day1 so that we could get some time back hopefully. We managed to but on the last monster climb about 4 km to the top i popped, but my partner made sure we get away until to the top by helping me and the last 2 km to the top i managed to ride it up my self with out been pushed.
Coming down the monster climb was very steep and loose but with a bit of the skills that Phillip have gave me before he left to the SA Cup that helped me a lot we were able to ride away from them on that down hill and at the same time i had a flat wheel on the front wheel but i keeped on going i never stopped course i knew with my weight and skills that i wont ride on the rim flat and in that day we came 9th on the stage finished.
Last stage .stage 3 the start was good fast and very fun stage it needed lot of single track skills but still it needed a lot of pedalling. So far to we have ride well and more looking after each other we had a bit of bad luck a bit of falling during that stage and the last 3 km to the finished we pick up a wire on the cassette and that took us a bit of some time, thats how we lost our top 10 stage finished but we manger to finish in top 10 on GC .
But all in all everything worked out for me my wish was to do the one of the UCI race before epic to rate my self i know epic its next level but the pace and the distance of the tankwa is almost the same and the conditions will be the same .but all i can say coaching made a huge different change in my cycling, nutrition also and the management of the team play a big role in me. i would like to thank everyone who plays a role in this team and from the team that was with us down the Ruaan made sure we get food on time every morning, Andre and Matt looking after our fighting jets making sure are fuel well by checking them up even in the morning before the race and our bike washer Lazarous our bikes were always looking new before each and every start .thank you good people.
Julian Jessop - 10th overall
Stage 1 had an incredibly fast start. Having had a fairly easy week before the race, my body was not used to the intensity. I really suffered in the beginning. The group soon split up, me and Phillimon found ourselves in the chasing group. We rode at our own pace and soon we were catching riders in front. We rode really well up the main climb and managed to overtake two teams. Unfortunatly I made a mistake on the first right hander which resulted in me having a crash. Getting on to the bike I realised that the crash caused a rear wheel puncture too. I plugged it and luckily the tech zone was only a few kilometres away so I could get a new wheel. We then rode steady to the finish and managed to catch up one position.
On Stage 2 my body felt so much better on the start. I could hold the lead group and enjoyed riding at that fast pace. I was really happy that my body felt better again. Phillimon and I regrouped after another fierce start and then set our sights on catching some time up on the infamous Merino Monster climb. We had a great first part of the climb where we managed to drop everyone else in the chasing group. We paid a little bit for our effort on the second part of the climb where we lost a bit of our time to our closest rivals. We had a safe descent and then managed to maintain our position to the finish where we placed 10th on the stage.
Stage 3 had a fast 30km start on dirt roads where we all road together. Up the first climb the main accelerations happened and we were the first team in the chasing group. We continued our pace but unfortunately, I needed to stop at the tech zone to adjust my seat. We lost some time here but then fought hard to try regain some time. We caught up some teams and were really going well until the last few kilometres when Phillimon unfortunately picked up a piece of wire that jammed his rear wheel. After this it was smooth sailing for the final few kilometres of single track to the finish.
We are both really happy to have finished 10th overall, in such a strong field.
I would like to say how impressive it is to see Phillimon’s progression. He is just going from strength to strength. His single-track skills have improved dramatically and I am really looking forward to what the Epic has in store for us. We will be ready.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to Ruan, Matt, Andre and Lazerous for all their help this weekend. We really couldn’t have raced like we did without them!
Thank you very much!
Pieter Du Toit - 35th overall
Stage 1. It was for sure my fastest marathon start ever. Nobody was expecting it and within first 2km the field had already separated.
Unfortunately three kilometers later my partner Kombo had broken his cleat and we had therefore dropped to the back of the field. Luckily, though, at 21km Matt and Andrè were there with a spare shoe for Kombo.
From then onwards we just worked hard, trying to make up on the long delay, until we finished 51st for the day. Tough day but I can at least say that it was the most scenic track I have ever done.
Stage 2. We were ready for the stage but unfortunately Kombo’s back was giving him problems. We then decided just to give it our best and get to the finish line. In the end we did just that and recovered well for stage 3.
Stage 3 was a flat , fast and dusty . Kombo and I, however, could not keep up with the elite men’s pace. But we enjoyed the awesome routes and single track and can now say that we finished our first Tankwa. I would like to congratulate Phillip and Mathys with their 3rd place as well as Phillimon and Jullien with their 10th place.
Kombo Bere - 35th overall
Raced my first Tankwa trek this past weekend with Peter on our new race machines.
What a world class line up and event, truly challenging. Didn't have the best of racing over the three days, machincals aside i struggled with back pain and very numb hands, shoulders and legs.
Still on the road to recovery happy to say however the ITB issue in the knee and the unequal leg lengths I had have been sorted. Thank you very much to Peter for naturing me till the end and to the team for the wonderful experience. My therapy to correct my back will commence as soon as possible and look forward to racing soon. Have a blessed week.