SA Cup Round 1 - Bloemendal Wine Estate
As the years racing is getting underway, we are excited to be racing in multiple disciplines within the mountain biking scene.
After the Momentum Health Attakwas, in which we took the overall victory with Matthys Beukes finishing in just over 4 minutes in front of Gert Heyns, our team was off to a great start. Surprisingly, our young Academy Rider, Pieter Du Toit blew us away with his amazing performance. He rounded off the podium with a 5th position, claiming victory over his U/23 category competitors by over 11 minutes.
Photograph by Milan de Beer for Mediatic Studios, taken 200m before waterpoint 3.
After the Attakwas, Pieter spent about two weeks in the Western Cape riding with professional rider and teammate Matthys Beukes in the George region.
" I spent two weeks in George training with Matthys, which was overall a good block before the week leading up to the SA Cup in Bloemendal. The weeks spent with Matthys helped me with the lead up to the race.
The week leading up to the race, I tapered my training to ensure that my body received the rest it needed. On the Friday before the event, I came down to Durbanville to do course practice, and I loved the track and how it was laid out. Upon track practice, I approached the course as always ensuring that I leave no room for error."
As a well-known mountain bike rider, Pieter knows that line choice and pre-race tactics are crucial to a successful race and leaves smaller room for error.
"The morning of course practice, I rode my usual four laps and there-after I rested sufficiently before race day. On Saturday morning I headed over to support the younger riders before heading back to the guest house where I stayed for the race period. At the Guesthouse I got myself, my Pyga Stage and other essentials ready for the gun. I then warmed up for about 40 minutes, which for me is a bit longer than usual."
Photograph by Craig Kolesky during the SA Cup in Bloemendal.
"I had an excellent start for the first day of racing. Upon starting the race, I felt quite confident in the intense international field. On the one section, I took a drop and unfortunately, my one cleat came out of the pedal. I landed straight on my saddle leading to it breaking on impact. Luckily I brought along an extra saddle and could replace it in the tech zone thanks to many supporters.
After losing many places, I still felt great and fought back finishing 17th overall and 2nd U/23 — a great result due to the unforeseen events happening in the race. I look forward to racing the upcoming XC races and very fortunate to gain some valuable points, climbing the ranks in South Africas racing scene. "
As the Tankwa Trek approaches, Pieter will team up with Phillimon Sebona. They have been a usual pair since last seasons Absa Cape Epic, and we cannot wait to see them in action behind Matthys and Philip on Thursday.