Stage One of SA’s “MTB Party” of the year, the much-anticipated Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience treated mountain bikers of all ages (and skill levels) to incredible routes, magnificent views and a spectacular vibe on Saturday, 30 November 2019.
An individual two-day MTB Experience, the Savanna Origin of Trails reminds mountain bikers why they ride. Starting in Die Laan (Stellenbosch) and finishing at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, the Stage One route highlighted the beauty and splendour of the City of Oaks while encapsulating the magnificence of Stellenbosch. Mountain bikers were granted the ‘once a year opportunity’ to experience a vast network of world class trails while celebrating the origin of SA mountain biking.
Laura Stark (Newlands) was the rider to beat in the Marathon (50 – 60km) race. Stark crossed the finish line first in 02 hours 56 minutes 33 seconds. Nicole Schafer came in second, while Lehane Oosthuizen finished third.
“I did last year’s edition of the race. I loved it so I came back this year,” confirms Stark. “I love the trails. We’re not from the Stellenbosch region, so it’s a good opportunity for us to get out on the trails without needing a map. The route was different to last year, maybe a bit more technical, but in great condition. I know that most of the other riders don’t race, because it’s the last event of the year. I didn’t do much racing this year, so it’s kind of the first race of my season.”
The Half Marathon (28 – 30km) was dominated by Nienke Mostert (Worcester).
“This is the second year that I take part. I came back because I won it last year,” admits Ruwiel. “Today was quite a challenge, more than I thought it would be. There was nice single track in Jonkershoek. There was lots of single track, which is nice.” Henning Venter came in second, while Juan Erasmus finished third.
Nienke Mostert made her Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience debut on the day. “I wanted to ride these trails, especially in Jonkershoek. The route was very nice, the single tracks were great. I am very excited to be the first lady to cross the finish line in the Half Marathon,” says Mostert. Olga Firsova came in second, while Cecile Coetzee finished third.
The Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience Fun Ride saw Reaboka Dlothi the first female rider home crossing the finish line in 39 minutes 28 seconds, followed by Christelle Johnsen in second place and Nicolette Hendricks in third place.
Photo 1 Caption: Joanna Dobinson from Biking in the Bosch enjoying Stage One of the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience on Saturday, 30 November 2019. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg
Photo 2 Caption: Ariane Lüthi having fun on route during Stage One of the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg
With editing by gsport