Feature: Do you Enduro? Aug / Sept 2019

Words & Images by Ewald Sadie

More than ever, the answer to that is yes, as EWALD SADIE discovered at the 2019 Enduro Western Cape Series.

The big boys give it horns on the timed sections.

Following the successful first year of the Enduro Western Cape series during 2018, the EWC is back with a bang in 2019, selling out entries and topping out at 230 riders. With the weather gods on their side, riders were treated to an awesome day out at a green and grippy Contermanskloof in early June, with the five stages and liaisons covering 27km with around 2 100m of combined vertical ascent to keep things slightly
sweaty. A few changes to last year’s stages included the scrapping of the wide and off-camber first stage,
and a new section added onto stage four, as well as a few other small adjustments. The series also sees the
addition of the E-bike category, as well as the return of the lite category where newcomers have the opportunity to only do three of the five stages.

On the racing front, it was Franki du Toit that took top spot in the women’s category with a total racing time of 18 minutes, 19.781 seconds. Following her in second was Katja Steenkamp in at 19:33.698 and Colleen
de Oliveira in third in at 20:45.776.

EWC 2019 Contermanskloof | photo by Ewald Sadie

Landowner, beer-brewer and trail-builder Robert Starke again put down the fastest time in the men’s category with a time of 15:22.841, just 16 seconds ahead of young pinner Luke Moir (15:38.432). Rounding out the podium, just two seconds behind Moir, was Dane Olsen with a time of 15:40:148.

“We try to organise events that push riders. Putting in some big climbs and gnarly downhills made us nervous. We expected a backlash. Lo and behold, we didn’t need to fret. The racers took the punch in the face like the prize fighters they are. Well done guys and girls. You’re tough as nails.” Rupert von Tutschek, who carries the title President of Stage Creation and Marketing, enthuses about the success of the series,
which keeps growing as established riders come to enjoy the ragged-edge racing on offer, but (more importantly) also opens up the technical aspects of mountain biking to newcomers to gravity sports, with manageable trails and a smiley welcome for all.

Before the war stories start.

“Enduro is only as scary as you make it. If you have a big-hit bike, with lots of travel, we will test your skills properly (as we should). But really, our events are for everyone wanting to ride their bikes fast, in a race environment, without having to battle through crowded singletrack and FTP $%^&-measuring. Bring whatever bike you want, and learn from a great bunch of people as you go along.”

 

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