Foster and Terlouw, Sanders and Strydom are 20th KAP sani2c Champions

Michael Foster and Jaedon Terlouw (PYGA Euro Steel 2) are the 2024 KAP sani2c champions. The pair took the third and final stage of the 20th edition of the KAP sani2c in a time of 02:54:45, after a sprint finish with the Insect Science team of Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning (02:54:50). Du Toit and Bontekoning went all in on today’s stage as they had over four minutes to make up to have any hope of securing the title, but were not able to get a gap on the PYGA Euro Steel team, who have shown their strength from Prologue to finish.

In the UCI women’s race, Sam Sanders and Danielle Strydom (Efficient Infiniti Insure) put in a dominant performance to make it a clean sweep of the stages and to take the overall win (02:54:45/11:55:39). KAP sani2c is now a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Category 2 marathon stage race, and this report covers the results from the UCI registered riders in the men’s and women’s elite race. A Prologue took place on Wednesday 24th April ahead of the three stages.

 

MEN’S RACE

After some overnight rain in the area, the trails of the third stage were somewhat muddy. The two front men’s teams were unable to make a break from each other during the 86 km stage, and as often happens at day 3 of sani2c, the stage result was determined by the sprint finish.

Terlouw says he is ‘super stoked’ with how sani2c turned out this year, and that their strategy for the sprint turned out perfectly: “Mike has got a really good one- or two-minute top end power, so I told him to lead us out up the climb and I would kick past at the end.”

Foster surged to the finishline, neck-and-neck with Arno du Toit.

Terlouw crossed just seconds ahead of Bontekoning, to seal the stage and overall win for PYGA Euro Steel.

Foster, who is from Ixopo and grew up volunteering at the sani2c, is thrilled to be standing on the top step of the podium: “It is quite incredible, I did not think it would happen this year already. Today was quite hard though, we could not get away from the guys [Insect Science], especially in the mud. And they were trying to push on the descents which were quite sketchy.”

Insect Science’s Arno du Toit says: “We didnt come here for a stage win, we had four and a half minutes to make up today. We went out guns blazing and thought the conditions might play in our favour, so we were pushing hard to force mistakes, but they didnt come. They had the horsepower today, they even had us under pressure on the early steeper climbs, so we realised it was going to come down to a sprint finish. We tried to keep it fun and had a jol out there. It was lekker racing.”

Bontekoning: “We have seen Michael come up over the last few years and it’s great to see how he has developed. He has been getting stronger and stronger and for him to win this, with the support of the home crowd, is awesome to see.

“We were a bit caught out with the sprint. We thought it was going to be a shorter sprint and we weren’t positioned that well, and I went a bit too early.”

Du Toit says: “We will aways be back, thank you to sani2c for putting on this great show.”

The eighteen year-olds Jean-Pierre du Plessis and Lood Goosen (Flying Young Guns) placed third (03:08:14/10:59:04), riding a solid race despite not being able to stick with the front two teams.  Goosen was thrilled with a podium position, especially as this is only his second stage race: “To finish it like this is really cool. It was hectic today, we had hoped to stick with the front guys as long as possible, but we were dropped quite early. It was like a cross country start, they were going full gas from the start.”

Du Plessis says: “We were off the back early, so our plan B was to ride our own fast pace. Being in third place on the GC,  we had more to lose than to gain, so we played it safe and did not take risks on the descents.”

The PYGA Euro Steel 3 team of Stephen du Preez and Wian van den Bergh took fourth place for the stage today with 03:18:43, but a strong stage

2 performance from Tshenolo Adventure Racing’s Zola Ngxakeni and Thabiso Rengane meant that despite their fifth place for the final stage

(03:19:30) they were fourth in the General Classification of the Men’s UCI race.

The PYGA Euro Steel 1 team of Phil Buys and Pieter du Toit were forced to withdraw during the first stage, after Pieter du Toit crashed and broke his collarbone.

 

WOMEN’S RACE

While there was little threat of the Efficient Infiniti Insure team losing their top spot, Strydom says there was definitely some racing:

“The other ladies teams kept the heat up, I enjoyed the intense start today. The mud added an element, Sam and I both had a puddle fall, but despite that the trails were immaculate and it was really fun riding. I am so grateful to be riding with Sam, she has done this race many times and has experience of racing it and winning it. That made it easy for me to sit on her wheel and follow her line.”

Sanders says: “It was super cool to win all three stages and the Prologue. We kept our heads cool and calm, stuck to our strategy, and kept it safe.”

Strydom says they will be competing at Gravel Champs and then SA Marathon Champs.

Bianca Haw, daughter of KAP sani2c founder ‘Farmer’ Glen Haw, was chuffed to be racing at sani2c after working on the event since she was old enough to do so. Riding competitively for the first time in seven years, she says: “It started super fast today and straight into mud.

There was a group of riders we were hoping to stick with who got away at Clint’s Climb. Then Frances pulled us for a while and another group caught us, so we had fun racing amongst those guys, sprinting to the finish with them.”

Janse van Rensburg says that Haw got stronger and stronger over the three days: “I am very happy to be on the podium. Bianca was very strong today, she just got stronger and stronger over the three days and I hope she will continue racing now that she is back.”

Bell Equipment’s Hayley Smith and Janice Venter (03:33:21/13:18:21) were happy with their third place for the stage and overall, in the UCI women’s race. Smith says: “We had an amazing four days of riding, the single track was amazing. It was super muddy today, but we just loved it.”

Venter says: “Today was really fun, and the mud just made us stronger.”

Mention should be made of The Peanut Gallery team of Steve Mee and his 19-year-old daughter Caitlin Mee. Winning the Mixed Category in 12:05:20 over the three days, young Caitlin took the Queen of the Mountain title yesterday on the nearly 3 km long Unitrans Iconic Climb.

 

RESULTS

 

MEN

PYGA Euro Steel 2 (Michael Foster/Jaedon Terlouw) 02:54:45 Insect Science (Arno du Toit/Keagan Bontekoning) 02:54:50 Flying Young Guns (Jean-Pierre du Plessis/Lood Goosen) 03:08:14 PYGA Euro Steel 3 (Stephen du Preez/Wian van den Bergh) 03:18:43 Tshenolo Adventure Racers (Zola Ngxakeni/Thabiso Rengane)  03:19:30

 

WOMEN

Efficient Infiniti Insure (Sam Sanders/Danielle Strydom) 03:20:00 sani2c (Frances Janse van Rensburg/ Bianca Haw) 03:28:06 Bell Equipment (Hayley Smith/Janice Venter)  03:33:21 Tshenolo Adventure Racing (Refilwe Mogorosi/Tania Bugarin Ortiz)

04:13:33

 

MIXED (Not UCI registered riders)

The Peanut Gallery (Steve Mee/Caitlin Mee) 03:32:48 Wellias and Mekelias (Nick Arthur/Mikaela Meyer) 03:37:38 Sumeil (Philip Beukes/Ilse Nel) 03:46:02

 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

 

MEN

PYGA Euro Steel 2 (Michael Foster/Jaedon Terlouw) 10:02:26 Insect Science (Arno du Toit/Keagan Bontekoning) 10:06:46 Flying Young Guns (Jean-Pierre du Plessis/Lood Goosen) 10:59:04 Tshenolo Adventure Racers (Zola Ngxakeni/Thabiso Rengane)12:13:21 PYGA Euro Steel 3 (Stephen du Preez/Wian van den Bergh) 12:21:01

 

WOMEN

Efficient Infiniti Insure (Sam Sanders/Danielle Strydom) 11:55:39 sani2c (Frances Janse van Rensburg/ Bianca Haw) 12:26:54 Bell Equipment (Hayley Smith/Janice Venter) 13:18:21 Tshenolo Adventure Racing (Refilwe Mogorosi/Tania Bugarin Ortiz)

14:56:08

 

MIXED (Not UCI registered riders)

The Peanut Gallery (Steve Mee/Caitlin Mee) 12:05:20 Wellias and Mekelias (Nick Arthur/Mikaela Meyer) 12:17:56 Sumeil (Philip Beukes/Ilse Nel) 12:52:31

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