PIETERMARITZBURG, 18 August 2015–Jeep Team’s MTB superstars, Pierre Smith and Thinus Redelinghuys, were crowned champions of the world’s toughest single stage MTB race, the 24-hour, 230km Trans Baviaans Challenge on Saturday, 15 August, which started in Willow more, Eastern Cape, and ended in Jeffreys Bay.

Taking on the extreme race for the first time, the Jeep Team riders led from start to finish, crossing the finish line in 8h29m58s, ahead of second-placed Vickus Boshoff and Etnard Louw (Team PowerBar 1) in 8h49m45s, with the Aerocare-Proper team of Christo Roos and Charlie Louw in third (8h51m18s).

With a total climb of 2540m, the Trans Baviaans is a test of mental, physical and emotional endurance. The race provides the perfect combination of extremely challenging cycling and spectacular scenery, with the route travelling through exquisite mountain ranges, right into the heart of the magnificent Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. And just too really test you, the route is unmarked, testing the orientation and GPS skills of each team.

Says Pierre Smith, “I can now talk from experience – the Trans Baviaans is extremely challenging. I think I bled through my eyeballs out there. Thinus’s support throughout the race was incredible.”

With approximately 110 km already in the legs, riders were faced with their biggest challenge – the notorious MAC ascent (Mother of All Climbs)– where the route and terrain become strenuous, narrower and extremely difficult to negotiate and ride, reaching to the race’s highest point at Bergplaas.

Says Smith, “MAC was truly the mother of all climbs, and I was reaching my breaking point after about 130 km of riding, but Thinus helped me through. In a race like this, team support is vital. It was such a relief to get to the top and descend into the Cambria Valley during daylight. At this point, we spared a thought for the riders that would be negotiating this in the dark.”

From the Cambria Valley, the route passed through citrus farmlands and along the banks of the Groot River (± 175 km mark), before heading towards Humansdorp, and then onto the finish at the Fountains Mall in Jeffreys Bay. All riders crossed the finish line in the dark, with each of the top 10 teams being greeted by the firing of a rocket.

Says Thinus Redelinghuys, “What makes a race like this so special is the spectacular scenery. I feel privileged to have been able to ride through such a beautiful part of the world. The Trans Baviaans Challenge is an unforgettable experience and we are proud to have won this for the Jeep Team.”

To find out more about the 2015 Trans Baviaans Challenge, watch a recap of the race here –

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