Having negotiated some bitterly cold conditions early in the day riders once again had clear skies and dry trails for the second day of the 2014 BSi Steel dusi2c and it was the Team TIB pair of Andrew Hill and Adriaan Louw who inflated their overnight lead by a minute to cross the finish line at Blue Lagoon in Durban ahead of the chasing two teams of Quattro’s Tyron Bird and Tim Stark and Team Safire’s Trevor Rowe and Warren Price.
Following an interesting duel with Bird and Stark for a lot of the race the leaders made a break that the chasing teams could not match and it was enough to give them the second stage win and the overall crown but Hill explained his apprehension heading into the final stage and mentioned that he knew he and Louw were going to have work hard before they could relax. “We had a nice little lead going into the final stage but anything can happen in mountain biking,” a relieved Hill said. “You just have to consolidate and make sure that you put a bit of lead into the guys before you can rest a bit on your laurels.”
The route had been changed slightly with a new, permanent foot bridge being put in and Hill explains that the changes that were made have been good for the race. The race was getting close towards the end but a push from the leading pair meant that they opened up a big enough lead to claim the victory.
“From the gun we knew that we had a bit of a water crossing coming up with the change of route this year and that change was actually really good. Crossing the river early on was nice and then a brand new foot bridge that is helping a lot of the locals in the area was also a nice change. This year’s route had some welcome changes with a lot of things that cannot be changed and add to true mountain biking experience that you get at dusi2c. Coming towards the end the group came together again but after the Silver Pipes Bridge the group split up again and Adriaan and myself accelerated and managed to put a bit of time into the guys,” the satisfied Team TIB rider added.
Arriving at the 2014 dusi2c as a greenhorn meant that Adriaan Louw had a fresh perspective and it seems that the young Western Cape rider enjoyed his first race in the Valley of a Thousand Hills and he explained that he looks forward to the new concepts that ‘Farmer Glen’ Haw might offer in years to come.
“It really is an amazing event. That is all you can say! It is a mountain biking dream and it is the pinnacle of trail riding. The race will only get better over time and I believe that next year they are doing a non-stop dusi2c which will become a marathon spectacle and that should be a fun race to participate in,” Louw said.
Louw and Hill will join the rest of the South African team for the upcoming UCI MTB Marathon World Championships in Pietermaritzburg and Louw believes that the dusi2c was great preparation for the event.
“The race is part of our preparation for World Champs next weekend and we didn’t want to race for too long so that’s why we decided to sit out the national marathon on Sunday and rather have a shorter day in the saddle and rest up well for the race next weekend,” the Fairview Swift rider mentioned.
The eventual runners-up in this year’s race Tyron Bird and Tim Stark were chasing the race on day two and with a better knowledge of the first day Bird was happy with the way in which they were able to stay with the leading duo for the majority of final stage.
“We were a bit on and off them for the entire race as they would make a gap and then make a mistake and we would catch them mainly because it is a more tricky stage today compared to yesterday. I remembered the first stage better than I did the second so it meant that navigation was always going to be a bit of an issue but we managed to keep the leaders in check,” Bird said.
The Quattro star won the inaugural edition of the dusi2c in 2013 with Hill but he was still satisfied with the runner-up finish.
“We couldn’t be happier to get that second place position for Quattro!”
Tim Stark mentioned that the game plan going into the final day was simple and it was a matter of keeping themselves in their position but if the opportunity arose to put pressure on the leaders they would give it a bash but following a mistake from him that option disappeared.
“Our plan going into today was to keep our overall position; we were quite easy on what was going to happen as long as we maintained our second place. We were thinking about making a few attacks on the lead guys but I unfortunately made some stupid mistakes and went up a hill that I shouldn’t have and the helicopter sent me back! I spent a bit too much energy chasing back up to the guys and so we couldn’t give it a go,” the Pyga Bikes rider commented.
It was a day for the stronger riders, it seemed, as Team Safire – Trevor Rowe and Warren Price – moved up into the podium positions with a powerful ride that saw them end in a share for the third place with RMB Change a Life/BSi Steel’s powerhouse combination John Ntuli and Ndumiso Dontso.
“Warren and myself are power riders and there was not too much climbing today so there were not a lot of places for the lighter guys to get away. There were a lot of descents and tar roads so we could use our power and Warren today was stronger than I have ever seen him so I was comfortable sucking his back wheel!
Yesterday we knew we had six minutes to make up, it was a long shot due to the nature of the course today but we knew if we could get into a group and extend the lead then we could move up places and it worked,” Rowe concluded.
The mixed race was won by 2013 African Mountain Bike Cross Country Champion Yolande Speedy and her partner Eugene Botha for TIB Insurance Brokers.
The combination lead the race through both days and won by a handsome margin of 27 minutes over Gavin and Jean Meyer. Having picked up a mechanical during the second stage the pair of Owen Gandar and Tamika Haw lost out their second place to the Meyer duo but managed to hold on to the final podium spot.
BSi Steel dusi2c Results
1. Andrew Hill/Adriaan Louw (Team TIB) 02:18:42 04:51:02
2. Tyron Bird/Tim Stark (Quattro) 02:20:03 04:56:41
*3. Warren Price/Trevor Rowe (Team Safire) 02:20:02 05:11:17
*3. John Ntuli/Ndumiso Dontso (RMB Change a Life/BSi Steel) 02:29:31 05:14:18
5. Grant Usher/Sean Henderson (Team Nutrilite) 02:38:01 05:27:40
6. Robert Scott/Klaas Meitjies (Fittrack KZN) 02:38:20 05:34:12
7. Sthembiso Msango/Mboneni Ngcobo (RMB Change a Life/BSi Steel) 02:29:11 05:42:35
8. Michael Hay/Andrew Houston (FutureLife) 02:35:16 05:36:10
9. Bongumusa Zikhali/Sipho Kupiso (RMB Change a Life/BSi Steel) 02:51:27 05:42:35
10. Kevin Leveridge/Tim Keep (Pure Adventure Wear) 02:42:26 05:45:53
1. Eugene Botha/Yolande Speedy (TIB Insurance Brokers) 02:51:30 06:04:11
2. Gavin Meyer/Jean Meyer (Margs and Jules) 02:57:45 06:31:21
3. Owen Gandar/Tamika Haw (Simply da Best) 03:11:48 06:35:24
1. Camilla Howard-browne/Jeanne Grace (Passion and Pain) 03:34:00 07:42:33
* Both teams were awarded third place overall
More information can be found at www.dusi2c.co.za.