PYGA Euro Steel’s Foster and Terlouw maintain their lead on stage 1 at KAP sani2c

The PYGA Euro Steel 2 team, Michael Foster and Jaedon Terlouw, made it two of two today at Mackenzie Club in a time of 03:01:48. Sam Sanders and Danielle Strydom (Efficient Infiniti Insure) dominated the women’s race, finishing in 03:36:50, taking 6th place overall for the stage.

Image Credits: Rory Scheffer

After the elite race kicked off with a Prologue yesterday, riders left Glencairn this morning to race 89 kms, with 1027m of climibing. 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.

 

MEN’S RACE

Unlike the usual split-second finish, the young PYGA Euro Steel pair were about two and a half minutes ahead of Insect Science’s Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning (03:04:39). A hard crash just after the 50 km mark saw Pieter du Toit of PYGA Euro Steel withdraw from the race. Du Toit’s teammate Phil Buys waited for medical assistance for him, and then carried on to  finish the stage solo.

This left third place for the taking by the Flying Young Guns, Jean-Pierre du Plessis and Lood Goosen (03:17:12). The PYGA Euro Steel 3 team, Academy riders Stephen du Preez and Wian van den Bergh, followed nearly 30 minutes later for fourth place (03:45:18). Tshenolo Adventure Racing’s Zola Ngxakeni and Thabiso Rengane came in after 03:51:48, giving them fifth place amongst the Elite Men.

Terlouw says: “It was a fast start to the stage. We were working quite well as four teams with the Flying Young Guns hanging onto the back. And then we went up a slight drag and I think it was Pieter or Phil that made it a hard pace. We saw Keegan starting to fall off the back a bit

– and then got into that next single track, when Pieter fell unfortunately, and then Michael and I rode to the end and worked well together.”

With his parents and friends, and Lynford School community welcoming him home, iXopo local Foster now stands at the finish as a stage winner, in the same spot he handed out drinks as a schoolboy volunteer. He says:

“This takes me back – it is such a nice feeling being able to give people the drinks at the end of their long ride. From those days I knew I just wanted to win this stage one day, and now having everyone around makes it even more special.”

Pieter du Toit says of his fall: “I just slipped out on a corner, nothing major, but landed totally wrong and I broke my collarbone, so unfortunately I cannot finish, but at least the young guns [in our team] are hammering it out and sitting in the front, so it’s going to be fun watching them.”

Bontekoning says: “With there being two strong PYGA teams, we tried hard to control the pace and avoid an attack, but Phil gave one of his horse kicks and I was off the back. Just into that singletrack [at about 50 km], Arno had a fall and we took each other out, and Pieter had crashed there as well and was lying next to the road unfortunately, so it’s sad to have two PYGA guys out. There are still two days to go, it will be nice to mix things up.”

Arno du Toit says: “The new final section of the route is fast, still quite physical, and these new singletracks are not as smoothe as we are used to at sani2c. That new climb on the last stretch didn’t end, and then there was a headwind on the downhill. The young PYGA guys are riding really well and seem to have a bit more horsepower, but, with tomorrow being more all-round mountain biking, hopefully our experience can come in handy tomorrow and we will have fun and race hard.”

Jean-Pierre du Plessis and Lood Goosen (Flying Young Guns) were chuffed with third place, but Goosen says: “My legs were dying and eventually I could not hang on [to the front bunch). We saw that the one PYGA team had stopped so we just had to manage our effort to the end. We saw the dust ahead of us but we could not chase them down.”

Sam Sanders and Danielle Strydom of Efficient Infiniti Insure had a relatively comfortable win. Sanders says: “sani is just so fast, we’ve come off alot of long stage races, and it’s just totally different. But it’s so nice to have speed. Danielle and I worked super well together.

We planned on just letting things naturally settle in, and we were strong enough to get a gap.”

Danielle Strydom and Sam Sanders of Efficient Infiniti Insure took the stage 1 win at the KAP sani2c
Photo Rory Scheffer

Sanders says of the new route section at the end: “It’s still tough. You can just see how much effort has gone into the route changes, even with the Prologue yesterday. But that’s what you get at sani, every year you come back and you can see these improvements, things have been upgraded, changed, made better. So that’s why we always come back.”

The sani2c team of Frances Janse van Rensburg and Bianca Haw seemed to gel well as a team, with Haw grateful that she was ‘released’ from working on sani2c beyond her Glencairn duties by  her father, sani2c founder Glen Haw. She says: “I was the nail the whole way. I was hanging on to Frances for dear life. We definitely tried to catch them [Sanders and Strydom], but we had to stop and refuel. It is quite nice racing to Mackenzie instead of driving!”

Van Rensburg says: “Bianca has the biggest strengths when it comes to a stage race – she doesn’t give up, and she doesn’t complain. The fresh trails towards the end of the stage were so much fun, I really enjoyed a bit of hard work out there.”

Bell Equipment’s Hayley Smith and Janice Venter were satisfied with third place. Venter says: “It was a hard day. My heart rate is still struggling to recover from some of the hills. Hayley helped me and I couldn’t be more thankful for the power she gave. This singletrack is amazing; I think that makes up for the difficult parts during the route.”

Smith says they lost the two front riders early on: “On the open roads it’s quite fast in the beginning, so we just found our groove and got into our own rhythm. We settled into our own pace, and just rode our own race. I enjoyed the single track, that amazing singletrack suits me and my type of riding through and through.”

Smith won the Mixed Category last year and she says that switching to the women’s category was fun: “The mixed category is a lot faster and difficult for me, because I’m normally the weaker one in the mix. This was fun, I really enjoyed it.”

The Race continues tomorrow with an 86 km Queen Stage, including the descent into the Umkomaas Valley and the climb up the Unitrans Iconic Climb, finishing at the Kings Harvest Academy finish after 1896 m of climbing, and they then spend the night at Jolivet Farm.

RESULTS

 

MEN

PYGA Euro Steel 2 (Michael Foster/Jaedon Terlouw) 03:01:48 Insect Science (Arno du Toit/Keagan Bontekoning) 03:04:39 Flying Young Guns (Jean-Pierre du Plessis/Lood Goosen) 03:17:12 PYGA Euro Steel 3 (Stephen du Preez/Wian van den Bergh) 03:45:18 Tshenolo Adventure Racers (Zola Ngxakeni/Thabiso Rengane)  03:51:48

 

WOMEN

Efficient Infiniti Insure (Sam Sanders/Danielle Strydom) 03:36:50 sani2c (Frances Janse van Rensburg/ Bianca Haw) 03:48:10 Bell Equipment (Hayley Smith/Janice Venter)  04:06:15 Tshenolo Adventure Racing (Refilwe Mogorosi/Tania Bugarin Ortiz)

04:38:41

 

MIXED

The Peanut Gallery (Steve Mee/Cailtin Mee) 03:56:25 Sumeil (Philip Beukes/Ilse Nel) 04:06:16 Team SS (Cobus Smit/Lelani Swart) 04:13:26

 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

MEN

PYGA Euro Steel 2 (Michael Foster/Jaedon Terlouw) 03:41.20 Insect Science (Arno du Toit/Keagan Bontekoning) 03:44:54 Flying Young Guns (Jean-Pierre du Plessis/Lood Goosen) 03:59:23 PYGA Euro Steel 3 (Stephen du Preez/Wian van den Bergh) 04:35:43 Tshenolo Adventure Racers (Zola Ngxakeni/Thabiso Rengane) 04:43:08

 

WOMEN

Efficient Infiniti Insure (Sam Sanders/Danielle Strydom) 04:25:33 sani2c (Frances Janse van Rensburg/ Bianca Haw) 04:37:49 Bell Equipment (Hayley Smith/Janice Venter)  05:02:50 Tshenolo Adventure Racing (Refilwe Mogorosi/Tania Bugarin Ortiz)

005:37:20

 

MIXED

The Peanut Gallery (Steve Mee/Cailtin Mee) 03:56:25 Sumeil (Philip Beukes/Ilse Nel) 04:06:16 Team SS (Cobus Smit/Lelani Swart) 04:13:26

 

You can follow the race on KAP sani2c Instagram

(https://www.instagram.com/_sani2c/)

For more information visit www.sani2c.co.za

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