The final round of the WP DH series took place this past weekend at Jonkershoek in Stellenbosch. Even though it was the same track as last year, everything looked different as the pine plantation was completely cleared, leaving a uncovered track from top to bottom. The plus side was that this made spectating very easy as you could see almost 2 thirds othe track from the finish line.
Saturday's practice saw a mixed bag of weather, from a cold rainy morning to a sunny warm afternoon. The rain that fell in the days leading up to the weekend left behind some thick mud that made practice very interesting. Apart from a couple of riders, everybody took it easy and tried to stay upright and avoid the deep ruts that formed very quickly.
Sunday turned out to be a perfectly sunny winters day and riders were keen to get to the top and put in some proper practice runs before racing started. Times increased steadily as the track dried out some more and racing was tight with the top 5 separated by only 2.6 seconds at the end of the day. Luke Davis was typically smooth and took the top spot with a time of 2.24.88. 2nd spot went to Theo Erlangsen (also winner of the Junior Men's race) with a time of 2.25.18. Rounding up the top 3 was Adriaan Smit in 2.26.11.
The track builders, lead by Bennet Nel, and Vince Muir did an awesome job of preparing a smooth a flowy track during a very rainy month. Race organizers and marshals ensured everything went smooth and an injury free race rounded off everything nicely.
Thanks to our sponsors, Csixx, Unit, Ribs, Skullcandy, Action Cycles, Reeds, Somerset timbers, Cape Pine and Specialised for their respective contributions.
Top ten overal:
1. Luke Davis : 2.24.88
2. Theo Erlangsen : 2.25.18
3. Adriaan Smit : 2.26.11
4. Devon Katzen : 2.26.99
5. Dane Olsen : 2.27.52
6. Duran van Eeden : 2.28.20
7. Thomas Rood : 2.32.12
8. Myles Kelsey : 2.32.12
9. Mark Hopkins : 2.32.90
10 Jason Gorman : 2.33.34
Like round #1 at George earlier this year, things were wet and cold this weekend at the 4th round of the WP DH season at Contermanskloof. The main line was given a break this time round, and riders took on the shorter, revised track.
Saturday's practice saw some sunshine and blue skies, but things turned for the worse overnight and everybody woke up to grey skies and a constant drizzle that slowly increased to some proper rain. This turned the upper part of the track into a bit of a river, but luckily did not cause any major drama. Heading past the tree line, riders faced a road gap into a sharp right handed berm, which was followed by some tight corners into another road gap and some more corners. The final section was fast(ish) and open with a nice rock garden leading up to the finish line table.
With a number of the top riders overseas, the race was wide open and the crowd saw some new faces on the podium with Luke Davis taking the top step with a time of 2:00:59. 2nd spot was taken by Duran Van Eeden, followed by Dane Olsen in third.
Top 10 overall:
1. Luke Davis - 2.00.59
2. Duran Van Eeden - 2.05.15
3. Dane Olsen - 2.06.08
4. Jaco Veldsman - 2.09.96
5. Andries Starke - 2.11.77
6. Luke Le Roux - 2.12.60
7. Jason Gorman - 2.15.47
8. Chris Nixon - 2.17.33
9. David Hartley - 2.20.10
10. Tyrone Van Rooyen - 2.20.56
A big thanks goes out to our sponsors:
Reeds for the shuttles,
Ribs for embroidered caps,
Action Cycling for the riders support program,
Csixx for sponsoring the video,
Skullcandy for prizes,
Redbull for energy and more prizes.
It was back to Paarl for the third round of the WP Downhill Series last weekend. A mixed bag of weather greeted the riders over the two days, with a fair amount of rain on Saturday morning and bright, sunny conditions on Sunday, race day. This resulted in practice runs on slippery, spongy mud and an ever-changing track as things dried out.
Contrasting the last race held at Zevenwacht, the Paarl track throws plenty of turns at the riders testing their cornering abilities and quickly sorting the men from the boys. The 65 strong field contributed to some nice ruts along the way but overall the track kept its shape and didn't influence the outcome of the race too much. Marshals, medics and race organisers worked together flawlessly to deliver an excellent day of racing with one broken collar bone being the only incident worth mentioning.
With Johan Potgieter still overseas, busy with World Cup duties, and Stefan Garlicki injured, the no.1 spot was again claimed by Adi van der Merwe in a time of 1.45.33. A mere .61 seconds behind him was Jonty Neethling followed by Luke Davis with a time of 1.51.65.
Top ten overall:
1. Adi van der Merwe - 1.45.33
2. Jonty Neethling - 1.45.94
3. Luke Davis - 1.51.65
4. Theo Erlangsen - 1.51.69
5. Duran van Eeden - 1.52.53
6. Adriaan Smit - 1.53.33
7. Dane Olsen - 1.53.36
8. Robert Starke - 1.54.48
9. Devon Katzen - 1.54.67
10. Chris Nixon - 1.54.70
A big thank you to Redbull SA for providing beats and wings, and to Csixx, Flexfit, The Bike Shed and Action Cycles for sponsoring rider prizes. Other thanks go out to Unit, Ribs (cap embroidery), Reeds for providing the shuttle service and KFM Ground Patrol for their support.
Cover Image - ESP photography
Camera - Dylan Ben Haskin - Troy Davies
Round 2 of the WP downhill series took place this weekend, with another new track added to the 2012 calendar. Zevenwacht DH was resurrected after 6 years of slumber, to host a very successful weekend of racing, with 85 riders taking part. The track was fast and flowy and not very technical - making it a lot of fun and suitable for DH riders of all skill levels. "ESP - Pink Bike"
For Images of the event visit - esphotography.pinkbike.com/blog/WP-Western-Province-Downhill-round-2-Zevenwacht-South-Africa.html