Du Toit Tankwa Trek 2015
Johann and I (EAI Cycling) lined up for our first stage race of the year in preparation for the ABSA Cape Epic. This was the first time we would take on the Du Toit Tankwa Trek and with all the great reviews we’ve heard of the race we were looking forward to an awesome weekends racing.
Stage 1 started off with a bang as the bunch took off setting a hard pace through the first sandy jeep track. Shortly after that the bunch split up with a few guys going the wrong way. I went with them and decided to turn around and go the correct way. Big mistake. The other guys found a shorter way back onto the correct route and I was left chasing a few kilometres. Just as I rejoined the group we hit the first amazing single track. It was a big fight to get back to the front trough some of the back markers and after the 7km single track we were about 3min down on the leaders. Johann and I (mostly Johann) chased the rest of the day and with my bad legs on the day we couldn’t catch up with the front runners again. The stage was an awesome mix of hard climbs, amazing single tracks showing of the best that the Witzenberg valley had to offer.
1. Erik Kleinhans & James Reid (RECM) – 3:20:21
2. Waylon Woolcock & Darren Lill (Red-E Blend) – 3:24:26
3. Lourens Luus & Adriaan Louw (Contego Pro MTB Team) – 3:28:55
4. Gawie Combrink & Johann Rabie (EAI) – 3:32:25
5. Hanco Kachelhoffer & Chris Wolhunter (Altech Autopage Pro Cycling) – 3:33:34
Stage 2 was set to be the queen stage of the Du Toit Tankwa Trek taking us over the Marino Monster, a massive climb that would certainly live up to its name. The racing was on again from the gun and the early losers would be Cannondale Blend’s Waylon Woolkock and Darren Lill who had some technical difficulties and spent most of the stage chasing. Johann and I (EAI Cycling) were in the front group with Team RECM and Contigo and the front runners of the solo category. Contigo was setting a hard pace to the climb and the hard terrain was also putting a few nails in our legs as we rode towards the Merino Monster. At the base of the first climb just before The Merino Monster Team RECM broke away from our small bunch. We were left chasing with Contigo and were joined by the Blend pair shortly after that. Going up the Merino Monster the bunch exploded and the team were left mostly on their own. Cannondale Blend caught RECM towards the top of the climb and passed them over the top. Their lead was short lived as RECM caught and passed them on the descent to the finish. Blend was 2nd followed by Cantego in 3rd. Johann and I was 4th again on the stage.
1. Erik Kleinhans & James Reid (RECM) – 3:53:33
2. Waylon Woolcock & Darren Lill (Red-E Blend) – 3:55:04
3. Lourens Luus & Adriaan Louw (Contego Pro MTB Team) – 3:58:17
4. Gawie Combrink & Johann Rabie (EAI) – 4:03:31
5. Hanco Kachelhoffer & Chris Wolhunter (Altech Autopage Pro Cycling) – 4:22:34
Stage 3 started off much easier with a 24km neutral zone, where everyone had a bit of time to have a chat and enjoy beauty of the region. The last stage promised to be the pudding after the last two hard days with loads of single track and relatively little climbing. With the wind picking up the start of the 62km stage was super-fast as the bunch hit speeds up 50km/h on the flats heading towards the first single track section. All the main contenders made the front split and most of the stage was spent racing together. The last 25km the racing was on in earnest with some of the teams taking advantage of the windy conditions and rougher terrain. The final selection was made with 10km to when we went up Heart Break hill. Cannondale Blend proved to be the strongest on the day taking the win from RECM followed By Johann and I (EAI South Africa) in third on the stage.
1. Darren Lill (RSA) / Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Red-E Blend 2:14:07
2. James Reid (RSA) / Erik Kleinhans (RSA) Team RECM 2:14:33
3. Gawie Combrinck (RSA) / Johann Rabie (RSA) EAI Cycling 2:15:21
4. Lourens Luus (RSA) / Adriaan Louw (RSA) Contego 2:17:14
5. Hanco Kachelhoffer (RSA) / Chris Wolhuter (RSA) 2:21:32
Final General Classification:
1. James Reid (RSA) / Erik Kleinhans (RSA) Team RECM 9:28:28
2. Darren Lill (RSA) / Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Red-E Blend 9:33:37
3. Lourens Luus (RSA) / Adriaan Louw (RSA) Contego 9:44:27
4. Gawie Combrinck (RSA) / Johann Rabie (RSA) EAI Cycling 9:51:17
5. Hanco Kachelhoffer (RSA) / Chris Wolhuter (RSA) Altech Autopage 10:17:41
Photo credit: www.oakpics.com
This was our first time at the race and Dryland did an amazing job of putting on another world class event. The quality of the race village and food explain the exponential growth the race has shown over the past two years and should be on every one’s Bucket list.
Our next stop is the Ashburton Sabie race that also forms part of the Ultra Marathon World Cup.
PCG Coach: Hunter Allen