TRANS BAVIAANS first-timer Lourens Luus and old-hand Billy Stelling - making up team PowerBar 1 - claimed victory at the first Trans Baviaans 24-hour marathon this past weekend.
Joining the winning team on the podium are mixed team winners Yolandi de Vil- liers, Johan Labuschagne and Neill Ungerer of Ultimate Cycling TBC, as well as The- resa Ralph and Amy McDougall of Galileo Risk Valencia in the women’s category.
A steady early pace to the 230km race, that kicked off in Willowmore at 10:00 on Sa-turday, was set by the ASG Bestmed team.
Heading into the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve the race started to splinter as first the Frangs and then The Mother of All Climbs (The MAC) took their toll. Up front, Stelling and Luus were joined by the Altech-Autopage duo of Pieter Seyffert and Hanco Kachelhoffer, followed by the leading mixed team of De Villiers, Labuschagne and Ungerer.
Once over the climb the four leaders all missed the Bergplaas check point at the crest of the climb and had to track back, nullifying the 20 second gap the Altech-Autopage guys garnered.
The first woman to crest The MAC climb and claim the PowerBar Queen of the Mountain was the high-flying De Villiers.
Descending the Big Dipper, Seyffert and Kachelhoffer again pulled a lead on Stelling and Luus, but Luus dug deep when they reached the kloof below to rejoin the leaders. For the next 50km Luus stayed at the front of the lead group setting a steady pace, while Stelling recovered on the back of the group. Heading up the Never Ender climb, the race for outright victory appeared to enter a stale mate.
The Trans Baviaans is famed for its need for strong teamwork and in the final reckoning it was teamwork that settled the two clo-sest battles.
The women’s category race failed to ignite into a racing spectacle when an early mecha-nical for Hanlie Booyens dropped her and her Tiletoria Ladies teammates, Fienie Barnard and Esther Lategan, off the pace of eventual winners Ralph and McDougall.
With the first of the two Trans Baviaans events wrapped-up the attention now shifts to the second event, which takes place on the 20th and 21st of August.
For more information and all the results from the first 2016 Trans Baviaans visit www.transbaviaans.co.za.
QUICK FACTS: Trans Baviaans Race 2
Dates: August 20 and 21
Registration: Willowmore Town Hall on August 19 from 14:00
Start: Knysna Street, Willowmore on August 20 at 10:00
Finish: Fountains Mall, Jeffreys Bay, on August 21 at 10:00
Altitude Gain: 2 843m
Results: Race 1
1. Lourens and Billy Stelling (PowerBar 1) - 08:40:52
2. Pieter Seyffert and Hanco Kachelhoffer (Altech-Autopage) - 08:49:06
3. Steven Shirley and Juan-Pierre Minnie riding (On Your Bike) - 08:553:59
1. Yolandi de Villiers, Johan Labuschagne and Neill Ungerer (Ultimate Cycling TDC) - 08:54:07
2. Craig Boyes, Timo Cooper and Nicky Gillomee (Merrell Mixed) - 09:11:04
3. Martin Dreyer and Jeannie Bomford (RMB Change A Life) - 09:19:27
1. Theresa Ralph and Amy McDougall (Galileo Risk Valencia) - 09:54:26
2. Hanlie Booyens, Fienie Barnard and Esther Lategan(Tiletoria Ladies) - 10:46:09
3. Franci Joubert and Lolita van Aardt (Ander Fairies) - 11:00:43