Swellendam - The composite team of ACTIVE BODIES put a master class in long-distance team-trialling to convincingly defend their Coronation Double Century title in a time of 04:32:41.
Alfa Bodyworks / Giant finished in second place for the third year in a row, while Private Client Holdings Racing (in the colours of UCT) rounded out the podium.
“We’ve raced this event a few times together as a team now and we knew we were in with a shot,” commented ACTIVE BODIES team captain Bradley Potgieter after the finish.
The men’s race was billed to be something of a three-horse affair with ACTIVE BODIES, Alfa Bodyworks/Giant and Bluff Meat Supply all lined up as possible winners. Up (and down) the Tradouw Pass it however became clear that everyone else would be chasing ACTIVE BODIES.
“We just tried to put all our experience together and keep it calm and steady and not do silly things,” Potgieter said.
Marshalled by Potgieter and featuring various experienced South African pros, as well as current international riders, Willie Smit and Kent Main, they stuck to their game plan and made it count.
“Even though it (our time) wasn’t faster than last year it felt much better,” he said.
According to Potgieter that game plan was to keep it smooth but to push hard on the climbs. Which is exactly what they did.
While most of the other contending teams lost many of their riders early on (teams start with 12 but are required to have only six together at the finish), ACTIVE BODIES kept all 12 together for most of the 202km route, losing only a few riders in the final 20km for a truly convincing victory.
The women’s category was won by STS/Specialized who finished in a time of 06:14:53, ahead of pre-race favourites Flashie Ladies and Pure Savage Ladies in third. STS/Specialized was ahead at every time check and, much like ACTIVE BODIES, kept all their riders together for most of the distance.
The Mixed division was taken out by Bluff Meat Supply Mixed, with Cape Cycle Tours in second and Pure Savage Mixed Racing rounding out the podium.
Also, in attendance this year were three all-star invitational teams from Breitling, including the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, multiple mountain bike World Cup champion, Nino Schurter, multiple IRONMAN World Champion, Daniela Ryf and Jan Frodeno, current Ironman 70.3 World Champ among others.
“George Kern - the CEO who was also riding - is one of those types of people who make sport events happen and connects them to a good cause,” said Fordeno, who spent much of his childhood in Cape Town, after the finish.
“So, it was really nice to be able to come back to South Africa and connect that ‘pleasure’ side with supporting a cause like Qhubeka.”
“It is very exciting for us having Breitling here,” commented David Bellairs, Marketing, Media and Sponsorship Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust.
“Having so many champions across such a variety of disciplines here and - for me the crowning glory - having our dear friend Vincenzo Nibali fly out for 24 hours to ride the event, says a lot,” he said.
“Breitling were riding for the Qhubeka charity and tied that in with their triathlon #SquadOnAMission drive through which they raised money for various projects.”
According to Bellairs this year also saw new interest from various European media outlets as well as social media influencers from Japan.
“That is great for the word getting out internationally about the event,” he concluded.
Aside from the racing element, the event - one of the largest team time trials in the world - is a favourite among fun riders. The camaraderie, scenery and big endurance challenge is what draws them, and they are for who the race really caters. Some of the slower teams suffered in the heat out there on Saturday, but that made the post-race celebrations that much sweeter.
“The team format really is an amazing format that resonates with us; as does the long distance; the ups-and-downs... it’s all in line with our brand values of thinking long term and working very hard as a team to deliver great outcomes for clients,” commented Coronation Fund Managers portfolio manager, Neville Chester who himself once again completed the route.
1. Active Bodies 04:32:41
2. Alpha Bodyworks/Giant 04:37:23
3. Private Client Holdings 04:45:31
1. STS/Specialized 06:14:53
2. Flashie Ladies 06:34:59
3. Pure Savage Ladies 06:37:10
1. Bluff Meat Supply Mixed 05:12:36
2. Cape Cycle Tours 05:13:42
3. Pure Savage Mixed Racing 05:36:32