It will be the clash of the future champions when international star Nolan Hoffman leads the invitational Boland ASG junior team against a strong World Cycling Centre Africa (WCCA) contingent at the Bestmed Tour de Boland from Tuesday. The Franschhoek-based sprinter, who returned from the UCI World Track Championships at the end of February, will mentor the five youngsters from Wellington during the four-day tour, which is presented by ASG. They are Marc Kerr, Timo Cooper, Wian-David Slabbert, George King and Corne Helberg. Barbados’s top junior rider Jesse Kelly will join them as a special guest. “I’m looking for a win and at the same time to help the young riders,” said Hoffman, who usually rides in the colours of Tasol-GT. “We have a lot of talent in SA. The only way to improve as a rider is in races and we need the longer tours to become internationally competitive.” The four-time Paarl Boxing Day 25-mile winner said the Boland event was perfectly timed to test his legs ahead of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour the following week. His squad will face off against three WCCA teams, featuring six members of the MTN-Qhubeka feeder team, including JC Nel (South Africa), Getachew Yohans (Ethiopia) and Till Drobisch (Namibia). The MTN-Qhubeka development outfit is looking strong following their victory in the team time-trial event at the national road championships this past weekend. According to WCCA director JP van Zyl, Nel and Drobisch were expected to lead the charge in the individual (stage one) and team time-trial (stage two), while Calvin Benecke and Emile Jacobs were the strongest hopefuls for the road race (stage three) and criterium (stage four). “The tour is well balanced in its challenges and is one of our major goal races,” said Van Zyl. “It can be viewed as a talent identification tour, where we will see who will become the big names of the near future.” The former Olympian said the purpose of the Potchefstroom-based . . .
Former Springbok wing turned rugby analyst Ashwin Willemse has thrown his support behind the Southern Kings following their triumph over the Western Force at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last Friday. Willemse, who was the guest of honour at the SPAR Eastern Cape Charity Golf Day in Port Elizabeth last week, said he was “very content and impressed” with their dominating debut performance in the Super Rugby competition. “I think it was a wonderful confidence booster for the players and also all the fans in the Eastern Cape.” Having replaced the Lions as South Africa’s fifth franchise in the competition, he said it was only natural that the team would come under close scrutiny and be judged more severely. “It was a very challenging way that they entered Super Rugby, so the eyes of the rugby world were on them to see how they would perform. “I think they’ve answered their critics exceptionally well with the way they performed in their opening game.” Although the Western Force finished second from the bottom of the log last year, Willemse said this in no way diminished the Kings’ victory. “As a retired player, I can tell you that every side in this competition is a force to be reckoned with. “The Force is not historically the strongest team in Super Rugby but they are nonetheless very competitive and I enjoy their brand of rugby.” Referring to the golf day which raised R100 000 for the Nelson Mandela Bay Community Chest, the 31-year-old said he felt a great responsibility to assist with charitable ventures whenever he could. “In our country we have a lot of need. As individuals, there is that responsibility on all of us to assist in whatever way we can.” In his address to participants at the Humewood Golf Club, the former SA Player of the Year shared his personal experiences in escaping a life of gangsterism and violent crime through rugby. “I am the embodiment of the goodwill that is out there. By sharing my story, I show the . . .
Renay Groustra of South Africa and Daniel Gathof of Germany won the third and final stage of the Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 mountain bike race in Knysna on Sunday to secure a comfortable overall victory. The Rocky Mountain-RSA Web team’s time of 3:10:11 over the final 80km was two seconds faster than that of stage-one winners Timo Cooper and Adriaan Louw (Bridge), who had relinquished their overall lead the previous day. Billy Stelling and Rob Dormehl (V&A Market on the Wharf) finished third on the day in 3:15:17. Groustra and Gathof completed the third edition of the 300km race in an aggregate time of 12:18:59. Cooper and Louw, with an overall time of 12:27:46, were more than eight minutes behind after mechanical trouble had effectively sealed their fate on the second stage. Neil Bradford and Tim Osrin (Harvest Foundation) rounded out the podium in 12:55:43. Groustra said the win was particularly meaningful as it was his first outing with Gathof, who is a two-time TransAlp winner in the mixed category. “Our sponsors are also title sponsors of this race, so it means a lot to them and us.” He said they now hoped to secure funding to ride the Absa Cape Epic together. Their lead of close to nine minutes going into the final day had put the pressure firmly on Cooper and Louw. The latter rose to the challenge and turned up the heat within the first 10km on Phantom Pass, but Groustra and Gathof were able to match them all the way to the summit. The two teams stayed together until Louw initiated a breakaway on the big Hydro climb 30km into the race. “We were climbing out of the valley after the first waterpoint when Adriaan went hard off the front,” said Groustra. Cooper and Louw opened up a 40-second gap on the climb but a patient Groustra and Gathof reeled them in shortly thereafter. “And then it was easy after that because they knew they couldn’t get away from us and we felt we didn’t need to open up a bigger lead,” said . . .
South Africa’s Renay Groustra and German team-mate Daniel Gathof claimed the 115km second stage and overall lead of the Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 mountain bike race in Knysna on Saturday. In a reversal of fortune, the Rocky Mountain-RSA Web duo came good on a stage that included 2 400m of climbing to comfortably overhaul Bridge’s overnight leaders Timo Cooper and Adriaan Louw. Groustra and Gathof crossed the line in 4:39:56, followed by Cooper and Louw (4:48:45) and V&A Market on the Wharf’s Billy Stelling and Rob Dormehl (4:55:15). The new leaders, who twice veered off course the previous day, took full advantage of a Cooper puncture to establish a lead of almost nine minutes going into the 78km final stage on Sunday. Passing through the local Rastafarian village, the racing started at an easy tempo on what is traditionally regarded as the tour’s queen stage. Gathof, twice a TransAlp winner, forced the first breakaway through the Petrus se Brand forest trails, which came after the first feeding station at 30km. With only his partner and the Bridge riders able to follow, it was left to Stelling and Dormehl and masters’ category leaders Neil Bradford and Tim Osrin, riding in the colours of the Harvest Foundation, to do the chasing. Disaster struck the yellow jersey pairing when Cooper punctured on a descent 50km into the race. “We plugged it and then the plug popped out, so we plugged it again,” said Cooper. After running out of CO2 bombs, a pump borrowed from solo rider Dominic Calitz got them on their way again. “We couldn’t see Renay and Daniel anymore and then the two chasing teams caught us but we rode away from them again before the second waterpoint.” By the 60km mark, Gathof and Groustra had pulled six minutes clear of Cooper and Louw. They continued to extend the gap on the remaining hills to ride alone to the finish. Gathof said the big gravel road climbs had suited him perfectly, as they were very similar to . . .
After almost 100km of pristine forest riding, former champion Timo Cooper and ad hoc partner Adriaan Louw made the decisive move on the final stretch of tar to claim the opening stage of the three-day Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 in Knysna on Friday. In a day of shifting fortunes, the Bridge riders finally outsprinted Renay Groustra and Daniel Gathof (Rocky Mountain/RSA Web) to cross the line in 4:28:48, just four seconds clear of their fellow escapees. Third-placed Austrian riders René Haselbacher and Wolfgang Krenn (Makomo Resources), who were also part of the initial three-team breakaway, overcame illness to finish almost six minutes behind the leaders in 4:36:41. Wellington-based Cooper, who finished runner-up last year alongside Jarryd Haley, said the racing started at a furious pace up the first hill on the dump road just outside Knysna. “We eventually got away with two other teams on a climb after about 40 kilometres and we just put in a constant tempo from there.” Groustra and Gathof built a slim lead on the technical Red Route through the Harkerville Forest, but bad luck struck when they went off course. By the time they recovered from their misadventure, the Bridge and Makomo Resources riders were just 30 seconds off. Cooper and Paarl-based Louw closed the gap, only to join Groustra and Gathof on another detour. “We were consolidating with Timo and Adriaan when we went the wrong way again,” said a frustrated Groustra. “That put us about five minutes behind René and Wolfgang.” However, stomach problems put an end to the Austrians’ efforts and the chasers caught and passed them just before the third waterpoint at the 80km mark. From there, the two teams rode together to the finish and in the end it was Cooper and Louw who had the legs to secure the win. “There are still two more days,” said Groustra. “It’s now up to Timo and Adriaan to lead the way, so we can just focus on what we’re doing.” His German partner, who is a . . .
Adventure athlete Charl Souma is setting his sights on the title in the New Balance IMPI Elite Challenge, which will take place at Van Gaalens, Hartebeespoort on Saturday, 6 April. Souma is the current defending elite champion and will be pulling out all the stops to stamp his authority on this unique obstacle adventure race. The full-time IT consultant works at the University of Cape Town and only started adventure racing and trail running three years ago. “I’m stuck inside for most of the day and developed a desire to explore the outdoors and engage in something adventurous. Although I play squash and tennis for enjoyment, these adventure races are life-changing.” Souma considers his completion of both uphill and downhill versions of the Comrades marathon as his biggest sporting accomplishments. He has also taken part in Fittest in Cape Town 2013 as well as the Trail Series Silvermine Race and will compete in the Bat Run this weekend. A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, Souma was hooked after his first IMPI Challenge. “It took me back to a time when it was OK to run for no reason, to climb trees and poles, to jump into pools and crawl in the dirt while fully clothed and have enormous fun while doing it. It is organised chaos at its best and I love it,” mentions Souma, who hopes to participate in a Toughest Mudder or a Spartan Death Race in the future. Although unfamiliar with the Gauteng venue at Van Gaalens, Souma is confident that it will be a well-designed course and is looking forward to fierce competition and the indomitable IMPI spirit. In preparation for the New Balance IMPI Challenge Gauteng, Souma will adjust his training programme slightly by shortening his runs to ten kilometres and adding swimming with shoes, jumping jacks, pull-ups and fast sprinting bursts to his exercise regime. According to the 3-time IMPI Elite champion, his race strategy will remain similar to previous races. “I always push myself to run hard after completing an . . .
BOKKIE IN A SPIN FOR CHARITY Bokkie, South Africa’s favourite mascot, will be pedalling it out at a 25-hour Cyclathon in aid of Habitat for Humanity from 19:00 to 20:00 on Friday 22 February 2013 on the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre. Local high schools Rustenburg Girls’, Bishops, Westerford and Herschel Girls’ High Schools, South African College Schools and newcomer Rondebosch Boys’ High School have teamed-up with the Habitat for Humanity fundraising team to organise the annual Cyclathon. The 25-hour Cyclathon takes place from 14:30 on Friday 22nd to the 15:30 Saturday 23rd of February 2013. Habitat for Humanity is a world-wide, non-profit, non-governmental organisation that is aimed at eliminating substandard housing in South Africa. One house costs R88 000 to build. This joint venture needs the support of the schools and businesses in the community, as well as the City of Cape Town. For the duration of the two days, there will be seven stationary bicycles on the stage of the amphitheatre. Cyclists participating are from the Habitat for Humanity committee, a variety of schools in the area, the public, various celebrities and representatives from the businesses that sponsor the event. In order to raise money throughout the actual 25 hour period, paper ‘bricks’ will be sold for a minimum of R20. All the bricks sold in the hour are placed in a box and the MC, Michael Moll, will draw eight bricks every hour on the hour. Buying a ‘brick’ puts you in the running to win the most wonderful and aspirational prizes. Throughout the Cyclathon there will be entertainment by various bands including Oxygen Thieves, Brother Streep, Juke Royal, Grassy Spark, System Renegade, Ballistic Blues, The Desperates, Early Hours, Changeling, Zars of Russia, Black Stone Radio. The public are invited to join Bokkie and other celebrities, as we all grow to become a powerful force in the movement of change in our community. Ends. Contact for Bokkie: Carol Vosloo – . . .
Inaugural winner Timo Cooper will be aiming for a second victory when he takes on the third edition of the Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 in Knysna from Friday. Cooper, who won the three-day mountain bike race in 2011 alongside Jacques Rossouw, will be riding with ad hoc partner Adriaan Louw in the colours of new sponsor Bridge. With one half of last year’s winning team, Adi Enthoven, sidelined due to a vertebral injury, the way is clear for Cooper and Louw to challenge for the title and a share of the R70 000 prize purse, courtesy of First National Bank. “We’re definitely going for the win,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ll be riding together but we are good friends and really understand each other.” Cooper, who podiumed in the three-stage Tankwa Trek last weekend with Oliver Munnik, said this was particularly important in a stage-racing environment where partners relied heavily on one another. “Mechanically, Adriaan is also pretty good, so if there’s a problem with a bike he’ll be able to sort it out.” They will face off against the Austrian pairing of Philipp Ludescher and René Haselbacher (Team Asrin) as well as Renay Groustra and German rider Daniel Gathof (Team Rocky Mountain). Cooper said he expected everyone to conserve their efforts on the 100km opening stage as they sussed out the competition. “Our aim is to stay with the front bunch but if we can win stage one, we’ll go for that too.” As a climber, he said he was looking forward to making amends for last year’s difficulties on the revised 115km queen stage. It was in the sandy stretches across the Western head on day two that he and former partner Jarryd Haley lost their overall lead. “They’ve taken the sand out but they’ve put some very big climbs in. We’re hoping to make some gaps there.” Cooper said they would try to put time into the rest of the field on the fast 78km final stage. Overall, he felt the 300km course played to his strengths. “The climbs are constant . . .
Siblings Lance (21) and Robyn (23) Kime are making their mark in The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon 2013. Lance finished second in the men’s category and Robyn won the ladies’ race on day two of this epic three day stage race. Both are civil engineering students at the University of Stellenbosch, where they paddle together for Maties Canoe Club. Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, where their father worked in forestry and their mother taught swimming lessons, the two have always shared a close bond. Their love of the outdoors was fostered by the active family that often went hiking and mountain biking. Lance, a former St Charles College pupil, started paddling at the age of 16 after watching his older sister Robyn compete as part of the Epworth High School team. Due to conflicting schedules, they don’t always train together, but both enjoy the excitement of river paddling and look set to secure podium positions in the 2013 race. Lance finished fourth in last year’s race and has had a really good season leading up to the 2013 event. “I’ve finished on the podium in all the races that I entered as part of my Dusi preparation and after today I feel I have a good chance for a top three finish podium tomorrow,” said Lance. Robyn has won the last three Dusi’s in a row, in both K1 and K2 and is hoping to make this her fourth consecutive victory. After shattering the stage records on the first two stages, she has definitely stamped her authority on the race and has a healthy sixteen minute lead going into the final day. URL: http://www.dusi.co.za Twitter: Facebook: YouTube: Author: Christel Liebenberg from Peridot Communications. Originally distributed by MyPR.co.za. No of Images Uploaded: Three To gain access to Three image/s please Like, Tweet or +1 this article: [l2g] Images: Paddling siblings Robyn and Lance Kime making their mark at The Unlimited Dusi 2013 Photographer: The Unlimited Lance Kime finished second on the second day of the . . .
5fm sports presenter Sias du Plessis pulled ahead in the celebrity battle of The Unlimited Dusi by leading the celebrity batch home on the second stage of the race. Du Plessis and his paddling partner Deon Bruss braved the raging waters of the near-flooded river and its class 3 rapids. “It was great fun and the big water was awesome. Paddling today was a serious adrenaline rush that powered us through. We had a good day and it was definitely the most fun I’ve had at the Dusi. It is such an honour to do this race. Sometimes it is quite overwhelming. We’ll keep going tomorrow and just push ourselves more,” said Du Plessis. URL: http://www.dusi.co.za Twitter: Facebook: YouTube: Author: Ronelda Visser from The Unlimited. Originally distributed by MyPR.co.za. No of Images Uploaded: One To gain access to One image/s please Like, Tweet or +1 this article: [l2g] Images: Sias du Plessis of 5fm and his paddling partner Deon Bruss brave the rapids on day two of The Unlimited Dusi. [/l2g] . . .