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 . . .
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 . . .
Former Olympic pole-vaulter and reality show survivor Okkert Brits will face his toughest challenge yet when he takes on the three-day Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 in Knysna from February 22 to 24. Brits will be participating in his first ever mountain bike stage race as a guest of First National Bank, which is sponsoring the R70 000 prize purse. However, he said he would not have his eyes on the prize, as he was relatively new to the sport and had only been training for the past 10 weeks. “The objective is just to finish and have as nice a time – and break as few things – as possible,” said Brits. The 39-year-old said it was a great opportunity and that he had heard the Knysna event was one of the toughest and most beautiful stage races on the national calendar. “If you’re not an endurance athlete it’s really hard,” said the former track and field star. “I have no experience and no idea what I’ve gotten myself into!” Brits, who will be competing in the Absa Cape Epic alongside former Welsh rugby captain Colin Charvis in March, said he needed to test his endurance as much as possible ahead of the eight-day event. “I need to see if I can make it. The great thing about the GR300 is that I’m really going to find out where my problem areas are.” He will be riding with FNB’s Mike Howell, who has completed multiple Ironman competitions, in the 300km Garden Route event. “As a pole-vaulter you pretty much do everything on your own and you know how to sort yourself out. But now it’s different because you’ve got a partner to worry about and you’re both going to have good and bad days.” Although, weighing in at 105kg, the big man was not looking forward to the climbs, he said he would rely on his skills as a high school BMX racing champion to assist on the technical descents. “I’ve already had a few proper falls but as a pole-vaulter you make your living out of falling, so I’m used to it,” he laughed. One of an elite group of athletes to . . .
Rocky Mountain Bicycles has renewed its title sponsorship of the Southern Cape’s premier stage race, the Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300, which takes place in and around Knysna from February 22 to 24. The upmarket Canadian bicycle brand, which has had a presence in South Africa for almost three years, confirmed its commitment following a sell-out event this year. According to Rocky Mountain brand manager Eugene Haley, the race had all the hallmarks of becoming one of the top stage races in the country. “This is our second year of sponsorship and we anticipate this relationship continuing for at least the next couple of years.” Haley said the 300km race, which follows a clover-shaped route through indigenous forests and mountains, represented the kind of riding at which Rocky Mountain bikes excelled. “Because the bikes are tested in Canada on what are considered to be the best, toughest and most technical mountain bike trails in the world, we feel they are ideally suited to withstand the rigours of riding in South Africa.” He said the title sponsorship would include a cash component as well as a range of lucky draw prizes. These include a full-carbon 29-inch bike worth R40 000 and Evoc product giveaways valued at R10 000. In addition, long-standing race beneficiary, the Knysna Sport School, would receive an entry-level bike for its cycling development programme, said Haley. Local pro team and this year’s runners-up, Jarryd Haley and Timo Cooper, riding in the sponsor’s colours, would return for a crack at the title, said Haley. Cooper won the inaugural event in 2011 with Jacques Rossouw. “We will also be pairing Renay Groustra with German rider Daniel Gathof, who has had multiple podium finishes for Team Rocky Mountain in stage races like the TransAlp.” Riders will compete for an overall prize purse of R70 000, which is sponsored by First National Bank. Race director Patric Mosterd of Garden Route Events said the race, which is . . .
Hundreds of female runners along the Garden Route took to the streets of George at the weekend to raise money for charity. The inaugural Heather Park SUPERSPAR Sunrise Challenge saw almost 400 participants take full advantage of perfect weather conditions to raise R5 000 for special needs school Up With Down’s on Saturday. The women-only event – which followed an undulating course through the suburbs of Heather Park and Rooirivier Rif – offered 5km, 10km and 2km relay options. “We decided to hold a women’s race as we wanted to do something different,” said Heather Park SUPERSPAR owner Duncan Brown. “We also wanted to add a fun element, so men were allowed to enter if they were dressed in drag.” Brown said pupils from the school held a market day at Heather Park SUPERSPAR every Thursday to raise funds and this gave him the idea to use the race as a platform to support their efforts. He said they were hoping to attract more than a thousand runners to next year’s event. “Our aim is to help people in our area while having some fun, but we need the support of the community.” Race organiser Danie Raubenheimer, from the George Nedbank Running Club, said planning for next year’s event would start soon and that businesses and schools would be their main focus. “We would also like to get more top athletes to take part because children love to see their heroes in action.” The prize for the best-dressed male went to Jan Nel while the Purple Turtles was voted the best-dressed relay team. Melissa van Rensburg of George won the 10km feature event ahead of Alison Jordaan (George) and Lisl Grobler (Knysna). Go to www.facebook.com/sparinaction to view some fun photos of the race and to keep abreast of SPAR’s initiatives in the Eastern Cape. Issued by: Full Stop Communications Coetzee Gouws 082 575 7991 041 368 4992 email@example.com www.fullstopcom.com On behalf of: SPAR Eastern Cape More Info: . . .
First National Bank has announced that it will forge new sponsorship trails as official prize money sponsor to the Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 mountain bike race, which takes place around Knysna in February next year. Race organiser Louise Wilson of Garden Route Events said the financial institution’s involvement was “massively exciting” as it meant that the prize purse would almost double for the third edition of the three-day event. Wilson said the R70 000 cash injection would enable them to attract some of the country’s top riders and grow the 300km race, which was recently rated as offering the best value for money per kilometre in an online poll. She said R50 000 would go to the overall winners, while the remaining R20 000 would be given away in three daily lucky draws, affording all entrants the chance to walk away as winners. “Good sponsorship is essential to maintain the level of service mountain bikers have come to expect from our stage races.” According to FNB provincial head for the Western Cape, Stephan Claassen, the institution preferred to avoid high-profile sports and rather took the road less travelled when it came to sponsoring events. “First National Bank believes in investing in sponsorships that will contribute to the development of the community as a whole,” said Claassen. As a community engagement brand, he said the bank’s sponsorship decisions were based on the particular merits of each event. “Our ongoing strategy is to support local events that demonstrate the potential for growth. This also gives us the opportunity to actively show our support for the local economies and businesses within our communities.” Claassen said FNB was delighted to be involved with one of the premium cycling events on the national calendar. “The event epitomises the values associated with the sport – healthy living, outdoor activity and a focus on family. FNB places a great deal of emphasis on our values and principles, so mountain . . .
The newly-announced Moon to Noon endurance race around Knysna will keep adventurous mountain bikers quite literally in the dark when they ride out at midnight on Friday, October 26. In contrast to other long-distance events, which start in the day and finishes at night, the inaugural 170km race will set out under the stars and roll on into the early hours of Saturday morning. “It’s all about seeing that there’s a different way to ride these events,” said race organiser Patric Mosterd of Garden Route Events, who is also the mastermind behind the Rocky Mountain Garden Route 300 and RE-CM Knysna 200 three-day stage races. “It really levels the playing fields for pros and backmarkers alike, because from 12 to five o’clock they’ve all got to deal with the darkness.” He said night racing offered some special challenges for riders. “You are essentially riding in a bubble and have to learn to trust yourself and your partner.” Because of safety concerns, the field is limited to 300 and Mosterd said no solo riders would be allowed. According to him, the event also presented a range of logistical challenges for organisers. “The race is divided between dark and light, with a compulsory halfway stop at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. “We go over at first light and no vehicles or lead bikes can follow. So our whole safety and support infrastructure is split in two on either side.” At 1 100 metres above sea level, riders would summit on a section of a hiking trail belonging to Garden Route National Park, said Mosterd. “On the other side, there’s a 10km downhill, so we want everyone to be fresh and make sure that their brakes are working.” Mosterd said the route started in Rheenendal just outside Knysna. “It goes through indigenous forest and then there’s a nice open road for about 10km so everybody will have a chance to find their positions.” He expected the racing to start in earnest on the descent into the well-known Hydro, which is part . . .
It’s been 90 years since Curtain & Linens have opened their doors, and owners, Mr and Mrs. Pumplun, are intent on keeping these doors open for many more years to come! This renowned business began in the 1920’s in Somerset East as Levin Brothers General Wholesalers. The business then planted its roots in Evatt Street, Port Elizabeth in the 1940’s. Mr and Mrs Pumplun joined the business in 1981 and took ownership in 1997, which also saw the store moving to Newton Park. Marcel Pumplun joined Curtain & Linens ten years ago and together the Pumplun’s are ensuring that this store continues to serve with outstanding service and affordable quality. Today, Curtain & Linens are the largest stockists of curtaining, upholstery and linen in the Eastern Cape, with branches in Newton Park, North End, Knysna and George. With their own manufacturing facilities, Curtain & Linens guarantee that customers are provided with an all rounded service. They make to order and install a wide range of quilted headboards, roman blinds, swags and tails, and much more to satisfy all decorating requirements. This BEE compliant business has many trained and motivated sales consultants who are managed by Mrs Veona Hitchens. For 90 years this family business has been living true to their slogan, “Where the best costs less!”, and there is no doubt that that Curtain & Linens will provide many more decades of professional service with unwavering standards! More Info: http://www.curtains-linens.co.za Author: Graziella Ventresca-Norton from . 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] 90 years in business Photographer: Marcel Pumplun [/l2g] . . .