The Margate Beachfront Boulevard will play host to some of the country’s top musical acts from 27 to 30 April as the action-packed South Coast Bike Fest™ returns to the KwaZulu-Natal province. This popular biking event is presented by Ugu South Coast Tourism with endorsement and support from Ugu District and Ray Nkonyeni Municipalities. “The South Coast Bike Fest™ 2018 talented line-up has escalated to incorporate a reflective melting pot of genres and colourful array of artists,” said event organiser, Vicky Wentzel. “We have specifically created a rock element of hand-selected bands, voted in by the motorcycle fraternity that will keep the Jack Daniels Rock Stage rocking 12 hours a day throughout the festival. A tremendous amount of detail has been put into selecting a creative line-up across the programme because we truly care about every person who attends the event.” This year, The Carling Black Label Main Beach Stage themes will change daily - opening with an Afrikaans rock session, moving towards the younger base of visitors on the Saturday which includes big-name artists appearing at different festival venues, finishing off the set with a colourfes Bollywood vibe on the final day. Organisers have also arranged for a third line-up of artists set to feature on the jazz and reggae decks. Add street busking, marching bands, street hip hop, dance and even acapella to the mix, and this is truly a not-to-be-missed music festival. A feast of acoustic magic The Jack Daniels Rock Stage and Carling Black Label Main Beach Stage will reverberate with the sounds of South Africa’s finest bands, singers and DJs. Among them are Belville-based Unit 11, a band whose rock with blues undertones has become synonymous with the Jack Daniels name countrywide. ‘Sleeze’ rockers, The Sinners, hail from Durban and find their hillbilly rock musical inspiration in Tarantino Films, card counting and hangovers. Alternative rockers, The Color Blew combine talent and passion to . . .
Fresh from an impressive performance in the South African Road Championships, teenager Jason Oosthuizen has a chance to confirm his credentials in the Bestmed Berge en Dale road race on Saturday. The 18-year-old Barzani Pro Cycling member underlined his talent when he won the national U23 title in Oudtshoorn earlier this month, while coming third overall in the elite category. Now he faces another challenge in a race which takes place near his own backyard of Krugersdorp in Gauteng. Presented by Optimum Financial Services, the Berge en Dale starts at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift on the West Rand, with the feature race being contested over 103km. Careful not to look too far ahead, Oosthuizen said he would start the race with the mindset of setting out to achieve the best possible result, but was also fully aware of the team's priorities. "I am a proud member of the Barzani Pro Cycling team and I just want to be as beneficial to my team as possible," he said. "Whether that means racing for a personal result or lending a hand to my teammates, I am ready to give it my best shot." Oosthuizen, who will be competing in the Tour of Taiwan next month, has significant knowledge of the route awaiting them on Saturday. "I have done the race twice before, as an open category rider and as a first-year junior in 2016. "I know the start of the race will be hard. Once you are over the climb, it can get windy and it has a tough finish." The young rider added that he was pleased with his performance in the SA champs, but that it had also created a level of expectation. "It was a big build-up to the nationals and achieving something that you have worked for is always a boost for your confidence," he said. "But it also means that you have to keep your game on point to keep succeeding." In his first year in the U23 category he said he was focused on achieving good results, but he also wanted to enjoy the journey. "I don't want to put any . . .
FREE STATE, BLOEMFONTEIN - This past weekend, the Toyota WARRIOR Race, South Africa’s largest obstacle course race (OCR) series, travelled to Bloemfontein, for its first ever race in the Free State. The popular series challenges athletes from all walks of life to complete a set course, which involves conquering world-class obstacles. With three categories on offer, Rookie, Commando, and Black Ops, participants have the opportunity to choose the course that best suits their fitness level. The main event of every WARRIOR weekend is the Black Ops Elite race - a set course of 15km with, on average, 30 obstacles. Due to excessive rain in the days prior to WARRIOR #2, parts of the Black-Ops route became inaccessible and waterlogged, forcing the decision to create an exciting lap race. Thomas van Tonder (Jeep Team SA), winner of WARRIOR #1, now faced a challenge of 13km and 54 obstacles. A tough ask for the Elite athletes. Van Tonder, hoping to make it 2 wins in a row, opened a lead of 15 seconds ahead of Claude Eksteen (Supa Mama) going into the second lap. With the change in race format, the big obstacles requiring intense grip strength, were removed, proving van Tonder’s downfall. Van Tonder ultimately finished the race in second place in 01:30:39, just over a minute behind 2017 series champion, Eksteen. In third place, with a time of 01:31:52, was Greg Avierinos (Team Nevarest), a silver medallist at the 2017 OCR World Champs. Fellow Jeep Team athlete, Jay Jay Deysel finished the day in 12th, with a time of 01:41:09. In the ladies’ race, Carla van Huyssteen (Team Nevarest) claimed her first win of the season ahead of Sabrina Daolio (BattleRush) in second and Trish Eksteen (Supa Mama) in third. Says van Tonder, “Bloem promised to be new and exciting, and I think it over-delivered. Having a looped course was a very new concept to WARRIOR and to all of us as athletes. Not to mention the upgrade from 34 obstacles to 54. “I enjoyed it more than I . . .
International mountain bike star Frans Claes is relishing the prospect of testing himself in South Africa's premier road race, the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope, next month. The five-stage race, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, takes place in around the city of Paarl in the Western Cape from March 5 to 9. The 34-year-old Belgian, who is currently listed third in the international marathon mountain bike standings, has been in the country since January to prepare for a number of high-level events in South Africa. He sees the Tour of Good Hope as the perfect opportunity to show what he can achieve on the road, on which he competed as a professional in 2013. "I'm really looking forward to this challenge because it will be an opportunity to improve my speedwork. "I know there will be good competition and I'm expecting a fair amount of wind and some nice climbs, which will suit me," said Claes, who will be supported by the Alfa Bodyworks team during the tour. He joined a crop of European cyclists in Stellenbosch to take advantage of the South African summer in preparing for the upcoming season. "The biggest benefit of being in South Africa is the weather, which is so much better than in Belgium at the moment. "There it's winter with a lot of rain and cold temperatures. Here it's hot, sometimes too hot, but I prefer the heat, so it is not so much of a problem. "Also, the terrain here is excellent to prepare for the mountain bike season. This is especially so for the Cape Epic since I can train on the same routes and do the trails we will do during the race." Claes, who won a UCI Mountain Bike Marathon Series race in Spain last year, started his season at the Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge in Oudtshoorn last month. "I did Attakwas where I came fourth, after which I competed in the two-day Simonsberg Contour race, where I also ended fourth." The Bestmed Tour of Good Hope covers 490km with 5 218m of vertical ascent and Claes . . .
Surprised at her selection, University of Johannesburg hockey star Kristen Paton is looking forward to the challenges she will face at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. The 21-year-old chiropractic student made her debut for the national team late last year, but thought her inexperience might count against her. "In all honesty I was really surprised about my selection and am still in awe," said Paton, who lives in Melville in Johannesburg. "I knew I had a good year in 2017 and I'd hoped that would get the selectors thinking, but I was well aware that selecting me would be a gamble because of my inexperience." She said she had decided not to worry too much about making the Commonwealth Games team, opting just to focus on performing well. "I'd really put it out of my mind and was just enjoying playing again, really content with the space that I was in. So my selection definitely came as a pleasant surprise." Now, having achieved one of her goals, Paton said she was delighted to get exposure at the "biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics". "It's a platform to compete with some of the best athletes in the world and it's always good to compare ourselves to other nations. "I also enjoy multi-sport events because you're exposed to other disciplines but in an environment with like-minded people that allows you to perform and provides everything that you may need." Attending the Commonwealth Games, which take place on the Gold Coast from April 4 to 15, was the second tick on her bucket list after making her national debut last year. "I'm never really satisfied, so with the World Cup later this year I'd love to attend that and make it a picture-perfect year. "Looking further ahead, the Olympics is another goal but I'm just taking it one step at a time." Paton was introduced to hockey at Constantia Kloof Primary in Johannesburg in Grade 3. "I didn't really know anyone so my teacher gave me her hockey bag and stick and . . .
An astute rotation of players in the early part of the year has given the Madibaz football team a chance to retain their SAB League title in Port Elizabeth. With the Nelson Mandela University term starting only in early February, Madibaz often face a challenge because the league resumes almost a month earlier when they are not at full strength. However, Madibaz football manager Mark Tommy said careful management of their resources had enabled them to return to the top of the SAB League log. "One of our strategies is to optimise the squad through rotational player management in games and training," he said. "This creates an ability in the local-based players to deal with the competition demands when the out-of-town student athletes have not yet returned to campus." Coach Wayne Iveson added that the senior players had also stepped up to the plate during this period. "They took the responsibility to guide the younger players in terms of our processes and to provide ongoing motivation to improve," he said. "More emphasis was placed on the tactical and technical workload with the ball, thus improving the physical demands needed." Tommy said it was satisfying to return to the top of the log at this stage of the season. "With the resumption of lectures on February 5 most of the players returned to campus and they were excited that the team withstood the challenges during the January period." He added that the Madibaz football philosophy was based on the team and not the individual. "It is just this unity that carries the team when the chips are down. It cements the team through their desire and winning attitude. "Heading the log underlines the quality of this team and ticks all the boxes that our technical staff, under the astute guidance of Wayne Iveson, have in place to put the team on the correct path." While they would continue to respect their opponents and knew there were no guarantees, Tommy said they were confident going . . .
GAUTENG, PRETORIA, - Advendurance CEO, Fritz Pienaar, today signed a deal that will see Monster Hydro become the Official Energy Drink brand to the successful Toyota Warrior OCR Series, powered by Reebok. This deal has come just in time for the launch of the upcoming Bloemfontein Toyota Warrior Race 2 on the 17th February 2018. This will be the first time a Warrior OCR race is being held in the Free State, marking this as an occasion to be celebrated. Advendurance, who are also owner-organisers of the popular Trailseeker MTB and Trailseeker Trail running series, and the annual Snowbike Festival hosted in Gstaad, Switzerland, said today that Monster Hydro energy drink is an excellent brand fit because it appeals to those who love sport and are aware that what they put into their bodies is what they get out. Said Pienaar, “The Monster Hydro will appeal to those who love sports drinks, but also want the caffeine and other energy ingredients an energy drink provides. Monster Energy is a fantastic addition to our stable of sponsors that provide value-added products and services to our hard-working athletes. We are very excited to launch this collaboration.” The Monster Energy brand is big on the motorsports, action sports, music, and the gaming scene, supporting athletes and events around the world. The Toyota Warrior Series is the biggest OCR events in the country providing World Championship qualifier OCR courses. Said Jonathan Channing, Marketing Manager Africa, Monster Energy, “We are really excited around the launch of Monster Hydro as the drink allows us to speak to a different consumer base than traditional Monster Energy drinks. When looking for the ideal partner to work with, we didn’t have to look further than the Toyota Warrior OCR series, whose participants definitely need to “refresh the beast” after the tough and gruelling course. Whether you are a Rookie, Commando or Black-Ops athlete, Monster Hydro will help you perform your best!” Monster . . .
Defending champion Kim le Court is preparing for a serious challenge as she lines up a hat-trick of victories in the Bestmed Berge en Dale road race near Krugersdorp in Gauteng next weekend. The 21-year-old Demacon Women's Team rider has won the last two events, but said she felt the pressure would be on her when the feature 107km road classic took place on February 24. The Berge en Dale, presented by Optimum Financial Services, starts at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift on the West Rand and is a seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Entries for the race close tonight. With the Cape Town event looming next month and many riders fresh from competing in the South African National Road Championships in Oudtshoorn last weekend, Le Court said she expected stiff competition in the women's race. "There are a group of strong riders in South Africa now and with the SA champs just a week ago and people looking ahead to the Cape Town Cycle Tour, everyone's in good form and it's going to be tough," she said. "But our main focus is to concentrate on what we want to achieve as a team." After a family trip to France during the Christmas period, Le Court said she only resumed training this year on January 10. "I still aim to do well in the Berge en Dale and having won the race twice in a row it has a special meaning for me," she said. "But I didn't get much base training so I will just have to see how my climbing legs are. "While winning is my goal, the main objective is to work together as a team and to make sure we have one of our riders on the podium." Le Court will get an idea of her fitness on Saturday when she competes in the African Continental Road Championships in Rwanda. She will ride in the road race. "I'm a bit nervous for that because it is quite a hilly race over about 85km, which will test my legs," said the Mauritian national, who will arrive back in South Africa on Sunday. She said she was enjoying her second year with . . .
FNB Madibaz rugby coach David Maidza says the whole squad must stand up to handle the pressure when they face Wits in their third Varsity Cup match at Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Monday. After losing their opening encounter against University of Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela University outfit suffered an agonising one-point defeat (38-37) to Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein this week. It has left them marooned near the bottom of the log, ahead on points difference of only University of Pretoria, who have lost all three of their matches. The Madibaz mentor acknowledged they had put themselves under pressure, but said the important thing was how the squad handled the situation. "What we have to do now as a group is to refocus and to regather ourselves," said Maidza. "We have to be honest with ourselves and ask what we have to do to win the next game. "We have to pinpoint the specific areas and take every opportunity to deliver on what we want to achieve. "I am confident we can turn it around if everyone is willing to work hard and to start trusting one another and to trust the system." As one of the senior rugby teams in the province Maidza said it was important they delivered winning rugby to make Madibaz an attractive proposition for the "many talented schoolboys in the region". "We are a much better team than what we've shown so far and it's now time to be honest, to grind it out and make sure nobody loses focus." After starting off well against CUT, the coach said it was frustrating and disappointing to end up on the losing side. "But unfortunately we did not play to our potential and we didn't control the game. Ultimately we got punished for that." After calling for greater accuracy in their finishing following the loss to UCT, Maidza said they continued to make the wrong decisions at the wrong times. "We did not execute properly when we were supposed to and it's all about our total accuracy during the . . .
HEAD Bikes, who entered the South African market late last year, are further strengthening their ties with the country by using Stellenbosch as a training base for their professional outfits. Members of the HEAD Pro and Ciclo teams from Europe are currently in the Western Cape town taking advantage of the South African summer to prepare for a number of upcoming events. Among these will be the cross-country leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, which will be held on the outskirts of Stellenbosch on March 9 and 10. European marketing manager Adam Glosowic said having the riders train in South Africa made perfect sense. "Right now in the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland, where our riders come from, the winters are very cold so they are all looking for some warm place to do their training in the off-season," he said. "There are many trails and training opportunities near Stellenbosch, so what could be better for our winter training programme?" He added that another advantage was the time zone, which was similar to that in Europe. Making up the HEAD Pro team this year are Barbora Prudkova, Joel Roth, Nick Baumann and Eric Lüthi, the last three of whom are currently training in Stellenbosch. "They are all in Stellenbosch now for a two-week training camp," he said. "Eric and Nick will then go back to Europe, but Joel will continue his training for the World Cup race. "Barbora will come out in the last week of February and join the training camp at the beginning of March." Roth won the European cross-country team event with Switzerland last year and was runner-up in the same discipline at the U19 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Australia, where Prudkova took fourth place in the U23 race. The second outfit, HEAD Ciclo XC Team, will also compete in next month's World Cup event. They will be represented by Cherie Redecker, Nina Benz and Silas Graf. HEAD Bikes SA were set up last year to distribute the brand in the country . . .