Minnaar & Neethling Ousted by Bentley | CrankChaos Talon DH Eliminator Race Recap

Day three of the CrankChaos MTB Festival saw riders return back to the main slope for the DH Eliminator event.

A few hours of morning rain settled the dirt somewhat and the tracks were in great shape for what was to be the final day of racing. In the Eliminator, four riders compete against each other on four separate downhill runs which are equal in distance and time.

Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
On the morning of the DH Eliminator, the Sky restaurant and bar was packed with patriotic rugby fans chanting “BOKKE, BOKKE, BOKKE!”.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Then riders headed to the mountain for some DH Eliminator action but the festive spirits from the Rugby World Cup were high.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
The Eliminator format: four riders in a BMX type gate start, each has drawn a specific line down the mountain which they must stick to. The first two riders at the finish line proceed to the next round and the last two are eliminated.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Bryce Munro rails it through a turn with picture-perfect form.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Duran hips it up and into the finish arena. What steeze.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Yip, that’s Jack, 9 years old and shredding the big lines with the big guys. #NextGen
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Potgieter made it through to the Men’s final and placed 4th. Pottie was the only rider in the men’s final on a full DH setup.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Mountain biking is truly a family sport and CrankChaos with it’s more informal, inclusive and friendly nature offers young and old the opportunity to share good times.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Theo Erlangsen keeps it low and out of the gusts.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Shortly after rolling out the gate the riders split onto designated lines they have drawn. They then each have their own track to ride for the next few minutes before all four lines combine again a few hundred meters before the finish line. This format makes for very exciting racing which is best appreciated live.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Ike Klaasen outclassed his rivals to take the Jnr Men’s win.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
The T-Bar lift at Afriski is critical for event to run smoothly.
“Feels like Europe!” – Greg Minnaar
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Beani !!!
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
“BOKKE!”
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
The DH Eliminator is held on 4 gnarly downhill tracks which have a little bit of pedaling up top. It’s the kind of tracks where an Enduro bike is just as fast as a DH bike.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
“Hiya doin.”
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Minnaar floats the Hightower into the finish area with a clear advantage in this round.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Minnaar, Potgieter and Neethling chilling before the final run: there are more than four decades of World Cup DH racing experience right there! Kudo’s to the legends for spending a weekend shredding and brandying with the all the riders at CrankChaos.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Potgieter and Velasco keeping things low whilst on the charge.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Potgieter sneaks it to the line ahead of Velasco thereby eliminating him. Word has it Niko is out for revenge in 2020….
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Frankie du Toit dominated the women’s racing today with strong performances to end the weekend in P1.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
“CrankChaos is like a mini Crankworx… Maybe that’s why they called it that. It’s a mega weekend of flying around with your mates. Good laughs.” – Duran Duran van Eeden
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Greg flew in from Europe and joined the event on Friday night. The airline lost his luggage (and bikes) so he had a new Hightower built up for him at the last minute. When asked if he had time to set it up, he replied: “Nah, I just pumped the fork really hard.”
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Tim Bentley, on the hunt for another win. Back home, he doesn’t get much time to ride his bike or ‘train’ – but one wouldn’t think so when watching. This guy is all-speed and one of South Africa’s pure talents.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
Needles!
[Special shout out to Dom Barnardt for capturing this pearler of Needles on the gas. A classic shot.]
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
In the Men’s final, Bentley led Minnaar (shown), Neethling and Pottie through to the finish line to claim the win. Just a couple seconds seperated the four finalists.
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
DH Eliminator, Men’s podium from left: Minnaar (2nd), Bentley (1st) and Neethling (3rd).
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
DH Eliminator, Jr Men’s podium from left: Luxford (2nd), Klaasen (1st) and Brand (3rd).
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
DH Eliminator Women’s podium, from left: Thies (2nd), du Toit (Chicken dinner) and Grossman (3rd).
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
The steeze, style and speed award goes to none other than @doobran_van_weeden
Riders in action at the 2019 crankchaos mountain bike festival in afriski lesotho. Image by dom barnardt for bike network and myles kelsey.
That’s it folks! Closing off with Bentley ‘shutting the front door’ on everyone and sweeping the three main gravity events of the 2019 CrankChaos. What a weapon!


Highlights Edit



About #CrankChaos

The annual CrankChaos MTB Festival is unique and definitely one for the bucket list. Emulating events like Crankworx and the Colorado Freeride Festival, CrankChaos brings you the very best that mountain biking has to offer. The event is hosted by Afriski Mountain Resort in the beautiful Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, which at 3 222m above sea level makes it the highest festival of its kind on the African continent.


| IMAGES: Dom Barnardt | VIDEO: Ewald Sadie |


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