The final race of the 2023 Western Cape season saw some of the fastest riders in the country put in some rapid laps in pursuit of the provincial titles. Light rain on Saturday morning soon gave way to hot and near-perfect conditions for a weekend of action on a revised Hellsend Track, in Stellenbosch. In the end, Theo Erlangsen and Frankie du Toit kept their winning streaks intact. Here’s your photo epic of the action using a selection of Chris Taylor’s images.
Cape Town’s Dillan Rix cruising to P15 in Elite Men.
Rico Steinfurth from Namibia, on a heater taking P2 in Junior Men.
Despite relatively little bike time, Duran van Eeden was looking comfortable and fast on the dusty Hellsend track.
13-year-old Sven Etsebeth was as fast as ever and ended the season with another win in Sub Jun Boys. His time was good enough for 22nd overall.
A new section of the track began with a road gap – a big one – that had many puzzling.
This line has more than 10 pretty sizeable jumps. | *Click to enlarge
Xavi Gomes, P4 in the competitive Youth Men class.
Alexander Combrink reshapes the turn into the rock garden.
Zak Jones had plenty pace on Saturday in practice but didn’t start on Sunday.
Pieter Rossouw had a “groot eenjie” on Saturday but shook it off and raced to P3 on Sunday.
Ethan Hunter; first race on the new Giant Glory and a convincing win in Junior Men.
P3 in Youth Men went to Myndert Laubscher.
Just three-tenths of a second separated the top three riders in Youth Men. P2 went to Zander Du Plessis.
Fourie van Wyk won the game of fractions in Youth Men.
Matt Lombardi was on the rampage all weekend looking for his first DH win.
Christeleigh Bruwer is always pushing hard and sometimes paying the price for it. P3 in Youth Women for Christeleigh this weekend.
P7 in Elite Men went to Jason Boulle.
Roxy Baynes ripping the woods section.
9-year-old Benjamin Nash lines up the entrance to the rock garden.
A mechanical and crash took Pieter Venter out of the racing.
Yours truly. I like bikes.
Hellsend local Jordan de Goede was gassing it all weekend.
Taking the win in Sub Vet Men was Chris Wagner of Specialized SA.
Cullen Mcmaster, 3 seconds off the win.
Chairperson of the committee, Chris Nixon nails the road gap cruising to P2 in Masters.
It was a messy final race and P5 for reigning SA Champ, Johann Potgieter. His pace is crazy and he’ll no doubt be back to the business of winning in 2024.
Paarl’s Tricia Rossouw lines up the last left-hander on her way to P2 in Youth Women.
Janis Lehmann from Switzerland quickly got to grips with the dusty Hellsend track and was on fire! P3 in Elite Men.
Frankie du Toit took another commanding win in the Elite Women.
In the end, despite his incredible speed, Matt Lombardi couldn’t pull off an upset and ‘settled’ for P2 in Elite Men.
Theo Erlangsen squashed and scrubbed every lip, staying lower than most and clocked the fastest time of the day to take the 2023 Western Cape Championship. What a ride Theo!
Yea boys, P1 and P2. A solid weekend in the office.
The glittering prizes.
Thoughts on the Hellsend Track…
All the podiums. | *Click to enlarge
Chapeau to the Champs and to Helen Erlangsen, one of the Champions of the Committee. | *Click to enlarge
Big shout out to all these brands that support SRAM Western Cape Downhill. RockShox, SRAM, Leatt, Kamikaze, All Mountain, TCS WiFi, Pyga, Potties Coffee, Armour Ride, cSixx, Novel Ford Paarl, Uitsig Bikepark and Paarl Trails.
See you all in 2024.