Paarl hosted the fourth round of the SRAM Western Cape Series over the weekend.
Paarl never fails to deliver exciting racing and some alterations to the race track by Connor Finnis, a new speed trap
and changing conditions made for an incredible weekend of racing. Fresh off their European racing stints and eager to make an impact were the likes of Theo Erlangsen, Matt Lombardi, Frankie du Toit and Fourie van Wyk. Despite taking place just one week after SA Enduro Champs, close on 100 riders were entered – with the youth categories continuing to grow – which is a testament to the organizing body, headed by Helen Erlangsen, who do a sterling job putting on these world-class events. Follow the action through our photo-style recap.
The secret to the world-class grassroots racing we are seeing at SRAM Western Cape Downhill? A hardworking volunteer committee that is supported by local businesses. Thank you one and all.
Novel Ford Paarl kindly supplied shuttle vehicles for the weekend. | *Click to enlarge
Shuttling in style!
A few changes to the track, split times and a speed trap generated a lot of discussion around line choice and strategy. Roxy Baynes (right) took an easy P1 in the aero game.
The ever-impressive 13-year-old Sven Etsebeth took the win in Sub Junior Boys, with a handy 6-second margin. Sven’s secret is twofold; outstanding technique and an unrelenting love for bikes.
Johann Potgieter, multiple SA Champ is now 36-years-young and still riding fast! So fast!
The ruts were deep!
Great to see the 2023 Trans Madeira and SA Enduro Champ Matt Lombardi in Paarl taking potshots at the 200mm specialists.
Floating through the ruts is Pieter Venter, first in Youth Men and an impressive P4 overall.
Luke Futter, P4 in his class and only 8 seconds behind his uncle Peter, who races in Vet Men. No pressure Peter!
Liam Coetzee threading the needle to P4 in Junior Men.
After hitting the ground in practice Christeleigh Bruwer dusted herself off and took P1 in Youth Women.
Theo Erlangsen, fresh from another successful World Cup campaign dropped in to turn the heat up.
Ethan Hunter, the fastest Junior on the day also bagged P2 overall. What a pinner.
10-year-old Rudolf de Lange railed to a P2 in the Sprog Boys class.
Lacking bike time he says, Peter Futter ‘did a chilled cruise’ to P2 in Vet Men.
How about this shot from Chris Taylor? Riders, don’t forget to reach out to him to buy your own package of race images. christaylorphotography.co.za
It was 15-year-old Luke Corbett’s first downhill race and by all accounts, he seems hooked.
Corné Crous charging to P61 in the overall.
Pieter Rossouw, single speed, 26er and a P1 in Vet Men. Talk about keeping it real.
Course markers did well with this split-line turn. Lombardi liked the outside choice.
Sections of this track have been raced for many years and require absolute precision to stay on the right inch of dirt.
Fourie van Wyk, now riding for Commencal, hucks the high-pivot into the jank.
12-year-old Luc Rossouw is yet another young speedster starting to show real talent at DH. P1 in Sprog Boys and P30 overall. This guy is quick!
Precision is the name of the game here at Paarl. An inch or two offline and the snippers await.
Zak Jones – always on the gas!
P1 in Elite Women? None other than Frankie du Toit.
An early crash took Jack “the Styler” Schoonraad out of the racing. Heal up quick Jack!
The tracks are getting rough and DH bikes seem to be making a comeback. The extra travel and purpose-built geometry are clearly advantageous.
Downhill legend Dale Barnard was just 3 seconds off the win in the Masters.
Lian de Jager, tucked!
Ethan Hunter hucks up the camber on the inside option at the split.
P1 in Sub Vets went to Chris Wagner.
Pottie rode the inside option and Theo the outside. What a cool feature. | *Click to enlarge
Fastest at the speed trap. Fastest time of the day. There was no stopping Theo today. 2.5 seconds up on everyone here in Paarl is a huge margin – and the youth love seeing him race here in SA. Well done bru!
Elite podium from left: Matt Lombardi, Theo Erlangsen and Johann Potgieter.
Congratulations to all the riders! | *Click to enlarge
here for the full results. | 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.
Keep that throttle wide open and we’ll see you all at Hellsend for the season finale and WC Championship race on the 4th and 5th of November.