Race Recap: KAP sani2c

Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns snatch the men’s title whilst the power duo of Robyn de Groot and Amy McDougall win the 2021 KAP sani2c. 

Race Recap: KAP sani2c
The weather played it’s part this year, serving more dust than mud.

On the final day, PYGA Euro Steel’s ‘B’ team of Buys and du Toit took the stage win, but the overall victory went to PYGA Euro Steel’s ‘A’ team of Heyns and Beukes.

The final stage of the three-day mountain bike stage race started at Jolivet Farm and took riders through sugar cane farms, coastal forest and Vernon Crookes Game Reserve, before arriving at Scottburgh beach in KZN. The pace was fast and furious from the start with the top seven teams together for the first half of the race. DSV Pro Cycling and Absolute Motion dropped off the pace and at the 39 km mark at Vernon Crookes, the five teams of PYGA Euro Steel 1 and 2, Imbuko Giant, TypeDev NanoTime and Insect Science were left to fight it out. The young Imbuko Giant pair challenged the PYGA Euro Steel first team in the front multiple times, with Marco Joubert surging to the front at the 46km mark. The front position then switched countless times between riders and the pace was relentless.   

First across the line as a team were Philip Buys and Pieter du Toit of PYGA Euro Steel 2 (02:40:04). Second for the stage was Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning of Insect Science (02:40:05), after Arno du Toit surged to the front of the group to cross the finish line first. TypeDev NanoTime’s Matt Beers and Wessel Botha take third place on the podium after a fourth-place finish for the stage (02:40:11). In third place for today’s stage was Imbuko Giant’s Marco Joubert and Rudi Koen (02:40:09), who despite the third place on stage 2, did not get a spot on the overall podium. Heyns and Beukes (PYGA Euro Steel 1) finished fifth for the stage (02:40:09). 

Race Recap: KAP sani2c
Matthys Beukes: “It’s been such a good weekend of racing, it feels like some sort of normality has returned to racing. We rode in the front to try and stay out of trouble, it was a solid day and plain sailing.” | Gert Heyns commented on the fast pace of the day: “Everyone was fast with peaking after Marathon Champs, so this was definitely one of the harder races to win. sani2c is one of the best stage races in the country so a good one to have for the CV. We definitely decided to play it safe as it was a big group. We were not too concerned about the stage today.”
Race Recap: KAP sani2c
SA Marathon Champ Matt Beers: “A few of us tried to get away on the climbs but we kept coming back together, so everyone knew it was going to be a sprint at the end, so we are happy to be on the podium.”

4th placed Marco Joubert: “I think everyone wanted to take the stage win, that was our goal for today. It was a super fast stage with most of it being downhill and the climbs are only about a maximum of four minutes of effort, so you couldn’t really get a gap on the guys. We sprinted it out and took third for the stage.”  The Absolute Motion team of Henry Liebenberg and Brendan van Eeden claimed the fifth spot for the stage and in the general classification. The young Tristan Nortje from Imbuko Giant, riding in the Solo category, stuck with the lead bunch most of the day and crossed the line less than ten minutes behind the winning team (09:02:32).

FINAL OVERALL RESULTS – MEN

  1. PYGA Euro Steel 1 (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 08:55:16
  2. PYGA Euro Steel 2 (Pieter du Toit/Philip Buys) 08:58:21
  3. TypeDev Nanotime (Matt Beers/Wessel Botha) 09:01:14
  4. Imbuko Giant Pro Team (Marco Joubert/Rudi Koen) 09:05:00
  5. Absolute Motion Men (Henry Liebenberg/Brendan van Eeden) 09:30:15


In the women’s race, a crash by Amy McDougall saw to it that the team of Theresa Ralph and Kim le Court could take the stage win.

Race Recap: KAP sani2c
Amy McDougall: “We were grateful for the buffer today, you can never count your chickens before they hatch in stage racing.”

Motorlease Perigon’s overall victory was never in serious jeopardy despite McDougall’s crash at about the 10km mark, which lost them significant time. At the 23km mark, there was an eight-minute gap between first and second, but the powerful duo of De Groot and McDougall pulled their way back to less than two minutes behind at the finish of the final stage. Their time for today’s stage was 03:10:57, while Galileo Risk Infiniti SPOT’s Ralph and Le Court finished the stage in 03:09:43. 

Robyn De Groot: “Amy and I have a nice rhythm and we understand each other. We both knew there was work to be done to regain our losses, so we just put our heads down and each played our part.” Theresa Ralph: “In the beginning, there was a lot of bunching and slipping and sliding through the single track and I think Amy had a crash and I am sorry for that, and we just kept on going from there. Then we didn’t see them behind us, so we just kept it going. We know the class of these two riders, if you get a gap on them it’s not going to last for long.” Kim Le Court: “We got a time gap today but that gap became small very quickly. I’m taking this year to learn, and to be in a team with Theresa and Sam Sanders is amazing.”

FINAL OVERALL RESULTS – WOMEN

  1. Motorlease Perigon (Amy McDougall/Robyn de Groot) 10:40:41
  2. Galileo Risk Infiniti SPOT (Theresa Ralph/Kim le Court) 11.01.39
  3. Insect Science (Danielle Strydom/Janice Venter ) 12:22:48

| IMAGES: Anthony Grote | MORE: sani2c |



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