Results: Fedhealth MTB Challenge

It was an action-packed weekend at the Blaauwklippen Wine Estate in Stellenbosch as riders took on the annual Fedhealth MTB Challenge.

Results Fedhealth MTB Challenge
Ryan Koorzen on his way to winning the 15km race.

On Saturday, families and newcomers to the sport took on the shorter routes and kids events.

THE 15KM RACE | 12-year-old Ryan Koorzen from Bellville set a blistering pace in the men’s race crossing the finish line first in a time of 47:57.  “The race was very nice,” says Koorzen.  “I wanted to win today and wasn’t too worried about the competition.  I enjoyed the single track the most.  I’ll definitely come back to the Fedhealth MTB Challenge in 2022.”  Camryn Marais came in second, while Nathan Fatti finished third. Meanwhile, Eliz McIntyre’s finishing time of 01:03:16 secured her the top spot on the podium in the Women’s Race.  Jayde Oates came in second, while Sharyn Marais finished third.  According to Oates, the 15km Fun Ride was awesome. “The single track was really cool and there were fun sections through the trees.  It was great to be out, around people and on my bike just having fun.  This is the second time that I take part in the event.  I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Results Fedhealth MTB Challenge
4-year-old Andreas Mouton leads the field in the 500m Kid’s Race.

THE SHORTER KID’S RACES | Andreas Mouton from Durbanville had a great time in the 500m Kids Event.  “I’m first,” exclaimed a very happy Mouton. “The event was fun. I went fast.” Alyssa Bosch (age 7) from Durbanville was the first female rider across the finish line in the 1.5km Kids Event.  “I’m super happy,” says Bosch.  “I’m very proud to come first.  I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Results Fedhealth MTB Challenge
7-year-old Alyssa Bloch from Durbanville stomps her way to the win in the 1.5km kid’s race on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Peyten Solomons (age 11) from Kylemore was the rider to beat in the 5km Kids Event.  “This is the second time that I am taking part in the race.  It was a really nice event.  I wanted to come first.  My favourite part about mountain biking is the sprints!”

Peyton Solomon took the win in the 5km race.

In the main race on Sunday, it was Gert Heyns and Candice Lill who stole the show.

Results Fedhealth MTB Challenge
Candice Lill dominated the women’s race.

The 58km route included 1200m of climbing with a combination of smooth open road climbs, lots of single track with fun and moderately technical descents. 

IN THE WOMEN’S RACE | Fresh from her European World Cup campaign, Cape Town’s Candice Lill was dominant in the women’s race taking the win in a time of 2:45:03.  “Starting with the guys, I knew that it was going to be a fast day out,” says Lill.  “I haven’t done a marathon or 60km race in a while as I’ve been doing cross-country racing, so I was just going to go as hard as I could and see if I could maintain it.  I managed to finish strong.  The route was really fun.  There was a threat of rain in the beginning, but it only started raining at about halfway and it didn’t affect the trails.  It was a nice punchy course.  The climbs weren’t too long, just as you started getting tired, there was nice single track.  It felt awesome to cross the finish line first.  It’s really cool to be able to race again.  This is my first in a while and I really enjoyed it.”  Lucy Larkan came in second, while Mari Rabie finished third.

Results Fedhealth MTB Challenge
Gert Heyns of Pyga Euro Steel at the head of the men’s race.

IN THE MEN’S RACE | Gert Heyns the – Stellenbosch flyer – celebrated his Fedhealth MTB Challenge debut by claiming gold in the Marathon in an impressive time of 2:23:03.  “It’s always nice to race on our local trails,” says Heyns.  “It was quite a tough start on rocky trails above G-spot.  Arno and I managed to get away then Every time I would get a gap, he’d manage to catch up again.  Finally, I managed to get a small gap going up the climb at Ernie Els and from there I could hold it to the finish.  It was a fun route, not too tough with lots of single track.  It’s great to win.  There aren’t too many races this year, so it’s special to be able to get a win.  I’ll definitely be back next year.”  Arno du Toit came in second, while Keagan Bontekoning finished third.

THE 28km RACE | The route included 580m of climbing with some tough gradients and rad single track. Vincent Buter from Somerset West took the lead in the men’s race and held it to the line to win with a time of 1:01:09.  “Today’s race was really nice,” says Buter.  “It was dry for approximately the first 15km, then the rain came down.  It got really muddy, but it was super quick.  There were a couple of steep climbs.  It’s a short distance, so I just went flat out from the start.  I broke away on the first climb and nobody stuck with me. It’s really rewarding to cross the finish line in first place.  All the hard work and training is paying off.  The event was well organised.  I like these trails.  They’re my local trails and it was so much fun.”  Lood Goosen came in second, while Jean-Pierre du Plessis finished third. Angeliq Coetzer from Grabouw was on fire in the women’s race claiming the win with a time of 1:22:53.  “The route was quite tough, but fun,” says Coetzer.  “It was shorter than the normal routes that I do, but it was a tough short one.  Today I just wanted to ride my own pace.  My legs didn’t feel as strong as they usually do, but I pushed as hard as I could.  It means a lot to finish first because I trained really hard.  I’ll definitely come back next year.  It’s a really nice race and I love the vibe.”  Corli de Bruyn came in second, while Christine Woods finished third.


Women’s Race

1st Candice Lill 02:45:03
2nd Lucy Larkan 02:57:26
3rd Mari Rabie 03:04:10

Men’s Race

1st Gert Heyns 02:23:03
2nd Arno Du Toit 02:25:13
3rd Keagan Bontekoning 02:29:45

28km Women

1st Angeliq Coetzer 01:22:53
2nd Corli de Bruyn 01:32:36
3rd Christine Woods 01:39:54

28km Men

1st Vincent Buter 01:01:09
2nd Lood Goosen 01:07:51
3rd Jean-Pierre du Plessis 01:07:51

FROM THE SPONSORS | “Following the restrictions of the past two years, I don’t think any of us will ever take outdoor sports events, such as our Fedhealth MTB Challenge, for granted again. We truly enjoyed hosting this event at the beautiful Blaauwklippen Estate this weekend and welcoming riders of all ages and fitness levels back to the trails. As a medical scheme, we will always be advocates of a healthy, active lifestyle and we hope to sponsor many more events of this nature in future.” – Jeremy Yatt, Fedhealth Principal Officer

PRIZE PURSE | The 6th annual Fedhealth MTB Challenge boasted a whopping R30 000 prize purse for the Marathon (+-58km).  The Overall Men’s and Women’s winners each took home R5000, with R3000 going to second place and R2000 to third place.  A percentage of the prize purse was also allocated to the top three finishers in the following categories:  Senior Men and Women, Sub Vet Men and Women, Vet Men and Women, Master Men and Women and Grandmaster Men and Women. 

CHARITY SUPPORT |  The Fedhealth MTB Challenge proudly supports The Kindness Collaboration.  Founded by Fedhealth and Operation Healing Hands (OHH), The Kindness Collaboration focuses on supporting South Africans who cannot afford quality medical care.  Mountain bikers could make a donation towards the cause when entering the event online.  For more information or to make a direct donation towards The Kindness Collaboration click here.

Results Fedhealth MTB Challenge
The Elite field rolls off the start line.


| IMAGES: Chris Hitchcock |