Tristan de Lange and Katie Lennard claimed victory in the men and women’s marathons respectively at Trailseeker Hemel & Aarde near Hermanus at the weekend.
De Lange (Mannie’s Bike Mecca) clocked a time of 2:48:51 for the 62km distance, Stephan Senekal (Specialized) finished second, just over two minutes later with CP van Wyk (Maties) rounding out the podium a further three minutes back.
Jurgens Uys (Kargo Pro) set a fast pace from the start. This led to the establishment of a five-rider leading group until just before 20km was covered.
Then De Lange put in an attack and Van Wyk was the only rider that could stay with him. The pair worked together until De Lange powered away up a steep switchback climb just after 50km in.
De Lange maintained a steady pace over the last 12km to capture the victory, but Van Wyk was caught and passed by a fast-finishing Senekal less than 3km from the finish.
“I was quite surprised at how much climbing there was. That last climb to the finish was quite a kicker. The route was stunning and the trails were fantastic. It was a really enjoyable race,” said De Lange.
In the women’s race, the pace was reasonably quick from the start and the pack began to splinter after 20km where the technical sections began. Lennard was the strongest on the technical terrain and was the lone leader before the halfway mark.
She kept a constant pace and steadily increased her lead, clocking a winning time of 3:24:26. Tanja Oosthuyse was second in 3:29:19 with Catherine Colyn claiming the final podium spot a minute later.
“This is the first time I’ve done this race. The route delivered proper mountain biking, which I like. Lots of rough surfaces, some mud, lots of climbing and descending and plenty of singletrack. And there was beautiful scenery,” said Lennard.
Round four will be at Bosman Wines, Wellington, on November 19.
View the full results here.