Matt Beers and Tandi Kitching claimed their maiden overall-title crowns when they won the men and women’s marathon races respectively at Round 2 of the 2017 Nissan TrailSeeker Series, Western Cape in Grabouw at the weekend.
Beers, who races for Red-E Cannondale, was involved in a three-way scrap with Ascendis Health’s Gert Heyns and Matthys Beukes (Pyga Eurosteel) for most of the 67km race. Towards the end though, Beukes and Heyns pulled clear of Beers, but missed a turn.
Beers almost missed the turn too, but was quick to correct his error and was the first rider home to have completed the correct route and was declared the winner after some post-race deliberation by officials. Beukes and Heyns were subsequently disqualified.
Beers’s winning time was 02 hours 46 minutes 34 seconds. Waylon Woolcock (Team BCX) was awarded second place with Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes) rounding out the podium places.
“I lost touch with the leaders a few times during the race, but I managed to get back. I don’t really like to win this way. Matthys was strong. He attacked and got away up that last climb. But you also have to focus on where you a going. It’s a hard one but you can’t just go crazy and then not think where you’re going,” said Beers afterwards.
“It was a good race otherwise. Matthys was the stronger rider for sure. It was a hard route with a cold start, but the route was amazing,” added Beers.
“It was exciting racing. Me, Gert and Matt got away from the rest early on. The route was well marked overall, but at a crucial point, when the racing was on, it wasn’t marked that well, which is quite unfortunate but not much we can do about it,” said a disappointed Beukes, who had shown he was the strongest of the lead group of three by riding clear on the final climb.
“I’m not sure where they went wrong. I didn’t find the route badly marked and followed the markers. I’m happy with my winter form, but it’s a long year so I’m building up for another peak in September and October. The rain and recent fires here made the sandy surface quite tough in places, but a pretty route nonetheless,” said Woolcock, winner of Round 1 of the 2017 Nissan TrailSeeker Series.
In the women’s division, the racing was also close among the title contenders for the majority of the race. Kitching proved the strongest in the closing stages though and claimed the victory in a time of 3:42:16. Louise Ferreira finished second with Jeanie de Villiers taking third.
“It was very unexpected. This is the first time for an overall race win for me so I’m very chuffed. I battled a bit at the start in the cold, but I started reeling people in on the big climbs and from about two thirds of the way through I managed to take the lead and hold it against some strong opposition,” smiled Kitching.
“This whole area is gorgeous to ride in. The views are fantastic and the race organisation has been faultless, although I wouldn’t have minded a later start,” added Kitching.
“I’m very pleased with my result. Tandi was a great competitor. The route was great with lots of super singletrack that was well marked and not that technical. It really caters for everybody and the weather was good too,” said runner-up Ferreira.
In the 38km Half-marathon, Rossouw Bekker was the first male to finish in 1:28:13 with Mia de Villiers the first female home in 1:49:38.
2017 Nissan TrailSeeker Series, Western Cape
Round 2, Grabouw
Overall men 67km marathon
1 Matthew Beers (Red-E Cannondale) 2:46:34
2 Waylon Woolcock (Team BCX) 2:53:19
3 Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes) 2:58:37
4 Dominic Calitz 2:59:03
5 Robert Hobson 3:03:15
6 Jarrod van den Heever 3:03:15
7 Alexander Rohrer 3:03:40
8 Chris Wolhuter 3:05:02
9 HB Kruger (Team BCX) 3:07:29
10 Justin Tuck 03:09:09
Overall women 67km marathon
1 Tandi Kitching 3:42:16
2 Louise Ferreira 3:47:54
3 Jeanie de Villiers 3:50:19
4 Dene Conroy-De Wet 3:50:25
5 Courteney Webb 3:51:45
6 Luz Maria Martinez Mejia 3:55:50
7 Leorine de Wet 3:57:00
8 Sarita Louw 3:57:52
9 Kate Munnik 3:58:02
10 Janice Venter 4:01:45
Overall male 38km half-marathon
1 Rossouw Bekker 1:28:13
2 Jamie Penfold 1:28:42
3 Phillip Dicey 1:30:14
Overall female 38km half-marathon
1 Mia de Villiers 1:49:38
2 Amy Tait 1:50:00
3 Stefke Tolmay 1:51:00
For full results visit www.saseeding.co.za
Round 3 of the 2017 Western Cape Nissan TrailSeeker Series takes place at Bosman Family Vineyards, Wellington on 5 August. Information and online entries at www.trailseekerseries.co.za