Scottburgh – In what has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable KAP sani2c’s in memory the Race event was a ding-dong affair that went right down to the breakers of Scottburgh as the pair of Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns overturned a two minute overnight deficit to win the overall title whilst the pair of Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian held on to their overnight lead to claim the ladies title on Saturday.
After what has been a tough year for the SCOTT LCB Factory Racing pair following their disappointing ABSA Cape Epic, this victory at the KAP sani2c was one that they will savour.
“Our main goal was the Epic this year but I have been struggling with injury the whole season and I couldn’t even start there so I have only been right for about a month now and to walk away with the victory is unbelievable!” Beukes mentioned.
The winners knew that a fast stage like the final 82 kilometres into Scottburgh was going to provide them with a tough challenge and overturning the deficit was going to be difficult as Team Telkom set the early pace.
“We wanted to go out really hard from the start but it was Johann (Rabie) and HB (Kruger) who put us under pressure and set a really pace at the front and put us in the hurt box early on.
“Unfortunately HB punctured on a rocky downhill and its bad luck but we had bad luck on day one so sometimes it goes your way and other times not.
“We captilised on that and in the last hour we knew that every second would count so I was absolutely spent at the finish but it was all worth it,” Beukes added.
The pace was frantic at the front of the race and the SCOTT youngsters attempted to split up the group however Gert Heyns explained that their attacks were met with resistance from the rest of the pack.
“We went really hard on the first climbs but most of the guys managed to stick to us which just shows that on a route like this it is really hard to get away.”
The final stage went to the script of the previous two days and threw up another curve ball as the leading pair of Team Telkom’s Johann Rabie and HB Kruger were downed by an unfortunate puncture at the 47km mark.
The resultant mechanicals all but destroyed their chances of an overall victory as they fell out of contention with a group of four teams contesting the end sprint that was won by NAD Pro MTB Team’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell.
“It was flat out from the start and I was battling a bit but Nico looked after me well,” stage winner Gawie Combrinck said. “We managed to hang onto the front and in the last few kilometres we got the jump on the guys and got onto the bridge and from there we luckily stayed up front and took the win!”
Bell was happy that they were able to get one stage win under the belt after missing out over the first two days of the race.
“To win the final stage is probably the best stage to win in terms of coverage for sponsors and that so we are happy with our win but we tried our best in the general classification but it was difficult because we were still a little tired from joBerg2c but to get a stage win is satisfying.”
With drama being served during every stage of the 2016 edition of the KAP sani2c the unfortunate victims on the final day of the Race were the Team Telkom duo and a litany of mechanical issues ended their charge.
“It was not just the puncture, we had mechanical problems with the back wheel which got stuck which seized the free body which caused the chain to slip.
“We had to stop about seven or eight times to put the chain back on so it was a disastrous day. If we just had the flat I think we could have kept our lead but that’s what happens,” a despondent Rabie mentioned after .
The ladies race was a two-horse contest with the young Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian of Dorma Time Freight attempting to try and hold off the Team Ascendis Health pair of Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag who were going to fight until the last possible moment to overturn the three minute deficit that the former had put on them after the second stage.
Despite the stage win going to the Team Ascendis Health pair the spoils were enjoyed by Neethling and Adrian who would have been described as underdogs going into the race.
“I believed that we could do it but to actually pull off a win like this is really something and I think that we both surprised ourselves in the ay that we rode and how we stuck with them the whole way,” Neethling said.
Adrian commented on their conservative approach to the final stage with an overall title being the main focus for the pair.
“We mainly just tried to stay with them. A stage win is always nice but I think that Robyn and Jennie deserved it today after a great three days of riding but we are just really overwhelmed with the overall title!”
After three solid days of racing the Galileo Risk Valencia duo of Samantha Sanders and Theresa Ralph claimed the bottom step of the overall women’s podium.
The mixed race was no contest as the Team TBC/Mitas crew of Johan Labuschagne and Catherine Williamson cruised to their third stage victory and the overall title over the Team Garmin duo of Ben-Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi de Villiers with Kargo PRO MTB Team’s Hayley Smith and Andrew Warr coming third.
More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
2016 KAP SANI2C
STAGE THREE (JOLIVET FARM – SCOTTBURGH)
1.Team NAD Pro (Gawie Combrink/Nico Bell) 02:37.09
2.Contego RedE (Adriaan Louw/Matthew Beers) 02:37.11
3.SCOTT LCB Factory Racing (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 02:37.12
4.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Tyronne White) 02:37.21
5.The Gear Change (Dave George/Justin Tuck) 2:42.21
1.Team The Bicycle Company/Mitas (Catherine Williamson/Johan Labuschagne) 02:54.20
2.Kargo PRO MTB (Hayley Smith/Andrew Warr) 02:58.20
3.Team Garmin (Yolandi du Toit/Ben-Melt Swanepoel) 02:59.30
1.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Jennie Stenerhag) 02:56.29
2.Dorma Time Freight (Candice Neethling/Vera Adrian) 02:56.34
3.Galileo Risk Valencia (Sam Sanders/Theresa Ralph)
1.SCOTT LCB Factory Racing (Matthys Beukes/Gert Heyns) 9:05.06
2.Team NAD Pro (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 9:07.26
3.Team Telkom (Johann Rabie/HB Kruger) 9:09.34
4.Contego RedE (Adriaan Louw/Matthew Beers) 9:23.45
5.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Timothy Hammond) 9:34.09
6.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Tyronne White) 9:35.29
7.Biogen Centurion Cyclery (Gordon Gilbert/Paul Theron) 9:37.28
8.The Gear Change (Dave George/Justin Tuck) 9:41.51
9.KAP Restonic 1 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenage) 9:42.59
10.RoadCover 40+ (Grant Usher/Nic White) 9:43.57
1.Team TBC/Mitas (Catherine Williamson/Johan Labuschagne) 10:13.46
2.Team Garmin (Yolandi du Toit/Ben-Melt Swanepoel) 10:32.28
3.Kargo PRO MTB Team (Hayley Smith/Andrew Warr) 10:39.42
1.Dorma Time Freight (Candice Neethling/Vera Adrian) 10:21.22
2.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Jennie Stenerhag) 10:24.19
3.Galileo Risk Valencia (Sam Sanders/Theresa Ralph) 10:56.02