Inaugural Swellendam100 MTB weekend adventure boasts a record field of female participants

Riders down Swellengrebel Street during the neutral zone start of Day 2

Riders down Swellengrebel Street during the neutral zone start of Day 2

The first edition of the Swellendam100 MTB adventure, which took place on the 7th and 8th of November 2015, saw 40% of the field made up by female participants. The mountain bike weekend adventure was a raging success and has automatically assumed its slot as a permanent fixture on the annual Swellendam events calendar.

100 mountain bikers descended on Swellendam to set off on Saturday morning amidst an atmosphere of fun and adventure. The weather was perfect as riders left from the fantastic start/finish venue at the Whipping Post – just behind the Field and Fork to embark upon the 49km ride which included 700m of ascent. The route traversed through privately owned farmlands, specifically opened by the generous Swellendam farmers for riders to use exclusively during the event. Even the local participants were overwhelmed that they got to enjoy trails they had not previously experienced! There were pine plantations, forested valleys and open mountain plains making it a truly varied experience as riders had to tackle sandy sections, mud as well as a few river crossings! Rolandale Farmstall played host to the awesomely stocked Swellendam Checkers water point which offered riders well-deserved, delicious nutrition at the halfway mark.

Riders making their way across one of the river crossings on Day 1

Riders making their way across one of the river crossings on Day 1

For Sunday’s day 2 riders were treated by beautiful weather in which to experience the Bontebok National Park. The 23 degrees temperature and the prospect of great riding ahead meant a whole bunch of smiling participants gathered on the start line. After the neutral zone down Swellengrebel Street and 15km amidst the wonder and beauty of Bontebok National Park, riders experienced the happy suburb of Railton where they were cheered on raucously by the welcoming residents. From there it was off to the second Checkers water point located at The Berry Farm surrounded by the magnificence of Hermitage. After that, riders found it hard to resist the temptation of a quick dip in the municipal dams, and it was off to the finish. Overall winning time was 1 hour 37 minutes while the more social riders spent over 4 ½ hours enjoying the sights of Swellendam on their bikes. The final prize giving ceremony saw over R30 000 worth of prizes and lucky draws being awarded – courtesy of Wildekrans Wine Estate, Oakley sunglasses and Garden Route Events.

Overall leader Pieter Gildenhuys racing past the Checkers water point at Rolandale on Day 1

Overall leader Pieter Gildenhuys racing past the Checkers water point at Rolandale on Day 1

“One of the main highlights of this event for me”, said race director Pax Mosterd, “is the high percentage of female participants. Usually mountain bike events have around 10-15% female riders but 40% of this field were woman. This really is a family adventure and children over 15 years may participate”.

What a ride.

The men’s podium:  Pieter Gildenhuys (Centre), in 2nd place Daniel Behm (Left) and in 3rd Des Doman (Right).

The men’s podium: Pieter Gildenhuys (Centre), in 2nd place Daniel Behm (Left) and in 3rd Des Doman (Right).

Congratulations to Pieter Gildenhuys on winning the men’s race, and to Daniel Behm and Des Doman for their second and third places; and to Juanita Kruger (1st), Michelle Doman (2nd) and Dominique Provoyeur (3rd) for your outstanding performances in the women’s race.

For more information click here and sponsorship opportunities, please contact info@swellendam100mtb.co.za. To view more photos from the event check out the Garden Route Events Facebook page and for all the news from their other events follow @gardenroute300 on Twitter.