Riders were treated to a perfect winter’s day, ideal for taking in the vistas and trails of the first stage of the 2016 Glacier Storms River Traverse. The 62.2km route looped from the Tsitsikamma Village Inn; dropping down into the Storms River Gorge, climbed the eastern slopes of the valley, traversed lush MTO Forestry plantations and kissed the cliff-tops overlooking the Indian Ocean before returning back to Storms River village.
The stage was won by Etnard Louw and Hanco Kachelhoffer of Team NFB Altech Autopage, with Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer finishing second to win the stage in the mixed category. The first women’s team across the line was the Cape Brewing Co pairing of Anja van Zyl and Gemma Grobbelaar. The focus of the Glacier Storms River Traverse though is firmly on the more social riders. The riders who spent more time on the beautiful route of Stage 1, than the winners did, were therefore the day’s undoubted victors.
The largely non-technical route was ideal for riders new to mountain biking or experienced riders looking to slow it down and take it easy. With the notoriously fickle Tsitsikamma weather playing along it was the perfect day for a social ride through the forests, fields and plantations. Most riders formed small groups and could be heard chatting away the kilometres. The two water points on Stage 1 of the Glacier Storms River Traverse were particularly well appreciated, with riders lingering for longer than usual. With no time pressure riders could indulge in an extra date ball or succulent cube of perfectly braaied ostrich steak rather than just filling up their bottles with 32Gi and racing off as they usually would at a stage race.
For Stage 2 the Glacier Storms River Traverse once again descends into the Storms River Valley, but also takes in a jaunt to the Storms River Mouth before crossing under the N2 and exploring the northern reaches of the Tsitsikamma forest. The 43.2km route features 670m of climbing, stats which could come as a relief to the riders who get a little too caught up in Saturday night’s 80’s themed fancy dress party.
To view more photos from the 2016 Glacier Storms River Traverse like the Facebook page; Storms River Traverse or follow @SRTraverse on Twitter or follow drylandeventmanagement on Instagram. For all the results click here and to find out more about the Glacier Storms River Traverse visit www.stormsrivertraverse.co.za.
Fast Facts: Glacier by Sanlam Storms River Traverse
Event Website: www.stormsrivertraverse.co.za
Event Dates: 6 – 8 August 2016
Entries Close: 15 July 2016
Race Village: Tsitsikamma Village Inn
Stage 1 Stats: 62.2km with 670m of altitude gain
Stage 2 Stats: 43.2km with 830m of altitude gain
Stage 3 Stats: 50.7km with 780m of altitude gain
Facebook: Storms River Traverse