Team RECM stars Cherise Stander and Ariane Kleinhans dominated the field to secure victory at Scottburgh on Saturday, while the pairing of Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell finished in a credible third place overall.
“Cherise and I had three good days of racing. The starts were very fast and that helped us. Its always good to get into a fast bunch and it really worked well for us on day one and day three. At times you need to sit in the bunch and make the best of the draft. The course is quite open and you can save quite a bit of energy by working together. Day two was the hardest. We thought we had some time on the chasing ladies and relaxed a little, but at some point we could see them behind us and we had to work hard to open up the gap. Day three Cherise taught me a lesson on sticking to someone’s wheel. It was like she had superglue and just stayed on the wheel the whole time. It was a bit scary at stages when we reached speeds over 40km/h, but I am super impressed by her skills. Really happy to take the win here at Sani2c” – Ariane Kleinhans
“ Sani2c was a suffer fest from the start to the finish. I tried keeping up with Ariane the whole race and she did an amazing job in mentoring me throughout the whole race. The fast starts on day one and three really suited me. Day two was the hardest stage. Ariane had to push me a few times, but the amazing scenery in the Umkomaas valley made up for the pain. Day three was similar to a road stage. The fast and open roads in the sugar cane fields made for a very fast stage and we rode well to finish in first place. I love the single tracks at Sani2c and it is a very special event” – Cherise Stander
The men had a strong showing, but a crash for Erik on day one put them on the back foot and they had to chase hard to make up time. The fast pace and combination of single tracks and open roads made it really tough to get away and regain time. They fought hard and in the end managed to finish a very credible third position against a tough field.
“Sani2c did not go exactly as planned. We came here to win, but unfortunately it did not go our way this time. It is such a great event and the change of scenery was refreshing. Nico and I have done many races together and we knew what we had to do, but sometimes it just does not work out as planned. I clipped a tree in the single track on day one and we lost a bit of time. It is a beautiful route with many single tracks, which makes it really difficult to regain any lost time. I felt good during the event and it was a great experience once gain. Thank you to Farmer Glen for another awesome event” – Erik Kleinhans
“Day 2 of Sani2c is absolutely incredible. The start is very fast and everyone wants to get into the dual track first. The 7km of open roads that lead into the Umkomaas valley is like a road race. The pace is very fast and it is an incredible feeling when you see the Umko valley. We managed to get into the single track first and had a great run down the 20+ km of track. I struggled a bit during stages on day two and tried to limit our losses. I am very happy with our result” – Nico Bell