Three-time defending women’s champ, Anriëtte Schoeman will be looking to add another J-Bay Wind Farm MTB Classic title to her trophy cabinet
In 2018 riders of all ages and skill levels braved wet and chilly conditions to tackle the finest trails around the Eastern Cape holiday town of Jeffreys Bay in the sixth edition of the J-Bay Wind Farm MTB Classic. Conditions made for some gruelling racing up front and in the men’s race Declan Sidey, was the convincing winner after a long solo breakaway.
In the women’s race, Yolande de Villiersrode a spectacular race to complete her hat trick, finishing sixth overall in the 85km, in a time of 03:59:51. Anriëtte Schoeman – who also has three event titles – finished in second, while Shauna Esmeyer rounded out the podium. “It was hectic out there,” De Villiers commented after the finish.
“It was cold and muddy but I still had a lot of fun! The new bits of singletrack and bridges were really awesome,” she said.
Unfortunately De Villiers is currently injured and looks an unlikely starter for the 2019 instalmenton 29 June. Of course Port Elizabeth’s Schoeman, one of South Africa’s most prolific race winners, will never want to be ‘gifted’ a victory but De Villiers’ absence will make her the clear favourite for sure.
However, the title alone is far from the only reason she returns year after year. “To me– being a roadie – a 85km mountain-bike race is a challenge on any given day but the Wind Farm Classic route is spectacular in the sense that it is not too technical so anyone with reasonable fitness can do it,” she commented.
“The route makes it! Traveling through the actual wind farm and experiencing the magnitude of those wind turbines is an incredible experience in itself,” she said.
“I absolutely love riding literally underneath those gigantic machines.”
According to Schoeman, while she loves the last 20km through the Wind Farm, the whole Ultra route is something to enjoy, with the big sections of singletrack being another highlight.
“The JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic is always one of my favourite races on the calendar,” she added.
“For me the mountain biking is almost like playtime but the nice thing is although it’s completely different from road riding I still get to pedal my bike. I also love being close to nature and other than surfing, it doesn’t get much closer than mountain biking,” Schoeman said.
While the racing at the sharp end with the likes of Schoeman and co is bound to be fast, the real focus of the J-Bay Wind Farm MTB Classic is to cater for all levels of rider and to showcase the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm and amazing trails in the surrounding areas.
While the routes (25km fun ride; 50km half-marathon and the 85km ultra) will remain largely unchanged, the 2019 edition will see a few exciting additions, most notably a new venue at Twin Valley Estate and as well as a 10km trail run and 5km fun walk.
Entries are selling out fast, so get yours in online, today.