Having a whale of a time

Dutchman Mitchel Steenman is 2m tall and weighs 97kg. His FNB Wines2Whales partner Matthijs Jasperse is no slip of a thing either at 90kg and 1,95m. Together they qualify for the FNB Wines2Whales Pinotage Whale category – for teams in which each rider weighs over 90kg. Cycling is, of course, a sport dominated by lighter people – the leading professionals tend to be on the diminutive side, which makes it all the easier to scale…

"Having a whale of a time"

Wines2Whales forced to evacuate

The weather gods frowned on the FNB Wines2Whales for nearly 16 hours and, after an unprecedented race village evacuation last night (Monday), riders today battled with driving rain and muddy conditions. All of which followed a fire fanned by the wind yesterday afternoon and which had been approaching the race village at Oak Valley. The flames were bought under control some distance from the tents and infrastructure, but there was much more drama to follow.…

"Wines2Whales forced to evacuate"

Sufferfest cruise to big lead

It took them a 12-hour bus ride to get to the Western Cape but Lesotho’s Phetetso Monese and Malefetsane Lesofe made exceptionally quick work of today’s Stage 1 of the FNB Wines2Whales Pinotage. 22-year-old Lesofe and his 34-year-old mentor Monese – an Olympian mountain biker – finished the 69km stage in only 3hrs 30min in spite of breaking a chain and having to repair it alongside the trail. Their team name is The Sufferfest African Dream Team,…

"Sufferfest cruise to big lead"

Lill, Morath win W2W III

Candice Lill and Adelheid Morath overcame a minor drama to claim the overall victory in the FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay race on Sunday. Ariane Lüthi and Barbara Benko shook off the disappointment of the opening two stages to win the final battle in Hermanus, but Lill and Morath won the war when they cruised across the line fourth on the final day. After opening a lead of over 16 minutes on the two opening days, only a mechanical disaster…

"Lill, Morath win W2W III"

Lill, Morath dominate Day 1

Candice Lill and Adelheid Morath ripped the field apart on the opening day of the FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay event, on Friday. The South African/German Team Summit combination attacked from the gun, on the climb to Lourensford Neckn, and then steadily extended the gap to 11 minutes and 39 seconds by the finish line at Oak Valley Estate. The three-way tussle for second saw Mariske Strauss and Jennie Stenerhag (Silverback CBC) pip their rivals in the…

"Lill, Morath dominate Day 1"

Another dope gives cycling a bad name

(This first appeared in the Independent on Saturday) Depending on your outlook, the past week has been either a good week for cycling or another terrible week. On Monday it was announced that top mountain biker Max Knox has been found guilty of a doping offense and banned for four years by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids). According to the Saids statement, Knox was charged for suspicious variations in his athlete biological…

"Another dope gives cycling a bad name"

Beukes and Buys are best

After six tough stages and 530km in the saddle Team Pyga EuroSteel’s Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys stormed victory at the 10th Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek in Oudtshoorn on Saturday. It was the first time the pair had claimed the prestigious title. “It feels so good to be back to racing form,” said Buys, who has been struggling with lillness this year, said after the finish. “I haven’t done a serious stage race in…

"Beukes and Buys are best"

Weather wins Pioneer

Some tough weather played havoc with the Cape Pioneer Trek on the penultimate stage on Friday. The ride up the Swartberg Mountains was meant to be the ‘Queen Stage’ with a mountain top finish but only a few race leaders were able to get the full mountain experience, while a large majority were forced to turn around in the rain, heavy winds and icy temperatures. Before the conditions became too extreme, event leaders Matthys Beukes and…

"Weather wins Pioneer"

Tough, but the cream stays at the top

Riders left the lush forests of George for the arid terrain of the Klein Karoo today on the fourth stage of the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, but there was no change to the leaders. In sweltering heat, the 115km stage proved to be the toughest so far but after almost four and a half hours in the saddle, race leaders Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys (Pyga Euro Steel) took the stage victory to hold…

"Tough, but the cream stays at the top"

Cycling SA fines riders for … riding

Cycling South Africa recently issued more than 30 riders with a R750 fine for taking part in the Karoo to Coast charity mountain bike event. For those readers who do not know what the Karoo to Coast is, it is a 100km off-road race from Uniondale to Knysna. It has been going for well over ten years and this year there were 3 197 official finishers. This event is certainly not a small, Mickey Mouse…

"Cycling SA fines riders for … riding"