West Cape bikers shine in PE to Plett race

Yolande Stander

THE technical terrain served up by the gruelling Investec Port Elizabeth to Plettenberg Bay mountain bike race suited Western Cape team Louis-Bresler Knipe and Gert Heyns, who not only dominated the event, but made their way across the finish line first yesterday to take overall victory.

The two Team Contego riders did the final 77km stage in under four hours after winning every leg of the four-day 368km race.

Knipe and Heyns, along with about 400 other riders, started their journey through some of the most picturesque areas along the Garden Route on Saturday, stopping in the Gamtoos Valley, Brakkeduine Resort outside Oyster Bay, Storms River Village and finally Plettenberg Bay.

The final stage suited the riding style of Knipe and Heyns, who ended more than eight minutes ahead of Francois Geldenhuys and Conrad Viljoen (Team Coimbra) in second spot.

“Today’s stage was 100% mountain biking – steep uphills and downhills – and that is what we enjoy,” Knipe said after the race.

Rob Dormehl and Francois de Villiers (Team Avis Van Rental) had to settle for a close third.

In the women’s category, Red Cherry riders Ischen Stopforth and Robyn de Groot dominated the event and crossed the finish line first yet again yesterday – also taking the overall victory in their category.

They also gave some of the top men in the sport a run for their money, finishing 15th overall.

Close on their heels were Port Elizabeth’s golden girl Anriette Schoeman and her teammate Yolande Speedy (Team Powasol), coming in second.

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