Team Ryder-RED-E riders Konny Looser and Matthew Beers took the title as Tough Team open men’s winner as the FedGroup PEPlett mountain bike race’s fourth and final day brought out the best in all the cyclists yesterday.
The fourth day of the fifth annual mountain biking race saw the cyclists head out of Tsitsikamma Adventures, determined to give all they had left to finish on top in Kurland, just outside Plettenberg Bay.
But it was Looser and Beers who were crowned winners when they finished the gruelling four-stage race with an overall time of 12 hours, 15 minutes and 53 seconds. In second was TIB Insurance (12:37:14) and third was Mad-Mac p/b Hazz (14:20:39).
Unsurprisingly, the Tough Team open women victory went to Team Valencia Girls, who ended the race with an overall time of 14:12:44. Team VSL claimed second overall (14:46:18), with Team ITSA KZN taking third (20:20:30).
In both the Tough Solo and Team categories, first and second place positions were unknown until the end, as mere seconds separated the victor from the runner-up.
In the Tough Team category, Looser and Beers took pole position with a final day time of 2:51:18, with Looser also claiming “King of the Mountain” for day four.
In second, coming in with a time of 02:52:13, was Team TIB Insurance, Andrew Hill and Stuart Marais.
Team Mad-Macs p/b Hazz, CP van Wyk and Shaun Glover, crossed the line at 03:01:11, landing them the well-earned third podium spot for the last stage.
The most exciting finish came down to an eight second gap in the Tough Solo between day four’s first place Marco Joubert (2:51:20) and second place Christopher Wolhuter (2:51:28). Not far behind was third place Alan Gordon, with a time of 2:52:34.
Overall, Joubert claimed the Tough Solo title with an impressive time of 12:34:23. Wolhuter secured himself second place on the podium with his time of 12:56:29, while Gordon took third (13:27:58).