Congratulations to Natasha & Scott, our CBC Brand Ambassador on getting married! All the best as you start this new journey in life and may every day hold very special shared experiences!
Just before Jennie heads off to Sweden she and her team mate, Robyn de Groot, took the Sani2C podium’s 1st place!
“This is probably the race in South Africa with the best single tracks, they are fantastic and well prepared, and the race organisation is awesome so it really is a race you want to do!”
“I was teaming up with Robyn de Groot for the first time and I was looking forward to trying this partnership, Robyn is super strong and it could maybe be a start to a good future team. Unfortunately I got sick on the Monday before the race, the race started on Thursday, so it was antibiotics and bed for 2 days and on Wednesday I took the chance and travelled to Underberg.”
Stage 1, Underberg – McKenzi Club, 89km
“We started at Underberg at around 1550 altitude, as usual I struggle a bit with the high altitude. I felt a lot better but still not 100% and I could feel that when we started racing. Our biggest competition was going to be my Epic partner Theresa Ralph who teamed up with Jeannie Dreyer. We rode together with them for the first 20km and it felt like it was going to be a big battle. Unfortunately Theresa crashed badly on a single track after 20km, we were right behind her when it happened. We later heard that she had stopped and it turned out that she needed an operation the same evening. We could play it a bit safe even though I felt like I was pushing everything I had, the single tracks were fine but I struggled on the hills. We won the stage about 12 minutes ahead of Yolandi Du Toit and Yolande Speedy.”
Stage 2 McKenzi Club – Jolivet, 99km
“We started at 6.15am before it got light, it was a bit scary on the first single track when we could not really see anything. It got better as we started to descend down the Umkomaas valley. It was lots of fun going down and I often thought about how much worse it was last year when it had been raining and we were sliding in the mud! We descended around 800m altitude and I felt much better at the bottom and could ride hard again, it felt good! The stage profile looks like a U so after a bit at the bottom it was time to start climbing. My legs gave in a bit on the long climbs but we still rode better than yesterday. We won the stage about 30 minutes ahead of Yolandi and Yolande and had a 42 minutes lead going in to the last stage.”
Stage 3 Jolivet – Scottburgh, 84km
“The last day saw a reversed start, meaning that the A and B bunch started last, at 11am and the slower riders from 7am. This is to give everyone a chance to see us finish in at the beach in Scottburgh. It meant a long wait for us in the morning, since we have to hand in the box by 9am and there is not much else to do then just sit and wait in your cycling kit… Robyn had a scratchy throat this morning and did not feel so good. It was a fast start and also a fast stage since we had 665 meters of climbing and 1700 meters of descending to do. The stage also had a lot of open gravel roads where it was good to sit in a bunch, but we were mostly on our own since Robyn was not well. I felt stronger on the bike today so I guess both of us have had strong days and not so good days during the Sani. The last 600 meters were on the floating bridge over the lagoon, it was fun but a bit nerve wracking, what IF one would fall in the water on the finishing stretch.
All went well and we won our 3 stages and the overall in the ladies category at the 2014 Sani2C, a happy and proud moment! It was a good partnership with Robyn and I think we have more to give as a team since we were not one day able to race to our full potential, we must just be 100% healthy at the same time.”
For more on Jennie’s Sani2C win visit her website.
All the way from Atlanta, Georgia our CBC Brand Ambassador Scott Kelly has been with CBC for just over a year and is still as passionate about CBC as the first time he visited the brewery and told his fiancé…
“…I might camp outside on the lawn out front until they hire me!”
What inspired you to become part of the Craft Brew Crew?
“The 1st time I visited the brewery it was still under construction. I ran into Wolfgang who was busy working at the time. He took time to show me around, not having known me from Adam’s house cat. By the end of the tour my arms were full of goosebumps. I also think I told my fiancé that I might camp on the lawn out front until they hire me!
What excites you most about CBC?
“The team of people we have in place and the future of CBC.”
You favourite craft beer is…
“All of the beers that are brewed at CBC are my favourite. I’m a seasonal beer lover. Especially when it comes to picking a favourite. For example I’m really digging CBC Harvest Lager at the moment, there’s just something about the way an Oktoberfest / Märzen tastes when the weather is getting cooler, YUM!”
What is your favourite food pairing with a CBC craft beer?
“A semi spicy Burger with a CBC Pilsner.”
I love craft beer because…
“Craft beer can take on an array of colour, aroma and flavours unlike commercially made lagers. Although they are very well made lagers to style, it’s not what I prefer.”
Your favourite thing to say…
“I could drink that all day long!”
What does “craft beer” mean to you?
“I think all beers are craft in some way. All the brewers I know both big and small all have a passion for brewing. At the end of the day your passion is essentially your craft. I don’t think there is one set meaning for craft beer.”
A true celebration of South African craft beer! The SOLD OUT Jozi Craft Beer Fest, on Saturday 10 May, was definitely a day filled with entertainment, beer drinking and fun!
Here are some of the pictures taken by Chris Saunders.
For more pictures click here.
“This was among the muddiest races I have ever done, it was similar to day 2 at the Epic and day 1 at the Cape Pioneer last year!”
“I had lots of fun in the beginning sliding around on the single track trails. The area around Wellington is fantastic to ride, which also made me really want to do the race. The first 25km was alright but then it started raining more and up on the mountain it got really cold. I rode on and off with a guy and it was motivating to at least see someone else around, it was much needed motivation when after 2 hours we had only done 32km and not even half the distance…”
Read more about Jennie’s race and training at the Gravel Travel MTB here.
Photo by Capcha Photography.
CBC is now officially the proud sponsor of professional MTB cyclist Jennie Stenerhag, a strong, determined, soft hearted cyclist, Swedish Road Race Champion, Cape Argus Winner and Swedish MTB Marathon Champion!
We’d like you to meet her…
“Always have fun! If it is fun it will be easy to train and anyone can reach the top.”
Where did it all start?
I was a downhill skier from the age of 6 until I was 22 and was forced to stop due to a knee injury. I then had a “normal life” for 6 years and started to train a bit for “a Swedish Classic”. If you complete four endurance events within 12 months you have done “a Swedish classic”. The events are Lidingöloppet, 30km running in September, Vasaloppet 90km cross country skiing in March, Vansbrosimmet 3km swim in June and Vätternrundan 300km cycling in June. I did this in 2003 and really enjoyed the cycling. It was a road race but I did it on an old heavy mountain bike. There was a MTB Marathon in the area I come from that I have always wanted to do and I thought, since I had done some cycling that summer – it’s now or never. I bought a second hand mountain bike and did the race. I finished about one hour behind the first girls but I was happy with that! I thought – what would happen if I train for this? That winter I came to South Africa for a holiday and fell in love with the country, 6 weeks after my holiday I was back in Cape Town to stay for 3 months and worked with a guy that owned an adventure company. I then started my winter cycle training in the South African summer. When more and more people asked me if I was training for something called “The Argus” I had to find out what it was all about, so I bought my first road bike just so that I could do this race. I did a 3.17 and I was hooked on this sport! That is how it all started!
How many times do you train per day/week?
I train 2-3 times a day, 5 days a week. I love training and most of my sessions I do because I just love being on my bike!
Do you prefer cycling in a team or solo?
I like both, in one way it is nice to just do your own thing and go flat out and race as hard as you can, but it is also nice to have a team partner and know that even if you struggle you will always have someone there to support you and it is also not just about you, it gives another side to the race when you have to find out how the two of you can race as fast as possible as a team.
What is your ‘words of wisdom’ / advice to young and upcoming cyclists?
Always have fun! If it is fun it will be easy to train and anyone can reach the top.
Tell us a little bit more about mountain vs. road cycling.
Some people might think that it is pretty much the same since both are about riding a bike. But it is two totally different sports. MTB is more about technical skills and power and going as hard as you can for the whole race, while road cycling is more about tactics and max power attacks and it is also often the best sprinter that wins, not necessarily the strongest rider.
What is your favourite race of the year/one you really look forward to whilst training?
I have a lot of favourite races, but in different ways. The Cape Argus is very special to me since that was my first ever road race and it was special to win that race 5 years later. Die Burger is also a good race for me since it is on home ground in Stellenbosch and I have won it 6 times.
Championships, Swedish and World, are the races that are in my mind when training and at the moment that is what I am looking forward to. I look forward to all races though, every race is a different challenge and that is what I like.
Tell us a bit more about your career as a Swedish cyclist, and your career as a South African cyclist.
Cycling is so much bigger in South Africa than in Sweden, here people can recognise me but not many people in Sweden would know who I am. There are no cycling programs on TV in Sweden, no fun rides would be shown and only World Cup podiums would be mentioned on the Sports News.
South Africa seems to be your home-from-home, when did you first come to/fall in love with South Africa?
It was on a holiday in November 2003, on my second day in CT I got the feeling that this was where I wanted to live, and I even said that to my friend that I was travelling with. 6 weeks later I came back to stay for 3 months and after that I have been coming back every year for 3-6 months until a few years ago when I decided to live here.
Is it very different cycling/racing in South Africa?
Yes and no. I think racing in any one country is pretty much the same, the competition is probably about the same in South Africa and in Sweden, but if you take a European race where all the pro’s comes to then it will be a lot harder. There are some differences in the format of the races, for example we do not have as big fun rides in Sweden as we have in South Africa. Cycling as a sport is much bigger in South Africa then in Sweden.
Your favourite race course/route to date?
I really love riding in Jonkershoek, it is my training/playground and I am probably there 4 times per week but just can’t get enough of riding there. For racing, I must say the Wines 2 Whales routes around Oak Valley and also the races around Welvenpass in Wellington. It is great fun to race on single tracks that I know as the back of my hand, one can always go a bit faster when you know what is around the corner.
How do you train in the winter – or do you prefer to head back and forth between summer in South Africa and summer in Sweden?
I have not had winter for 10 years, so I guess I do not train in winter, almost skipping winter altogether !
What are the challenges you face as a female cyclist?
The media exposure is less for a female athlete and therefore it is more difficult to find sponsors. If there is a 30min TV program from one of our bigger races they give the ladies 2-3 minutes and the rest is for the men, so if you are not winning or coming second you will not get any exposure. We train as hard as the men and put as much of our time in to the sport, I think there would be more ladies racing if we got more exposure and could get more sponsors and afford to do the sport.
Any organizations/charities that you are involved in?
I did the Epic 2013 for the Big Tree foundation and I have done the Double Century 2012 and 2013 for the Give me a chance children foundation, I do support both of them since they are both helping kids to go to school but in different ways. I also support the BEN organization now and then with old cycling kit and we are going to Kayamandi later in the week to give our old computer to a crèche there. There is always someone that can use what you will not use anymore. You do not throw things away in South Africa!
Cycling is associated with living a health conscious and balanced lifestyle, what do you do to make sure you live a balanced life?
Living a balanced life is not something that I consciously think about, if someone thinks that I live a balanced life then it is something that comes naturally to me. I would not say that I am health conscious since I eat what I want and drink a lot of coffee etc, but I guess that when I say “eat what I want” it is also a lot of healthy things.
Do you ever take some time off of cycling?
I always have a 2 week break from training per year, when it happens during the year depends on the races. I also always take at least 6 days complete rest after a weeklong stage race.
Describe that feeling once you have just realised that you have a podium finish.
That will only happen after the finish line, I never think of a podium finish until I have crossed the line, anything can happen in cycling, you can fall or have a puncture 1 km from the line and loose the position, one can never celebrate before you know. The feeling of a podium finish will depend on the status of the race and who are with you on that podium.
Who do you look up to in the world of cycling?
Gun Rita Dahle, she is amazing to stay at the top level of ladies cycling for 2 decades!
1000 g trimmed chicken wings.
First salt the wings and then lightly dust with flour. Place on wire rack and the rack on top of a tray to collect the drippings while roasting for 15’ in oven at 220C.
Combine the following ingredients in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken wings:
2 finely chopped green chilies
1tbs of sesame oil
4 pressed cloves of garlic
40g of fresh chopped ginger
3tbs oyster sauce
200 ml Heinz tomato sauce
3tbs Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper
small bunch chopped coriander
2 tbs of medium hot curry powder
While waiting for the wings to be ready combine the following ingredient in a food processor or mix up with a hand blender:
2 wedges blue tower
1 tub plain Fairview Labneh
Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
If too thick add milk until desired consistency has been achieved. Once done add the chicken wings to marinade and toss with sticky sauce all over. Serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks.
After a long wait at the airport, two hours sleep and a terrible fall, Jennie Stenerhag still got back up and finished the Clarens MTN Marathon series race in 4th place!
“When I crossed the finish line the medics came running, it must have looked really bad! I got cleaned up and checked and as far as they could see, nothing was broken. I was really lucky, it could have been a lot worse! Oh, and by the way, the bike is all fine!”
“Clarens is at 1880 meters above sea level and during the race we went up to 2100m! I always struggle with altitude and nothing was different today… It was freezing cold at the start but it warmed up quickly when we got going and came out in the sun. I felt good from the beginning and we were a group of 4 that got away, Robyn, Theresa, Candice and I. I struggled a bit on the hill to the Queen of the mountain, it was one of those days when you fight for everything. I dropped back a bit but came back on a downhill, but on the next hill after 27km I lost them and never got back, it was as if I just could not breath in the thin air. We came to a long stretch of open roads and I could see them for another 20km but it was impossible to catch up on my own. The last 20km was really hard with lots of climbing and single tracks, it would have been lots of fun if I was not so tired!
With 7km to go I come around a bend and I saw a photographer, I looked at him and then down only to see a narrow bridge, it cannot have been much wider than 0,5m! I come in at a funny angle and hesitated to go over, I clicked out and put my foot down, the only thing was that there was nothing to put my foot on. I fell down and in the fall I realised just how high it is, the bridge was a ditch over 2 meters deep! I landed on my face and heard that awful sound when bone touches the ground hard, I am sure that my nose is broken! – I thought. I got up and saw how the blood was pouring down. The photographer came to help me to climb back on the bike as I was determined to carry on! As I keep riding I was checking to see that I have all my teeth left as I was spitting blood. Me, my bike, shoes, everything was stained! When I got on the bike again I saw Yolandi Du Toit coming, so I raced hard at the end to keep her behind and I managed to keep the 4th spot.”
Read more about Jennie’s race here.