Stellenbosch Cycle Tour
December 4, 2014
Die_Burger_pallen

Jennie Stenerhag raced her last race for 2014 this weekend. Almost time for 2015′s race program and prep!

“Now that 2014 racing year has come to an end, I look forward to 2015! Some changes are happening at the moment and I will get back with an update just before Christmas!” – Jennie Stenerhag

The past weekend was a real cycling weekend in Stellenbosch, Friday and Saturday was “Origin of Trails” MTB race and on Sunday it was “Stellenbosch Cycle Tour” (formerly known as “Die Burger”). Since I have won Die Burger 6 times before and it would be my 8th consecutive time doing it I wanted to save my legs until Sunday, at the same time as I really wanted to do Origin of Trails to see new single tracks around Stellenbosch which we normally do not have access to. The purpose of Origin of Trails is to raise funds to build even more trails in our beautiful area and is of course something I want to support!

So on Friday morning I rolled down to the start to the middle of central Stellenbosch, the atmosphere was at its peak and everybody was ready to have fun out on the bikes. Since it is in the end of the season and also no prize money all the pros had decided to take it easy, it suited me perfectly! We became a group of 6 elite girls who rode together and took it easy and stopped at all the water points, of course we chatted the whole time, amusing or anoying for the guys riding around us ;) Most of the route went on the trails we knew in Jonkershoek while we did some new that were totally amazing! Really fun!

As usual when it comes to road races in South Africa, it’s a super early start! The alarm was set for 4:20 and I was glad that the race was in Stellenbosch so that I could just ride to the start which was at 6:04! Anriette Schoeman was there and she would be my toughest competition on the day, we rode hard up the first climb to try and get rid of the other girls, especially Maroejska that has a good sprint. After about 300 meters we started climbing up Hellshoogte, a hill of 4km and quite steep! We went over the top in a small bunch with Anriette and I as the only girls but unfortunately the peloton caught up with us after about 14 km and we were a group of about 100 riders. I’m not a person who likes to “just sit” in the bunch, I am constantly trying to stay close to the front in case it would split or a crash, but in hindsight I probably wasted too much energy on it!

Once we had about 20 km to go, we had some short steep hills to do and on every hill Anriette and I went hard, got a gap with some guys, and then the rest caught up with us! It was really frustrating! With 1km left I sat perfectly positioned on Anriettes wheel and I kept that place and prepared myself for the sprint when suddenly the whole bunch came with speed from behind and it felt like they just swallowed us, suddenly I could hardly see Anriette and was just trying to get out of this mess. 2 guys drifted to the side with me on their outside and I almost crashed in to the fence, it was so close I think my heart stopped! While I was busy almost crashing Maroesjka rolled passed me and I was in 3rd… So once again when we race with the men it was a result that was more about luck than strength!

Read more here.

DC – new record | Cycling
November 24, 2014
DC14-prispall

“We won the race in a new record time for mixed teams of 5 hours 28 minutes, 5 minutes faster than the Complete Cyclist.” – Jennie Stenerhag

Double Century is a 202km team time trial where you start in a team of 12 and 6 must finish together. We competed in the mixed category where 3 girls and 3 guys have to finish together. It is always difficult to find strong girls and this year it was going to be my 3rd time racing for the Give Me A Chance foundation and I was responsible for finding strong girls. You have to make the decision whether to start with 3 or 4 girls, if you start with 3 there is room for one more guy who is stronger, but then nothing must happen to any of the girls. With four girls you can “afford” to loose one if something happens. When we put the team together we were 5 girls, 2 dropped out and we brought in a new and but with 5 days to go to the race another 2 dropped out. On Monday evening we were only 2 girls and not full team. It was once again time to call every possible girl who could ride a bike fast for 202km but not already in a team!! Not so many!

Finally we found Kathrin, a German triathlete who is in Stellenbosch often, only thing was that she had no road bike just a TT bike which is not allowed in this race. We rented a bike for her from iRide Africa and she got at least a few days to try it.

Since girls had pulled out we took a few new guys in to the team the last week, so with a handful of last-minute changes, we stood on the start line in a few different tops since the tops were ordered for the original team and the sizes were not right for this team….

The team who would be our toughest competition was The Complete Cyclist and they started 30 seconds behind us! They soon caught us but we stayed calm since we knew that this race is won in the last 50 kilometers. We had them at a distance so that we could always see them and we could see that they pushed hard up the first climb. We past them on the downhill and left them behind. But after a while they once again caught us and passed us and pushed really hard up the second climb, and we passed them on the downhill. At the first feedstation after 115km both teams were together.

New since last year was the compulsory stop where the time stops when we cross the matts to go in and starts again when we cross the matts on the other side to go out and we have 30 minutes to spare, if we would stay for longer the time starts after 30 minutes. Every team has an allocated spot where the team car can park with your food and drinks. Our spot was next to the Complete Cyclist team and when they decided to go again we waited a bit extra since we did not want to race so close to them but to do our own race. We raced hard and the guys in the team were super strong! There was another compolsury stop (new this year) and when we got there the Complete cyclist team was there, our backup team said we might have made some time up on them. We left before them and pushed hard so that they would not catch us. In the last 20 kilometers there are three steep hills and this is where one can make up a lot of time if one has some energy left. Konny was our strongest guy and he helped the girls incredibly well and made us maintain a high speed.

We won the race in a new record time for mixed teams of 5 hours 28 minutes, 5 minutes faster than the Complete Cyclist.

Everyone in the team did really well!!! Especially considering we hardly had a team a few days ago! Thanks to Sure Global Travel for sponsoring the team in support of the Give me a chance foundation. Thank you Delaray and Waylon for organising everything! And a huge thank you to the team: Kelly, Kathrin, Konny, Delarey, Hannes, Dylan, Waylon, Theo, Declan, Andreas and Timo, it was the strongest team I’ve ever ridden the DC with and if I am not misstaken it was my 9th DC!

For more, visit Jennie’s website.

 

Bestmed Paarl MTB Classic
November 19, 2014
PaarlMTB

“It was the first time they had this race in Paarl and a huge thank you and well done goes to the organizers for a really good event and a tough, hard and fun route!!” – Jennie Stenerhag

Cape Brewing Company was one of the sponsors of this race, and one of the water points were at the brewery, it really was a “home race” for CBC. I really wanted to do this race since part of the route includes the new trails of Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, this place has quickly become one of my favorite places to mountainbike, the single tracks are just awesome.

I had not prepared as I normally do for this race, I had visitors from Sweden here in Stellenbosch and it is the end of the season so I took a mental break from the serious training, sometimes the head also needs a break.

It was a tough start and Craig was the one that made it really hard at the front of the bunch when the climbing started, he looked in good form! The first 35 minutes were uphill and I could feel that my legs were not really in to this on the day. I was thinking of the fun riders who chose to do an easier route of 30km instead of the 60km, they also had to go up that first long climb! I was happy when I reached Rhebokskloof and could have some fun on the single tracks, it is always nice to race on trails one knows well! I had great support from Mercia and Scott at the waterpoint at the brewery, I did not have time for a stop, I guess the racing devil comes out no matter how small the race is…

I won the ladies category and Craig did well and finished 3rd on the mens.

It was the first time they had this race in Paarl and a huge thank you and well done goes to the organizers for a really good event and a tough, hard and fun route!!

Visit Jennie’s website here.

Wines 2 Whales 2014
November 11, 2014
W2W14-dag1start

“It was a very exciting race, thanks Robyn and Cath for the competition! I dont think that it has ever been so close in a ladies stage race in South Africa, it is very healthy for ladies cycling when our races are exciting and it makes people want to follow us!” – Jennie Stenerhag

Day 1: 73km 1450 meters climbing
We started at the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, and from the start we climbed up a 5km long hill! I felt good from the start and pushed as hard as I felt that Candice could hold on to and we got a gap to Robyn and Cathrine straight away. On the way down on the other side we went fast since we knew that was our chance to open the gap more. It was fun to ride behind Candice on the single tracks since she is so good on the technical stuff, it was really fast in places and I did what I could to keep up! The route takes us through a nature reserve where there is a compulsory portage for about 1km, Candice got blisters on her heels and we both got really tired legs after, I got cramps towards the end and I got a bit worried that the others were going to catch us! We were a bit different as cyclists, Candice was faster downhill and I was faster uphill, but we did the best of it and managed to keep Rob and Cath behind and won the stage!

Day 2: 67km 1300 meters climbing
Once again we started up a hill and we got away from the others, but then we could not hold on to a bunch and soon Robyn and Cathrine caught us with another bunch. Candice was tired today and we could not pass Robyn and Cath so when we got to the first technical stuff we were just behind them, we knew we had needed to be in front of them to be able to get away. We lost them on the next uphill and they just drifted away from us and it became a race against the clock for us. We had a frustrating day since we caught up with a group on the single tracks and had no where to pass but to sit behind them, but on the open roads they were stronger then us so we could never pass them. We could have caught up time if we had had a free run on the single tracks this day, and it was a lot of single tracks. The route on day 2 is amazing!! We came 2nd for the day and lost the overall lead and was now 48 seconds behind Robyn and Cathrine on GC.

It was a little confusing when we were divided into age groups, counted on the youngest person in the team, and each age group had a leader jersey. So we were in the purple jersey for “Open woman” since Candice is 23 years old and if you are under 30 you are considered open woman and Robyn and Cathrine were in the green jersey for Sub Vets. So even if we were 2nd overall we rode in a leaders jersey which made people think we were in the lead…

Day 3: 76km 1250 meters climbing
We had a bit of pressure on us this day, with only 48 seconds up to the win! It was hard from the start and Candice fell behind on the first uphill, we fought our way back to the bunch but we were hanging on at the back and eventually lost them. We caught up on the single tracks again and on the 8km long downhill gravel road, we caught up with them. When passing the first water point at Botrivier we were on their wheel and the 2 ladies teams were at the back of a big group of about 20 riders. Candice struggled to accelerate out of the many corners going through the township and we slowly lost the bunch, it was heart breaking to see the bunch with the other girls disappear, knowing that we had to do all the work ourselves. We were on our own for the rest of the race and every time we saw Robyn and Cath they were in a small bunch. It was mentally hard to see and we were trying hard, but when we had 20km to go and we got a time of 1.55 behind we gave up a bit cause did not think we could get any closer. When we came to the last water point I still saw them on the last long climb, and we got a bit of hope again. After the last long downhill we heard 55 seconds, so we had taken a minute on them. We pushed hard but when we only had a few kilometres left and we still could not see them it was all over.

Read more on Jennie’s website.

BridgeCPT: High mountains and deep valleys…
October 22, 2014
Jennie Race Report BCPT

“What a journey it has been the last 7 days at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, granted UCI status for the first time this year and attracted many top international riders!

I teamed up once again with Robyn De Groot, who I won Sani2C and PE2Plett with earlier this year, we ride very well together and without having to use many words we understand each other both on and off the bike! It is in difficult situations that you really see if you are a good team, we got tested a lot during this week, it started with great success and ended with some tough days. This is what happened…” – Jennie Stenerhag

Day 1: Prologue 15km at Buffelsdrift. #BuffelsBattle

“We started at 12 o’clock, when it was at its warmest! I do not know if I’ve ever been so nervous on a start line, my heart rate was already close to racing beats as they were counting down for us to start. My adrenaline went into my legs and I took off like a bullet, which I paid for closer to the end!  We started as the last women’s team and after a few kilometers we passed the team who started in front of us, and after about 6km we passed the team that would become our biggest competition during the week, Cathrine Williamsson from England and Alice Pirard from Belgium, team Asrin. We managed the technical bits nicely and with a few kilometers left, we passed the team which started three minutes before us, Yolandi Du Toit from South Africa and Aurelie HALBWACHS from Mauritius, team Garmin. We gave everything at the end and won the prologue by 19 seconds ahead of Cherise Stander and Candice Neethling, team iRideforBurry. We were happy to start the proper stages in the pink leaders jersey!”

Buffelsdrift

Day 2: Stage 1, Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp, 100km, 1600 meters climbing #RedstoneRumble

“We packed up all our stuff and moved in to our camper which would be our home for the next  5 nights and headed to the start in central Oudtshoorn, it was sunny and nice and would be a hot day, unlike this stage last year, which was the muddiest I have ever ridden in, so we were grateful for the heat! When the lead car let us go the race was in full swing and it was hard from the start. We got away as the first women’s team but did not find any good groups to sit in and were mostly on our own, I struggled to find my legs a bit. Soon Cathrine and Alice caught up with us together with a bunch, and a bit later when the track did a U turn and we saw other riders we could see Theresa Ralph (my Epic partner) and Esther Suss of team Meerendal, not far behind. We put the hammer down on the uphills and managed to get away from both teams. We saw Cathrine and Alice again during the course so we had to ride hard all the time because we did not know how far behind they were. Towards the end we had a really heavy uphill and I battled a bit but enjoyed the technical descent on the other side before the final 15 last kilometers on gravel road. It was difficult today to determine how much energy should be spent because tomorrow’s stage was the most important in the whole week! We won today’s stage with about 4.5 minutes over Cathrine and Alice.”

Jennie Race Report BCPT 2

Day 3: Stage 2, Calitzdorp to the top of the Swartberg Pass, 87km, 2700 meters climbing #SwartbergShowdown

“R125.000 (9000 euros) for first place on today’s stage !! Nothing for second place! It is said that it is the MTB stage (or one-day race) with the largest prize money in the world. obviously we were a little extra nervous because we would love to win this stage! To win, we had to be first up the last hill, a climb of 10km with 1200 meters of ascent that finishes with an average gradient of about 12-15% over the last 3 kilometers!”

Jennie Race Report BCPT 3 Jennie Race Report BCPT 4

Read Stage 4 to 6 Race Reports on Jennie’s website > click here.
Follow Jennie on Twitter @JennieStenerhag

Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek
October 14, 2014
Finale 2

Very proud of these ladies! Jennie Stenerhag & Robyn de Groot winning the first four stages and an overall 2nd place at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek this year! And walking away with R125 000 as the #SwartbergShowdown queens of 2014!

Race report by Jennie Stenerhag coming soon!

Finale 1 Finale 3 Finale 4 Finale 5 Finale 6

Karoo2Coast 2014
September 25, 2014
K2C-14-prispall

Congratulations Jennie on your podium finish at the Karoo2Coast!

“Now it will be a few weeks of training before the Pioneer!” – Jennie Stenerhag

“On Sunday morning we packed up and drove to Uniondale and the start of Karoo2Coast, the temperature rose from 0 in Herold to 5 in Uniondale but at 8.00 when we started it felt warmer and we could leave the arm warmers in the car. The race begins with a rocky uphill for a few kilometres, I stayed with Robyn but lost her close to the top. I put the hammer down on the downhill and managed to catch her ​after a while. We were sitting in a good bunch of guys and since this is a bit of a road race it was difficult for anyone to get away. It goes up or down the whole time so my only chance to get away would be on the long 10km downhill after about 25km. I pushed hard down and got a gap of maybe a minute, but Robyn caught me again on the next long climb up to the Queen of the Mountain, which I managed to take! We were together until the last climb where she put in a real roadie attack, I was not prepared for it and my legs could not respond, I did not give up and tried my best but I could no catch her. I was still happy with my second place about a minute behind Robyn.

Robyn is very strong at the moment, and I felt stronger then at PE to Plett so I hope my form is on its way. We look forward to racing together again in Pioneer in about 3 weeks time, we will have some stiff competition from international teams there.

Craig also did very well at the race and finished 13th overall and first Vet! Well done honey!

Craig and I drove home on Sunday night and it was nice to sleep in our own bed after a 10-day trip where we moved around and slept in 6 different places!”

View more pictures of Jennie’s race at Karoo2Coast on her website.

PE to Plett WIN
September 17, 2014
10398034_10152771158714665_8628264535045907228_n

CONGRATULATIONS to Jennie Stenerhag & Robyn de Groot! First Ladies an 5th overall at the PE to Plett stage race!

“PE to Plett was harder than we expected, it was 4 very good training days for us as a team, since distances and the terrain is very similar to the Cape Pioneer! We look forward to that race! Now it will be four days of rest before it is time for one of the classic MTB one-day races, Karoo2Coast, hope the legs will have enough time to recover!”

“It was a long trip I did from the Northenmost point in Norway to the Southern part of Africa last week Sunday/Monday, the trip went well and took just over 30 hours. I had 3 days in Stellenbosch to catch up with things before it was time to pack the bags (and car) and drive the 6 hours to Plettenberg Bay where the 4 days PE to Plett stage race started on Saturday. It was the second year for this race and last year it started in PE and finished in Plett, this year they turned the route around but kept the name. I was teaming up with Robyn De Groot again, we won Sani2C together in May and we will also do the Cape Pioneer together in October and we had decided to do the PE toPlett as a good trainingcamp together in preparation for the Pioneer.

The PetoPlett’s pay-off line is ”The Tough One” and it certainly lived up to that!!”
- Jennie Stenerhag

Read more about Day 1 to 4 here.

Transformed into the ultimate mountain bikers!
August 18, 2014
Trans baviaans 3

“So you think you have what it takes to conquer the Trans Baviaans?” Jacques du Plessis and his brother (kitted out in CBC Cycling gear) sure did! They took on the extremely challenging Trans Baviaans MTB Marathon this weekend! 230 kilometres, 16 hours and 30 minutes later at 3am on Sunday morning, 17 August, they finished this unique challenge. (Bodies & bikes in one piece) Have a look at a few photos from their race experience.

For more info on the race, click here.

Trans Baviaans 2

Trans baviaans 3Trans baviaans 4

Trans Baviaans 5

Trans baviaans 6

trans baviaans 7

Great Weekend at Storms River Traverse!
August 11, 2014
2

A GREAT weekend at Storms River Traverse!

This weekend (8-10 August) the beautiful Storms River Village hosted riders from all over who took on the 3-day mountain bike stage race! We are very proud of Team CBC, Anja Van Zyl & Karla Groenewald, who came FIRST in the All Woman Teams Category!

We are already looking forward to next year, what an adventurous and fun filled weekend it was! Visit the Oakpics Facebook Page for more photos from Day 1 & 2 of the race!

Day 1: StartAnja Karla

Day 2: First over the finish line (Day 1 & 2)Anja

Day 2: Relaxing with a well deserved CBC Lager!3

Day 2: Happy Women’s Day4

happy days

Day 3: Overall Winners in the All Woman Teams Categoryphoto

2

Marathon World Champs in Pietermaritzburg!
June 30, 2014
VM14_efter_mlgng

“I got a 7th place at my second World Champs, a few steps up from my 28th place last year. The course was awesome and really tough as a World Champ course should be! We rode through some amazing places and I think all the foreign cyclists really got an African experience out there, if they had time to look around. Tomorrow I will leave my one home to go to the other one!” – Jennie Stenerhag

 

“I was a bit nervous before the start, but just enough to feel ready to race. I got a good start after a bit of elbowing with the other girls for position. We became a group of 7 very early on and it spread out on the single track but came back together on the gravel roads. After about 5km 3 girls got away and it was the 3 of them that would take the podium positions in the end.

We went down a muddy downhill single track just after the first water point, I was on Arianes wheel and then as I crossed a bridge my wheels just disappeared under me… and I found myself on the ground with the bike on top, I lost some time since I struggled to get the chain back on. I soon saw Robyn again, she had passed me when I fell, then I fell again. My wheels gave way in some mud and there I was laying once more. I worked hard to catch Robyn on the first long uphill to water point 2 which was after 14km. We were together there in 6th and 7th position. We rode nicely together and we chatted a bit and decided to work together to try and catch the 2 Swiss riders, Esther and Ariane, who we could see now and then (but we never managed to do so).

After 28km we got to the portage section, it was a 2km stretch with 5 sections of tricky steep descending where we had to walk, I think we lost some time there but rather safe then sorry! The second long climb went well and also the technical descend that took us to the start of the last long climb of the day. Around half way up I lost Robyn, I just could not hold on, I could see her about 100-300 meters ahead up until water point 6 which was after 61km but without getting closer. The last 13km were the most technical and most fun part of the course, I had lots of fun and it was a great feeling to finish off the World Champs on the hand built single tracks that were also used in the XC world cup a few months ago.”

Read more about Jennie’s stay with Topeak and her experience at the World Champs here.

Why not do a race?
June 23, 2014
MTBHilton

There’s no doubt about it! Jennie Stenerhag is a true Champion. On her way to the World Championship in Pietermaritzburg she decided to do the #MTBHilton MTN National MTB Series race as a late entry on Sunday June 22nd. The early #MTB bird @jenniestenerhag sent out a tweet at 06:58: “Such a nice day here in Hilton, why not do a race? #lateentry @CapeBrewingCo” Read more about Jennie’s unplanned race here.

We are very proud of your podium finish Jennie!
 

Stenerhag takes 1st at Sani2C
May 19, 2014
Podium_Sani

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.

sani_stage_3

 

Training in the mud – Gravel Travel MTB
May 13, 2014
GravelTravel2014-2

 

 

“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.

Clarens MTN Marathon Determination
May 6, 2014
Clarens_14_-_start

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.

Clarens_14_start2

Clarens_14_podium

From Ceres to Sutherland
April 30, 2014
10303782_10152375963162863_704910673240165014_n

We chatted to MTB cyclists Jacques du Plessis and Riaan Erasmus who took on the Trans Karoo 240km endurance MTB race from Ceres to Sutherland in their CBC sponsored kit.

“…you are actually just competing with yourself and your own capabilities – to dig deep to carry on and not give up!”

  • What made you decide to do the Trans Karoo?
I’ve done a few MTB races before as well as the Argus Cycle Tour a few times but none of these were really extreme. I wanted to test and push myself to the limits for a change and decided that this year I want to do a few endurance events and see what my body and mind is capable of. The first one for the year was the Trans Karoo 240km endurance MTB race from Ceres to Sutherland in which one have to finish within 17 hours, I’ve always wanted to go to Sutherland so I thought why not go there by cycling through the beautiful Tankwa Karoo…and that’s when I entered in December 2013! I looked for a partner to help me through this thing and managed to convince my long life friend Riaan to do it with me, very happy and thankful that he did because without him I probably would not have made it!
  • Tell us a little more about the race…
The race itself is a gruelling 240km long that starts in Ceres and ends in Sutherland. The route goes through the Tankwa Karoo and in total one does about 3300m of vertical climbing. There is a cut off time of 17 hours in which you have to complete so you have to average above 15km/h to make it. The race started in cold conditions at 7am in Ceres and the cut off was at 12pm in Sutherland in very cold conditions! The night before we stayed in Paarl so we got up at 4am to make our way to Ceres.
  • How did the race go?
This was the first real endurance race for both of us and I think it went really well. We managed to finish in just under 16 hours with cold, battered and tired bodies. We didn’t have any major injuries or mechanical problems apart from my saddle unnoticeably getting lower during the race which caused some back of the knee pain for me. The real tough part of the race started around the 180km mark where we came to the foot of the mammoth Ouberg Pass, which is 8km long and took us just under 2 hours to get to the top. The elevation difference is around 800m which is just a bit lower than Table Mountain. It is very steep and after 180km in the legs this is about pushing your bike to the top! Once at the top we were greeted at the local check point with some hot coffee, warm potatoes, braai chops and a big fire to warm us up. The last 50km to Sutherland was all in the dark, the kilometers seemed to tick by very slowly in the dark and mentally it got really tough but after about 2.5 hours we saw Sutherland’s lights in the distance and it felt like Christmas in April! Overall there were 220 entries, 180 started the race and 127 entries managed to finish within the allowed 17 hours.
  • What was the highlight of the race for you and Riaan?
The quiet beauty of the Tankwa Karoo, the braai chops at the top of Ouberg Pass, the sight of the Sutherland lights after 235km, a well deserved CBC beer at the end and receiving our medals which meant that we ‘tamed the Karoo’!
  • Where off to next?
The next big race is the Trans Baviaans which is a 24h 230km MTB race from Willowmore to Jeffreys Bay through the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve. Apart from that we are also looking to start doing a few stage races.
  • Anything else that you want to share about the race?
It’s tough, it’s long, it’s cold, but so worth it once you have finished it. It will test you mentally & physically! We’ve seen Sutherland at night now but not in day time, so I guess we will have to go back next year to do the ‘down ride’ which starts in Sutherland and ends in Ceres!
” I want to thank CBC for our awesome kit & the cold beers. Thanks again to my partner Riaan and our support crew Wanro, Dirk & Francois. Also to my wife, thanks for granting me all that hours of practice out on the saddle!” – Jacques du Plessis
10303782_10152375963162863_704910673240165014_n
10310580_10152375965992863_3409640199557344432_n IMG_1437 IMG_1439 1613904_10152006688117343_6996945896401802694_n
3rd place in the ABSA Cape Epic
April 4, 2014
Jennie

We are super proud of the CBC team Jennie Stenerhag and Theresa Ralph! Firstly, just completing the Absa Cape Epic and secondly, doing so and finishing with an overall 3rd place!

In Jennie’s words: “What a week we had! Theresa and I are really happy with our result and how everything unfolded!”

Jennie takes us through their race from the Meerendal prologue to the finish at Lourensford! Read more

Follow Jennie & Theresa on Twitter: @JennieStenerhag @TheresaRalph

CBC MTB team takes podium at Absa Cape Epic
March 31, 2014
epic-winners

Jennie Stenerhag and Theresa Ralph presented Cape Brewing Company at the 11th edition of the Absa Cape Epic the past week. Not only did they finish the race, but they excelled and delivered a 3rd place overall in the Women’s Team Category.

The route is 718km and includes 14 850m of climbing. Both local and international mountain bikers took part in this extremely demanding 8-day adventure. The race started in Durbanville and finished at Lourensford Estate in Somerset West.

Congratulations to Jennie and Theresa, you did us proud and well done on a magnificent race!

epicpics

It’s Epic!
March 23, 2014
photo 1

Congratulations to Jennie Stenerhag and Theresa Ralph on a very promising start to the Absa Cape Epic today, 3rd place in the prologue today! You go girls!

- Go Team CBC!

 

You can also follow the Absa Cape Epic Race with the Live Rider Tracker!

Here are a few pictures of today’s race!

epic2

MTN Tulbagh MTB
March 14, 2014
epic

CBC is now a proud sponsor of International Cycling Champion Jennie Stenerhag!
Conquering the strong winds and the Combination Prize for the MTB and Road Argus.

 

Update! Congratulations to Jennie on her podium finish at the MTN Tulbagh MTB Marathon on Saturday 15 March!
Read more about her race here!

“This week has been great! After a few weeks of being sick I felt healthy and strong again and training went well.”
- Jennie Stenerhag

TulbaghMTB2

We want to Congratulate her on coming in 4th at the Cape Argus Cycle Tour
on Sunday 9 March!

Jennie Stenerhag - Winner of the Combination Prize for the MTB and Road Argus

Jennie Stenerhag – Winner of the Combination Prize for the MTB and Road Argus

Read more about her Cape Argus race here!