Race Report 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen.
Race Report 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen
PYGA Euro Steel’s Matthys Beukes broke the South African drought while Ariane Lüthi added a historic sixth Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen, to her palmarès on a wet Saturday, the 20th of January 2018. The elite men’s podium was filled by Tim Bohme and Philip Buys, and Lüthi was joined on the women’s podium by Jennie Stenerhag and Sabine Spitz.
The twelfth edition of the race, best known for producing extreme heat and challenging riding conditions, was by no means an easy one – though many of the riders would have welcomed the cooler than usual conditions. The race started under clear skies at Chandelier Game Farm, outside Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo, but finished in unseasonal summer rains at Pine Creek Resort, in Groot Brak River.
The women’s race started with a tactical battle of cat and mouse between the leading contenders. A mechanical forced Carmen Buchacher out of the lead group. Reaching the first feed zone at the forty-six-kilometre mark Ariane Lüthi lead a group which included Robyn de Groot, Sabine Spitz, Jennie Stenerhag, Candice Lill and Yolande de Villiers. Spitz then drove the pace on the Queen of the Mountain climb and one-by-one the bunch was whittled down until only Lüthi followed Spitz’s wheel and Stenerhag, though not able to stay in touching distance kept the leaders in sight.
Stenerhag gained a confidence boost too with this Attakwas Extreme experience. “I had a silly crash just rolling home after finishing my intervals last week. I hurt my arm and it bothered me all week, so I only decided to ride yesterday (Friday, 19 January 2018) morning” Stenerhag said post-race. “I did not feel that good and I struggled a bit for focus between water points three and four,” she said. All things considered, then Stenerhag displayed the signs of repeating her dominant form from 2017, especially when she teams up again with Esther Süss for the Momentum Health Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, in February.
The PYGA Euro Steel duo were the main protagonists leading up to the King of the Mountain climb in the men’s race. “Matthys (Beukes) and I really pushed the pace, aiming for the course record” Philip Buys explained. “We knew if we made it hard, and increased the pace on every climb we would cause the lactic acid to build up in the other rider’s legs” Beukes elaborated.
The 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen, was certainly one for the record books. Not only was this the largest ever field of starters, but the rain which soaked the course made it the wettest Attakwas in the event’s twelve-year history; and with Lüthi winning her sixth race and Beukes becoming the first South African winner since he last won the race in 2012 it lives fondly in the memories of the victors for many years to come.
Results | 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen
- Matthys Beukes (4:56:56
- Tim Bohme (5:06:02 | +09:06)
- Philip Buys (5:12:13 | +15:17)
- Frans Claes (5:18:38 | +21:41)
- Dylan Rebello (5:20:23 | +23:27)
- Ariane Lüthi (5:45:11)
- Jennie Stenerhag (5:57:11 | +12:00)
- Sabine Spitz (6:01:31 | +16:20)
- Yolande de Villiers (6:01:32 | +16:20)
- Candice Lill (6:06:05 | 21:51)
For the full results from the 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen, please click here.
Photo Captions & Credits:
- The 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen, women’s podium. From left to right: Yolande de Villiers (4th), Jennie Stenerhag (2nd), Ariane Lüthi (1st), Sabine Spitz (3rd) and Candice Lill (5th). Photo by Marike Cronje.
- The 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen, men’s podium. From left to right: Frans Claes (4th), Philip Buys (3rd), Matthys Beukes (1st), Tim Bohme (2nd) and Dylan Rebello (5th). Photo by Marike Cronje.
- The PYGA Euro Steel riders, and Matthys Beukes in particular set the pace from the off during the 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen. Photo by Zoon Cronje.
- 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen, race winner Matthys Beukes in action. Photo by Zoon Cronje.
- Gert Heyns, of DSV, raced to the King of the Mountain title at the summit of the Attakwas Pass. Photo by Zoon Cronje.
- Ariane Lüthi looks over her shoulder as she wonders when the assault on her lead, which never transpired, would come. Photo by Zoon Cronje.
- Cape Brewing Co’s Jennie Stenerhag crosses the finish line of the 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen, in the second position. Photo by Zoon Cronje.