Mixing it up at joberg2c

Barring an unlikely catastrophe on the ninth and final day of joberg2c, Mike Posthumus and Amy McDougall should ride away winners in the main racing category, the Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed. The pair have been unstoppable all week, and now just need to complete the neutral 84km stage from Jolivet Farm in Highflats to Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast to claim their prize.

Mike Posthumus and Amy McDougall

For their efforts, they’ll take home R100 000 in prize money (and a few extra kilogrammes from the large amounts of delicious homemade confectionaries joberg2c is famous for).

In the remaining categories, for which there is no prize money, just the honour of reaching the mieliebrood first, Matthys Beukes is the men’s solo leader, Sandra ‘t Hart the women’s solo leader, with Andrew Hill and Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) and Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) leading the respective team categories. All should win their categories, provided they complete the day nine neutral ride to Scottburgh.

Day eight of joberg2c is the ultimate stage of mountain biking. Riders dropped down a singletrack trail into the Umkomaas Valley, keeping one eye on the trails and another on the view.

The Umko Drop

Once in the valley, riders crossed rivers, battled short, sharp climbs and then tackled the ultimate climb of the event – Iconic. It’s a loose, heartbreaking three kilometre climb out of the bushveld and into the middle of nowhere.

From the top, a combination of district roads, forest trails and forestry roads took riders to the finish, the final day of racing at joberg2c with just the neutral day nine to Scottburgh to come.

For the field, the eight-day ride has been a remarkable journey, starting in Gauteng, passing through the Free State (and at one point, briefly dipping a pedal into Mpumalanga) and ending in KwaZulu-Natal.

It’s safe to say everyone has enjoyed the ride, except perhaps one gentleman on the morning of day eight who roared out in dismay when missing a turn into the singletrack. “It’s all pointless! Pointless!” he cried after failing to follow the instructions of his GPS unit. “What’s the point!” he wailed in anguish.

Hopefully his frustrations are washed away by the time he has to vote next Wednesday, otherwise he’ll be posing the same rhetorical questions to bemused fellow voters.

Also posing questions of the field, on their way to a commanding 239th place overall, were Brenda and Erika, two formidable female cyclists having the time of their lives – especially when two nitwits in the men’s field attempted to race them home from the final water point to the finish.

Brenda and Erika, water point pros who dismount and refuel in record time, were having none of it, and powered through the final 10km to leave Brett and yours truly wondering how they would ever be able to show their faces in the race village again.

That’s the beauty of joberg2c; it’s a mixed bag of riders all looking to achieve something personal, like the father riding with his son, like the couple riding on a tandem, like the pained man learning how to use a GPS, like Brett learning that you can’t chase down Erika and Brenda when your only training ride was a commute to the disco in Winterton.

Every day is a mixed bag of riding, with a mixed bag of riders enjoying days of mixed emotions on the bike. Ultimately, though, it all ends in smiles.

Results day eight

Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category

1. Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 04:01:31

2. Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 04:26:08

3. Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 04:54:01

Mens Solo

1. Matthys Beukes 03:35:13

2. HB Kruger 03:41:30

3. Kristof Sterckx 04:10:47

Ladies Solo

1. Sandra ‘t Hart 04:37:04

2. Monica Glover 04:42:23

3. Yvette Roberts 05:09:03

Mens Teams

1. Andrew Hill and  Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 03:54:43

2. Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 04:04:37

3. Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 04:11:27

Ladies Teams

1. Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 04:18:17

2. Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 05:38:02

3. Sandra Lippert and Heather Craemer (Crazy Nam Girls) 06:07:36

General Classification after day eight

Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category

1. Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 32:42:25

2. Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 36:01:13

3. Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 37:52:19

Mens Solo

1. Matthys Beukes 30:33:14

2. Hendrik Kruger 32:03:03

3. Kristof Sterckx 34:21:48

Ladies Solo

1. Sandra ‘t Hart 36:21:46

2. Monica Glover 38:06:47

3. Yvette Roberts 40:13:01

Male Teams

1. Andrew Hill and  Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 31:09:32

2. Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 32:34:56

3. Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 32:51:10

Ladies Teams

1. Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 34:41:26

2. Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 41:33:36

3. Sandra Lippert and Heather Craemer (Crazy Nam Girls) 47:02:25