Candice Lill and Andri Frischknecht win SA’s toughest one-day marathon 

The 2023 Imbuko Big Five Mountain Bike Challenge – South Africa’s most gruelling one-day mountain bike race – was one for the books.

The men’s race was won by Andri Frischknecht of SCOTT-SRAM, who completed the course in a time of 3:54:22, beating out a strong field of local and international racers. In the women’s category, Candice Lill took home the top prize with a time of 4:46:07, finishing ahead of a talented group of riders, led by Amy Wakefield and Vera Looser.

“The top international riders definitely had something to prove against the local guys,” commented South African Macro Joubert (Imbuko {Type} DEV) after the event. Joubert finished third behind Frischknecht and Filippo Colombo (SCOTT-SRAM). According to Joubert – who was very happy with his podium finish – the racing was fast and furious from early on with the internationals pushing the pace. “There was a bit of a headwind up the first climb but even there they were pushing so hard that I thought they were either going to break records or blow up, so I just stuck to my own pace,” he said.

Joubert was in the mix all day, despite having to chase hard after the second climb, following a mechanical. Frischknecht made his break on climb three and showed his World Cup class to stay away until the finish. The young gun will race the Absa Cape Epic with the legendary Nino Schurter. Judging by the Swiss racer’s form on Saturday, the SCOTT-SRAM pairing is going to be tough to beat come March.

The Imbuko Big Five Mountain Bike Event is a one-day mountain bike race over 77km, featuring some 3000 metres of vertical gain over five major climbs. The race takes its name from the ‘Big Five’ climbs in the Hawequa mountains surrounding Wellington. This year the event attracted a host of top international riders who are in the country to train.

South African Candice Lill dominated the women’s race, leading from start to finish. She was particularly happy with how her fuelling and hydration strategy worked out over the course of the tough event. “I kept telling myself, ‘you’re feeling good now, but you have to keep eating and fuelling so that you can feel good all the way to the end’,” she said.

Elite Women Results

1st | Candice Lill | 4:46:07

2nd | Amy Wakefield | 4:55:28

3rd | Vera Looser | 4:56.42

Elite Men Results

1st | Andri Frischknecht | 3:54:22

2nd | Filippo Colombo | 3:59:37

3rd | Marco Joubert | 3:59:42

A2023/2024 PPA MEMBERSHIP  – Some great deals when you renew

PPA Memberships have now been formally opened for the 2023 / 2024 financial year. There are some great deals available when you renew your membership or join up (see below). We have kept the fees as low as possible as we understand the economic pressures that many of us face (the fees are still at around 50% of what they would have been in 2023/2024 had the world not stopped for close to three years).

The PPA is also working very hard to bring about the changes our members want to see and to remain relevant in an ever-shifting world. To this end, we have some exciting new events on the cards for members as well as focussing on the youth through our school programs, all with the aim of growing cycling in South Africa.

We really do value our member's (existing and new) annual membership contribution.
It allows us to keep doing the ‘’unseen and sometimes complex’’ advocacy work to help bring about safer roads and more opportunities to hold fun and safe events that are more convenient to many of our members. Some of this does take time, but we remain committed to promoting cycling and the interests of all cyclists Nationally.

You also have the opportunity again to make a voluntary contribution towards supporting our Bike4All and Safe Cycling initiatives. We have dropped the voluntary contributions to R50 for each of these worthy campaigns (so if you’re making any voluntary contribution(s) to our initiatives, over and above our base membership fee, it will work out even cheaper than last year).

When you renew or join the PPA you automatically qualify to stand a chance of winning one of our lucky draws which will take place at our 2023 AGM later in the year. The prizes will include :

Merchandise from Krank'd
A hamper voucher from Cycle Lab Megastores
A hamper voucher from Enjoy
Hampers from Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages

cSixx // Cerakote Coming Soon

What is Cerakote?

"Cerakote is a ceramic coating for a number of surfaces, providing durable protection against abrasion, corrosion, and chemicals, while also improving the hardness and impact strength. We look forward to bringing this to our range in various colours and finishes. It's most commonly used for automotive parts, firearms and other products that require a robust and attractive finish." - Mark Hopkins

Benefits of cerakote you might ask?

  1. Corrosion Resistance: Cerakote provides a durable barrier against moisture and corrosive elements out on the bike and in the elements. Protecting the underlying metal from rust and other types of corrosion.
  2. Wear Resistance: Cerakote is highly resistant to wear and abrasion, making it ideal for applications where the coated surface will be subjected to frequent use and abuse, like your chainring.
  3. Chemical Resistance: Cerakote is also resistant to many chemicals and solvents, providing additional protection against damage from harsh environments.

Aesthetics: Cerakote products will come in a wide range of colours and finishes, allowing for customization and personalization of the coated surface. It also provides a smooth, even finish that enhances the overall appearance of the metal surface.

Overall, the benefits of Cerakote make it an excellent choice for a wide range of applications on some of our already durable products, protective coating is needed to extend the life of metal components whilst enhancing their performance and aesthetics.

For more information visit:



Matt Beers and Candice Lill win 2023 SA XCM Titles at Bike Fest Paarl

Matt Beers and Candice Lill proved themselves to be a class apart at the Bike Fest Paarl on Saturday, 4 March. The Toyota Specialized man won his second South African Marathon title, on the 75 kilometre long course; which started and finished at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate outside Paarl. While Lill, of Seattle Coffee Co King Price Rola, dominated the women’s race on her way to a maiden marathon distance national crown.

The event was held on a humid day, which started bright before rain set in around 11:00. The racing was hot throughout however. With Philip Buys, Marco Joubert and Beers driving the pace in the early phases of the men’s race. In the women’s, Lill was the tempo setter initially before she escaped off the front on her own.

A group of twelve favourites had established itself in the opening 25 kilometres. This elite selection contained Beers, Buys, Joubert, Wessel Botha, Tristan Nortje, Arno du Toit, Keagan Bontekoning, Gert Heyns, Michael Forster, Pieter du Toit and Jan Withaar. Imbuko {type}DEV’s Joubert then started the attacking. “Marco [Joubert] sent it down the descent to the Spice Route and I followed him, this attack caused a little gap and once it was established, I kept driving,” Beers related. “Wessel [Botha] initially bridged across and then came with me when I dropped Marco. About half way through the route I put in a dig, after a few attempts to shake him, and I got away. From there it was head down to the finish.”

“It was a fantastic race,” Beers added. “And it’s great to win the title again!”

Behind Beers, Botha faded through the second half of the course. This allowed Buys to fight his way into second. “I’m happy with what the power looked like and what I felt like,” the PYGA Euro Steel man noted. “But Matt [Beers] was just one up today. It was a well-deserved victory. I’m happy with my ride and the indications are good two-weeks out from the Absa Cape Epic.”

Tristan Nortje completed the podium places, ahead of Botha who finished fourth and the young PYGA Euro Steel rider, Michael Forster. Beers’ wining time was 3 hours, 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Buys finished 2 minutes and 43 seconds back, with Nortje a further 29 seconds in arrears.

In the women’s race Lill led from the gun. Initially Amy Wakefield and Tiffany Keep stuck with the eventual champion, while Hayley Preen was just off the back of the group after 10 kilometres of racing. The South African cross-country champion then increased the pace. The tempo she set was too fierce for the rest to follow and once Lill was on her own there was no catching her.

“I just wanted to show what I was capable of today,” Lill said. “My focus was to just ride like I know I can and then, whatever would happen would happen…” That approach paid off superbly well as she extended her lead throughout the course, once Wakefield and Co. had been distanced.

“It was such a good route!” Lill laughed. “It started raining here towards the end but luckily it was all downhill from there for me already. The rain actually made the trails nice and smooth.”

There was drama behind Lill as Wakefield struggled in the later stages. “I was told Amy [Wakefield] was 90 seconds ahead of me at the tech zone,” Hayley Preen explained. “But I caught her almost immediately and she didn’t look good.”

Preen surged through the final kilometres to finish strong, as Lill’s nearest rival. Wakefield made it back to Rhebokskloof in third, sighting illness as the reason for her travails. Lill’s winning time was 3 hours, 53 minutes and 18 seconds. Preen was 8 minutes and 10 seconds off the victor, with Wakefield at 13 minutes and 3 seconds back. Sarah Hill and Katie Lennard completed the top five standings.

Along with the elite men’s and women’s titles the sub-veteran and veteran men also raced the 75 kilometre course. Tyronne White and Craig Uria were the category victors, with the elder, Uria, actually finishing before the winning sub-veteran man. The women’s age categories, as well as the junior and masters’ men raced the 60 kilometre distance. Illiska Verwey was the only finisher in the sub-veterans women’s category, meaning she misses out on a national champions jersey. Genevieve Weber took the veteran women’s division, Cronje Beukes won the junior men’s, Angeliq Coetzer the junior women’s and Pieter Matthysen was the first of the masters’ men across the line.

The Half- and Quarter Marathon events in the 2023 South African Marathon Championships were cancelled on Sunday morning in the interests of rider safety. Heavy rainfall overnight with more rain predicted to fall during the day on Sunday, along with dense fog led the medical team to determine that it was unsafe to continue.

Get out there on the Gravel!

With 12 years of experience in carbon wheels, we’ve poured our knowledge and technology into our new gravel series wheelsets. Crafted from the finest carbon materials available and featuring a 45mm depth that offers optimal speed, compliance and stability on the dirt. 

The Gravel Series rims are designed for 28 spokes, providing a balanced distribution of tension for increased strength and stability. The rim is also optimized for tubeless compatibility, so you can enjoy a smoother ride and reduced risk of flats whilst achieving optimal performance and comfort. 

The Gravel Series has been tested in events such as the Swartberg100, Tanqua Kuru Gravel Stage race, Race 2 the Sun, Dirty South and bike packing excursions in the Netherlands with Killat Collective to name a few.

The 4km route with 185m of elevation gain will feature 50 (very rideable, we promise) switchback turns and replaces the paved path you’ve come to know and love (loathe?) over the past 15 years.

New e-bike world record in Davos Klosters

Ralph van den Berg and Max Chapuis have set a new world record for ascent in Davos Klosters. Inspired by the ‘Keneveresting Challenge’, the pair covered a total of 14,623 metres of altitude, travelling uphill on forest roads and downhill on biking trails in a 16-hour feat of strength.

Ralph van den Berg and Max Chapuis set out to claim their world record at four o’clock in the morning. To ensure they had the maximum amount of daylight, they chose 21 June – the longest day of the year. Everything went to plan, with no breakdowns along the way. Chapuis and van den Berg managed a total of 14,623 metres of vertical ascent within the allotted period of 16 hours. A new world record. And biking destination Davos Klosters was the ideal place to do it. ‘We wanted to cover as much altitude in as short a distance as possible, so we didn’t waste too much time,’ explains van den Berg. Claudio Caluori's ‘Keneveresting Challenge’ was the inspiration behind this world record attempt. Back in 2020, the former downhill professional covered 13,500 metres of altitude on the ‘Specialized Kenevo’ e-bike – which helped inspire the challenge’s name. ‘Everesting’ is a trend where bikers tackle 8,848 metres of altitude – the height of Mount Everest.

Pit stops at the Gotschnabahn in Klosters
Returning to the world record: ‘We cycled the whole day on the same “Specialized Turbo Levo”. We were able to climb over 1,500 metres of altitude with a 700 Wh battery in power mode,’ says van den Berg. But they still needed proper battery planning. According to the rules, the service team was not permitted to accompany the cyclists as they went in pursuit of their world record. Instead, the team had to wait at a fixed location: down in Klosters at the Gotschnabahn. This was the only place where batteries could be replaced or repairs could be made. In addition, only commercially available electric mountain bikes using normal batteries and capped at 25 km/h were permitted for use in the world record attempt.

Second consecutive world record in mountain biking
Ralph van den Berg was already no stranger to world records in mountain biking. He broke the singletrack world record in Davos Klosters with Christoph Fässler back in summer 2021. Together, the pair covered 20,100 metres of altitude downhill in 16 hours, beating the previous singletrack world record by 516 metres. And best of all: they never covered the same trail twice. ‘I wanted to show that a father with a demanding job can still enjoy a quick adventure now and again,’ explained the 38-year-old. With its 700-kilometre singletrack network, biking destination Davis Klosters was the perfect stage for this feat – living up to its slogan ‘Sports Unlimited’.

Images by: Martin Bissig

Dr. Evil Classic three-day stage race welcomes Food Lover’s Market renewal of their official Food and Drinks Partnership in 2023

This announcement has been welcomed by the Garden Route cycling community as the Dr. Evil Classic celebrates eleven years of riding on the spectacular trails that Plettenberg Bay has to offer.

Food Lover’s Market is a perfect match for the health-conscious person who typically participates in this three-day stage race held over the Heritage long weekend each year. “This partnership will allow the race village experience to be elevated to new heights in 2023. We want people to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal together and relax after a morning of experiencing the beauty of the Plett mountain bike trails” said event co-owner Evans.

Food Lover’s Market will provide participants with delicious and nutritious meals after every stage. The event team is also working on some surprise activations on the route in partnership with Food Lover’s to spoil the riders to the maximum this year. Food Lover’s Market will also partner on the events’ eight water points – providing all snacks and drinks for the points that are traditionally managed by charities from the area.

Expect breathtaking sea views and world class single track in 2023.

More Reasons to be Cheerful

  • Beautiful and VARIED trails showcasing the best Plettenberg Bay has to offer.
  • NEW Stage One Point to Point Route adding some spice and adventure.
  • Stunning Stage Two and Three start and finish and breathtaking routes at Cairnbrogie.
  • Limited Entries Available – we sold out in 2022 – so enter early to avoid disappointment and enjoy this boutique event.
  • NEW Separate Start for E Bike Category with Prizes.
  • Great Goody Bags and Gourmet Meals.
  • Live Entertainment and Free Jakkalsvlei Wine Tasting.
  • Access to Private land only open to riders over the event.
  • Full Medical and Comms Support.
  • Both Entry level and Experienced Riders Loved the 2022 edition.

The event is in its eleventh year and the feedback and return rate of riders indicates that there is something extremely unique that this stage race has to offer. There are beautiful race villages carefully selected and based on an out and back format. This eases the logistics for riders but also allows them to see vastly different routes daily.

Riders find their own accommodation and as the event takes place at the tail end of Winter, there are many great deals for rider accommodation. Please see for the suggested accommodation partners.

The Dr Evil Classic is a boutique event that only takes 350 riders. The entry fee is extremely competitive and for more info on group bookings and other discounted entries, please go to or contact directly.

More info about Food Lover’s Market: