Out with the old, in with the new!
We find ourselves at the end of 2023 and all around me I hear people saying how fast the year has sped by. Almost as fast as Johann “Pottie” Potgieter doing his race run at SA Champs – almost; I mean let’s be honest not even Chuck Norris on a bike is that fast. The year certainly seems to have come and gone in a hurry. There have been lots of highlights, for me one of the top highlights was Nino Schurter sealing his mtb legend status with the most number of overall World Cup titles. He is just incredible considering his longevity and continued hunger to win. Let’s not forget his 3rd overall (with Andri Frischknecht) at this year’s Absa Cape Epic.
The ABSA Cape Epic once again delivered in spades. Not only did we see Matt Beers (along with Christopher Blevins) win the toughest stage race on planet but we also saw a battle royal in the ladies race – which frankly was far more exciting considering the local field fighting at the top and the brilliant grit and determination showed by Amy Wakefield after ripping her bicep and carrying on valiantly – ably supported by the darling of SA MTB racing, Candice Lill. Candice has also had a stellar year flying the SA flag proudly around the globe. We look forward to all our athletes’ performances in 2024 and wish them all the very best.
The event circuit in SA has certainly bounced back superbly. Events appear to being well supported post covid and there are a few milestones coming up with Sani2C turning 20 and the Cape Epic also reaching the double decade mark. There have been some real challenges of course, mostly to do with the severe weather around the country, Wines2Whales was really badly affected and Nick Durrant and Sean Paul rode under the FS banner and had a rather eventful race, Nick’s ride report spells out the drama.
It is also with great pleasure we welcome Max Menzies onto the contributors team. Max will be putting together a regular feature including his reviews on events he covers either in a kilt or on a single-speed steel bike – or both. Welcome Max we look forward to hearing about your adventures.
Have a wonderful Festive Season. REST! If you are on your bike, keep the rubber side down, smile and relax, ring your bell and be safe!
See you on the trails!
Johann Potgieter, Max Menzies, Kate Slegrova
Nick Durrant & Sean Paul
Sam Clark, Dom Barnardt, Chris Taylor and Oakpics.
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IMAGE CREDIT: KAP sani2c