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Dirtopia Easter Enduro - Wellington

Apr 6, 2015
by Ewald Sadie  
The first Western Province Enduro for 2015 took place in the hills around the picturesque town of Wellington, about one hour drive from Cape Town. Welvanpas is nothing short of mountain biking motherland and with Jonkershoek suffering severe damage in the devastating fires it now stands head and shoulders above all other Western Cape trail for pure Enduro type mtb trails. The two day format saw riders complete nine stages in total (although it seems stage four on day one was not recorded) and about 30 minutes of race time. The stages were a mixed bag with loose, steep shoots, flat-out loose vineyard tracks, tight and twisty singletrack and some surprise hairpin bends, all of which featured the typical dry and dusty trails found in Wellington this time of year. A total of 68 riders took part on day one, with only 45 attending on day two.

"I am on a new bike so I took it a little easy in the tech stuff on day one to get comfy but then started to pin it on day two and really enjoyed rallying. I have not ridden out in Welvanpas for a while so my race strategy was to focus on efficiency and consistency as opposed to 100% efforts. Great to see so many new faces at these races. Thanks to the organisers and trail builders, Welvanpas is truly a special place." ~ Myles Kelsey | Trek Bikes South Africa | Bontrager | BOS

Despite the best efforts from Darryn Stow, Martin Zietsman and Daniel Dobinson, Gary Barnard managed to stay on the gas all day and put in consistently fast runs on the timed sections. Stage five saw Gary hit a spectator that was on the track, forcing him to eject off the trail and into the bushes down a steep embankment. Awarded a re-run, Barnard put in another adrenalin fuelled run only to hit a massive branch (more like a small tree) lying across the trail further down, dragging it for about 10 meters before it dislodged.

"Having an Enduro on the trails that I love so much was very exciting and getting a new PYGA prototype two days before the event pushed that excitement to frightening levels. Meurant and the Dirtopia team did a great job creating some new stages in an area that most of the 80 odd riders had ridden before. #fullenduro #gottoloveit." ~ Gary Barnard | PYGA

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
Dirtopia Easter Enduro
Dirtopia Easter Enduro
Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Riders head out on liaison 1.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
Dirtopia Easter Enduro
Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  "Hey this liaison is pretty easy, and flat."

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
Dirtopia Easter Enduro
Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Welcome to Welvanpas. It's steep here.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Rupert von Tutschek dropping into SS1.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Darryn Stow, 2nd overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Jarryd Haley, 4th overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Myles Kelsey, 6th overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Riders take a breather after finishing SS2, about to head out on liaison 3.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Myles Kelsey taking a minute to check the live timing.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Gina Nixon, 1st lady overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Sara Muhl, 3rd lady overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Wildfires are a regular occurrence during summer times.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  But nature will always bounce back stronger.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Martin Zietsman, 3rd overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Julien Louw, 5th overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  Rika Olivier, 2nd lady overall.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  King Gary Barnard, taking the top step on both days.

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  From left, Rika (2nd), Gina (1st), Sara (3rd)

Dirtopia Easter Enduro
  From left. Darryn (2nd), Gary (1st), Martin (3rd)

Day One Men's top 5:

1. Gary Barnard | SS1 - 00:05:04 SS2 - 00:01:39 SS3 - 00:02:50 SS5 - 00:02:24 Total - 00:11:57
2. Darryn Stow | SS1 - 00:05:06 SS2 - 00:01:41 SS3 - 00:02:45 SS5 - 00:02:35 Total - 00:12:07
3. Martin Zietsman | SS1 - 00:05:15 SS2 - 00:01:44 SS3 - 00:02:46 SS5 - 00:02:31 Total - 00:12:16
4. Jarryd Haley | SS1 - 00:05:23 SS2 - 00:01:46 SS3 - 00:02:57 SS5 - 00:02:34 Total - 00:12:40
5. Julien Louw | SS1 - 00:05:24 SS2 - 00:01:45 SS3 - 00:02:58 SS5 - 00:02:38 Total - 00:12:45

Day One Women's top 5:

1. Gina Nixon SS1 - 00:05:56 SS2 - 00:01:59 SS3 - 00:03:12 SS5 - 00:03:13 Total - 00:14:20
2. Rika Olivier SS1 - 00:06:02 SS2 - 00:01:58 SS3 - 00:03:27 SS5 - 00:03:08 Total - 00:14:35
3. Sara Muhl SS1 - 00:06:16 SS2 - 00:02:07 SS3 - 00:03:14 SS5 - 00:03:12 Total - 00:14:49
4. Joanna Dobinson SS1 - 00:06:23 SS2 - 00:02:06 SS3 - 00:03:16 SS5 - 00:03:18 Total - 00:15:03
5 Jessi Nixon SS1 - 00:06:29 SS2 - 00:02:14 SS3 - 00:03:24 SS5 - 00:03:33 Total - 00:15:40

Day Two Men's top 5:

1. Gary Barnard SS6 - 00:05:40 SS7 - 00:08:11 SS8 - 00:03:18 SS9 - 00:02:01 Total - 00:19:10
2. Daniel Dobinson SS6 - 00:05:45 SS7 - 00:08:07 SS8 - 00:03:27 SS9 - 00:02:00 Total - 00:19:19
3. Darryn Stow SS6 - 00:05:41 SS7 - 00:08:11 SS8 - 00:03:24 SS9 - 00:02:04 Total - 00:19:20
4. Dane Olsen SS6 - 00:05:50 SS7 - 00:08:15 SS8 - 00:03:32 SS9 - 00:02:04 Total - 00:19:41
5. Myles Kelsey SS6 - 00:05:49 SS7 - 00:08:31 SS8 - 00:03:29 SS9 - 00:02:07 Total - 00:19:56

Day Two Women's top 5:

1. Rika Olivier SS6 - 00:06:34 SS7 - 00:09:24 SS8 - 00:03:52 SS9 - 00:02:22 Total - 00:22:12
2. Gina Nixon SS6 - 00:06:38 SS7 - 00:09:39 SS8 - 00:04:05 SS9 - 00:02:22 Total - 00:22:44
3. Sara Muhl SS6 - 00:06:38 SS7 - 00:10:12 SS8 - 00:04:27 SS9 - 00:02:32 Total - 00:23:49
4. Claudia Schonitz SS6 - 00:07:46 SS7 - 00:11:30 SS8 - 00:05:03 SS9 - 00:02:55 Total - 00:27:14
5. Kerry Gray SS6 - 00:08:01 SS7 - 00:11:50 SS8 - 00:05:15 SS9 - 00:02:57 Total - 00:28:03

Thanks to the product sponsors for helping the event take place: Giant Bicycles, Brunox, Falke, Red Bull, Coke/ Powerade.
Thanks to Pieter van Wyk for building the Welvanpas trails, Festa the venue host & all landowners allowing us to make use of their land.



MENTIONS: @GiantBicycle @redbullbike @esphotography




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