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Video: SRAM WP Gravity Enduro Round One - Helderberg, South Africa

Jun 24, 2015
by Ewald Sadie  
A long awaited and welcome return for the SRAM WP Gravity Enduro series, saw round one take place at the popular Helderberg Trails, just outside Somerset West. With some good rain a few days prior, and a fair amount of sunshine in between, the soil was perfectly tacky and conditions were great all round for racing. A very crisp and cloudless morning meant riders wrapped up with long sleeves and other warm gear, but the long and steep 5.5km climb up liaison 1 quickly heated things up.

As per usual, stage 1 started at the radio mast, but incorporated a few newly built sections. Theo Erlangsen completed the 1.9km descent in 02:30.09, narrowly beating Matt Lombardi by 0.1 seconds. Stage 2 was slightly shorter at 1.8km and was taken by Matt Lombardi with a time of 02:41.54. At 2.7km, stage 3 was the longest stage of the day and combined a wide variety of elements including part of the DH track, some sculpted berms and a few natural rock gardens. A winning time of 06:02.62 was posted by Matt Lombardi, crowning him king of Helderberg, with a total racing time of 11:14.37, almost half a minute in front of his nearest competitor.

Views: 2,262    Faves: 6    Comments: 0


SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  The majestic Helderberg mountain, towering over the start/finish area. 420 meter of vertical climb lies ahead on liaison 1.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Wrench man Grant Bender from Trail and Tar offering free tune-ups to those in need.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  WP Gravity Enduro welcomes SRAM as title sponsor for 2015. Dog not included.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Matt Lombardi getting in the zone before the race begins. He came third here last year, and is back with only one thing on his mind, winning.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Gary Barnard finished here in 2nd spot last year, by just over 1 second. And with Jonty Neethling not here this time, the title was up for grabs.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Good turnout to the first SRAM WP Gravity Enduro of 2015 - considering it's Father's day 'n' all.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Barnard. Always a threat.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Riders gather at the radio mast at the top of L1. With epic views of Somerset West, stretching all the way to false bay and Table Mountain, it wasn't a bad patch of land to regain your breath and get ready to race.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Daniel Dobinson getting loose on SS1, coming home in 5th overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Rupert von Tutschek getting a foot out on the slippery off-camber corners on SS1, 8th overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Exiting the steep section on SS1, riders enter the faster, open fields. Pieter Henning, 10th overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Early morning winter's mist still lingering at the bottom of the valley. We were blessed to get a perfect day like this - cool temperatures, but no wind or rain.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Table Mountain sailing in a sea of mist.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Devon Katzen putting in a solid run on all 3 stages, coming home in 7th overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Gary Barnard getting a 4th, 5th and 3rd on the three stages respectively, putting him in 3rd overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Riders line up at the start of SS2. With riders released in 1 minute intervals, it does cause a bit of a queue, but it's a welcome break for most to rest before attacking the next stage.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Joe Nesbitt through the tight switchbacks on SS2, 7th Veteran Men.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Dale Barnard, 1st Veteran Men.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Adi van der Merwe at home at his local trail and on his new ride for 2015, coming home in 2nd overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Solid performance for the talented Darryn Stow, repeating last year's performance with a 4th overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  The distinctive style of Mat Lombardi in full swing, crowned the King of Helderberg.

bigquotesFirst of all we couldn't have asked for a better day to be riding our bikes, that made for a pleasant climb up to the top of the Helderberg, after that 3 special stages awaited us. Each of them with their own unique feature. More downhill style first stage, a tight and twisty second stage, and then mixed up all together for an epic long third stage. I seemed to just be on song with my bike this weekend and hit all my lines clean and managed to stay smooth. The stages suited my style of riding with slightly more pedaling than many of the Enduro's in the past. I think all in all everything just went perfect and I managed to take the overall win. - Matt Lombardi, 1st Elite Men

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  The tree doesn't grow far from the apple - or something like that. Martin Lombardi, 2nd Veteran Men.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Helderberg is well known for its mountain bears.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Andrew Savage on the charge and sucking in all the fresh air he can get.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Theo Erlangsen charging down the high speed, bermed-out, freeway section on SS3, 6th overall.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Joshua Botha entering the rock garden on SS3.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  David Hartley, 4th Veteran Men.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Lourens Delport through the rock garden on SS3. It might not look big but this section caught out plenty of riders that didn't get the entry spot on.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  Dylan Lamb through the lower and last part of SS3, coming in 2nd overall for Youth Men.

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015
  SRAM WP Gravity Enduro Round 1 Podium. From left: Adi van der Merwe, Matt Lombardi. Gary Barnard couldn't stay for the podium ceremony, but he was there in spirit.

Top 10 overall:
Matthew Lombardi 11:14.370
Adi Van Der Merwe 11:43.760
Gary Barnard 11:52.630
Darryn Stow 11:59.690
Daniel Dobinson 12:08.580
Theo Erlangsen 12:13.640
Devon Katzen 12:23.840
Rupert Von Tutschek 12:27.020
Dane Olsen 12:28.340
Pieter Henning 12:30.750

Top Women:
Mariska Bekker 15:44.990
Leigh Haskins 16:19.520

Full results can be seen here.

Apart from the debatable timing system and severe delays caused by it, the event went well and the field of 74 riders were treated to some great racing. A special thanks goes to our sponsors SRAM, ONE, 661, PYGA, Trail and Tar, VIGO (for the drinks), Jan van Schalwyk (land owner and trail builder), Robin, Carlo, Riaan and Alet Oosthuizen, Andrew and Henriƫtte Backstrom, and all the riders for attending. See you at round 2!

SRAM WP Gravity Enduro 2015


Posted In:
Videos SRAM



5 Comments

  • 4 0
 Flippen' good photo's and amazing trails! Thanks to all involved Hoping the timing system can be improved upon. If not-please contact me and I can at least give some alternative options.
  • 1 0
 A really fun event at a great venue. That video captures it brilliantly in 1m 43...
  • 2 0
 Nice spread Ewald
  • 1 1
 There are no bears in South Africa . Other wise nice shots well done.
  • 2 0
 I think Ewald was being sarcastic... but maybe he should have said 'lions' Wink

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