UCI Africa Continental Champs

Feb 21, 2011 at 5:38
by Eric Palmer  
Last weekend the Jonkershoek Valley got assaulted by hundreds of bikes for the Africa Continental Champs. XC & DH, young & old, but with one thing in common... the love of riding bikes!I was lucky enough to be able to shoot the DH practice on Friday. Shooting here the weekend before meant that I had covered most of the track, or at least the spots I thought that would work nicely for shots, so this time around I had to look for little things I hadn't gotten to & try some new stuff on the old spots.

It was a good day & still dusty as hell. My equipment wasn't loving it, but it made the shots so much nicer with roost & dust trails everywhere. I got caught in the corners quite high up on the track & wasn't sure when the shuttles were stopping. After guessing the last rider was done I packed up & made my way down. When I got to the 2nd road gap I knew that there was not gonna be anyone waiting for stragglers like me. I had a 1km+ walk back to the gate with ± 20kg of gear on my back in the hot sun. That was the most fun & it got my legs ready for the next 2 days of weight training!

Saturday XC

I was teaching in the morning & only got to the XC track at 12am, so I'd missed the juniors, but the elite girls were just about to start. The elite guys were last & I was keen to see what I could get of Burry Stander, our XC machine. The XC is a bit more walking & my legs were loving it after the walk back the day before. The track was using a lot of the Canary Trail, one that I cycle quite often, so knew it well. The only difference is they were going up most of it instead of down. I enjoyed shooting it, although very different to the DH I'm used to. The action is not quite as extreme, but after watching the way Burry was plowing through the course & only getting faster & faster every lap I had loads of respect for the commitment & dedication he has to get to that level of fitness.

Full XC Results:

ACC Champs 2011 UCI Results 1

Sunday DH time!

I woke up & looked out my window to see what the weather had in store for race day... I couldn't see a thing! There was such a thick mist & I was getting visions of mist in the trees & my flashes & dusty trails. That vision didn't last too long unfortunately. As we went higher with the shuttle I could see the mist was only right at the bottom of the valley. I still had a bit of a hazy atmosphere & with the early morning light it was looking good. My game plan was to get a few shots of the top road gap during the last bit of practice & then move down to a tiny drop/bump after a double into a steep slope for the seeding runs & then down to the bottom open section for the race runs.

The 3 fastest men down a hill on bikes in Africa
The 3 fastest men down a hill on bikes in Africa

1st Andrew "Needles" Neethling
2nd Jonty Neethling
3rd Johann "Pottie" Potgieter

Full DH Results:

ACC 2011 DHI Champs Results 1

That was it. Another great weekend of racing in Jonkershoek! Thanks again to Chris Nixon for all his hard work making this happen!


  • + 9
 Damn lefty's, soon they are only gonna ride with a left crank, left grip, left brake(front), etc. OH MAH GAWD
  • + 4
 you exagerate. have you ever tried lefty ? it's really awesome.
  • + 0
 No I haven't, maybe I am mistaken. But I cant see the benefits in any other discipline of riding other than XC.
  • + 3
 There trail bikes are pretty fast and light fun to ride.
  • + 3
 Personally, i can't see the attraction in lefties... No offence to anyone who owns one; i just think they're ugly, in my opinion.
  • + 3
 Gracia rode 4X Worldcups with them...
By the Way: Youre Pics are unreal Mr. Palmer, big Props!
  • + 1
 Except that second last one you completely raped by putting your watermark behind the rider. Opacatize that shit son
  • + 1
 I can't seem to comprehend what you guys meen by lefty, could someone clear it up by being more specific.
  • + 1
 oh the cannondales
  • + 1
 Awesome stuff Eric, really putting SA on the map, especially Cape Town. About other riders, there were some from Mauritius in the DH. Not sure about XC, did see Rwandan photo above.
  • + 1
 Wow love the atmosphere youve captured in these photos Eric! And Africa seems like an awesome place to mountain bike, if not a bit hot!
  • + 1
 Great to see Myles in the elite class still racing. If any South African knows his e-mail please ask him to get in touch. Tata Lula
  • + 2
 Eric had to be the best photographer in SA. No doubt.
  • + 2
 You have skills behind the lens man!
  • + 1
 Awesome...Just rode these trails yesterday Smile
  • + 2
 whers minaar?
  • + 1
 was there any north african riders?
  • + 1
 again great shots men !!
  • + 1
 Awesome Photos, dude!!!
  • + 1
 Phwoar! Tons of photos.
  • + 1

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