The first edition of the Western Province Gravity Enduro Championships took place this past Sunday at the scenic Contermanskloof MTB Trails. With the trails still surrounded by green fields and colorful fynbos, the high speed, rough and technical terrain was a welcome change from the previous races. The field of 96 riders faced 4 stages - the 3 usual suspects and a mystery 1.4km long stage on Hillcrest thrown in for good measure. All the elements for a great race were in place - a well marked course, good weather, plenty of riders and of course, free beer afterwards.
|The event was a lot of fun and just my 3rd ever enduro race so it was awesome to come away with the win! A massive thanks to all the organizers, my team and sponsors. Stefan Garlicki - SOLID|
Previous WPGE event winners Gary Barnard and Matt Lombardi attended with one thing in mind - going hard and taking the top spot. But it was pro Downhiller Stefan Garlicki that trumped everybody with a total racing time of 12 minutes and 5 seconds. Johan Potgieter came in second overall, closely followed by Gary Barnard, only 5 seconds back. Trail builder, recent father, and all round nice guy Robert Starke used local knowledge to come home in 4th/5th place, sharing the spot with Myles Kelsey.
|Contermans Kloof is a great place for an Enduro race, Rob Starke has hand crafted a great combination of flowing trails and technical challenges that keeps you 100% focused on the trail ahead instead of your burning legs. The competition was tough with Stefan and Johann added to the already strong mix of riders that fight for podium positions. I was so happy to be riding my 160mm Pyga Enduro bike with a full face helmet and 1kg tires, that's a #fullenduro setup. Gary Barnard - PYGA|
Stage 1 - Contermans - 1.7km, 149m Elevation drop, -9% gradient
Stage 2 - Contermans - 1.4km, 106m Elevation drop, -7% gradient
Stage 3 - Hillcrest - Blind
Stage 4 - Contermans -3.1km, 291m Elevation drop, -9% gradientThe top 10 overall:
(with questionable accuracy)
1. Stefan Garlicki 12.05
2. Johann Potgieter 12.25
3. Gary Barnard 12.30
4. Robert Starke 12.31
5. Myles Kelsey 12.31
6. Matthew Lombardi 12.32
7. Martin Zietsman 12.34
8. Daniel Dobinson 12.38
9. Adi Van Der Merwe 12.40
10. Rupert Von Tutschek 12.43
Full results can be found here
A huge thank you goes out to the long list of sponsors involved with making the day possible and creating the vibe: SRAM, 661, ONE, Five Ten, Pyga, Monster Energy, Trail & Tar and This Way Out. And specifically to Robert Starke for providing us with trails worthy of a proper Enduro.