27 Nov, 2015

Origins of Trail kicked off

SA Cross Country Champion, Cherie Vale in action at the 2015 Pennypinchers Origins of Trails. Photograph by Volume Photography

Stage one of the Pennypinchers Origin Of Trails kicked off in Stellenbosch today (Friday, 27 November 2015). Each year leading mountain bikers welcome the opportunity to relax and enjoy the trails at South Africa’s mountain bike party of the year.

According to Team Bulls owner and captain, Karl Platt, he has always wanted to take part in the Pennypinchers Origin Of Trails. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the event. As I was in the Western Cape at the time, I thought I’d give it a try. After stage one, I now know that I need to stop drinking beer and start training. From start to finish the stage had a great atmosphere.”

“The trails are crazy, purposefully built mountain bike trails,” said Stefan Sahm of Team Bulls and 2014 Pennypinchers Origin Of Trails champion. “You don’t get that in Europe. The event is so much fun. I’ll definitely come back every year.”

SA Cross Country Champion, Cherie Vale relished the opportunity to take it easy out on route. “It’s extremely important that there is a balance between racing and having fun. Today was absolutely stunning. I got the opportunity to make new friends, catch up with old friends and enjoy the scenery. Being able to take a step back and take it all in is so special. I am really looking forward to riding the trails at Bartinney Wine Estate tomorrow.”

“Today was very cool,” says Candice Neethling. “This was my first ride back. It was hard, but very enjoyable. I’ll approach stage two in the same way, totally go out and have fun.”

Dakar Rally star, Giniel de Villiers was also seen savoring the Stellenbosch trails which are also affectionately known as mountain bike heaven. “It wasn’t an easy route, but it was nice. This is the second time that I take part in the Pennypinchers Origin Of Trails. The event takes place in my backyard and is really good training for Dakar racing. It is an all-round enjoyable event.”

Starting in Church Street and finishing at the picturesque Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, long course riders took on a +-60km course that featured a 1750m elevation, while short course riders tamed a +- 31km course that featured an 850m elevation.