18 Nov, 2015

Swellendam100 attracts the fairer MTBers

Riders making their way across one of the river crossings on Day 1
Riders down Swellengrebel Street during the neutral zone start of Day 2
Mayor Nicholas Myburgh at the start/finish venue
Overall leader Pieter Gildenhuys racing past the Checkers water point at Rolandale on Day 1
The men’s podium:  Pieter Gildenhuys (Centre), in 2nd place Daniel Behm (Left) and in 3rd Des Doman (Right).
The beautiful Langeberg Mountains set the scene for the weekend

The first edition of the Swellendam100 MTB adventure, which took place from 7 to 8 November 2015, saw 40% of the field made up by female participants.

“One of the main highlights of this event for me”, said race director Pax Mosterd, “is the high percentage of female participants. Usually mountain bike events have around 10-15% female riders but 40% of this field were woman. This really is a family adventure and children over 15 years may participate”.

More than 100 mountain bikers descended on Swellendam to set off on Saturday morning amidst an atmosphere of fun and adventure.

The weather was perfect as riders left from the fantastic start/finish venue at the Whipping Post - just behind the Field and Fork to embark upon the 49km ride which included 700m of ascent.

The route traversed through privately owned farmlands, specifically opened by the generous Swellendam farmers for riders to use exclusively during the event. Even the local participants were overwhelmed that they got to enjoy trails they had not previously experienced!

There were pine plantations, forested valleys and open mountain plains making it a truly varied experience as riders had to tackle sandy sections, mud as well as a few river crossings! Rolandale Farmstall played host to the awesomely stocked Swellendam Checkers water point which offered riders well-deserved, delicious nutrition at the halfway mark.

For Sunday’s day 2, riders were treated by beautiful weather in which to experience the Bontebok National Park. The 23 degrees temperature and the prospect of great riding ahead meant a whole bunch of smiling participants gathered on the start line.

After the neutral zone down Swellengrebel Street and 15km amidst the wonder and beauty of Bontebok National Park, riders experienced the happy suburb of Railton where they were cheered on raucously by the welcoming residents.

From there it was off to the second Checkers water point located at The Berry Farm surrounded by the magnificence of Hermitage. After that, riders found it hard to resist the temptation of a quick dip in the municipal dams, and it was off to the finish.

Overall winning time was 1 hour 37 minutes while the more social riders spent over 4 ½ hours enjoying the sights of Swellendam on their bikes.

What a ride.

Pieter Gildenhuys won the men’s race, with Daniel Behm and Des Doman coming second and third respectively. Juanita Kruger won the women’s race, with Michelle Doman second and Dominique Provoyeur rounding out the podium.