Sharief Peters chairman of WP Cycling gave the Piketberg Elevation Challenge Road Race on 13 October a top rating as a cycling event, with very tough competition, a fast pace and an extremely high level of racing.
Over 300 cyclists, including three pro teams, development cyclists, Western Province category cyclists and international cyclists battled it out all the way to the finish, with an 8km mountain climb to the top of the Versveld Pass in the final stretch of the 103km ride. Amongst the competitors were the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) squad from all over Africa, and a Para Cycling component was included for the first time.
The overall winner of the 103km race was HB Kruger , from Alfa Bodyworks; Carl Bonthuys of the Kinetic Pro Team, placed second overall and won the Sprint King race, and in third position was Rainhardt Marais from Alfa Bodyworks. Reyaan Traut won the Para -Cycling 50km event. He had tragically lost his arm in a motorbike accident in 2011 and cycling has turned his life around.
This race is co-sanctioned by the Western Province Cycling Association and Cycling SA, and was hosted by Bergrivier Local Municipality, in partnership with Steynville Senior Secondary School and supported by The Sports Trust and Nedbank. Over the past four years this race has grown from a local community cycle event into a major drawcard on the Western Cape road racing calendar. This year, for the first time, cash prizes were awarded up to position five.
Thank you to Isuzu Perdeberg for supplying the support vehicles, SPAR Boland for sponsoring the watering points and giveaway hamper, Ocean Basket for the vouchers and Stephan & Son for giving potatoes to the community.
We also wish to thank the Piketberg traffic department for all their assistance and local community for marshalling at this year’s event.
Everyone came together to make this a successful event and we look forward to the next edition of the Piketberg Elevation Challenge Road Race in 2020.
Q&A with Vuyolwethu Nkomo
Q. What are your most memorable and enjoyable experiences of your Tour de France trip ?
A.The most memorable part of my trip to France was to watch the stages of Tour de France and to see the guys passing up the mountains. Racing L’Etape, my first race in Europe was also memorable.
Q. Tell us about cycling the L’ETape du Tour and your overall experience?
A. L’Etape du Tour was a tough race, especially on the climbs. The climbs are 35km with a gradient 0f 8-11 % because in South Africa, we don’t have climbs like this. I accepted the challenged and had fun climbing it.
Q. Describe the atmosphere whilst watching the cyclists at the Col du Galibier pass at Stage 17?
A. The atmosphere was incredible, the guys passing at Col du Galibier with their back up vehicles behind them was also amazing to witness. I acted like a 5 year old, the excitement was real.
Q. How did you enjoy being at the Tour De France final day in Paris and seeing the winners come in and which international cyclists did you meet and did they give you any advice?
A. To watch the final stage of the TDF in Paris was awesome. I really enjoyed every minute of it, even though we didn’t get to meet any of the cyclists. It was special to see all the Colombians that came to support Egan Bernal.
Q. This was your first ever overseas trip, explain your experience as a Novice traveller?
A. This trip changed my life in a way that I have to believe in myself always
Q. What are your goals for the future in terms of your cycling career?
A. My goal’s going forward is to win races in South Africa, to work hard at training. To keep believing in yourself and you will reap the reward. Good things come to those who work hard.
‘’I would like to thank Disfruta Sports Tours and The Sports Trust for making my dream a reality. Racing in Europe and watching the Tour de France was a dream come true.’’
“You never have the wind with you — either it is against you or you’re having a good day’’