Trans Baviaans Reflections

It’s been a couple of weeks since the 2018 Trans Baviaans concluded with the Repeat on the 18th of August and the dust has now well and truly settled on what was a remarkable and record breaking year for the race…

The Langwater is one of the Trans Baviaans’ iconic features and proves a great leveller – everyone even the elite riders like Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill get their feet wet. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Trans Baviaans Race | All the Records Broken

In the first weekend’s Race; the records tumbled with the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Category course records being smashed, in perfect weather and road conditions. There was no lack of drama either however as the race leaders took a wrong turn and the CSA commissaire stepped in to share the victory and new record time between the DSV Pro Cycling team of Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit, and the Insect Science Garmin pairing of Timothy Hammond and Ben Melt Swanepoel.

Hammond and Swanepoel had crossed the finish line first, but Heyns and Du Toit had been leading the race for close on 200 kilometres when they went wrong. The results in the Women’s and Mixed Categories were fortunately less controversial; with Galileo Risk’s Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill breaking Ralph and Amy McDougall’s course record by nearly an hour, and winning by well over two. Perennial Mixed Category champions’ Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer, of Ultimate Cycling Knysna, knocked half an hour off their own record and finished an impressive seventh overall on their way to their sixth category win.

Ultimate Cycling’s Neill Ungerer leads the Repeat field through Poortjie. Photo by Jacques Marais.

While the elite riders racing for category glory gained the majority of the attention the less competitive mountain bikers in the field also enjoyed a successful day out. The perfect conditions led to many a personal best and in total 389 teams and 1 057 individual riders finished the event. The fastest time was that of Hammond and Swanepoel; 7 hours, 51 minutes and 6 seconds. While the final finisher crossed the line at the Fountains Mall, in Jeffreys Bay, just before 8am on Sunday morning in a time of 21 hours, 51 minutes and 8 seconds. Eerily then there was an almost exact 14 hour time difference between the winners and the final finishers.

Reaching Bergplaas before sunset is an achievement worth celebrating. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The prize giving on Sunday morning after the Race saw the remarkable achievements of Berend Maarsingh and Dane Walsh honoured. The pair has each completed all 15 Trans Baviaans events to date!

Gert Heyns off the front of the Trans Baviaans Race field. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The Winners:

Men:

=1. Insect Science/Garmin (Ben Melt Swanepoel & Timothy Hammond) 07:51:06

=1. DSV Pro Cycling (Gert Heyns & Arno du Toit) 07:51:06

Women:

  1. Galileo Risk (Theresa Ralph & Sarah Hill) 08:58:02

Mixed:

  1. Ultimate Cycling Knysna (Yolande de Villiers & Neill Ungerer) 08:23:19

Victor Momsen and Wikus van der Walt pose with the brand new Momsen Vipa Ultra which Wikus rode during the Trans Baviaans Repeat. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Trans Baviaans Repeat | Oom Wikus Rides His Event

The story of the Trans Baviaans Repeat was that of event founder Wikus van der Walt taking the opportunity to ride the race he started fifteen years ago for the first time. Riding alongside John Sharples – his long-time friend, stage race partner and the man with who he recced the To Hell and Back route with 23 year ago – Wikus completed the 230 kilometre route in a commendable time of 13 hours, 25 minutes and 53 seconds.

Hannele Steyn smiling all the way up MAC. Photo by Jacques Marais.

At the front of the Repeat there was another decisive wrong turn, by Ignus Oosthuizen and Jaco Davel which handed the victory to Johan Coetzee and Gys Malan in the Men’s race. The Mixed category saw Yolande de Villiers double up, claiming the Repeat title after the Race the weekend before alongside her husband Henties and the rest of her East Coast Cycles team; Kevin Taljaard and Wynand Mulder. The Women’s Repeat title was taken back to the Free State by Cherise Odendaal and Ilse Nel, riding as the aptly named Trans Vrystaat team.

Trail runner AJ Calitz took on the Trans Baviaans challenge and finished in 16th overall, alongside Brett van Coller. Photo by Jacques Marais.

In total 367 teams finished the Trans Baviaans Repeat which equated to 1 047 individual riders; and while the winning time of 8 hours, 55 minutes and 44 seconds was over an hour slower than the Race’s winning time the final finishers’ time of 22 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds was just 18 minutes slower.

The Winners:

Men:

  1. Cadence Tygervalley (Johan Coetzee & Gys Malan) 08:55:44

Women:

  1. Trans Vrystaat (Cherise Odendaal & Ilse Nel) 12:23:19

Mixed:

  1. East Coast Cycles (Kevin Taljaard, Wynand Mulder, Yolande & Henties de Villiers) 09:30:06

Crossing the finish line at the Fountains Mall can be an emotional experience. Photo by Jacques Marais.

 

2019 Dates

The 16th edition of the Trans Baviaans will take place on the second and third weekends of August 2019. Entries are once again capped at 1 250 rides in teams of 2, 3 or 4. Entries to the iconic events will open on the 3rd of December 2018, for the Race, and the 4th, for the Repeat.

Beer, glorious Darling Brew beer, for every finisher. Photo by Jacques Marais.

 

Fast Facts
Event: 2019 Trans Baviaans Race 2019 Trans Baviaans Repeat
Date: Saturday, 10 August 2019 Saturday, 17 August 2019
Entries Open: Monday, 3 December 2018 Tuesday, 4 December 2018

 

Follow Online
Website: www.transbaviaans.co.za
Explorer App App Store | Google Play
Facebook: Trans Baviaans
Twitter: @EcoBoundMTB
Instagram: @transbaviaans

 

The Trans Baviaans Repeat

The Trans Baviaans Repeat is the second edition of the famous 230 kilometre long ultra-endurance race through the Baviaanskloof. Taking place the weekend after the Race, on Saturday the 18th of August, the Repeat may lack an elite field but it more than makes up for that with an exceptional spirit among the riders and their supporters.

Yolande de Villiers rode to her second Mixed Category victory in as many weeks in the Trans Baviaans, following up her Race win with the Repeat title. Photo by Jacques Marais.

For the second weekend in a row a wrong-turning, by the race leaders, provided the decisive and most drama filled moment of the event. This time though there was no need for the race commissaire to get involved; the leaders on the road, Ignus Oosthuizen and Jaco Davel, simply missed the turn off to Jeffreys Bay. The pair had held the lead since Check Point 2, 104 kilometres into the race, when the large peloton of riders who had covered the relatively easy early kilometres together started to break up. Powering over the Baviaans Back, the Fangs, MAC and Neverender, Oosthuizen and Davel managed to gradually extend their lead to twenty minutes at Check Point 7; with 27 kilometres remaining.

Their wrong turn kept them on the undulating ridgeline jeep track, which takes riders up the Mini MAC and certainly helped expedite their time losses as their pursuers turned towards the coast – on long, flowing downhill district road. The primary beneficiaries of this were the Cadence Tygervalley team of Johan Coetzee and Gys Malan. The pair did however not realise that they had moved into the lead until they reached the finish line at the Fountains Mall. Upon hearing Paul Valstar announcing that they were riding home to claim the Trans Baviaans Repeat victory they were taken completely by surprise.

Behind Coetzee and Malan there was a sprint for second between Spur C4D’s Jacques van Staden and Marshall Hendricks and the ESA Partner combination of Garth Ennion and Leon Erasmus. Van Staden and Hendricks had put in a strong ride over the final 60 kilometres and kept the ESA Partner pairing in their sights throughout that time – eventually setting up a sprint after nine hours of racing.

Trail runner AJ Calitz took on the Trans Baviaans challenge and finished in 16th overall, alongside Brett van Coller. Photo by Jacques Marais.

In the Mixed Category the East Coast Cycles quartet of Kevin Taljaard, Wynand Mulder, Yolande and Henties de Villiers claimed another Repeat title. Taljaard and Yolande de Villiers had finished second and first in the Trans Baviaans Race in the Mixed Category the weekend before; and were ecstatic to retain their title in the Repeat. Henties de Villiers meanwhile does not manage to make as much time to train as his wife and battled valiantly to ensure he clung to the wheels of his powerful teammates.

Trans Baviaans founder Wikus van der Walt in action on the Momsen Vipa Ultra. Van der Walt and Sharples completed the event in a time of 13 hours and 23 minutes. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The sub-plot to the Repeat was undoubtedly Wikus van der Walt riding his first Trans Baviaans. After fifteen years of organising the event the founder eventually got his chance to experience it for himself, alongside his long time stage race partner John Sharples. Van der Walt rode the new Momsen Vipa Ultra for his Trans Baviaans adventure and was exceptionally impressed with the bike. “It descends very well and I’m sure my struggles on the climbs were more down to my legs than the bike” Van der Walt joked upon finishing.

Stephen Drew (left) and Jeffrey Willcocks (right) inspired all around them by finishing the Trans Baviaans Repeat. Photo by Craig Giese.

Another hero of the Trans Baviaans Repeat was Stephen Drew. In recent years Drew has survived a brain tumour and then the amputation of his right leg following a motorcycle accident. Drew is an inspirationally positive character and there was never any doubt in his mind that he would be back on the bike following his accident. Equipped with a state of the art prosthetic, which was custom made in George, Drew completed the Trans Baviaans Repeat alongside fellow amputee Jeffrey Willcocks.

 

Mountain biking fans and Trans Baviaans riders can recap on all the action from the 2018 Race and Repeat on the event’s Facebook page, Trans Baviaans. While for more information please visit www.transbaviaans.co.za.

Reaching Bergplaas before sunset is an achievement worth celebrating. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Results: Trans Baviaans Race

Men:

  1. Cadence Tygervalley (Johan Coetzee & Gys Malan) 08:55:44
  2. Spur C4D (Jacques van Staden & Marshall Hendricks) 09:02:58
  3. ESA Partner (Garth Ennion & Leon Erasmus) 09:02:59
  4. Wildfire (Dawie van Rensburg & Angus McGuffog) 09:03:04
  5. Jaco Ignus (Ignus Oosthuizen & Jaco Davel) 09:03:15

 

Mixed:

  1. East Coast Cycles (Kevin Taljaard, Wynand Mulder, Yolande & Henties de Villiers) 09:30:06
  2. Ferocity (Adriaan Botma, Martie & Johannes Joubert) 09:38:56
  3. Cyclopro (Jay Carneiro, Bruce & Tracey Campbell) 10:09:53

 

Women’s:

  1. Trans Vrystaat (Cherise Odendaal & Ilse Nel) 12:23:19
  2. Chatting Blades (Elize de Ponte & Salomie Kolbe) 13:15:15

Despicable Us (Marelise Bardenhorst & Nicole Morse) 15:57:02

 

To view the full results from the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race click here.

 

Trans News #6-18 The Repeat

Goeie Dag

Die senuwees is besig om in te skop vir my, en ek is nou amptelik ń deelnemer van die week af! Sien julle op die Begin Streep!
Groete
Wikus van der Walt

Registration

Things you need to bring to registration:

  1. Make sure you print both forms and sign them! – Waiver Of Liability And Indemnity Forms.
  2. Your Race Number, you can see on the Rider Entry Lists
  3. If collecting for someone the  Consent For Race Contents Collection 

What we learned from The Race

Repeat riders you have a big advantage, not only has Oom Wikus ensured the roads have been graded for his Trans Baviaans debut but he has also ordered perfect weather. The morning will start off chilly; but there are light tail winds predicted throughout, there’s no rain on the cards for Saturday or Sunday and the temperatures on the Jeffreys Bay side of the Kloof are set to be mild. That said there are a few things we learnt from last weekend which will help you enjoy your ride even more:

1. Route Refresher
Remember the Trans Baviaans route is not marked. There are only a few reminders positioned significantly down major wrong turns to ensure you don’t end up in Uniondale or Patensie. So take the time to read through the route descriptions again, and when in doubt make use of the route info sheet you’ll receive when you check in. Even the leaders got it wrong in the race…

2. Has your Bike been Serviced?
It’s not too late. If your bike hasn’t been for a service yet take it in now and beg/bribe your local bike shop to give it a quick once over. When they’re doing that get them to top up your tubeless sealant because…

3. Beware Sidewall Cuts
We saw lots of sidewall cuts in the Race. So exercise caution when descending the Baviaans Back and Fangs in particular. Plus pack tubeless repair plugs and make sure your spare tube is puncture free.

4. Langwater Water Crossing
The Baviaanskloof is relatively dry, despite the recent rains. You might encounter puddles and with a bit of rain predicted for Friday morning there shouldn’t be too much dust in the air. But the rivers are running at low levels. That means the water crossings aren’t too intimidating. The most famous one, Langwater, just after Check Point 3 – is about 20-30cm deep at its deepest point. There is however a big hole on the right hand side near the end of the crossing – so keep left to stay dry.

5. Join the EcoBound Strava Club
To qualify for the PowerBar segment prizes, for the fastest times along the railway line singletrack (There are prizes for the fastest man, woman, man over 90kg and woman over 45 years old), you have to join the EcoBound Strava Club. Join it by clicking here.

Crates

If you decide not to use crates during the race please hand them back at registration.

You receive 3 crates of 22 litres in size, one per team to Checkpoints 2, 3 and 4.
Your Crate for CP4 needs to be handed in at 20:00 Friday evening at registration.
CP 2&3 needs to be handed in at the Truck in front of the Royal Herberg from 07:00 to 08:30.
Cable-ties will be provided to secure your contents.
Crates will be collectable at the Fountains Mall at the finish again from 07:00 – 12:00

Race Day

The race starts at 10:00am sharp!

Donations

Every year we get generous donations of Books for the Willowmore Library and old Cycling gear for our development riders! There will be boxes placed at registration for you to place these items into! Thank you very much!

Good luck with the last preparations!
Team EcoBound

 

Records Tumble at the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race

The 2018 Trans Baviaans Race, wrapped up with prize giving at the Fountains Mall on Sunday the 12th of August – but the racing action had concluded well over twelve hours earlier before the last light had faded over the Baviaanskloof. A consistent tail wind, smooth road conditions and a searing ride by DSV Pro Cycling ensured records tumbled throughout the categories in the fifteenth edition of the toughest team single stage MTB race in the world.

Timothy Hammond leads Ben Melt Swanepoel up the MAC in pursuit of Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit in the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race. The Insect Science/Garmin team past the DSV Pro Cycling riders after confusion leaving Check Point 7, but the teams were awarded the joint victory. Photo by Jacques Marais.

There was drama in the men’s race, outright dominance in the women’s and a legacy sealing victory in the mixed; as the racing categories were wrapped up within nine hours of the event’s start. Never have so many records been set in one event and the new men’s course record is all the more remarkable, given the teams setting it made a wrong turn.

 

The race, which started in Willowmore on Saturday morning, was agitated from the off by the DSV Pro Cycling team of Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit. “Nobody really thought it was possible to go from the gun, so we kind of wanted to prove them wrong” Du Toit explained. The initial attack by DSV was followed by the Honingcraft Five duo, Dirkus Coetzee and Alwyn Steenkamp. Behind; Insect Science/Garmin’s Timothy Hammond and Ben Melt Swanepoel worked with William Simpson Cars’ Mike Posthumus and Derrin Smith to ensure the gap between the leaders and the chasing peloton remained at one minute.

Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit spent nearly 200km in the lead of the Trans Baviaans Race, after a brave attack in the opening kilometres. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Heading into the Baviaanskloof Reserve a puncture for Steenkamp cost Honingcraft Five the chance to contend for victory. This left Heyns and Du Toit alone at the front, but over Baviaans Back the Fangs and MAC the chasing peloton gradual broke apart until Hammond and Swanepoel where pursuing on their own, with Posthumus and Smith also isolated in third on the road. The leading three teams were separated by just four minutes heading into the decisive final 30 kilometres.

 

Disaster struck for all three the leading teams just after the final check point when they were diverted them from the unmarked Trans Baviaans route onto a permanently marked route in the Zuurbron Bike Park. Hammond and Swanepoel were first to realise that they were off the route and back-tracked, managing to maintain their position ahead of Posthumus and Smith. Heyns and Du Toit however were not as fortunate and ended up losing their lead. Posthumus and Smith also regained the correct route ahead of the DSV pairing. “Everyone got lost in Zuurbron” Posthumus explained. “Then heading home we saw Gert (Heyns) and Arno (du Toit) [riding through] the bush so we waited for them and rode home for them” he elaborated.

 

Given the nature of the obstruction and the time losses all the teams suffered, the race commissaire adjudged the obstruction in the route to have hindered riders’ ability to determine the correct route and thus awarded the victory jointly to DSV Pro Cycling and Insect Science/Garmin. The unfortunate outcome should not detract from the amazing rides both teams put in however. “They (Heyns and Du Toit) went from the start. It was an incredibly brave ride, I’ve never seen anyone go from the start like that” Hammond praised his rivals, upon crossing the finish line first.

The MAC, or Mother of All Climbs, is one of the primary obstacles between Willowmore and Jeffreys Bay. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The Insect Science/Garmin combination’s ride was likewise one for the history books; as they kept DSV in sight from the Fangs to the turn off to check point seven. Hammond was the reigning course record holder, for the route which finishes at the Fountains Mall, but he and Swanepoel smashed over twenty five minutes off that time. The pair stopped the clock in an astonishing time of seven hours, fifty one minutes and six seconds – a time which was retrospectively also awarded to Heyns and Du Toit.

 

The third placed team of Posthumus and Smith crossed the line shortly after Heyns and Du Toit, having gallantly declined to contest the sprint – given their rivals’ loss of time in the confusion after check point seven. The William Simpson Cars’ riders still managed to beat the sun too though, breaking the eight hour mark by three minutes.

 

The record breaking feats were even more remarkable in the women’s race were Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill took fifty eight minutes off Ralph and Amy McDougall’s 2016 record time. The Galileo Risk riders rode a flawless race. “Everything went perfectly today” Hill said afterwards. “We always stayed slightly uncomfortable. We agreed on a scale system before the race, and we kept communicating, staying at a level eight” she explained.

 

The pair has now defended their Trans Baviaans title as a team while Ralph added a third successive Race victory to her palmarès. They were keen to play up the event to their fellow elite women’s mountain bikers too. “Women’s mountain biking has really picked up in the last couple of years” Ralph started. “And we love the competition between the ladies, and actually we’re all friends. So it would be nice if they could come and join us, we could have a more competitive race and then we could all have a beer together at the end. It would be marvellous if other ladies could come give us some gears” the Galileo Risk champion enthused.

 

In the mixed category the seemingly undefeatable combination of Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer, riding in the colours of Ultimate Cycling Knysna, continued their undefeated run at the Trans Baviaans. The 2018 Race marks their sixth successive category victory and their second as a two person team, having won the first four with the able assistance of Johan Labuschagne. “I felt like I died seven times out there, especially on the Fangs,” de Villiers half-laughed half-grimaced after securing the victory. “Neill (Ungerer) was a machine out there” she concluded, heaping praise on her partner. The pair’s time of eight hours, twenty three minutes and nineteen seconds was twenty minutes faster than their own previous course record.

 

Despite blitzing the course they were not really aware of just how fast their time was until the final phases of the race. “We went through this last little dip, at Mooidraai, and it was still light. I thought: ‘what’s going on here? Did we start earlier’” Ungerer revealed. “It was a long day. But a fast day” he concluded with a smile, clearly ecstatic to be able to put his feet up early ahead of his second attempt at the 230 kilometre long course next weekend – in the Trans Baviaans Repeat.

 

Riding into the night, in the depth of the Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve where light pollution is non-existent, is one of the highlights of the Trans Baviaans for the non-elite riders. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Results: Trans Baviaans Race

Men:

=1. Insect Science/Garmin (Ben Melt Swanepoel & Timothy Hammond) 07:51:06

=1. DSV Pro Cycling (Gert Heyns & Arno du Toit) 07:51:06

  1. William Simpson Cars (Mike Posthumus & Derrin Smith) 07:57:00
  2. Bianchi (Jac-Louis van Wyk & Gert Fouche) 08:18:40
  3. Bikelane/SPH Transport (Steven Philip Hayes & Andreas Studer) 08:21:47

 

Mixed:

  1. Ultimate Cycling Knysna (Yolande de Villiers & Neill Ungerer) 08:23:19
  2. East Coast Cycles (Kevin Taljaard & Siska van der Berg) 09:14:44
  3. Enduroplanet (Christo Roos & Tanya Kirstein) 09:41:01
  4. Urcycling (Pierre Smith & Mariske Mclean) 10:19:04
  5. Siverfish (Tania & Werner Visser) 10:24:31

 

Women’s:

  1. Galileo Risk (Theresa Ralph & Sarah Hill) 08:58:02
  2. Riding for Jason (Sarah van Heerden & Cindy Theunissen) 11:41:44
  3. Long Life (Marle Kotze & Naomi Visser) 12:30:33
  4. Cycles Direct (Gina Wills & Sannelize Janse van Rensburg) 13:02:29
  5. Mud & Muck (Tilly Ferreira & Marie-Daleen Serfontein) 13:36:15

 

To view the full results from the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race click here.

 

 

Trans News #5-18

Goeie Dag

Dit is sulke tyd! Hierdie is ons laaste nuusbrief voor die groot dae. Hierdie is van toepassing op altwee die naweke se events!
Groete
Wikus van der Walt

Mails have gone out to all teams, on “event info” from our system by now, with everything you need to know, so this is just a quick summary!

EcoBound Offices

We are Baviaanskloof bound and won’t make anymore changes to entries, this can now only be done at Race Registration.

Registration

Things you need to bring to registration:

  1. Signed – Waiver Of Liability And Indemnity Forms.
  2. Your Race Number, you can see on the Rider Entry Lists
  3. If collecting for someone the Consent For Race Contents Collection 

Crates

If you decide not to use crates during the race please hand them back at registration.

You receive 3 crates of 22 litres in size, one per team to Checkpoints 2, 3 and 4.
Your Crate for CP4 needs to be handed in at 20:00 Friday evening at registration.
CP 2&3 needs to be handed in at the Truck in front of the Royal Herberg from 07:00 to 08:30.
Cable-ties will be provided to secure your contents.
Crates will be collectable at the Fountains Mall at the finish again from 07:00 – 12:00

Race Day

The race starts at 10:00am sharp!

Weather forecast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donations

Every year we get generous donations of Books for the Willowmore Library and old Cycling gear for our development riders! There will be boxes placed at registration for you to place these items into! Thank you very much!

Good luck with the last preparations!
Team EcoBound

 

Win a Brand New Vipa ULTRA!

It is now become tradition for Momsen Bikes to give away a bike at the Trans Baviaans. This year they are offering you a chance to win a Vipa Ultra Frame Kit (There are only 3 of these bikes in the country) or a complete Vipa Race One bike, you choose!
What do you need to do?

  1. You need to be a participant of the Trans Baviaans 2018.
  2. Follow this link to an online survey you need to complete.
  3. Download our EcoBound Explorer App
  4. Lucky draw to take place Live after the second event on Facebook!

 

We will try to bring you the stories and news from the events in real time as far as possible! Make sure to checkout the Live Page on the website

Railway Line Segment Challenge

The guys over at PowerBar has decided to offer a new challenge this year with the Trans Baviaans! Instead of the King and Queen of the mountain, we will offer a Segment challenge on the infamous railway line of the Trans Baviaans route.
Cash Prizes to the fastest Male and Female on the segment and then a PowerBar hamper to the fastest lady over 45 years!
PowerBar hamper to the fastest male over 95kg’s!

What you need to do to qualify:
1. You must be a Trans Baviaans 2018 participant (It will apply for both events)
2. Join our Strava Cub – EcoBoundMTB
3. Upload your ride to Strava before 9am Sunday morning
4. The official segment is – Railway line 2 the Mall
5. Check out the live leaderboard on the website and app.
6. Be present at Prize giving
 

Trans News #4-18

Goeie Dag

Augustus is om die draai en dit beteken ons gaan die maand van die Trans Baviaans binne. Hierdie jaar is ek net so senuweeagtig soos meeste van julle, want vir die eerste keer in die 14 jaar bestaan van die Trans Baviaans gaan ek hom ook trap, meer van dit onder in hierdie nuusbrief.

Groete
Wikus van der Walt

Registration

Registration opens on Friday from 13:00 at the Town Hall in Knysna road (Main Street) in Willowmore and will continue untill 20:00.  Please note: There will be no registration on Saturday morning.

Remember:- Containers for Checkpoint #4 (Bergplaas) must be loaded on Friday before 20:00 at registration. Containers for Checkpoints #2 & #3 will only be loaded on Saturday from 7:30-8:30. Trucks for these containers will be parked next to the Engen Garage in Willowmore.

Please Note: All the information required for the race will be provided at the Race Registration. Allow enough time to familiarise yourself with the info before the start – especially the route as it will not be marked!

CSA License, we are a CSA sanctioned event and you need a license to ride and qualify for results. We will not sell day licenses at the event.

Registration process:

  1. Before you go to Registration read and sign the Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement. This is an important document which affects your legal rights and obligations. You must read it carefully prior to entering/taking part in the event. You will need to print and sign this form and bring to Registration. The entire team can sign one document. You can download it here: Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement
  1. Know your race number – this is required to process your registration (You will e receiving a mail with this shortly)
  2. You will be asked to sign that you have received your Race Package, containing below items.
  3. Should you want to collect the Race Pack for a friend, ensure to bring written consent from your friend. You can download the form here: Consent for race Contents collection Remember to bring along the container contents for Checkpoint # 4 (this truck departs on Friday, 20:00)
  4. Should you have any questions after you have read your information, please remember to ask this at the Race Briefing, Friday night at 19:00 (NG Church Hall).

Following the event live!

We have recently launched a mobile app for both Android and IOS devices and will bring you the latest from the event on it! From live tracking, leaderboard updates and all the social media and video inserts!

Team members go download the app and complete your profiles and upload your profile pics please, each team captain (main member) will be able to insert a short description of your team that will be displayed on the app and website! Then tell your supporters and family where to go to follow you!

Support Drivers, the app will have links to checkpoint navigation and give you all the info you require to do your job as well as connect you to what is happening!

   

  

Top Tips

We are running a campaign on last minute tips on Facebook at the moment, make sure to check them out or read the full article here
Don’t panic Trans Baviaans is just around the corner!

Pre-Race fun or nerves?

Trans Baviaans Founder Makes His Debut in 15th edition

Wikus van der Walt – the founder of EcoBound Mountain Events, the organisers of the iconic To Hell and Back and Trans Baviaans mountain bike races – will be making his Trans Baviaans debut in the 15th edition of the famous ultra-endurance race, when he rides the Repeat on the 18th of August. To make his traverse of the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and the 230 kilometres of the race route a little easier van der Walt will be taking part on the new Momsen Vipa Ultra (First look). For the full story click here

Wikus van der Walt and his famous beard, have been at the forefront of the South African mountain biking community since the inaugural To Hell and Back stage race in 1995. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Good luck with the last preparations!
Team EcoBound

Railway Line Segment Challenge

The guys over at PowerBar has decided to offer a new challenge this year with the Trans Baviaans! Instead of the King and Queen of the mountain, we will offer a Segment challenge on the infamous railway line of the Trans Baviaans route.
Cash Prizes to the fastest Male and Female on the segment and then a PowerBar hamper to the fastest lady over 45 years!
PowerBar hamper to the fastest male over 95kg’s!

What you need to do to qualify:
1. You must be a Trans Baviaans 2018 participant (It will apply for both events)
2. Join our Strava Cub – EcoBoundMTB
3. Upload your ride to Strava before 9am Sunday morning
4. The official segment is – Railway line 2 the Mall
5. Check out the live leaderboard on the website and app.
6. Be present at Prize giving

Remember to order your PowerBar for the race online at 20% discount using coupon code: PowerBarTrans2018

230km is considered in most circles as a FARR ride, therefore our partnership with RideFarr is only natural! All Trans Baviaans Riders you get 20% off on FARR products on their online shop only
https://ridefarr.com This is a limited offer only!

Coupon Code: transbaviaans

The Start Line

Trans Baviaans Founder Makes His Debut in 15th Edition

Wikus van der Walt is the patriarch of the EcoBound family. From left: William, Alexander (on William’s shoulders) Marelize, Nina, Terence, Maia (being held by Terance), Wikus, Elmarie, Carmen, Lukas (being held by Zane) and Zane . Photo by Jacques Marais.

Wikus van der Walt – the founder of EcoBound Mountain Events, the organisers of the iconic To Hell and Back and Trans Baviaans mountain bike races – will be making his Trans Baviaans debut in the 15th edition of the famous ultra-endurance race, when he rides the Repeat on the 18th of August. To make his traverse of the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and the 230 kilometres of the race route a little easier van der Walt will be taking part on the new Momsen Vipa Ultra.

The new Momsen Vipa Ultra (first look)

Over the years van der Walt has poured his passion for mountain biking into event organising and ensuring others get to experience his twin loves for the sport and the environment in which it takes place. Since 1995, when the first To Hell and Back took place, he has been a pivotal figure in the local mountain biking community. While his three daughters were at school van der Walt and his wife, Elmarie, were exceptionally active in the organising of age group racing – particularly in the Southern Cape.

Now with the Trans Baviaans running like a well-oiled machine he can delegate to his trusted team of children, their spouses and long-time crew members, and take the opportunity to experience one of the events he created for himself. He will be setting out from Willowmore alongside his partner for the initial To Hell and Back trial ride, 24 years ago, John Sharples and MP Heyns, father to one of the race favourites Gert Heyns. Do not be fooled into thinking that van der Walt is a stranger to riding a bicycle through the Baviaanskloof however.

Wikus van der Walt and his famous beard, have been at the forefront of the South African mountain biking community since the inaugural To Hell and Back stage race in 1995. Photo by Jacques Marais.

He is a firm believer in the principle that an event should never take in a trail he has not ridden himself. Over the years he has ridden through the Baviaans numerous times on reconnaissance rides and most recently while undertaking the Freedom Challenge in June this year; though that crossing of the Baviaanskloof was done in the opposite direction and on a heavily loaded bicycle. Those recent memories and his new purposely endurance-designed Momsen Vipa Ultra are sure to make his Trans Baviaans ride a far more enjoyable experience.

Wikus van der Walt and his fellow Trans Baviaans riders will need to conquer the Mother of All Climbs en route from Willowmore to Jeffreys Bay. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Designed and developed by EcoBound’s bicycle partners, Momsen Bikes, the Vipa Ultra is a complete reengineering of the original Vipa full suspension mountain bike platform. Showcasing the modern trend for full suspension race bikes to feature longer top tubes, slacker head angles and more capable performance in technical terrain the Vipa Ultra is not only lighter than its predecessor the Vipa Race but is also more comfortable (now with 100mm rear wheel travel) and confidence inspiring. Key to an ultra-endurance event like the Trans Baviaans is the Vipa Ultra’s ablity to fit two bottle cages inside the main triangle and the presence of integrated storage compartments in both the top and down tubes. It is a bike that not only lives up to the Momsen motto of “Forged in the untamed” but is superbly equipped to conquer the Baviaanskloof. For more info on the Momsen Vipa Ultra you can go to their website www.momsenbikes.com or follow them on social media: Facebook & Instagram

The production models of the Momsen Vipa Ultra have been kept carefully under wraps, but their predecessors the Vipa 2 proudly sported the contours of the Baviaanskloof on their top tubes. Photo by Jacques Marais.

“After 15 years of organising the event, I look forward to taking part in my first official Trans Baviaans, to experience the highs and lows of the event with my fellow riders,” van der Walt said. “I’m especially looking forward to doing this event on the brand new Vipa Ultra as it is a bike made and developed for this type of riding” he concluded.

The 2018 Trans Baviaans takes place over two weekends in August, with the Race starting on Saturday the 11th and the Repeat the following weekend on the 18th. Mountain biking fans can follow Wikus van der Walt and his fellow riders’ progress throughout both events online at www.transbaviaans.co.za or on social media, by liking the Facebook page, Trans Baviaans, following the Instagram handle, @transbaviaans, and following the EcoBound Twitter handle @EcoBoundMTB.

Preparing for the Biggest Ultra-Endurance Race of the Year

The Trans Baviaans is without a doubt South Africa’s iconic ultra-endurance mountain bike race. In a country where ultra-endurance events attract thousands of participants the Baviaans holds the torch as mountain biking’s Comrades Marathon. Now in its fifteenth year the 230 kilometre event takes place over two weekends, with races starting on the 11th and the 18th of August.

The annual Trans Baviaans mountain bike race covers 230 kilometres from Willowmore to Jeffreys Bay, via the remote Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Billed as the toughest team single stage MTB race in the world, it challenges riders to cycle from Willowmore on the edge of the Great Karoo, through the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and to the coastal town of Jeffreys Bay. The 230 kilometre route includes 2 843 meters of climbing, with ascents like the Mother of All Climbs and Neverender having gained infamy of their own, beyond the event at large.

Boasting two events, each attracting over 1 250 riders, the Trans Baviaans sells out in a matter of days – making it undoubtedly the largest ultra-endurance mountain biking event in the country. It is also made unique by the fact that riders take part in teams. The teams range in size from two to four individuals, but ride as a team they must – to ensure each person has someone looking out for them throughout the rugged journey from the hinterland to the Indian Ocean.

South Africa’s top ultra-endurance riders will be pitting themselves against each other and the challenging route in the first event, dubbed the Race on the 11th of August. Photo by Jacques Marais.

For the fifteenth edition of the famous event riders had the choice of entering the Race or the Repeat. The Race starts in Willowmore on Saturday the 11th of August at 10:00 in the morning, while the Repeat begins, at the same time and place, seven days later. South Africa’s most competitive ultra-endurance riders will be lining up in the normally quiet main road of Willowmore to do battle to be crowned the Kings and Queens of the Baviaans in the first edition. The second edition is a little more relaxed, though riders can be sure there will still be a racing element; but without as many elite riders on the start line – the bunches tent to traverse the first 150 kilometres a few kilometres per hour slower.

With the Trans Baviaans starting at 10:00am in Willowmore all the riders will be cycling into the dark, which adds to the unique experience and the challenge of the event. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The good news for one and all participating in the 2018 Trans Baviaans is that the roads leading to the reserve have been recently graded. This should ensure faster times at the front of the field, and perhaps new record times if the weather plays along. More importantly it should ensure a pleasurable day out for the bulk of the riders, who ride the Baviaans for the experience and the camaraderie.

With the events now rapidly approaching all that remains is to nervously keep an eye on the weather forecast and to complete the final pre-race preparations. Fortunately EcoBound does just that on their social media channels and on the race website, www.transbaviaans.co.za. Be sure to like the Facebook page, Trans Baviaans, and follow the Instagram handle, @transbaviaans, for all the news in the build-up to the event. If you are not riding one of this year’s Trans Baviaans events, but would like to live vicariously through those that are, you can follow the racing action on the EcoBound Twitter handle @EcoBoundMTB or on the race’s website.

 

Stay tuned to the Trans Baviaans social media channels in the built-up to the race for more information on the route and weather conditions. Photo by Jacques Marais.

For more information visit www.transbaviaans.co.za, alternatively contact Zane Schmahl (zane@ecobound.co.za | 072 076 8623) or Seamus Allardice (seamus@seamusallardice.com | 082 748 7772).

Don’t Panic: Trans Baviaans Is Just Around The Corner

The Trans Baviaans, 24 hour MTB Marathon, is rapidly approaching and while there is virtually no time left for improving your fitness there is a great deal of preparation you can still do to ensure you have a successful ride. Whether you are lining up for the Race on the 11th of August or the Repeat on the 18th you will still have 230 kilometres of rugged Eastern Cape gravel roads to cover, including 2 843 significant meters of elevation gain. So here are a few tips for ensuring you a prepared for the toughest team single stage MTB race in the world…

  1. Go Long at Least Once

While you cannot really improve your fitness much between now and the event you can get your body and mind used to long hours in the saddle. So schedule a last long training ride, of at least 150 kilometres, to simulate how you will feel during Trans Baviaans. It will also give you the opportunity to find tune your nutrition plan, and remember never eat or drink anything for the first time during the big race, you have to train your gut like you do your muscles to perform on race day.

 

  1. Final Bike Prep

Give your bike a pre-race check-up. Hopefully at this late stage it won’t need a major service; but to be on the safe side make sure everything is turning smoothly, that your tubeless sealant is topped up and that all bolts are tightened up appropriately. Also be sure to check that your spare tube is puncture free and that your multi-tool, CO2 adapter, CO2 bombs, tubeless tyre plugs and spare chain link are all packed.

3. Gear Check

Do you have everything you will need gear wise for Trans Baviaans? Download the official gear check list here and ensure that you have all the kit, regardless of what the weather throws at you. Included in the gear check list are essentials like bike lights, cycling kit, nutrition and more.

 

4. Plan Your Strategy

Don’t be too rigid in your planning because it’s a mountain bike race after-all, anything can and probably will happen. But put plans in place for your ideal and worse case scenarios. Plus pre-pack your checkpoint boxes into large zip-lock bags so you can minimise your post-registration hassle. It’ll also help to print out the Route Profile and tape it to your top tube.

Night riding like never before…

5. Pack Right

  • Pack for warm, wet and cold weather. Make your final decision on race day but remember to add cold weather gear to your checkpoint 4 box regardless.
  • Pre-pack your race day nutrition. If you plan on putting bars, gels, whole food or a sports drink concentrate in your checkpoint boxes pack all the necessary products into a clearly marked zip-lock bag for each checkpoint box.
  • Double check. Make sure you have all the essentials, by cross referencing the official gear check list, which you can download here.

6. Reduce the Stress

Get to Willomore early, register and check-in to your accommodation. Have a hearty, early supper, of easily digestible and familiar foods before trying to get a good night’s rest. If you struggle to fall asleep don’t stress it, try to remain relaxed and visualise the challenge ahead. Just lying relaxed in bed will ensure you’re more well rested for race day than if you spend the night tossing and turning trying in vain to get to sleep. (If you’re staying in the hostel ear plugs are a good idea too!)

Pre-Race fun or nerves?

7. Wake Up Early

With the Trans Baviaans starting at 10:00 you have plenty of time to eat and digest a good breakfast, but don’t waste your morning either. Get up early, eat breakfast and then check in your boxes if you are sending boxes to checkpoints two and three.

8. Kill Time in Willowmore

This will be less of an issue than you think but if you are struggling for something to do take a very slow pedal down the main drag and check out the town. Or settle in with a newspaper. Just remember to avoid too much coffee, it’s a diuretic and can play havoc with a stressed stomach too, so rather use the time to hydrate with a watered down fruit juice.

9. Line Up to Go Time

From 09:00 you can start collecting your race token, which will be marked at each checkpoint, and file into the start chute. At 09:45 the race briefing will take place and at 10:00 the Trans Baviaans starts.

10. Early Kays

Remember, save energy. Every calorie you expend early on is one you won’t have for later when you’re climbing MAC or Neverender. Someone has to sit at the front of the group, but try to ensure it’s not you – or at least not you for too long.

11. The Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve

Once you hit the reserve the going gets tougher, this is what you saved energy for. The climb to Baviaans Back at 115 kilometres in could be a shock to the system, but the Fangs at 130 kilometres certainly will be. Just after the second Fang the Mother of All Climbs starts (Check it out on Stava), save energy for it. The main part of the climb is about 5 kilometres long and averages just below double figures in gradient, but be warned there are sections which ramp up briefly to over 20% and longer drags at over 10%. The surface of MAC is better than ever this year though, with Eastern Cape Parks having laid concrete strips up the climb; just don’t drop off the concrete onto the old eroded jeep track surface.

12. The Big Dipper

At Bergplaas you’ll reach the all-important checkpoint 4. It’s here that most riders aim to be before it gets dark. Remember Bergplaas is located off the main road, so hang a left to the check point about 3 kilometres after the King and Queen of the Mountain hot spot. Descending the Big Dipper at night can be daunting, but if you have an Extreme Lights Ultimate+ or Endurance+ light you’ll be thankful for their wide beams which cast light through the corners as well at a focal point straight ahead.

13. Beyond the Baviaanskloof

Once out of the nature reserve the road surfaces improve once more, but by now you’ll probably be too tired to notice the difference. This is where your mental strength and team work will really come to the fore. Prepare to suffer here and promise yourself now that you won’t quit. Once over the Neverender at 195 kilometres the major battles are won.

14. Final Tips

  • Eat, Eat, Eat. Keep putting back those calories
  • Drink, Drink, Drink. Keep hydrating, especially if it gets colder and your thirst response drops off. You’ll still need the fluids.
  • Don’t faff. Don’t waste time at the checkpoints, get in and get out. Have a plan for what you’ll need at each checkpoint and stick to it.
  • Save energy for the end. The final 5 kilometres to the Fountains Mall in Jefferys Bay are now on a singletrack next to the railway line. Don’t expect a smooth tar run in to town.
  • Stick together and Enjoy it. The Trans Baviaans is a team race and hopefully you’re riding it with friends, so stay together and enjoy the experience.

15. Stay Updated

Keep yourself updated in the build up to the Trans Baviaans by following the event on Facebook and Instagram, or EcoBound on Twitter. Your supporters at home or meeting you at checkpoint 5 will be able to follow the race live, over both weekends, by following those social media handles or by watching online at www.transbaviaans.co.za.

The Start!

For more information visit www.transbaviaans.co.za, alternatively contact Zane Schmahl (zane@ecobound.co.za | 072 076 8623) or Seamus Allardice (seamus@seamusallardice.com | 082 748 7772).

Trans News #3-18

Goeie Dag

Die koudste week van die jaar!
Wikus van der Walt is tans besig met die Freedom Challenge en het deur n spier wit Hel gery 2 dae terug! Hy het ook deur die Baviaanskloof gery en beplan om hierdie jaar vir die eerste keer ooit in 15 jaar sy eie event die Trans Baviaans aan te pak!

Schedule

In order for you to prepare your logistics, this is how registration will work:

Registration opens on Friday from 13:00 at the Town Hall in Knysna road (Main Street) in Willowmore and will continue untill 20:00.  Please note: There will be no registration on Saturday morning.

Remember:- Containers for Checkpoint #4 (Bergplaas) must be loaded on Friday before 20:00 at registration. Containers for Checkpoints #2 & #3 will only be loaded on Saturday from 7:30-8:30. Trucks for these containers will be parked next to the Engen Garage in Willowmore.

Please Note: All the information required for the race will be provided at the Race Registration. Allow enough time to familiarise yourself with the info before the start – especially the route as it will not be marked!

For the full event Schedule go to our website

FAQ

We are currently running a FAQ campaign on Facebook, go check it out and we might be answering some of your questions!
Facebook Page

Training

You can download the proven training planners from our website that has been covered in the Trans Talks. If you are following the conventional one this should be what you need to do next week:
WEEK 19
MO 45min @ zone 1 or rest
TU 1h10 @ zone 1, include 30min @ zone 2
WE 1h30 @ zone 2
TH 2h00 @ zone 2
FR 45min @ zone 1 or rest day
SA 1h30 @ zone 2
SO 2h30 @ zone 2

EcoBound Explorer
“Explore everything EcoBound”
We have a mobile app! It is still in the starting phases of development but you can download it from the app stores. The aim will be to make your entry process to our events smoother! We are including some cool features like the “Polar Training Planners” that you can follow, they are located under “Performance”
We will have the “Live” event run from the app with feeds on your progress and handy features for your supporters!

 

Development bikes going into the Baviaanskloof!
We have started a programm where these guys will be able to rent out their bikes to tourist and generate income for them to compete in races. The first event on their Momsen AL129’s will be the Trans Baviaans!

We are very excited to announce our partnership with Versus socks as they are undoubtedly the leader in the industry! We will have the limited edition Trans Baviaans Socks available for pre order up to 16 July on our website and they will be up for grabs at event registration.

Happy Riding

Team EcoBound