Cyclists lap up heat for MTB Race

The Herald Continental Cycle Tour MTB 80km Extreme Ladies Winners 2019.jpg

Not even the heat of the Addo sun was enough to deter riders as they tackled another successful The Herald Continental Cycle Tour Mountain Bike Challenge on Sunday.

More than 1,300 riders were in the starting lineup at the Addo Polo Club and hordes of fans were waiting at the finish. With temperatures hovering in the high 20s for most of the morning, riders nevertheless had few problems navigating the tough, technical course laid out around the Addo area.

The men’s 80km extreme race was won by Cycle Tour debutant Arno du Toit, while Yolande de Villiers made it two wins in as many years for the wo m e n ’s section. The Oudtshoorn resident said conditions in Addo mimicked that of her hometown and thus did not play a major role in her performance.

“I must say this event keeps getting better each year, from registration all the way to the set-up, the accommodation – everything was just perfect from a racer’s point of view, and I am certainly looking forward to returning next year.” Du Toit shared similar sentiments, saying he had a lot of fun out on the course, especially through the more challenging sections like the Zuurberg Pass . “I hope to be back next year, having more fun, and to defend my title.”

Continental Tyre events manager David van der Merwe said the event was well attended and even better in an organisational sense. “It might have been hot and dusty out there, but judging from the feedback we got, the riders enjoyed themselves.” He said he believed the race now had a place among some of the biggest MTB races in the co u n t r y.

The Herald and Weekend Post chief marketing officer Justin Peel said the 2019 field was the largest ever in the history of the race. “This race is not only about the elite racers, but from the 500m kiddies race, all the way up, what we are aiming for is to see a smile on their faces as they cross the finish line. “It’s not about the win or the time for everybody, but rather for the adventure and experience that comes along with it,” Peel said.

Berna Walters