There are many cycling events taking place in South Africa throughout the year – each with its own uniqueness. We came across an event in Oudtshoorn that has incorporated the road and mountain bike in a relay race. This race may be the only one of its kind on the South African cycling calendar.
The 2nd edition of this relay event took place on 5 November with a team of four riders, two riding the road bikes and the other two the mountain bikes, each covering a distance of 75 km and therefore called, “Stof en Teer”.
The race started and finished at the Surval Botique Olive Estate, 5 km outside Oudtshoorn on the iconic route to the Cango Caves. It took the road riders to Calitzdorp and half way back to Karoo Boom where they handed over to their gravel partners. The mountain bikes headed straight towards the Swarberg Mountain and the beautiful Red Stone Hills and followed the foothills of the Swartberg Mountain range before heading back to Oudtshoorn through the “poort” to Lategansvlei and finishing at Surval Botique Olive Estate again.
As with most of the races, the racing snakes were giving it their all to take the honours. The racing was hard up front with the two winning teams finishing the 151 km in 4:46:37, giving them an average speed of 31.6 km/h over the distance.
The combination of road and MTB made it interesting as a few teams were overtaken in the MTB leg of the race.
The routes were challenging enough, but without making it to difficult for the weekend warrior. The roadies had just over 500m and the mountain bikers around 1 100m of climbing, enough to make racing interesting.
Alfa Bodyworks Pro Cycling team came from Cape Town to compete and was pretty confident going into the race. Things went well for them in the road section and after an early break they managed to pull out a 5 minute gap on the “Vollies chasers”, when handing over. The Vollies chased hard and caught the Alpha Body Works Team on 30 km and stayed with them to the end. At the end it was a sprint finish with a tricky 900 turn just before the line and the Alfa Body Works Team managed to cross the line first.
“Stof en Teer”, organized by Jakhals events from Oudtshoorn has a great concept going. Robert du Preez from Alfa Bodyworks Pro Cycling team said: “I thought this was a brilliant concept and was excited to be participating.” Jakhals Events is an events company from Oudtshoorn that has been organizing cycling events in the Eden area such as the Surval MTB challenge and the George Show MTB races and also organize some other local races. Next years race will take place on 28 November 2017.