Insect Science Garmin’s Timothy Hammond and Ben Melt Swanepoel hung on to Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit’s wheels for nearly 200 kilometres; before the DSV Pro Cycling team made an error which handed Hammond and Swanepoel the Trans Baviaans Race victory. The 15th edition of the famous event, which started on Saturday the 11th of August at 10am in Willowmore and finished, for the winners at least, 7 hours and 51 minutes and 6 seconds later in Jeffreys Bay.
There was drama in the final kilometres though as Heyns and Du Toit went further down a wrong turning than Hammond and Swanepoel behind them, losing the lead they had fought all race to establish. Hammond’s Trans Baviaans experience alerted him to the fact that he and Swanepoel were off course and the eventual winners were able to find their way back to the correct route before losing the lead to Mike Posthumus and Derrin Smith.
The women’s and mixed categories were concluded in less controversial fashions with Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill, winning the women’s race for Galileo Risk; while Yolande de Villiers and Neill Ungerer won the mixed category for the sixth time. The Ultimate Cycling Knysna duo, which has been invincible throughout their Trans Baviaans partnership, notched up their second victory as a pair having won their first four races as a three person team with Johan Labuschagne.
Despite the very cold start to the morning in Willowmore it turned into a perfect day with records tumbling in most categories. A light tail wind blew throughout the day and the first three men’s teams broke the psychological 8 hour barrier – which had previously been thought to be impossible. Along with the winners Insect Science Garmin; DSV Pro Cycling’s Heyns and Du Toit, and William Simpson Cars’ Posthumus and Smith also went sub-8. What made the record breaking rides more remarkable is the fact that the top three teams all took a wrong turn and lost valuable time. Women’s champions Ralph and Hill broke Ralph and Amy McDougall’s 2016 course record by nearly an hour when they stopped the clock in a time of 8 hour 58 minutes and 2 seconds. Plus de Villiers and Ungerer’s time of 8 hours, 23 minutes and 19 seconds is also a new course record for the mixed category teams, breaking their own record from 2013.
The prize giving for the 2018 Trans Baviaans Race will take place at 10am in the Fountains Mall in Jeffreys Bay on Sunday the 12th of August.
Selected Provisional Results
Trans Baviaans Race | Men:
- Insect Science/Garmin (Ben Melt Swanepoel & Timothy Hammond) 07:51:06
- DSV Pro Cycling (Gert Heyns & Arno du Toit) 07:56:59
- William Simpson Car (Mike Posthumus & Derrin Smith) 07:57:00
- Bianchi (Jac-Louis van Wyk & Gert Fouche) 08:18:40
- Bikelane/SPH Transport (Steven Philip Hayes & Andreas Studer) 08:21:47
Trans Baviaans Race | Mixed:
- Ultimate Cycling Knysna (Yolande de Villiers & Neill Ungerer) 08:23:19
- East Coast Cycles (Kevin Taljaard & Siska van der Berg) 09:14:44
- Enduroplanet (Christo Roos & Tanya Kirstein) 09:41:01
Trans Baviaans Race | Women’s:
- Galileo Risk (Theresa Ralph & Sarah Hill) 08:58:02
- Riding for Jason (Sarah van Heerden & Cindy Theunissen) 11:41:44