Heyns conquers heat to claim Herald mountain bike win

Photo credit: Richard Pearce

Team DSV rider Gert Heyns was undeterred by sweltering, humid conditions in Addo as he sprinted his way to the 2020 Herald Cycle Tour Mountain Bike Challenge title on 16 February 2020. Heyns was involved in a sprint to the finish at the end of a challenging 80km course as he claimed the title in a time of three hours, one minute and 21 seconds.

Finishing second was Imbuko Giant’s Nicol Carstens in 3.01:22, while his teammate Marco Joubert took third in 3.06;45. In the women’s race, Yolande de Villiers made it a hat-trick of wins at the event as she claimed top honours in 3.22:02. In second place was Yolandi du Toit (3.34:36), who finished ahead of Anriette Schoeman in third with a time of 3.56:12. With three distances on offer for riders — the 80km Extreme, 60km Adventure and 30km Leisure — almost 1,300 riders of all ages and skill levels took to the course.

“Extremely happy to pick up the win this year, having missed last ye a r ’s race. My aim was always to give my all and see what it brings me, so to grab the win after that sprint finish is really great, ” Heyns said.

“It was quite tough. It came down to a sprint finish in the end with Nicol. I tried but did not manage to lose him on the climbs.”

“Nicol rode very well, he is a very strong rider and although I tried to lose him on certain sections, he just showed why he is such a threat by keeping up the pace.” Heyns said despite his partner and defending champion Arno du Toit not being there, his main objective had been to try to ensure the men’s elite title stayed with Team DSV for another year. “It ’s good for the team that we are able to win this race again this year. “Last year Arno won and I was not here while this year roles are reversed. So I felt I needed to do it for my team,” Heyns said.

De Villiers was in imperious form in the women’s race as she finished more than 10 minutes ahead of Du Toit. “As expected, it was a very fast start, quite dusty. There was a bit more climbing than I expected, but it was fantastic. “There were quite a few fast girls in the field, coupled with starting alongside the men. So it was quite fast and furious, but I am just happy to pick up the win,” De Villiers said.

Riding with the Team Madmacs logo emblazoned on her chest, the three-time Tour champion said a slight change in course dynamics had added some spice to the race.

“There was a section of downhill single track which was added this year and it was absolutely fantastic.”

Leading results: 80km Extreme Men: 1 Gert Heyns (3.01:21); 2. Nicol Carstens (3.01:22); 3. Marco Joubert (3.06:45) Women: Yolande de Villiers (3.22:02); 2. Yolandi du Toit (3.34:36); 3. Anriette Schoeman (3.56:12) 60km Adventure Men: 1 Partridge Chimwendo (2.14:10); 2. Caylem Essen (2.16:31); 3. Luthando Fatyi (2.17:05) Women: 1 Siska van der Bijl (2.26:44); 2. Charlize Potgieter (2.34:30); 3. Michelle Enslin (2.37:46). 30km Leisure Men: 1 Joshua Wagner Jnr (1.01:32); 2. Francois de Villiers (1.01:37); 3. Jarred Loenen (1.01:41). Women: 1 Rachel Seaman (1.06:31); 2. Samantha van Schoor (1.07:50); 3. Megan Gil (1.08:41).