The 5th annual Fedhealth MTB Challenge attracted an impressive field of riders to the magnificent Boschendal Farm Estate (The Retreat) on Sunday 08 September 2019.
Jean-Pierre Lloyd (Stellenbosch) secured the top spot on the podium in the Fedhealth MTB Challenge Marathon.
(+-60km) Men’s Race on his first try. “The Fedhealth MTB Challenge is good preparation for the Tour de Windhoek, a road race that I will be taking part in,” says a very happy Lloyd. “I belong to a road riding team, it’s my main focus. I take part in mountain biking events for fun. The Marathon route was very nice. There were a lot of climbs in the beginning. The trails in Banhoek were very nice. I rode in a group of three with Matthew Keyser and Waylon Woolcock for a long time. I broke away with about 12km to go. I just kept it from there until the end. The route was great, with a lot of single track and constant trails. There wasn’t a lot of jeep track, making it very nice. I will definitely be back next year.” Lloyd crossed the finish line in an impressive time of 02 hours 56 minutes 28 seconds. Matthew Keyser came in second, while Waylon Woolcock finished third.
Alisha Myers (Cape Town) was the rider to beat in the Fedhealth MTB Challenge Marathon (+-60km) Women’s Race. “I’m from the States. This is the first time that I take part in the Fedhealth MTB Challenge at Boschendal. I am training to go ride in the Himalayas in two weeks. This is my last long training ride. The route was knarly and the heat added another dimension. There were lots of rocks and some beautiful single track. It was all about keeping the head up because then you can see the mountains, the blue sky and the flowers in bloom. That’s what keeps me going. There was a point on route where you could see Eland. There was a whole herd of them running right in front of us which was pretty amazing. I put in a lot of work this year so it feels awesome to finish first.” Myers crossed the finish line in 03 hours 44 minutes 16 seconds. Janice Venter came in second, while Lehane Oosthuizen finished third.
Adriaan van Zyl (Vredenburg) celebrated his Fedhealth MTB Challenge debut by claiming gold in the Half Marathon (+-30km) in an impressive time of 01 hour 06 minutes 56 seconds. “I take part in the WP League Races. I’ve watched a lot of the Fedhealth MTB Challenge videos on YouTube and really like the river crossings, so I decided to enter. We all rode together in the beginning, it was nice and easy. After about 10km I decided that it was my chance as I haven’t really won a race yet. It was very technical and the turns were sketchy. I really enjoyed the flats because I am actually a road cyclist. I am amazed to win today. I just lifted my head and decided to do it because I can.” Luke Kavanagh came in second, while Henning Venter finished third.
The women’s Half Marathon (+-30km) saw a close finish between Christelle Joubert (Tulbagh) and Angeliq Coetzer (Grabouw), with Joubert narrowly claiming gold.
“I did my first Fedhealth MTB Challenge in 2018,” says Joubert. “I would like to go pro one day. These events help me to get fit. It was very hot today, but the route was very nice. Winning really means a lot. It shows that all my hard work has paid off.” Joubert crossed the finish line in well-deserved time of 01 hour 17 minutes 50 seconds.
Runner up Angeliq Coetzer admits to really enjoying Fedhealth’s events. “The route was very difficult, but very nice with fun single track.” Robyn Emslie rounded off the podium.
Jeandre Ungerer was the first rider home in the Fedhealth MTB Challenge Fun Ride (+-15km) in 40 minutes 07 seconds. Jean Marc Surridge came in second, while Luca Zietsman finished third.
In the women’s Fun Ride (+-15km) Zoe Green finished first in a time of 47 minutes 11 seconds. Nadia van Wyk came in second, while Eryn Marais finished third.
Says Jeremy Yatt, Fedhealth Principal Officer: “We look back on another successful Fedhealth MTB Challenge at the breath-taking Boschendal. A sincere thank you from Fedhealth to everyone who joined us and helped to make it such a wonderful weekend away. We are big believers in making fitness and exercise part of a healthy lifestyle, even more so when families can do it together in a natural setting. We are geared to making sure this event keeps growing from strength to strength in future!”