MTBers rewarded with sensational routes at Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience Stage One

origin of trails

Stage One of SA’s “MTB Party” of the year, the much-anticipated Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience treated mountain bikers of all ages (and skill levels) to incredible routes, magnificent views and a spectacular vibe on Saturday 30 November 2019.

An individual 2-day MTB Experience, the Savanna Origin of Trails reminds mountain bikers why they ride. Starting in Die Laan (Stellenbosch) and finishing at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, the Stage One route highlighted the beauty and splendour of the City of Oaks while encapsulating the magnificence of Stellenbosch.  Mountain bikers were granted the ‘once a year opportunity’ to experience a vast network of world class trails while celebrating the origin of SA mountain biking.  

David Garrett claimed victory in the Marathon (50 – 60km) men’s race in a time of 02 hours 05 minutes.  Sebastian Stark came in 2nd, while Frans Claes finished 3rd

Lorenzo le Roux (Jonkershoek) from the BMT Racing Team had a great day out on route.  “Today was nice and hard,” says le Roux.  “The best part is when I dropped some guys.  My plan is to enjoy tomorrow, it’s my last race of the year.”

Laura Stark (Newlands) was the rider to beat in the Marathon (50 – 60km) women’s race.  Stark crossed the finish line first in 02 hours 56 minutes 33 seconds.  “I did last year’s edition of the race.  I loved it so I came back this year,” confirms Stark.  “I love the trails.  We’re not from the Stellenbosch region, so it’s a good opportunity for us to get out on the trails without needing a map.  The route was different to last year, maybe a bit more technical, but in great condition.  I know that most of the other riders don’t race, because it’s the last event of the year.  I didn’t do much racing this year, so it’s kind of the first race of my season.”  Nicole Schafer came in 2nd, while Lehane Oosthuizen finished 3rd

The Half Marathon (28 – 30km) was dominated by Luca Ruwiel (Bellville) and Nienke Mostert (Worcester) in the men’s and women’s race respectively.

“This is the second year that I take part.  I came back because I won it last year,” admits Ruwiel.  “Today was quite a challenge, more than I thought it would be.  There was nice single track in Jonkershoek.  There was lots of single track, which is nice.  My goal for tomorrow is to win again and take the overall win which would be nice.”  Henning Venter came in 2nd, while Juan Erasmus finished 3rd.

Nienke Mostert made her Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience debut on the day.  “I wanted to ride these trails, especially in Jonkershoek.  The route was very nice, the single tracks were great.  I am very excited to be the first lady to cross the finish line in the Half Marathon,” says Mostert.  Olga Firsova came in 2nd, while Cecile Coetzee finished 3rd.

The Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience Fun Ride saw Amila Mntuyedwa cross the finish line first in the men’s race in a time of 26 minutes 14 seconds, followed by Lakhanya Shaun Sikhobongwana in 2nd and Likho Mayekiso in 3rd

Reaboka Dlothi was the first female rider home crossing the finish line in 39 minutes 28 seconds, followed by Christelle Johnsen in 2nd place and Nicolette Hendricks in 3rd place.

Kavir Gangiah, Media, Sponsorship and Events Manager Distell Southern Africa, got a first-hand experience of the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience by taking on the Fun Ride.  “For my first ever mountain bike experience, it was amazing.  The event was well organized.  I think I could be hooked.” 

NEXT UP:  Day 2 / Sunday, 01 December 2019

Venue: Start & Finish:  Blaauwklippen Wine Estate
Event: Savanna Origin Of Trails Trail Run
Start Time: 06:45 / 12 – 15km
  06:50 / 5km
Event: Stage Two / Savanna Origin Of Trails MTB Experience
Start Time: 07:00 / Marathon (50 – 60km)
  08:10 / Half Marathon (28 – 30km)

Charity SupportThe Savanna Origin of Trails proudly supports the:  1. Urban Caracal Project, 2. Aitsa! After Care Centre and the 3. Stellenbosch Trail Fund

Falke Foot MassageAll entrants are invited to visit the Falke Foot Zone once they’ve crossed the finish line for a free Falke leg and foot massage.   

Win with SpecializedOne lucky rider will take home a spectacular Specialized Epic Comp EVO mountain bike to the value of R49 000 on Sunday.  To stand a chance to win entrants had to share a video from the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience on Saturday and show Specialized why they deserve to win.  The winner will be announced during prize giving on Sunday.

     Like our Facebook page:  Stillwater MTB Events

Follow us on Twitter:  @OriginOfTrails For more information on the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience and/or Trail Run please contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045, email or visit

TOP 5 RESULTS:   Stage 1 / Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience

Date:  Saturday 30 November 2019

Start:  Die Laan (Stellenbosch)

Finish:  Blaauwklippen Wine Estate


1 David Garrett 02:05:00, Sebastian Stark 02:28:38, 3 Frans Claes 02:34:17, 4 Matthew Lochner 02:34:41, 5 Sandiso Xetu 02:34:48


1 Laura Stark 02:56.33, 2 Nicole Schafer 03:09:40, 3 Lehane Oosthuizen 03:12:36, 4 Amy McDougall 03:14:56, 5 Dene Conroy-de Wet 03:15:00


1 Luca Ruwiel 01:22:01, 2 Henning Venter 01:22:22, 3 Juan Erasmus 01:27:58, 4 Zizo Tshingana 01:29:07, 5 Ryal de Waal 01:32:55


1 Nienke Mostert 01:42:21, 2 Olga Firsova 01:43:57, 3 Cecile Coetzee 01:46:03, 4 Lynne Vermeulen 01:46:27, 5 Madelene Smuts 01:48:46


1 Amila Mntuyedwa 00:26:14, 2 Lakhanya Shaun Sikhobongwana 00:26:36, 3 Likho Mayekiso 00:26:38, 4 Trenton Robertson 00:28:46, 5 Inathi Stoyile 00:28:47

FUN RIDE / Women

1 Reaboka Dlothi 00:39:28, 2 Christelle Johnsen 00:52:47, 3 Nicolette Hendricks 00:55:18, 4 Keren Muller 00:56:44, 5 Taryn McGowan 00:56:46


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