Winning streak continues for Foster and Terlouw on stage 2 at KAP sani2c

sani2c
Sam Sanders takes a switchback in her stride on the Umkomaas Valley descent Photo Rory Scheffer

Jolivet Farm. 26 April 2024. The PYGA Euro Steel 2 team, Michael Foster and Jaedon Terlouw, took another win on Stage 2 of the KAP sani2c (03:26:21), with just 40 seconds to spare against the Insect Science team of Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning. Sam Sanders and Danielle Strydom (Efficient Infiniti Insure) held onto the leader’s jersey in the women’s race, finishing in 04:10:05, taking 4th place overall for the stage.

KAP sani2c is now a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Category 2 marathon stage race, and this report covers the results from the UCI registered riders in the men’s and women’s elite race.

MEN’S RACE

Terlouw says that Insect Science were trying to attack at every moment that they could: “The pace was hot so we were trying to keep it under control. I know that Michael is super strong on the climbs so when I saw him off the bike, I knew he’d catch us on the climb. And then he just went, really fast. It was a good race and we worked well together after the Iconic Climb, it ended up in our favour.”

Foster says it was slippery down the Umkomaas Valley: “Keagan came off on the one corner and I have no idea how Jaedon and Arno managed it going so fast. Towards the bottom there were cows on the route to watch out for. At the bottom of the Umko, I had grass in my cassette so I had to stop, and Keagan and Arno attacked when they saw I was off the bike. I got some energy at the bottom of the climb though and went as hard as I could, catching and passing them.

“We will stick to the guys tomorrow and see what happens, and capitalise on any mistakes they make.”

Insect Science’s Arno du Toit says: “Plan A was to put them under pressure going down the Umko, but Jaedon was riding very aggressively, got in front of us and slowed the pace, which was probably a good thing as it was very slippery. Plan B was to outride them, and so we kept the pace up through the Valley, and when we saw Michael had an issue we pushed hard, but he powered up the climb. After Iconic we could not close the gap, Keagan was pulling hard but I ran out of horsepower a bit. It was a nice drag race to the finish. Well done to the PYGA boys.”

Bontekoning: “It is unusual to be going head to head with just one other team at sani2c. We suffered a bit with altitude the first two days, but I am now feeling more myself, so tomorrow we will give it our all.”

Third placed Flying Young Guns, Jean-Pierre du Plessis and Lood Goosen, rode conservatively down the Umko Drop. Goosen says he enjoyed the start: “The pace wasn’t too fast, so we rode nicely in the group. Then when we started going into the Umko they were going fast and it was a bit risky, so we slowed down a bit.”

Du Plessis says he was a bit nervous going into the descent today: “They all know the trail pretty well but this is our first time going down the Umko. I had two really close calls but we managed to stick with them all the way onto the bottom. Then we did our own pace up the climb and towards the end I started taking a bit of strain; Lood just took me to the finish line.”

Goosen says the Umkomaas descent was very sketchy at sections: “Some sections were actually quite grippy, and the moment we dropped down under the clouds it was an incredible view. I really enjoyed it, it was pretty fun. We dropped off from the group and did our own pace up Iconic, not too fast, not too slow.”

Tshenolo Adventure Racing’s Zola Ngxakeni and Thabiso Rengane had a very strong day on the bike, taking fourth place amongst  the UCI men, with enough time on the fifth placed PYGA Euro Steel 3 team of Stephen du Preez and Wian van den Bergh, to secure fourth place on the GC.

WOMEN’S RACE

Sam Sanders and Danielle Strydom of Efficient Infiniti Insure had a solid, fast day on the bike, reflected in their fourth place overall. Strydom says: “We did not have much of a plan, we knew that Bianca and Frances are quick on the downhills, so we knew the Umko drop would be their prime time. It was a chase down, and we had a minor mechanical, but managed to catch them again. It was cat and mouse up to Iconic and then we made our break. Tomorrow is not an easy stage. It’s a fast stage, and it’s great when you get the sea views to motivate you.”

Sanders says: “The Umko is always stunning. It was slippery which was a new dynamic, but it was still super fun and the flowy trails are amazing. We kept it conservative until Iconic, because the last 40 kms are the hardest of the 90 odd kms. On Iconic we were strong enough to get away and then we got a breather before we emptied the tank.”

Of tomorrow’s final stage, Sanders says: “I like to ride my own race, so we will start and see how the legs feel. If we get away that will be cool as it would be good to have a hat trick of wins on the stages. But we have to take each day as it comes.”

The sani2c team of Frances Janse van Rensburg and Bianca Haw were all smiles. Janse van Rensburg had not done the Umko drop during her 2020 sani2c debut, as the race was rerouted due to rain. Haw says she should have briefed her better about the descent: “Fransie was a bit off the back on the first hill, so we lost the group but it worked well as we were more conservative on the down and we had an open line the whole way and caught up, because they stopped for a bit. We were with them along the bottom but they can climb way better than me and they surged up Iconic.” 

Van Rensburg says: “I dropped on the first downhill but Bianca waited for me. She was so fast down the Umko drop and I tried to follow her line so we caught up with the other two.

I remember from 2020 that the last day is really fast, so we will see what we can do.”

Bell Equipment’s Hayley Smith and Janice Venter loved the Umko drop. Smith says: “It is just my favourite, I loved every minute of it. A bit slippery today but I handled it like a beast!”

Venter says: “Then Iconic was a beast of a climb, it takes it out of you. We will go full gas mode tomorrow.”

The third and final stage leaves Jolivet Farm and travels 86 km to Scottburgh Golf Club, with 1042 metres of climbing.

RESULTS

MEN

  •  
  1. PYGA Euro Steel 2 (Michael Foster/Jaedon Terlouw) 03:26:21
  2. Insect Science (Arno du Toit/Keagan Bontekoning) 03:27:01
  3. Flying Young Guns (Jean-Pierre du Plessis/Lood Goosen) 03:51:26
  4. Tshenolo Adventure Racers (Zola Ngxakeni/Thabiso Rengane)  04:10:41
  5. PYGA Euro Steel 3 (Stephen du Preez/Wian van den Bergh) 04:26:33

WOMEN

  1. Efficient Infiniti Insure (Sam Sanders/Danielle Strydom) 04:10:05
  2. sani2c (Frances Janse van Rensburg/ Bianca Haw) 04:20:58
  3. Bell Equipment (Hayley Smith/Janice Venter)  04:42:09
  4. Tshenolo Adventure Racing (Refilwe Mogorosi/Tania Bugarin Ortiz) 05:05:41

MIXED (Not UCI registered riders)

  1. Wellias and Mekelias (Nick Arthur/Mikaela Meyer) 04:34:45
  2. The Peanut Gallery (Steve Mee/Caitlin Mee) 04:36:07
  3. Sumeil (Philip Beukes/Ilse Nel) 05:00:13

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

MEN

  •  
  1. PYGA Euro Steel 2 (Michael Foster/Jaedon Terlouw) 07:07:41
  2. Insect Science (Arno du Toit/Keagan Bontekoning) 07:11:55
  3. Flying Young Guns (Jean-Pierre du Plessis/Lood Goosen) 07:50:49
  4. Tshenolo Adventure Racers (Zola Ngxakeni/Thabiso Rengane) 08:53:50
  5. PYGA Euro Steel 3 (Stephen du Preez/Wian van den Bergh) 09:02:17

WOMEN

  1. Efficient Infiniti Insure (Sam Sanders/Danielle Strydom) 08:35:38
  2. sani2c (Frances Janse van Rensburg/ Bianca Haw) 08:58:47
  3. Bell Equipment (Hayley Smith/Janice Venter)  09:44:59
  4. Tshenolo Adventure Racing (Refilwe Mogorosi/Tania Bugarin Ortiz) 10:42:35

MIXED (Not UCI registered riders)

  1. The Peanut Gallery (Steve Mee/Caitlin Mee) 08:32:32
  2. Wellias and Mekelias (Nick Arthur/Mikaela Meyer) 08:40:17
  3. Sumeil (Philip Beukes/Ilse Nel) 09:06:29

You can follow the race on KAP sani2c Instagram  (https://www.instagram.com/_sani2c/)

For more information visit www.sani2c.co.za