Stage One of the BUCO Origin Of Trails Two-Day Mountain Bike (MTB) Stage Race treated mountain bikers to a single track experience like no other in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch on Saturday, 25 November 2017.
Affectionately known as the MTB party of the year, riders could choose between three entry options: a Long Course (+-55km on Saturday and +-58km on Sunday), a Medium Course (+-55km on Saturday and +-29km on Sunday) and a Short Course (+-28km on Saturday and +-29km on Sunday).
Daniel van der Walt crossed the finish line first in the men’s +-28km Short Course race in 01 hour 18 minutes 23 seconds. “This is the second time that I take part in the BUCO Origin Of Trails,” says Daniel. “The event is really cool. It’s been really chilled because of exams. I thought I’d use this event as a training ride. I felt really good today. Tomorrow I’d definitely like to go for the win.” Ico Coetzee came in second, while Tjaart van der Walt finished third.
Christine Van Der Walt claimed the women’s +-28km Short Course stage victory in 01 hours 49 minutes 55 seconds. “This is the first time that I take part in the BUCO Origin Of Trails. My son, Daniel, actually got me to enter,” admits Christine. “The route was pretty cool. I’m not that good on the technical sections, so I was a little worried. The trails were awesome.” Sannelize Janse Van Rensburg came in second, while Mikayla Forrester finished third.
Making his BUCO Origin Of Trails debut on the day, Renay Groustra claimed victory in the men’s +-55km Long Course in an impressive time of 02 hours 36 minutes 08 seconds. “I haven’t raced much lately,” says Groustra. “The Stage featured the perfect intensity. It’s awesome riding in Jonkershoek. The trails are challenging. Tomorrow I’ll ride with the front guys and just see how it pans out.” Jean-Pierre Lloyd came in second, while Craig Uria finished third.
The women’s +-55km Long Course victory was claimed by Louise Ferreira in 03 hours 05 minutes 16 seconds. According to Ferreira, the BUCO Origin Of Trails is a must do event. “Corrie Muller really keeps the routes interesting. There are always surprises. You can see that a lot of work has gone into these trails. It’s a fantastic ride to do. I was riding with Ila and Marleen who are both good technical riders. They’re just fearless. It was really nice riding with them as they challenged and pushed me.” Ila Stow came in second, while Marleen Lourens finished third.
Dakar Rally star Giniel De Villiers was also seen in action at the BUCO Origin Of Trails. “Dakar is definitely much harder than this race,” laughs De Villiers. “The Stage One route was brilliant. There was a nice balance between toughness and enjoyment. The single track was really nice while the climbs were tough. My training starts now so I couldn’t enjoy the wine at the water points, but it did look brilliant though.”
Ariane Lüthi had the rare opportunity to enjoy the route, scenery and vibe at the BUCO Origin Of Trails. “It was such a beautiful ride,” says Lüthi. “I just got back from Europe. Taking part today made me appreciate our trails even more. It was nice to be able to chat with other riders on route. Everyone shares the same passion. Stillwater Sports’ events are always great. The trails are great and the routes are well marked. It’s nice to be able to take it easy for a change.”