The first Steeple CX Cup event open to the public took place on 21 October after a successful test event on 26 August.
Two races under the Social and Racing categories, saw a mostly mountain bike field in the Social race do 5 laps around the 2.5km course with 73m of climbing per lap. With a race format of 30 minutes plus 1 lap, the race attracted all levels of riders. From first to last there were smiles initially and growing levels of grit required as the race wore on.
The Racing category attracted a stellar field include Olympian and Xterra (not sure of all his accolades) Champion Conrad Stoltz. Christoff van Heerden was in attendance again after a 2nd place at the test event, with eyes on the top step. Young sensation Luke Moir was back after being part of the test event, this time in the CX class on a cyclocross bike.
The race was over 45 minutes plus 1 lap which after a scintillating first lap set the race up for an 8 lap festival of hurt. No smiles here, just plain determination, unbelievable bikes skills and consistent speed. Even the ‘Wineyards’ steep climb proved too flat and was successfully ridden by all in the top 10. Sand Mountain ate into the legs and Off-camber Slide was negotiated with some deft breaking and bike skills. Homeward Bound was rugged and cost Conrad Stoltz a chance to compete as he punctured and limped back to the start for a new tube, only to re-enter the race and show his class by almost making it back into the top 10!
Christoff took the top step in the Racing category, followed by Luke Moir and Jean de Villiers (not the rugby player). The Women’s Racing saw Bianca Martinaglia triumph with Michelle Horak in 2nd. The ladies proved the format is more than appropriate for the them.
Next event is on 18 November 2018 at Klein Constantia. Entries are open at www.steeplecx.co.za, with plan for an April to end August 7 race series planned for 2019. The Steeple CX team are also investigating a weekday night fun single-race format to allow people to become exposed to cyclocross and as a format for training and social interaction, so watch this space.