No one was more surprised than we were when the King Price Trailseeker #5 Van Gaalen race day dawned bright and clear on 30 July without a rain cloud in sight. Could it be? Yes! A balmy winter’s day perfect for mountain biking was on the cards, and we were stoked!
Van Gaalen Cheese Farm is one of the original bike parks in the country and offers a perfectly maintained network of diverse trails across an exciting array of differing terrain. The Van Gaalen trails cross over 30 private farms with more than 80km of single-track throughout the Skeerpoort Valley. This is mountain biking at its best! Add to that safe and ample parking, a welcoming riverfront venue, and a shop filled with authentic Dutch cheese, and you’ll know why King Price Trailseeker returns to Van Gaalen year after year!
This year King Price Trailseeker #5 doubled as the Gauteng Provincial Championships, and the best of the best riders lined up to compete for the Provincial title.
70 km Marathon
The 08h00 start to the Marathon race was a nice-to-have on a cold and crisp winter’s morning – even though we’ve become used to much worse weatherwise…
The trails were impeccable. Van Gaalen really does have it all: riverside singletrack, reed tunnels, steep punchy climbs over rocky koppies, savannah grassland and rough and tumble downhills – what’s not to love?
The 70 km Elite race was hotly contested, but our National Champion, Philip Buys, claimed the victory, closely followed by Wessel Botha and Pieter du Toit.
In the ladies’ Elite race, Danielle Strydom took first with Nicolette Griffioen in 2nd and Steph Wohlters in 3rd place. Congratulations!
40 km Half Marathon
The 40 km route also proved challenging and technical riding tested our younger riders’ mettle.
The Overall Male winners were Jordan Boshoff in 1st, Phillip Naude in 2nd and Beon van Staden taking 3rd.
The Overall Female podium consisted of Yvonne Prinsloo, Talita Botha and Mignon Black. Well done!
20 km Fun Race
Congratulations to the youngsters racing in the 20 km category! You did amazing.
On the Men’s podium were Luke Duffin, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and Jaco Aldum.
Rounding out the Girl’s Podium, were Megan Boshoff, Kylie Lerm and Bella Grobler. Well done, guys and girls!
11 km Fun Ride
Hey, you have to start somewhere, right? And these guys and girls nailed the 10 km ride!
On the boys’ Overall podium were Francois van Wyk, Daniel Jacobs and Jan-Hendrik Heymans.
The girls on the Overall Podium were Lana-Leigh du Toit, Annebell Kleyn and Minke Kruger.
Awesome riding by our up-and-coming MTB stars!
SCSA Introductory XCM Series
Thank you to Schools Cycling SA for this initiative. We can already see the remarkable progress made by the learners in terms of consistent riding, learning correct trail etiquette, and dealing with challenges and disappointments along the way. This Series is not so much about winning races as it is about learning.
Van Gaalen was strategically placed to enable learners from both North West and Gauteng Provinces to participate and earn points for their schools.
For the North West Province, Hoërskool Wesvalia and Laerskool Saamtrek were the cycling schools that won the day. Well done to these learners and their schools!
The Gauteng Province School’s Log was not yet finalised on the day of writing and will be updated as soon as the results have been calculated.
On the mic
Tian Nienaber’s live music was the extra cheese on an already spectacular day 😉 Coupled with the Beer and Barrell beer tent, the vibe could not be more chilled.
The Van Gaalen venue never disappoints whether you’re on or off the bike. We had a blast!
See you at the next one on 27 August for #3 Sondela!