WPDH 2013 Round 2 - Paarl
Jason du Toit, one of the up and coming young shredders hitting the roadgap at only 13 years of age.
Building on the momentum of the first race, we stopped off at the Paarl track for the second round of the Western Province Downhill series. This track is unique in the sense that shuttling is made very easy by a tarred road from the bottom to the top where the Afrikaans language monument is situated. This makes it a very popular track for riders of all skill levels to practice on. Although the track is beginner friendly, the faster you go the trickier it becomes.
Tian Strooh - 10th
Early morning showed no promise of good weather for the race as the clouds rolled over the mountains blown on by some serious winds of up to 80km/h. As the sun came out the wind died down and practice runs started.
Chris Nixon - 9th
Myles Kelsey - 8th
The sunshine was however short lived as the clouds rolled back in and riders were preparing for a rainy race. Luckily the rain only arrived after the race was finished and wrapped up. This gave riders more confidence as they started trusting their lines more, and rain would have made things a bit slippery.
Duran van Eeden - 7th
With the track being so accessible with easy shuttling, riders were able to get many runs in before racing started. Some of the eager riders managed to get more than 20 runs in during practice time. Other riders paced themselves and rested between runs to prevent them from burning out before their final race runs.
Luke Davis - 6th
Theo Erlangsen - 5th
The Paarl track takes the rider through varied terrain that includes loose sandy corners at the top and softer pine needle covered sections lower down. With almost half the track in the forest, most riders opted for clear lenses to ensure best visibility in the darker sections.
Dane Olsen - 4th
Adi van der Merwe - 3rd
A big hip jump near the end of the track created some close moments for the riders as there was a strong cross wind making it tricky to land it smoothly. The track is not very flat pedal friendly as riders have to constantly pedal to keep their speed between the technical sections. Only one flat pedal rider finished in the top ten.
Stefan Garlicki - 2nd
Johann Potgieter - 1st
Racing started at 14:30 just before the weather took a turn for the worse. Winds picked up, but the riders still posted some very fast times. A big improvement could be seen in this year’s times at this track compared to the previous race held here.
The summer left us with some dry and dusty lower part of the track and the corners were a bit blown out. Some riders smashed the berms pretty hard which in turn left the photographers with some epic shots. Some of the elite riders were preparing for their season riding in Europe and the world cups. They gave it their all to get the best possible training before competing with the worlds best riders.
Elite men's podium
Elite Men Podium:
2. Stefan Garlicki - 01.45.95
3. Adi van der Merwe - 01.50.29
4. Dane Olsen - 01.50.51
5. Theo Erlangsen - 01.50.80
6. Luke Davis - 01.51.12
7. Duran van Eeden - 01.51.67
8. Myles Kelsey - 01.53.56
9. Chris Nixon - 01.54.42
10. Tian Strooh - 01.55.71
Thanks to our sponsors, Redbull, Litronics, Dial’d Bikes and Leatt for their continued support. Without them we would not have been able to make these events possible.
Photos by ESP - esphotography.
Words by Hanco Binneman & Arne Greyling.