Tokai Monster Madness - Cape Town, South Africa
Waking up to heavy rains on race day morning, always leads to mixed reactions. In some ways it adds to the drama and excitement, but it also leads to slower race times, potential track changes, and less light to shoot in. Luckily the track wasn't really affected and with the sun peeking out every now and then, it was fair game for the 83 strong field.
The Tokai DH track has a bit of everything, starting with a steep forest section, quickly followed by a high-speed road gap. A quick pedal section leads the riders into a set of jumps and a number of snaking berms towards the second road crossing. Then follows the rock garden. This caught out a number of riders who chose the wrong entry line, causing them to loose vital speed and flow. The long and open pedal section quickly drains whatever energy the riders have left, before hitting a couple of jumps leading up to the big booter. The final section of the track features a small forest section before dipping down towards the finish line.
A well-deserved victory by Gary Barnard over Johann Potgieter surprized everybody. Having missed the last couple of races, Gary showed he was back to business and took almost 7 seconds out of Johann's time. Third spot was taken by the ever present, ever smooth, Duran van Eeden.
In addition to normal proceedings, the Monster Energy Shootout run was added to the race, giving the top 20 riders a shot at the R1500 cash prize. The top 2 spots stayed the same with Gary beating Johann by 2.1 seconds, both putting in quicker times than their race runs. This time, third spot was taken by Stefan Garlicki, just 1 second behind Johann.
Top 5 overall:
1 Gary Barnard 03:16.9
2 Johann Potgieter 03:23.7
3 Duran van Eeden 03:25.0
4 Stephan Garlicki 03:25.9
5 Devon Katzen 03:30.0
Top 5 Monster Shootout:
1 Gary Barnard 03:13.4
2 Johann Potgieter 03:15.5
3 Stephan Garlicki 03:16.5
4 Adi Van der Merwe 03:27.3
5 Devon Katzen 03:28.7
A very big thank you goes out to the 80+ riders that turned out on the day, without their support the event wouldn’t have been possible, NCC Environmental Services and EVENTSPLAN and all the sponsors/partners that made sure that all the needed boxes were ticked to get downhill racing back into the Tokai forest after almost three years absence. To the Western Province Downhill committee a very big thank you for the tremendous assistance in getting the track race ready and the downhill community amped to bomb down Table Mountain.
Finally a special mention must go out to the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and SANParks Honorary Rangers for their hosting and support of a mountain bike event in the park, especially this Downhill event. Thanks must also go out to AMArider, TokaiMTB and its volunteers who donated their time and resources in preparation of the track for the day; this includes volunteer time, machine hire, AMArider trail support vehicle (donated by AVIS Van Rental-Boland), paid labour and materials purchased to prepare the track in time.
NCC Environmental Services – environmental management and onsite services; CFC – scaffolding for start gate and fence crossing; EVENTSPLAN – event management; Mobii Systems – timing; Alan Dawson Gardens – shuttle services; AMArider – shuttle service; Sanitech, and of course Monster Energy for the energy, shuttle services and monster of a vibe from start gate to chill-out zone at the finish line.
See you again next year!