WC 200km BRM, Stellenbosch
Paris-Brest-Paris 2015 qualifier
17 January 2015, 06:00
by Rob Walker
(With apologies for lack of photographs – feel free to send in any you have from the day for inclusion)
The 2015 Cape Audax events kicked off with the shortest of the SR Series rides, a 200km brevet. It seems word is slowly spreading about the local long distance events, with the largest field to date of 17 riders gathering at Vrede Wines for the 6am start.
Routing and timings were kept the same as those for the 2014 event, the only change being removal of the unnecessary outbound Malmesbury control. The later than usual start of 6am was set based on the opening time of the first control, the Du Vlei farm stall in Hermon. And a most welcoming oasis it provided as the initial stop for riders – providing not just excellent coffee and food, but even a handsome official stamp together with signature to grace brevet cards.
With the potential for hot and windy conditions developing during the day, riders opted to bypass a lengthy breakfast stop in favour of a quick cup of coffee and refuel, and an early depart for the next control. With no need to stop in Malmesbury, faster groups of riders reached Darling by mid-morning. As they returned along the R315, greetings and banter were exchanged with later riders still on their way out to the control. By lunchtime, all riders had made it to the Darling control, some choosing to stop for generous portions of burgers and chips at Café Mosaic next to the official Spa shop control in town. Sadly none had time to visit SA icon, Evita se Peron, before turning back toward Malmesbury.
Malmesbury Engen was the third stop, familiar now to riders as a control on 3 of the brevets. It seems our arrival is starting to become known to the staff too. Their reception was cheerful and helpful – providing receipts and signing cards, even though most opted this time not to stop in at the Wimpy for coffee and food as has become something of a custom on the longer rides.
What can be said about the section from Malmesbury back to Vrede? For some reason this leg appears on 3 of the 4 rides despite being – to borrow Chris van Zyl’s words – “one of his least favourite stretches of road in The Cape”. Unfortunately, it is a prime link back to Vrede for any route northward. On the 200, this was where the price was paid for the 6am start, with most riders tackling this last 48km in the worst of the heat and a rather stiff headwind. Tail end riders on the longer brevets tend to navigate these last few Km in cooler and less windy conditions around dusk.
In spite of the heat and wind, all 17 riders finished inside the 13 hour 20 minute cut-off – with times being spread out across almost the whole window of opening to closing time of the Arrivée control. The fastest riders were home almost too early for the control opening, and the final rider rolled home around half an hour inside the closing time.
- Ernst Englebrecht
- Theunis Esterhuizen
- Dale Haupt
- Gideon Krige
- Daniel Langenhoven
- Derek Lawrence
- Carinus Lemmer
- Henri Meier
- Peter Müller
- Marius Nel
- Peter Nelson
- Gerhard van Noordwyk
- Wimpie van der Merwe
- Chris van Zyl
- Hendrik Vermaak
- Rob Walker
- Andrew Wheeldon
2014 SR Series Medals and Awards
Most riders joined at Wild Clover to enjoy some post-ride drinks and food, and also receive awards, celebrate achievements and share war stories from the 2014 SR Series. The group was joined by family members and friends of the riders as well as Audax SA Country Co-ordinator, and seasoned Randonneur, Eddie Thomlinson.
A special thank you goes to Daniel and Laska Wine for their generous donation of bottles of wine our 2014 award winners:
“Keeping The Wheels Turning” award – Eddie Thomlinson, without whose support there could not have been a 2014 Cape SR Series. Never growing impatient at the stream of endless and banal questions, Eddie guided the team through the process of creating routes, running events, and homologating results.
“Fastest Cape Randonneur” award – Chris van Zyl, for completing 1,200km of brevets (200, 400 and 600) in a quite astonishing time of 49 hours 36 minutes. Whilst most riders were still a couple of hours away from their 2nd day breakfast on the 600km, Chris was finishing having ridden straight through in just over 26 hours.
“Best Safety Driver” award – Hendrik Vermaak, for extending his shift on the 400km beyond the initial couple of controls discussed to stay with riders for the entire event. His 24 hour stint in the car was probably as demanding as those actually riding. Thanks must also go here to our other series safety drivers – Anthony, Emmerentia, Anja, Peter, and Henri.
“True Spirit of Audax” award – Peter Müller, for his remarkable tenacity and perseverance to complete the BRM 400km on 8th November. Despite sickness and extreme fatigue, he picked himself up time and time again to get back on the bike and push on “just that little bit further”.
“Cape Super Randonneur” award – Nico Coetzee, the only rider to complete all four 2014 local brevets, and achieve his SR medal entirely with Cape rides. It’s especially fitting that Nico should stand solo in achieving this, having also provided such amazing support and dedication to the series – maintaining the web-site; providing the host venue at his family’s farm; and even laying on accommodation, food and beers in L’Aghulas on the 600.
“Behind the Scenes” award – Rob Walker, for help with route planning and event co-ordination once Anthony’s increased work commitments required him to step down from his role supporting the Cape Audax series.
“600 Virgins” award – jointly Theunis Esterhuizen, Daniel Langenhoven, Derek Lawrence and Eugene du Plessis. Despite a lacking distance, Audax experience, and in some cases wholly inappropriate equipment, all four riders came through especially gruelling conditions to complete their first 600km within the allotted 40 hours. Chapeau guys!
If you weren’t able to attend, you will be contacted soon to arrange delivery of your medal(s) and validated brevet card(s).