Events

Toyota Specialized win the 2024 Tankwa Trek

· By Press Office · 0 comments

Toyota Specialized rolled across the lawns of Kaleo Guest Farm to claim the team’s second successive Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, victory on Sunday, 11 February. Matt Beers backed up his 2023 winning effort, by securing three stage victories en route to the 2024 title, alongside new teammate Alex Miller. The South African/Namibian combination were joined beaten to the line, on the day, by KMC-Ridley while Imbuko Pro Cycling the Bulls Mavericks stood alongside Toyota Specialized on the general classification podium.

Beers and Miller had got the race off to a perfect start on Thursday, 8 February, by winning the 26 kilometre opening stage. KMC-Ridley’s Gunnar Holmgren and Martins Blums placed second on Stage 1, but then endured a difficult middle two days of the four-day race. Imbuko Pro Cycling, meanwhile, struggled on the opening day, but secured second behind Toyota Specialized on Stage 2 to leapfrog up the overall standings. On Saturday’s Queen Stage, Beers and Miller conquered the imposing Merino Monster to win the King of the Mountain hotspot prize before edging out Marco Joubert and Wessel Botha to secure stage honours too. Holmgren and Blums, had slipped from second on the general classification, on Stage 2, and then suffered an early puncture on Stage 3. This led to a day-long chase to salvage their podium place. Despite recovering to fifth on the stage they ceded a spot to Simon Schneller and Axel Roudil-Cortinat, of the Bulls Mavericks.

Stage 4 was thus a showdown between the teams hoping to maintain their positions and the KMC-Ridley squad who would go all-in to regain their podium place. “I actually, to be honest, got a bit angry this morning,” Beers confessed. “In the early morning light, the dust the group was kicking up made it difficult to see. There was also lots of jostling in the peloton, so I decided to attack as off the front was the safest place to be.”

This move saw Toyota Specialized take an advantage of a handful of seconds into the first singletrack climb. “Matt and Alex were about 10 or 15 seconds ahead of us going into the first climb and we were only able to bridge across on the descent,” Holmgren said. “We raced the rest of the stage as hard as we could, but with all the singletrack there wasn’t really an opportunity to make back the time we needed to.”

Behind the KMC-Ridley led front group, Imbuko Pro Cycling were attempting to bridge across too. “My legs were a bit sleepy this morning,” Botha laughed. “The plan had been to go on the attack – but after the Merino Monster, yesterday – that wasn’t actually possible. My legs came back to me after about 20 kilometres and we tried to catch the leaders, but just couldn’t.”

“I’m happy with second place overall though,” Joubert noted. “It would have been good to win a stage, but we did what we could and there are a lot of positives to take out of the race.” “It’s great to see the standard of South African mountain biking levelling up every year,” Beers added, praising his local rivals.

In the final kilometres KMC-Ridley ensured they led into the singletracks which put them in pole position to win the sprint for the final stage victory. Beers and Miller sat up behind them, once the opportunity to complete a clean sweep of stages had been denied to them. Their second place on the day only cost them 4 seconds to a team 13 minutes behind them on the general classification standings. As a result, Toyota Specialized’s overall margin of victory was 4 minutes and 8 seconds over Joubert and Botha. Schneller and Roudil-Cortinat finished fourth on the day to hold onto their third place overall, while PYGA Euro Steel were fifth on the stage. The Bulls Heroes, Urs Huber and Leon Kaiser, were fifth overall.

“This was my fourth Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen,” Miller smiled. “It was definitely my best one yet; it was great racing with Matt [Beers] and taking the victory. I love racing here; the trails are incredible and everyone – from Momentum and Dryland – to the route marshals go the extra mile for the riders. We really appreciate it!”

To reflect on all the highlights from the 2024 Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, follow @tankwatrek on Instagram or like the Tankwa Trek  Facebook page. Further information, including reports from Stages 1, 2 and 3 – as well as the women’s race – visit www.tankwatrek.co.za.

Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, Results:

Men’s Stage 4 Results:

  1. KMC Ridley: Gunnar Holmgren & Martins Blums (02:14:44)
  2. ⁠Toyota Specialized: Alex Miller & Matthew Beers (02:14:48 | +4)
  3. ⁠Imbuko Pro Cycling: Marco Joubert & Wessel Botha (2:15:31 | +47)
  4. ⁠Bulls Mavericks: Simon Schneller & Axel Roudil-Cortinat (2:16:52 | +2:08)
  5. ⁠PYGA Euro Steel: Pieter du Toit & Jaedon Terlouw (02:19:46 | +5:02)

Men’s General Classification Results after Stage 4:

  1. Toyota Specialized: Alex Miller & Matthew Beers (10:29:16)
  2. Imbuko Pro Cycling: Marco Joubert & Wessel Botha (10:33:24 | +4:08)
  3. ⁠Bulls Mavericks: Simon Schneller & Axel Roudil-Cortinat (10:40:40 | +10:07)
  4. ⁠KMC Ridley: Gunnar Holmgren & Martins Blums (10:42:23 | +13:07)
  5. ⁠Bulls Heroes: Urs Huber & Leon Kaiser (11:04:10 | +34:54)

For the full results from the Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, click here

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