Western Cape’s Jason Boulle (pictured above) and Frankie du Toit won the overall men and women’s titles at Round 2 of the Enduro SA Cup held at Summerplace Game Reserve, Limpopo over the mid-June long weekend. The event formed part of the Cycling South Africa Gravity Festival, which also hosted the final round of the 2024 Downhill SA Cup.

By Sean Badenhorst | Photography: Dominic Barnardt

A strong field entered the Enduro SA Cup with riders travelling from Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga to contest the event. Most participants stayed at Summerplace, many of them in the campsite, creating an energic vibe.

Matt Lombardi

The now-customary Whip-off on the Friday afternoon got the competitive juices flowing as, for the first time, whip-off technique was carefully scrutinised by the judges. Sideways risks were taken, dodgy landings were made and, after 90 minutes of big air great gasps and some sharp technique, Tristan Vorster was declared the winner.

The full Enduro on the Saturday required riders to complete six stages, each with its own character, but the first five using the same west-facing slope. Despite a fairly high volume of rock in the area, the stages were all flowy and fast, testament to the trail-building skills of David Baber. The final stage was the shortish feature-filled plunge down Summer Flow from the View Point to the Bike Village, which was buzzing with post-race spirit.

Danny Fowler

Boulle was impressive. He not only won the overall title, he did so convincingly. And he won all six stages in the process. His time of 16:25.524 was 37 seconds quicker than runner-up, fellow Western Cape racer, Matt Lombardi, who clocked a total time of 17:02.330. Gauteng’s Danny Fowler finished third overall in a time of 17:10.394, claiming the Veteran men’s gold medal to boot.

Competing in his first full Enduro, Justin Deyzel of Gauteng impressed by winning the Youth Men gold medal and placing fourth overall, with Western Cape’s Luca Zietsman securing the Junior men’s gold medal and fifth overall.

Justin Deyzel

On seeing that he had won all six stages, this was Boulle’s reaction:

“Yeah, not exactly sure how I pulled that off, especially the first two stages that were much more technical as Matt has an upper hand on me there. I was pleased with how clean I was riding but actually worried that I wasn’t pedalling enough. With so many corners, it was tricky to get in consistent pedalling! All in all, I think I rode within myself risk-wise and where I could put down some good power on the pedals,” he said.

On Summerplace as an Enduro venue:

“Summerplace is definitely a special place to ride. We saw Giraffe every day we were out there and other wildlife such as Kudu and Roan Antelope, which is really cool.

Dave (Baber) has done a phenomenal job with the race stages. They use the available elevation really well and they are challenging to race with the (very) rocky sections and plenty of flat corners. They are super enjoyable to ride at cruising speed and then get pretty spicy at race pace! I think it was a good location for the SA Cup to take place and lots of riders enjoyed the stages!”

Luca Zietsman

On whether or not he had any big scares:

“Thankfully I had a very clean day. I’m getting better at approaching the ‘edge’ from the more conservative side rather than going all out and crashing a lot and it seems to be paying off. Over the course of six stages you’ll have some little bobbles and errors but thankfully no major issues for me this time around.

“I was having some trouble with rim taping in practice and lost a bunch of air from my tyre on the way up to Stage 5, which wasn’t ideal, but I just bombed it pretty hard and dropped into the stage right away and it seemed to hold on until the end of the last two stages thankfully,” said Boulle.

Frankie du Toit

On what bike he’s racing and tyres he’s running:

“I’ve been on the latest generation of Giant’s Reign since June last year and it’s been an absolute pleasure to race. Having 160/170mm of travel just unlocks that much more traction and gives a bit more margin for getting loose! I ride a size medium for better agility in the corners and a supple suspension setup.

“On the tyres, I’ve been enjoying the Schwalbe combo of 2.6-inch Magic Mary up front (trail casing at 26psi/1.8 bar for this race) and the 2.6-inch Big Betty on the back (also trail casing at 30psi/2.0 bar).

Arielle Behr

In the women’s division, Du Toit was imperious, not only claiming the overall women’s title, including all six stage wins, but also placing a very respectable 15th overall in a time of 18:39.330. Gauteng’s Arielle Behr won the Junior title and finished second overall with a time of 20:02.140, while Limpopo’s Tashane Ehlers took second place in the Junior category and third overall in 20:16.247.

Unfortunately, the women’s field lacked depth, but the riders that were there were fiercely competitive and courageous. Rounding out the top five overall were Gauteng Sub-veteran, Philippa Spies and Limpopo Youth racer, Loane Ehlers.

Tashane Ehlers

“We drove to the event from Stellenbosch and wow, it was a long way to go! It was definitely worth it for the double-header though – getting two race days and five riding days in a new place, riding new trails was for sure worth it. The Summerplace hospitality was also great, which definitely added to the experience!” said Du Toit.

Although she didn’t’ have the pressure of a bigger women’s field, Du Toit confirmed that she didn’t let up at all during the event.

“I was riding hard and pushing – I was a bit messy in some stages, but I’m happy with how I rode overall.  I didn’t have any issues luckily – a nice smooth day for me,” she added.

Philippa Spies

Riding at Summerplace for the first time, this was her impression of the Enduro stages:

“I think the trails were a good mix – Summerplace has managed get the best out of their farm – I was pleasantly surprised by the trails! I’d love to see some more tech and gradient in future races – but that wasn’t an easy enduro by any means,” she added.

Round 3 of the 2024 Enduro SA Cup Series will take place at Giba Gorge, just outside Durban on Sunday, 14 July.

The presenting sponsors for Round 2 of the Enduro SA Cup were Suzuki and Balwin Sport, with supporting sponsorship from the following brands: 32Gi (nutrition support and prizes), 100% (prizes and sound system); Summerplace Game Reserve (venue and accommodation); Lynnwood Cyclery (tech support); Med Guys (medical support); EcoLogic (bike wash and prizes) and SHRED (media).

Top five men overall – from left: Justin Deyzel (4th), Matt Lombardi (2nd), Jason Boulle (1st), Danny Fowler (3rd) and Luca Zietsman (5th)
Top five women overall – from left: Philippa Spies (4th), Arielle Behr (2nd), Frankie du Toit (1st), Tashane Ehlers (3rd), Lohane Ehlers (5th)

 Full results below.

Full photo galleries on the Cycling South Africa MTB Facebook page.

At Round 4 of the Downhill SA Cup held after the Enduro SA Cup, Matt Lombardi secured his first Elite men’s downhill title, while Frankie du Toit claimed the women’s title quite comfortably.

Enduro SA Cup #2 Full Results