Keira Duncan and Arielle Behr conquered some gnarly rocky stages and strong competition to become overall winners at Round 1 of the Gauteng Enduro Series, which doubled as Round 1 of the Enduro SA Cup at Buffelsdrift, north of Pretoria at the weekend.

Compiled by Sean Badenhorst. Images by Dominic Barndardt & Justin Barlow

Duncan, the silver medallist the 2021 South African Enduro Champs, calls the Karkloof Trails home. But he showed his versatility on Sunday on the dry, sketchy and rocky terrain with somewhat mild gradient. He won four of the six stage to clock an overall time of 17 minutes 29.000 seconds.

From left: Frank Meyer, Willie van Eck, Keira Duncan, Marc Fourie and Wade Prinsloo

Mpumalanga’s Willie van Eck had one stage win, two seconds and a third to finish second overall in a time 17:38.375, while Gauteng’s Marc Fourie got a second and a third on stages to claim third place in 17:53.875. Sub-Veteran, Frank Meyer completed all his stages within to the top 8, finishing second on Stage 3, to claim his category victory and fourth place overall, while Wade Prinsloo rounded out the top five overall with a second and a third on two stages.

“I’m really stoked about taking the win! The race as a whole went pretty smoothly for me, but it wasn’t all that easy. I made some mistakes early on so I knew I had some work to do to make back some time,” said Duncan.

Willie van Eck

“I enjoyed the technical sections so am happy to have kept a consistent flow. It was in the less technical sections that I really had to work hard and pedal as hard as I could. All in all, I’m really happy to secure the fastest time on four of the six stages and claim my category win and the overall win,” added Duncan.

In the women’s division, Julia Kotze (Gauteng) started as the favourite following her success at her home venue at previous provincial events. But she was unable to maintain her winning streak, pushed off the top spot by 14-year-old rising star, Arielle Behr (Gauteng). Behr’s winning time was 20:48.475, just one second faster than Kotze’s 20:49.490! Danika Botha (Gauteng) was third overall in a time of 22:14.779.

Marc Fourie

“I enjoy Buffelsdrift because the trails are so raw and challenging with a lot of features. All my runs were smooth, but I felt slow. My bike just handled everything with ease – Pygas are the best! It’s so sick to have won overall. I didn’t expect it. Julia and Danika are both really fast and I consider myself lucky to have won this round,” said Behr.

Competition was fierce in just about every category in dry, warm conditions. It was good to see such an enthusiastic turnout among the youngsters who raced the Lite event, where entrants were required to complete three stages.

From left: Tashane Ahlers, Julia Kotze, Arielle Behr, Danika Botha and Irma du Plooy

Gauteng Enduro Series, presented by Suzuki #1 / SA Enduro Series #1

Leading results

Enduro (six stages)

Stages top 3

Stage 1

1 Keira Duncan 3:16.7

2 Wade Prinsloo 3:20.6

3 Dan Fowler 3:21.6

Stage 2

1 Keira Duncan 2:10.6

2 Marc Fourie 2:12.1

3 Luke Dinkel 2:14.0

Stage 3

1 Willie van Eck 1:51.3

2 Frank Meyer 1:51.4

3 Luke Dinkel 1:51.8

Stage 4

1 Keira Duncan 2:37.1

2 Willie van Eck 2:37.3

3 Wade Prinsloo 2:41.2

Stage 5

1 Keira Duncan 3:37.0

2 Willie van Eck 3:39.3

3 Mark Fourie 3:44.3

Stage 6

1 Dan Fowler 3:50.0

2 Matteo Damilano 3:51.2

3 Willie van Eck 3:53.4

Keira Duncan

Overall men

1 Keira Duncan (KwaZulu-Natal) 17:29.000

2 Willie van Eck (Mpumalanga) 17:38.375

3 Marc Fourie (Gauteng) 17:53.875

4 Frank Meyer (Gauteng) 18:01.305

5 Wade Prinsloo (North West) 18:01.839

6 Luke Dinkel (KwaZulu-Natal) 18:14.785

7 Ryan Frerichs (Gauteng) 18:15.285

8 Philip van Schalkwyk (Western Cape) 18:19.489

9 Tyrone Anders (Limpopo) 18:24.943

10 Christan Kirsten (Gauteng) 18:26.661

Elite men

1 Keira Duncan (KwaZulu-Natal) 17:29.000

2 Willie van Eck (Mpumalanga) 17:38.375

3 Marc Fourie (Gauteng) 17:53.875

Philip van Schalkwyk

Junior men

1 Philip van Schalkwyk (Western Cape) 18:19.489

2 Tyrone Anders (Limpopo) 18:24.943

3 Keagan Brand (KwaZulu-Natal) 18:49.016

From left: Gabriel Burns, Luca Zietsman and Alexander Jonker

Youth men

1 Luca Zietsman (Western Cape) 18:37.552

2 Gabriel Burns (Mpumalanga) 19:37.597

3 Alexander Jonker (Western Cape) 19:48.798

Laubscher Paquet

Sub-Junior Boys

1 Laubscher Paquet (North West) 22:24.261

2 Hanro Ehlers (Limpopo) 23:01.998

3 Dilan Strauss (North West) 23:35.307

Frank Meyer

Sub-Veteran Men

1 Frank Meyer (Gauteng) 18:01.305

2 Ryan Frerichs (Gauteng) 18:15.285

3 Charl van Zyl (North West) 18:31.034

Ryan van der Spuy

Veteran Men

1 Ryan van der Spuy (Gauteng) 18:27.676

2 Dan Fowler (Gauteng) 18:50.166

3 Andre Terlouw (Gauteng) 20:06.339

Dion Retief

Master Men

1 Dion Retief (Gauteng) 19:35.871

2 Barry Crouse (Gauteng) 19:44.464

3 Hennie Dreyer (Gauteng) 22:20.197

Tyrone Sterne

eBike Men

1 Tyrone Sterne (Gauteng) 20:15.470

2 Philip van Schalkwyk (Western Cape) 21:16.691

Arielle Behr

Overall women

1 Arielle Behr (Gauteng) 20:48.475

2 Julia Kotze (Gauteng) 20:49.490

3 Danika Botha (Gauteng) 22:14.779

4 Tashane Ehlers (Limpopo) 22:49.439

5 Irma du Plooy (Gauteng) 23:50.067

Julia Kotze

Elite Women

1 Julia Kotze (Gauteng) 20:49.490

Danika Botha

Youth Women

1 Arielle Behr (Gauteng) 20:48.475

2 Danika Botha (Gauteng) 22:14.779

3 Tashane Ehlers (Limpopo) 22:49.439 

From left: Licarmi Smith, Maude Badenhorst and Madelle Venter

Sub-Veteran Women

1 Maude Badenhorst (Gauteng) 25:35.057

2 Licarmi Smith (Gauteng) 25:50.638

3 Madelle Venter (Gauteng) 26:37.214

Irma du Plooy

Veteran Women

1 Irma du Plooy (Gauteng) 23:50.067

2 Mattie Viviers (Gauteng) 25:44774

Hildegard Setzkorn

Master Women

1 Hildegard Setzkorn (Gauteng) 27:26.240

2 Sabine Cowie (Gauteng) 35:48.064

ENDURO LITE (3 stages)

Luke Stafford

Sprog Boys

1 Luke Stafford (Gauteng) 11:50.694

2 Michael Kanis (Gauteng) 12:22.621

3 Evan Naude (Gauteng) 12:40.007

Ethan Duvenage

Nipper Boys

1 Ethan Duvenage (Gauteng) 13:12.297

2 Wihan van Niekerk (Gauteng) 14:29.838

3 Joshua Oosthuysen (North West) 16:23.422

Sprog Girls

1 Lohana Ehlers (Limpopo) 14:28.836

John Alan Todd

Sport Men

1 John Alan Todd (Gauteng) 11:42.601

2 Michael van der Westhuizen (Gauteng) 12:14.757

3 Xander Vogel (Gauteng) 12:55.208

Marleen Kotze

Sport Women

1 Marlene Kotze (Gauteng) 14:06.347

2 Giulia Damilano (Gauteng) 14:45.544

3 Candice Stafford (Gauteng) 15:25.367

Round 2 of the 2022 Gauteng Enduro Series, presented by Suzuki, will take place at Summerplace Game Reserve on Saturday 17 July.

Suzuki is the presenting sponsor the 2022 Gauteng Enduro Series. Other brands that have invested in sponsoring the Gauteng Enduro Series are SOX Footwear (socks) EcoLogic (bike wash products), 100% (eyewear products), 32GI (performance supplements), Med Guys (medical support) and SHRED (media partner).