Johann Potgieter and Frankie du Toit are the 2021 South African Elite Enduro Champions. The two Western Cape downhill racers made the most of the steep, rugged course at Iron Throne Bike Park, Hartbeespoort on Sunday to secure the coveted titles in the sport’s fastest growing discipline.

By Sean Badenhorst

Virtually all of the country’s top Enduro and Downhill racers lined up for an event that will go down as one of the most technical Enduro events in South Africa. Steep gradient, rocks and sketchy gravel are key features of the Magaliesberg Mountain Range. These, combined with superbly crafted flowy new lines and segments by Duran van Heerden, made up the five stages that challenged skill, stamina, bikes, gear and, for many, courage.

Frankie du Toit / Photo: SHRED Media

Three of the stages started on the top of the mountain and required riders to use the cable car to reach the summit. The other two-stages started lower down and were reached by pedalling. All of the stages were highly stimulating and riders had to be super sharp to avoid leaving the course. Consistency was essential as well as conditioning and Potgieter (YT Bikes) showed both as he won two stages, finished second in another two and fifth in the other for an overall time of 19 minutes 47 seconds.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Keira Duncan (Pyga Bikes), the 2018 national champion, confirmed his return to form after an injury induced layoff by securing the silver medal in 20:03, which included a stage win. And the 2017 SA Enduro Champion, Sam Bull, formerly of KwaZulu-Natal, but now racing for Gauteng, claimed the bronze medal in 20:06.

From left: Keira Duncan, Johann Potgieter and Sam Bull / Photo: SHRED Media

It was Potgieter’s first Enduro national title but his sixth overall after his five national DH titles.

“I am over the moon to take the win! As a downhill mountain biker, taking on a different discipline, it was a bit of a shot in the dark. The skills you use are the same but the difference is downhill is one flat-out run whereas Enduro you have got pace yourself for five runs. You have to keep it smooth and it helps to have a bit of luck on your side. You also hope your bike doesn’t give problems or have tyre issues. I’m super happy to have done so well in a race where there were so many big players,” said an elated Potgieter.

“My runs were pretty good but I had one close call on Stage 5 where I went off the track. Hard to say how much time I lost. Because it was so technical, everyone would have had a little mistake somewhere so I didn’t let that worry me. On the pedalling stages I tried to find the right gear to keep the pressure on the whole time. The stages were demanding and required fitness and stamina for sure,” added Potgieter.

From left: Lauriesian Brett, Frankie du Toit and Anvia Bredenkamp / Photo: SHRED Media

“This course is some of my favourite type of riding. I was in my happy place here – it’s challenging for certain. The stages are technical and loose and long and it takes experience to do well on terrain like this. I will definitely come here to do pre-season training in future. I absolutely adore these trails!” added Potgieter.

Current South African Downhill champion, Theo Erlangsen (Commencal) finished in the top five in all but one stage (7th) and claimed fourth place overall in 20:22. The last time a South African Enduro championship was held was in 2019 as the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the government’s Covid-19 lockdown. Matt Lombardi (Specialized), the previous champion, won two stages, got a third and a fourth in two other stages, but took a tumble on the other stage and ended up in fifth place overall in 20:32.

Johann Potgieter / Photo: SHRED Media

The women’s field was small, but those that were present were committed and indeed showed courage to tackle some very technical sections.

After winning the South African Downhill title April, Du Toit was motivated to go for the double. She won all five stages and finished 24th overall in 23:56. Anvia Bredenkamp was second fastest overall and first 17+ Female in 30:49 with Tashane Ehlers the first Youth Female and third overall in 32:08.

“It was refreshing to race an Enduro on really technical stages like that. They tested your physical endurance and skill. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a really nice change to the generally more tamer Enduros that we have in SA. I wouldn’t say I’m a downhill rider specifically – I do both – but I feel my downhill experience did come in useful,” said Du Toit.

Keira Duncan / Photo: SHRED Media

“I made couple of small mistakes but nothing major. I did have a fairly clean race which I’m happy about. I wasn’t particularly content with my riding overall though, as I feel I rode quite conservatively. I felt like I was riding scared. In the end though, I’m happy with the outcome. I am also pleased with where I placed overall. I do want to close the gap though and see how high up in the men’s field I can still finish.”

Despite suffering with tyre issues on three of the stages, Gauteng’s Rory Kirk (Transition Bikes), made a successful return from two successive injury lay-offs to finish 13th overall and win the Junior Men’s title in 22:18.

Sam Bull / Photo: SHRED Media

The unforgiving terrain saw a number of riders suffer either from bike issues or crashes, unable to finish all the stages, but the event was a success overall and not only confirmed that Enduro continues to mature as a discipline in South Africa, but that Iron Throne Trail Park has definitely established itself as one of the favoured racing venues for gravity racers.

2021 ZKTeco South African Enduro Championships

Sunday 21 November, Iron Throne Trail Park, Hartbeespoort Dam

Leading results:


Stage 1

1 Johann Potgieter 5:28

2 Sam Bull 5:31

3 Keira Duncan 5:35

Stage 2

1 Keira Duncan 3:03

2 Johann Potgieter 3:06

2 Theo Erlangsen 3:06

Stage 3

1 Johann Potgieter 3:40

2 Keira Duncan 3:48

3 Theo Erlangsen 3:49

Stage 4

1 Matt Lombardi 3:57

2 Sam Bull 3:58

3 Keira Duncan 3:59

Stage 5

1 Matt Lombardi 3:28

2 Johann Potgieter 3:31

3 Sam Bull 3:37


1 Johann Potgieter 19:47

2 Keira Duncan 20:03

3 Sam Bull 20:06

4 Theo Erlangsen 20:22

5 Matt Lombardi 20:32

6 Philip George van Schalkwyk 20:56

7 Niko Velasco 21:00

8 Sharjah Jonsson 21:01

9 Ross Kew 21:23

10 Keagan Brand 21:35

Elite Men

1 Johann Potgieter 19:47

2 Keira Duncan 20:03

3 Sam Bull 20:06

Junior Men

1 Rory Kirk 22:18

2 Eugene Kriek 23:37

3 Blake Frodsham 24:08

Youth Men

1 Philip George van Schalkwyk 20:56

2 Ross Kew 21:23

3 Keagan Brand 21:35

Sub-Junior Men

1 Alexander Jonker 25:36

2 Gabriel Burns 25:37

3 Lloyd de Bruin 29:24

Sprog Men

1 Daniel Uys 15:38

2 Luke Stafford 18:54

3 Jordan van Zyl 23:08

Sub-Veteran Men

1 Charl van Zyl 22:53

2 Andre van Aarde 23:29

3 Justin Victor 26:13

Veteran Men

1 Patrick Morewood 24:21

2 Ryan van der Spuy 24:24

3 Sean O’Flynn-Madden 24:27

Master/Grandmaster Men

1 Matthew Stubbs 26:47

2 Alastair Brand 28:26

3 Charles Gustav Kros 43:16



1 Frankie du Toit 23:56

3 Anvia Bredenkamp 30:49

3 Tashane Ehlers 32:08

Elite Women

1 Frankie du Toit 23:56

Youth Women

1 Tashane Ehlers 32:08

2 Lillian Baber 47:25

Sprog Women

1 Tyla-May Smale  23:59

2 Leah Mitchell 26:27


Theo Erlangsen / Photo: SHRED Media
Charl van Zyl / Photo: SHRED Media
Harties Cable Car / Photo: SHRED Media
Matt Lombardi / Photo: SHRED Media
Pat Morewood / Photo: SHRED Media
Philip van Schalkwyk / Photo: SHRED Media
Rory Kirk / Photo: SHRED Media
Johann Potgieter / Photo: SHRED Media
Duran van Eeden / Photo: SHRED Media