Willie Smit of Team Europcar and Charlene du Preez claimed overall victory in the 26th annual PPC Kremetart Race hosted in Louis Trichardt over the weekend.
Close to 900 enthusiastic cyclists from across the country lined up on the N1 at Louis Trichardt on Saturday morning to compete in South Africa’s one-of-a-kind one day stage race which this year sadly claimed the life of Louis Trichardt businessman, Danie de Beer.
De Beer collapsed and fell from his bike while marshalling the rear riders in the 10 km race.
The first stage of the 175 km race stretched over a distance of 53 km to Waterpoort and cyclists needed some stamina over the Soutpansberg. At Waterpoort they were treated to breakfast to gain some energy for the next 44 km to Vivo.
At the start of the third stage cyclists turned to Louis Trichardt with the next stop at Schoemansdal after completing a distance of 52 km. The final stage stretches over a distance of 22 km which can get hectic for cyclists who first have to cross Ottoshoogte before descending to the finish line.
Smit finished all stages in a time of 4:23.32 followed by JC Nel and Morné van Niekerk in second and third respectively. Du Preez, who claimed the first overall position in the women’s category, finished in a time of 5:05.53 with Lynette Burger in second and Heidi Dalton in third.
On Sunday the mountain bike leg of the Kremetart was hosted at the Komatiland Forestry Hanglip where a difficult and dangerous route caused meant serious injuries for some bikers although overall the bikers commented that the route was challenging yet fun.
Komborero Bere was the favourite of the day in the men’s category and again claimed victory with a time of 1:21.30. Marco Roets who completed the 70 km road race in third place the previous day finished first in the u.23 men’s category. Nicola Foord took overall first place with a time of 1:31.35 in the women’s category with Bernice Cronjé in second place.
“We only had positive feedback from competitors. We had awesome cooperation from organisers, sponsors, marshals, traffic officers and the Makhado Municipality to ensure a safe and successful race. We have however lost one of the marshals, Danie de Beer who collapsed and passed away during the 10 km race,” organiser Renda Alexander said.