Winning feeling for teammates at Drak Descent

27-28 January 2024

Winning feeling for teammates at Drak Descent

Underberg – Team PYGA Euro Steel dominate the opening stage of the Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB race with Phil Buys and Pieter du Toit claiming victory in the team event while their team mate Jaedon Terlouw beat Drive Train Academy’s Daniel van Der Watt in the solo category.

Overnight rain meant ideal sticky and slightly muddy conditions greet cyclists taking on the 43km first day of the scenic event in the Southern Drakensberg on Saturday morning.

Pristine vistas, challenging inclines and loads of single track were the order of the day and after 1:45:41 it was Du Toit of the PYGA Euro Steel men’s team who lead the field home. His team partner, Buys, was a second behind in 1:45:42, with Jaedon Terlouw sandwiched in between as the leading solo rider, with the same time as Du Toit.

Du Toit, Buys, Terlouw and Van der Watt were always at the front of the race, with Terlouw riding as a solo entrant after Michael Foster was forced to withdraw overnight due to an overnight illness.

“It was a super day and early on, going up a single-track concrete incline there were initially four of us. Jaedon attacked early,” said Du Toit. “Daniel fell slightly behind on a climb at 30km, leaving the three of us to stay together and pace ourselves to the end. It was great fun out there and nice to be leading.”

Terlouw enjoyed the fast conditions, using the race to fine tune his skills ahead of next weekend’s road champs. “It’s disappointing Michael had to withdraw, leaving me as a solo entrant, but it was great to race with Pieter and Phillip, using strategy and speed at various times to stay in the groove for what lies ahead, especially for the Cape Epic where I am riding with Michael,” he said.

“This is my debut at this race and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

In the women’s race, privateer Tyler Jacobs cruised home in 1:59:12, enjoying a big advantage over Frances Janse van Rensburg (2:10:28) and former Dusi Canoe Marathon champ and Underberg local Bianca Haw (2:15:05).

“It was a great day out for me. I enjoyed the race from the start. It was smooth, sticky at times thanks to the rains, but fast and beautiful,” said Jacobs. “I put my head down from the start, managing to follow and stay with a bunch of guys through until the end.”

Day two of the Euro Steel Drak Descent starts and finishes at The Olde Duck, on the Drakensberg Gardens Road and is a testing 53km.

Leading Results
1 Jaedon Terlouw 1:45:41
2 Pieter Du Toit  & Philip Buys – PYGA Euro Steel 1:45:42
3 Daniel Van Der Watt 1:46:31
4 Keegan Tullis & Omar Wilson – Geared Up 1:50:50
5 Andrew Hill 1:50:50
6 Wian Van Den Bergh 1:50:52
7 Joshua Paul & Justin Swanepoel – Drivetraim 1:50:56

Women
1 Tyler Jacobs 1:59:12
2 Frances Janse Van Rensburg 2:10:28
3 Bianca Haw 2:15:05
4 Dalene Eksteen 2:15:41
5 Robyn Chapman & Jodi Mackinnon – Tipping Point Twins 2:15:54

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