Potberg Mountain Bike Marathon

On Saturday morning we jumped into the car bright and early to head off to De Hoop Nature Reserve near Cape Agulhas for the 2010 Potberg Marathon. The route would see us tackle 77km and 1300m of ascent. It didn’t sound too tough but the course was very rough. Not a problem, 1 X Cube Full Suss mountain bike and I was sorted. The bike loved the rough terrain and sailed through it.

Waiting to start.

Image compliments of Leonard Line. (Appologies for the poor quality, it was taken off a cell phone camera)

On the first climb, Willie Brink (Jeep) and myself had put the hammer down and managed to get a gap on the chasing bunch. The next 20 or so kilometres we were traversed along rough and rocky jeep track, we had a nice tail wind and thus we made good time. Nearing a summit of a short rocky climb I got a puncture in my rear wheel. Luckily my wheels were topped up with Sludge and the hole was sealed in no time!

Shortly after 30 kilometres we tackled the major climb of the day, at 6 kilometres long it climbed steadily at first and then kicked up to the summit. The single track down was awesome. The organisers had used old rail way sleepers covered in chicken wire (for grip) as short bridges across streams. What made this even more impressive was that we were in the middle of nowhere (at least it felt like that 🙂 ).

After exploring a few district roads we encountered the cement road climb, it was steep! Super steep! We managed to get to the top and then entered 10 kilometres of jeep track. It was again exceptionally rocky and rough, I felt sorry for anyone on hard tails but the Cube just kept on going. A short portage up a sandy bank took us to the last water station for the day where it was necessary to top up the bottles. There was a spectacular view of the turquoise ocean from here and apparently other riders even spotted whales.

The final haul of 7km along good gravel road led us to the finish. It was a tough day at the office. Willie and I finished together with him taking the win and me in second.  Vaughn Ulyate took the final place on the podium some 16 minutes behind us.

Next year I would definitely love to make a weekend of this race and camp in this beautiful region of the Southern Cape.

Final results

  1. Willie Brink(Jeep) 3.31.20
  2. Chris Wolhuter(Cube Bikes SA) 3.31.20
  3. Vaughn Ulyate 3.47.32

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