Ciovita was the official kit sponsor to the 2017 Transbaviaans. This 24 hour mountain bike marathon is billed as “the toughest single stage race in the world” and that’s not hype, it really lives up to this maxim. The race starts in the small town of Willowmore in the Eastern Cape and finishes 230km away in the seaside town of Jeffery’s Bay. Between these two points lies 230km of ascents and descents, gravel roads and some of the most beautiful scenery South Africa has to offer. When riders arrive in Jeffery’s Bay they have ascended for an accumulated 2540m.
Much of the race takes place in darkness, and the route is not clearly marked as orientation and way finding are a part of the challenge. It is race intended to sort the wheat from the chaff, it is grueling and uncompromising, and consequently one of the greatest experiences you can have on a bike.
Ciovita jumped at the chance to supply the official kit for this event. Besides being an event of growing renown, we know that there is no better way to test our kit than in the real world. The tough conditions and the uncompromising nature of the race meant that it required kit that was tough and durable, as well as able to give the high performance athletes the help they needed, riding in conditions that could switch from hot to freezing in a matter of hours. Luckily our range is designed to cater for this allowing layering to be utilized to give the riders maximum comfort regardless of the position they found themselves in.
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER
It was no surprise to us (although it must have been to veterans of the race) that Ciovita Team Rider and Transbaviaans debutant Matt Beers took the win along with Team mate Timothy Hammond (a two time winner). They managed to finish the gruelling course in 8hours 46minutes 16seconds.
This was the first time Matt had participated in an ultra-distance single stage event and the weather in his hometown of Cape Town had made training difficult. In preparation Matt literally spent days on the indoor trainer to get himself used to the amount of time he’d need to spend in the saddle.
“That is quite a good simulation of ultra-distance because you have to sit there, mind-numbingly pedalling away just staring out the window.” Said Beers before the race.
Riding with the far more experience Hammond Matt had some anxiety that his inexperience in the world of single stage enduro events would count against their team. I said to Tim “When you drink I’ll drink, when you eat I eat and when you stop I’ll stop.” Says Beers.
Luckily they didn’t do much stopping and took their place at the top of the podium.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF JACQUES MARAIS