Potgieter and Olivier are Downhill champs in Helderberg | SASCOC - SASCOC

Potgieter and Olivier are Downhill champs in Helderberg

The 2017 South African Downhill National Cup Series kicked off at the weekend and was part of the MTB Gravity Series at Helderberg in the Western Cape.

Johann ‘Pottie’ Potgieter cruised down the hill in a superb 2min 12.735sec to beat national champion Stefan Garlicki, with Adi van der Merwe coming in third.

‘It was an unbelievable day for me,’ said Potgieter. ‘We had the Western Province race the weekend before and obviously Stefan Garlicki was on form again, so I knew that I would have to put in 110% to beat him,’ he added.

He mentioned how close the friendship is between him and Garlicki, but also said that the rivalry on the track is strong. ‘We keep each other on our toes,’ he said.

Potgieter paced himself well, and preserved as much energy as he could ahead of the final race. ‘I gave it 90% in the seeding run and just tried to get the technical bits pinned and not to break myself on the pedalling sections,’ he said.

After placing second in the seeding run behind Theo Erlangsen, Potgieter knew that he had to put in just a little bit extra to win at the end. He said: ‘I managed to nail the technical bits, I had a moment here and there, but luckily I stuck it and where I had to pedal I just gave it my everything.

‘As I crossed the line there was no more breath left and I thought to myself that if it wasn’t enough, then well done to the other guys – they rode really well.’

After hearing he had finished with the fastest time, Potgieter said that he could not have been more ‘stoked’, especially after two years of injuries. ‘The last time I won a national was in about 2012 or around there if my memory serves me correctly. It was an awesome feeling to know that I could still do it.

‘Now that I’m back, I’ve got my bike set-up dialled and all of that as well. I felt really good on the bike yesterday as well. But as you know, guys like Stefan – he’s a really quick nowadays and he puts in the hard work and is really hard to beat, so I am incredibly stoked,’ he said.

In the overall Women’s category, Rika Olivier impressed all as she powered to victory by 13 seconds over Sabine Thies, and Simon Futter two seconds behind to grab the third spot on the podium.e8581232-98d2-4073-ac59-4db7a35af436

In the Junior Men’s race, Cullen McMaster had just under nine seconds on Nicolaas Van Pletzen, who was split-seconds ahead of third-placed Francois du Toit.

Pictures of Potgieter and second-placed woman Sabine Thies courtesy of Theo Bruwer


Elite Men
1 Johann Potgieter 2min 12.735sec
2 Stefan Garlicki 2:14.391
3 Adi Van Der Merwe 2:16.622

Junior Men
1 Cullen McMaster 2:19.315
2  Nicolaas Van Pletzen 2:28.015
3  Francois Du Toit 2:28.403

Youth Men
1 Jasper Barrett 2:29.346
2 Kayle Seaward 2:35.932
3 Steph Geldenhuys 2:40.407

Overall Women
1 Rika Olivier 2:58.052
2 Sabine Thies 3:11.134
3 Simone Futter 3:13.781

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *