Who To Watch at the 2022 Tankwa Trek

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Bike, Bike Events & Racing, Bike Racing News

It has been a good while since the last Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek (Feb 2020) and the 4 day mountain bike stage race looks to be back with a bang in 2022! Let’s take a look at what is in store for 2022 and who to watch out for in the race.

Who To Watch At The 2022 Tankwa Trek
Matt Beers stood atop the podium at the 2021 Cape Epic with Jordan Sarrou, now he has a the young and hungry Tristan Nortje by his side for the Tankwa Trek. PC: Craig Kolesky

Tankwa Trek is a significant preparation event for the renowned Absa Cape Epic along with the Attakwas Extreme and of course the Imbuko Big 5 MTB Challenge which is to come on the 19th of Feb! Riders have 3 full days + a 30km prologue day to battle it out in the Koue Bokkeveld. With cooking temperatures on the weekend, the challenge of stages 3 and 4 will be real! This year stage 4 is a bit shorter so a high speed race can be expected on the final day.

The breakdown of each stage’s distance and elevation is as follows:

Stage 1: 29km / 450m

Tankwa Trek Stage 1

Stage 2: 86km / 1900m

Tankwa Trek Stage 2

Stage 3: 99km / 2200m

Tankwa Trek Stage 3

Stage 4: 70km / 1000m

Tankwa Trek Stage 4

On the competitor front, there are some big names, local and international, lining up for the 4 day race! Let’s have a look at who’s who in the zoo.

From team Cannondale Factory Racing we have local hero Alan Hatherly partnered up with Attakwas winner Simon Andreassen. The crew didn’t get a shot at Epic last year due to Simon needing surgery so we bet the will be fire in their bellies in 2022. Simon just recently won the Attakwas Extreme showing he has no issue racing and winning in extreme conditions.

Who To Watch At The 2022 Tankwa Trek
Hatherly and Andreassen are yet to show what they can do as a team. We don’t think there is much question as to how powerful they will be! PC: Michele Mondini

Nino Schurter and Filippo Colombo (with whom he raced at the 2021 Olympics) are a Swiss team that means business. Schurter’s prowess need no introduction and he’s sounding positive about racing with Filippo.

The reigning Cape Epic champion Matt Beers will take to the start alongside a potent Tristan Nortje racing for Specialized. This fully South African team has the potential to take gold both here at Tankwa Trek and the Epic, Beers having proven himself in 2021 and Nortje always in the mix with the top guys though often limited by a weaker teammate. We’re expecting big things from this combo in 2022!

Who To Watch At The 2022 Tankwa Trek
This will be the first event of the season where we get to see how the new mix of riders in the Imbuko {type}DEV equipped by Giant team pair up!

Sascha Webber (Germany) and Jaco Venter could also be names to keep in mind racing for Trek-Vaude. The Imbuko {type}DEV Team A is Marco Joubert with Wessel Bothe and Team B is made up of Pieter Du Toit and Franco Van Zyl. Insect Science Pro has CP Van Wyk paired with Alan Gordon while Keagan Bontekoning will be racing with Arno Du Toit.

In the ladies field we haven’t seen any international duos sign up of the event and thus it will be a showdown of the local favourites! It is safe to say that the Rola Faces team of Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill will be the team to beat with Kim Le Court / Samantha Sanders (Efficient Insure Infinti Racing) and Sarah Hill / Theresa Ralph (Liv Cycling South Africa) being the notable challengers. Although Hill and Ralph have a good history of racing together which makes for plenty of experience and chemistry, our money is on Le Court and Sanders to be the stronger competitors. Le Court has been living down in the Cape for a few months now so we can expect her to be acclimatised to the weather and dirt conditions while Sanders brings plenty experience to the party.

Who To Watch At The 2022 Tankwa Trek
Mariske Strauss and Sarah Hill were pitted against each other at Attakwas and Sarah landed ahead of Mariske’s 3rd in 2nd overall. How might the team dynamic change the outcome at Tanwka Trek? PC: Jacques Grobler

The is one international lady present and it is none other than Pauline Ferrand-Prevot. She will be racing with world famous free-rider Kilian Bron who’s known for his incredible freeride lines on some of the steepest mountains and remote locations on earth. Check out his instagram here! How fast they will be, we’re not sure?

The action kicks off on Thursday at 3pm with Stage 1 and then its pedal to the metal until Stage 4 is wrapped up on Sunday!

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