Taal Monument, Paarl – A new lower section to the track and a few other revisions saw riders looking at a fresh start for the second event in the SRAM WC DH series last weekend. Fresh autumn mornings made way for warm afternoons, and all 114 riders were set for two days of gravity and racing.
An interesting point is that over 50% of the 114 riders entered were under 16 years of age. It’s great to see such a high turnout of the kids, and it shows a positive demographic spread for the next couple of years and for emerging champions.
Usual suspects Theo Erlangsen and Ike Klaassen were in their element. They were looking to be likely champs from the outset. Both have their winning faces on now, and despite Erlangsen being chased by Johan Potgieter, victory was his.
“It was a cool, well-run event with loads of entries,” said Erlangsen. “Because it was a local Western Province race, it’s best of two runs. On my first run, I only beat Johan (Potgieter) by half a second, so it was a bit close for comfort. So I pulled finger on my next run and took one second off my time. Johan actually went a bit slower in his second run, so I ended up pumping him by a full second or so. It is obviously quite a short track, so getting big margins is quite hard. I was pretty stoked by a big old one-second margin.”
Theo hasn’t lost a heat since the beginning of the year, which bodes well for the rest of his season.
“Ike also did well,” said Erlangsen of Ike Klaassen, his Monster Energy teammate. “His first run wasn’t so good, and he was about 5th or 6th, but he pulled it together later. He absolutely ripped his second run and finished 4th overall, winning the Junior Men’s category in the process.”
The event complied with all covid safety regulations, and from all accounts, was an excellent, all-action weekend’s event. Both Ike and Theo have had a great start to their years’ racing, and it will be good to see them get to Europe and compete and take their winning streaks to the next level.
Compiled by Truth Collective