Words: Kyle Gilham
Durban – With the international cross-country mountain biking calendar having come to a close, Kargo Pro MTB have their eye firmly on a sound performance at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek stage race, which takes place in the Western Cape from Sunday 12 to Saturday 18 October.
Photo credit: MTBCrossCountry.com
Team ace Rourke Croeser will combine with regular stage racing partner Travis Walker once more and the pair are confident of putting in a performance they, the team and their sponsors will be proud of.
“Trav has improved as much as 20 to 30 percent since the start of this year and we really work well together as a team which is so important in a big stage race like Pioneer,” explained Croeser. “I would love to challenge for the overall title but realistically I think we have a really good chance of finishing on the podium!”
“The Cape Pioneer Trek is a big event in all respects for us as a UCI team as it's the last chance for riders and team to earn UCI points this season. Travis (Walker) has had a great block of training and racing recently and with this will being his first stage race that's longer than four days long, having Rourke (Croeser) as his partner will be a big help for him,” added team manager Shaun Peschl.
In the build up to this seven day Cape clash, Kargo have been hard at work on the local marathon and stage race circuit with Croeser and team newcomer Brendon Davids topping the team’s recent achievements with a second place at the recent Isuzu 3 Towers race at Mankele in Mpumalanga.
Croeser and Walker got the team’s stage race ball rolling with a third at the Nedbank sani2c in July this year before adding an unrivaled victory at the Isuzu Trucks PE to Plett event a few weeks ago.
“We’ve done really nicely in the stage races we’ve taken part in this season and hopefully we can have another really good outing together.
“Trav’s well rested – important ahead of a seven day long stage race – and I’m feeling really good and confident so hopefully we can have a good couple of days on the bike,” said Croeser.
The marathon scene has also been a heavily frequent environment for Kargo’s rider of late with Croeser, Walker and Davids claiming a clean sweep of the podium positions while Alan Hatherly won the junior title and finished seventh overall.
Upcountry-based team members Stuart Marais and William Mokgopo also contributed to the team’s recent success when they finished second and ninth in the elite and under-23 men’s categories of the fourth leg of the Nissan Trail Seeker Series respectively.
The pair will be back in action at the fifth and final leg of the series on 1 November in Centurion as they look to get a feel for the series the team has an eye on for 2015.
“The series is one we want to target next season as it draws a big spectatorship and going into the final race of this year’s series both Stuart (Marais) and William (Mokgopo) are keen to give it a good go for top 5 placings in their respective categories as the season winds down for the year,” explained Peschl.
More info can be found at www.peschlracing.com
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – KARGO PRO MTB TEAM
ISUZU 3 TOWERS STAGE RACE
1.Scott Factory Racing (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 7:41.25
2.Kargo Pro MTB (Rourke Croeser/Brendon Davids) 7:44.05
3.Wheeler-Trek (James Reid/Konny Looser) 7:52.30
LAKE ELAND CLASSIC
1.Rourke Croeser (Kargo Pro MTB) 1:38.05
2.Travis Walker (Kargo Pro MTB) 1:38.06
3.Brendon Davids (Kargo Pro MTB) 1:44.08
1.Alan Hatherly (Kargo Pro MTB) 1:52.36
2.Devon Smith 2:03.42
3.John Cele 2:17.08
NISSAN TRAIL SEEKER BUNDU BASH
1.Theunis Redlinghuys 2:31.53
2.Stuart Marais (Kargo Pro MTB) 2:32.07
3.Jan Withaar 2:34.16
1.Stephan Reyneke 2:35.24
2.Ian Pienaar 2:39.01
3.Pierre Smith 2:39.25
9.William Mokgopo (Kargo Pro MTB) 2:48.11