Words & Photo: Outsider Communications
Bradley Weiss (Team Hydrotec-Faktory) successfully defended his Terra Firma-title at the Totalsports Challenge presented by Liberty Medical Scheme and REHIDRAT SPORT, while teammate Matthew Daneel finished third on his debut.
Weiss completed the 50km road bike (Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond), 13km road run, 25km mountain bike and 9km beach run in 4 hours and 3 minutes. Daneel’s time was 4:02.21.
Nico Pfitzenmaier finished second behind Weiss in 3:56.38.
Weiss took the lead on the road bike after he along with Louis-Bresler Knipe attacked Pfitzenmaier first on the Rooi Els climb and then going past Betty’s Bay with some 10km to go. Weiss had a gap of some 90 seconds when he started the mountain bike leg after a consistent run.
“I tried not to burn too many matches early on because I knew the mountain bike was going to be very hard. It is Nico’s playground so I expected him to come past me early on, but I felt really good and it was only on the final climb that I saw him. He was faster than me in the transition, but I could see he was very fatigued. I still felt strong and it was then that I knew I could win again. It was hard work though. Last year I was a newcomer and Nico the three-time champion. This year I was the defending champion and I had a target on my back. Nico was way more attentive and I felt the pressure. I was excited to defend my title though. And seeing that this is probably the last Totalsports Challenge I was determined to stand on top of the podium.”
Daneel didn’t have a strong road bike leg like Weiss, but after starting the road run in fifth place he worked himself back in podium contention when he gave his all on the mountain bike leg. “I jumped on my bike and pinned my ears back and gave it my all. I decided beforehand that I needed a strong mountainbike leg. I caught some leaders on the climb and got a gap on the decent while also showing off for the helicopter a bit! I had such a good time on the mountainbike – it was fun and fast. The beach run was the hardest run of my life. It tapped all the energy I had left. Today I achieved more than I could have hoped for and I really didn’t expect to be on the podium. I am stoked with my podium place though. This event is so much different from others. It is special. I also had a great back-up team in my dad Richard and friend Nicola. They were excellent!”
Both Weiss and Daneel were full of compliments for their Faktory bikes. "We need to thank our team sponsor Hydrotec-Faktory for making this all possible for us. Our bikes were amazing today," said Daneel.
Weiss added: "Sponsors like Hydrotec, Faktory and Isostar helps us to live our dreams and perform on the level that is needed."