Grabouw — 2018 champions Dean Hopf and Robyn Williams will return to defend their Woolworths X Tri cross triathlon titles at the beautiful Paul Cluver Estate in Grabouw on Sunday.
A year ago Hopf was super quick in the two land-based off-road sections and his fast mountain bike and trail run times set him up for a tight 76-second victory over Gary Thomas. David Sher claimed the final podium position at the end of the multi-discipline event.
On Sunday the three top men from 12 months ago will all be back to battle for glory and the R5 000 first prize over the full 1 000m swim on Groenrug Dam, the 27km mountain bike route, and the 12km trail run. There is also a half-distance X Tri Lite and team events for both triathlon distances, while the 5km #Run4Fun and 3km #WalkForGood will ensure a full day of activity for the entire family.
In the women’s longer-distance triathlon event, Williams looks like the athlete to beat once again and it seems a safe bet that she will have an early lead after the swim leg and her rivals will have to chase her on the two land-based disciplines if they want to cause an upset.
Last year Williams was credited with the fastest swim time overall, officially coming out the water a second ahead of both Hopf and Sher. She backed that up with quick cycle and run times to end the event in an impressive 15th overall and almost five minutes clear of the second-placed woman, Tanya Rabie, who has not entered this year’s event.
The Woolworths X Tri has been described as one of the “proper” cross triathlon events on the racing calendar with competitors tackling the dam swim before heading out into one of the province’s most popular mountain biking trail networks.
Hundreds of mountain bikers and trail runners flock to Paul Cluver Estate each weekend to experience the sublime purpose-built trails. Riders and runners on Sunday will be able to experience a combination of technical and flowing single track that ensures the long event is a solid test of skill, fitness and strength.
The shorter events do not have as much technical riding but will still test the riders and runners with some steep climbs making sure competitors have to work for their ‘medal’ at the finishing line. As part of Woolworths sustainability focus X Tri athletes will receive a sapling tree and X Tri Lite athletes will get a seeded growing card at the finish.
The X Tri event starts at 8am followed by the full-distance team event at 8.30am. The X Tri Lite individual race sets off at 9.30am with the team event starting 15 minutes later. The fun run begins at 10am with the walk at 10.15am.
The event will be timed by FinishTime.
Results will be at results.FinishTime.co.za