Inaugural Crank Chaos a resounding success

The inaugural Crank Chaos Mountain Bike Festival launched over the weekend, with a fantastic turnout under crystal blue Maluti skies at Afriski Mountain Resort, Lesotho.

Crank Chaos Craig Kolesky 1.jpg
Photo credit: Craig Kolesky.


Riders and exhibitors from across Lesotho and South Africa headed to the northern section of the country to test their skill and equipment on a range of courses. Situated at 3222m of altitude, this 3-day festival was not for the faint-hearted.


Proceedings kicked off with a hotly contested cross-country eliminator, which saw Lesotho Olympian Pheteso Monese edging out fellow countryman in the lactic acid inducing 650m sprint. After lunch at Sky restaurant, highest restaurant in Africa at 3010m, riders hit the slopestyle course to dial in their lines ahead of Saturday’s slopestyle final.


Crank Chaos Craig Kolesky 2.jpg
Photo credit: Craig Kolesky.


The day’s main event saw riders effortlessly reach the trail heads with the help of the 1000m long T-Bar giving them 200m of free altitude.


Three-time downhill world champion, Greg Minnaar, claimed overall victory, winning stages 1 and 2 but was out pedaled on stage 3 by Olivier Munnik.


In the female and junior categories, Nikki Alvin and Kayle Seaward earned themselves the win in their respective categories.


Crank Chaos Craig Kolesky 6.jpg
Photo credit: Craig Kolesky.


XCO Eliminator Results


1st: Pheteso Monese
2nd: Teboho Khantsi
3rd: Tumelo Makae


1st: Larise Venter
2nd: Phia Vermeulen
3rd: Danni Coleman


Enduro Results:


1st-: Greg Minnaar
2nd: Christopher Pearton
3rd: Olivier Munnik


1st: Nikki Alvin
2nd: Larise Venter
3rd: Phia van der Meulen


1st: Kayle Seaward
2nd: Sharjah Jonson
3rd: Jason Du Toit


The weekend was outstanding. A great atmosphere, being able to hang out and socialize with the mountain bike community. Watching guys and ladies drop off the big barrel and it was the first time they had done something like that, they were so stoked. It was cool to see. The racing was fun but as soon as we were done we were back on the trails having a good time. Then everyone got to rip it up at the Halloween party. We had so many stories on the drive back. It was good! Greg Minnaar

Day two of Crank Chaos kicked off with a 38km Marathon Race and outride to the escarpment overlooking South Africa 1600m below. In a brave move, Pheteso Monese attacked early and spent the day in a lone breakaway that saw him winning the Marathon.


While the marathon riders experienced the beauty of the escarpment, slopestyle Riders were prepping themselves, dialing in their tricks. As the morning progressed, high wind speeds unfortunately forced organizers to cancel the slopestyle event as rider safety would have been comprised.


Crank Chaos Craig Kolesky 4.jpg
Photo credit: Craig Kolesky.


A silver lining emerged as the Trails Crew from Cape Town set to the course, building an epic dirt jump which escaped the wrath of the wind. Riders and spectators alike were entertained by the Crew’s incredible tricks and 360’s.


After lunch, riders took to the hill for Crank Chaos’ main event, the Downhill Eliminator. The eliminator pits four riders against each other, with each rider railing down a separate track. In the first round a total eight heats of four riders provided some close racing with all four tracks taking a similar amount of time to complete.


By the time the semi-finals arrived, track conditions were perfect and riders were getting to know where and when they could push on the different tracks. In his semi-final, Greg Minnaar was beaten by mere miliimetres by Kayle Seaward in what was arguably the closest battle of the event.


Crank Chaos Craig Kolesky 3.jpg
Photo credit: Craig Kolesky.


The final proved to be a tight battle between two stalwart families of gravity racing in South Africa, the Seawards and Philogenes. Philogene brothers Chris and Jono proved their mettle taking 1st and 3rd respectively while Craig Seaward did his clan proud by taking silver.


DH Eliminator Results:


1st: Chris Philogene
2nd: Craig Seaward
3rd: Jonothan Philogene


1st: Larise Venter
2nd: Nikki Alvin
3rd: Phia Vermeulen


1st: Ike Klaasen
2nd: Nate Hall
3rd: Liam Hall


Marathon Results


1st: Phetetso Monese
2nd: Frans Nel
3rd: Tumelo Makae


Riders were all dressed up in their outrageous costumes for the Halloween Party at Gondola Café and were entertained by Jasper Dan’s Southern Rock live performance.


Crank Chaos Craig Kolesky 5.jpg


The inaugural Crank Chaos was a resounding success and riders are planning their involvement at next years’ Crank Chaos event.


A big thank you to all exhibitors and sponsors, without them this event would not have been possible.


Highligths video:



Santa Cruz
Action Gear




Bike Hub
Dirt Merchant
International Bike Trade
Revolution Fit



Gen, Oct 31 2016 08:45

Nice going Peach[emoji106]

Josh0, Oct 31 2016 09:51

Awesome. Well done everyone! 

I will definitely join some of the Afri Ski events next year!

Stretch, Oct 31 2016 10:22

Great Stuff guys - love to hear some feedback from the hubbers that went

westcoaster, Nov 09 2016 11:51

Great Stuff guys - love to hear some feedback from the hubbers that went


So I went for the enduro event (my 3rd in 3 years and my 1st in 2years)... Thursday went up the lift and onto the closest down trail, which was supposed to be an enduro trail.  30m in, the 1st drop-off stopped me dead in my tracks. Climbed down, stood at the top of the landing.  Launch was about half a foot above my head. I'm 6'1.   WTF!!?? This is enduro, Lesotho style!!??  Turns out it was a DH track, the drop featuring one of the pics on the CrankChaos website :-)

Aside from the initial lack of info on which tracks were which (we did ask a number of people organising and got vague responses all over), it was a great event.  Great vibe and man, the riding was insane for pretty much everyone in our group, which included a few early enduro-ers, up to "world famous in Gauteng" riders (and maybe wider than that).   200m drop in 1.2km.  It's not the Spruit (thank Fk for that).  Plus the altitude.  Enduro rides were hard work, so were the DH tracks, regardless of skipping the bigger drops.

Going again next year?  Hell yes.

Cruz Addict, Nov 09 2016 01:34

so i wasnt there for the whole event as i had to work on Friday but went through for the weekend, here is my 2c.


  • the ski lift is a nice way to get to the top, at that altitude even walking a bike is frikken hard work but its a bit of a hit and miss as to whether you stay on, you have to consistently pull the T-bar into your body so as not to fall off, added to the fact that the bike is being steered vs being pulled/ carried on a gondola type rig can make for some eventful trips up the mountain, but as i say it beats walking or riding up.
  • the trails are quiet steep and fast in places and yes there are some big drops, my first trip for maluti mahem, i didnt even attempt 1 of the drops on Gooi meelies but this time round i just threw my weight back and rolled and they are very easy, no real speed is required as its very easy to overshoot.
  • the dirt is very strange, its very grippy and allows for real confidence inspiring speed but once the sun has a chance to bake it becomes a little dusty. still grippy but following very close on the heals of another rider does make for some interesting approaches to jumps, berms drops etc.
  • there is nothing quiet like this in any other African site i have come across, the trails have been well thought out and they allow for each rider to progress as your confidence increases( granted some obstacles just require a set of brass balls the size of bowling balls) but still.
  • the dirt is very forgiving when you do come off, i bought several pieces of property and did nothing more than dust myself of with no real injury to speak of.
  • the food is frikken awesome, the sky bar is great, all be it a little expensive, dont get me wrong its not take your breath away expensive but its not cheap.
  • the booze is very cheap!!!!! considering there is nothing anywhere near there they could charge a fortune but they dont and its very good value for money.
  • the accommodation is well priced and comfortable enough but could do with a little more upkeep i guess if you want to be anal about details.
  • the staff are super friendly and are always willing to go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
  • once the wind picks up the riding does become rather unpleasant as we all found that our wheels and bikes were being blown all over the place. its difficult not to be scared when on a 1.5m drop you end up almost a meter to the side of the line you started on.
  • from a bike perspective its a tough one, i found i managed everything ok on my SC nomad but could definitely have done with more suspension to help from a forgiveness point of view. my mates on their DH Bikes definitely seemed to have more fun, i now just have to find the amo to buy one i suppose.
  • as far as the exhibitors go i was impressed but it would have been nice if even one of them actually had a DH bike to test rather than only trail type bikes. its not really a criticism as such but on a trail such as Afriski a DH bike just makes more sense in my opinion.

once again i must state the riding is frikken awesome, me and a mate took a look at the intercontinental DH track but decided that, that is just for stupid people that have no fear of death. this is my second trip and i honestly cant wait to go back, its close, its relatively affordable and all in that makes for a very cool trip.