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.
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.
XCO Eliminator Results
1st: Pheteso Monese
2nd: Teboho Khantsi
3rd: Tumelo Makae
1st: Larise Venter
2nd: Phia Vermeulen
3rd: Danni Coleman
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
International Bike Trade
Afriski Website: http://www.afriski.net/