William Mokgopo relaunched his racing program with a win at the 2022 Glacier Cradle Traverse, September 30-October 2.
Beginning in a race village in Avianto, it’s a relaxed event in the Cradle of Humankind. With short, punchy routes – measuring no more than 42 kilometers in length – the Glacier Cradle Traverse is the perfect stage race for newcomers to the sport and those looking to indulge in the more social side of mountain biking.
The race started with a 42 kilometer stage in the Cradle Moon reserve. On a day dominated by big game sightings, the giraffe stole the show. Stage 2 took riders to exclusive portion 58, a section of terrain few mountain bikers ever get to experience. The last stage, like the one before it, is only 39 kilometers long. He showcased the best driving of the event, packing over 20 kilometers of singletrack in the stage, including the King’s Kloof blue route.
“I have to say the last three days have been amazing,” smiled Mokgopo after claiming his third straight stage victory and the overall title.
“I think this stage race is one of a kind and I hope the organizers keep it exactly as it is! I think a lot of people would like to participate. We had so much single track, so much climbing, and then the atmosphere… that’s what’s great about stage races. And the Glacier Cradle Traverse succeeds. Everyone is so cool, having fun after the stages. That’s what I appreciate more and more about stage races now, to enjoy the fun of it.
Mokgopo’s winning time was 5 hours, 17 minutes and 57 seconds.
Stefano Madies finished second in the men’s solo race, with Kyle Robertson completing the category podium. Raine Fouche was the only woman in the women’s solo competition and took an undisputed victory.
In the team race, Yolande de Villiers and Stéphanie Wohlters were the big winners.
The best women’s team was also the best team in the race, setting an overall time just behind Mokgopo. Their final cumulative time was 5 hours, 42 minutes and 17 seconds. The Madmacs/Coopetto/Bester Performance team’s closest rivals were Denni Cartwright and Anneke van der Walt. Aletti Lowe and Ulande Viljoen complete the podium in the women’s team category.
“It was a wonderful stage race,” smiles Wohlters.
“It’s my garden; but still, each day the trails included bits that I had never hiked before. I loved every second. The weather was amazing, the people were amazing, and I’m racing with Yolande [de Villiers] was amazing too.
The men’s team race was won by the Efficient Wealth combination of Loutjie Smit and Stoffel Echley. Helena Tarantino and Jacques Human, from the P…F team won the competition in the mixed category.
To recap all the 2022 Glacier Cradle Traverse action, mountain bike fans can follow the race on Instagram at @cradletraverse, or on Facebook at Glacier Cradle Traverse. For more information, visit www.cradletraverse.co.za.
Glacier Cradle Traverse General classification after stage 3:
1. Effective Wealth: Loutjie Smit & Stoffel Echley (7:25:35)
2. Echo International: Karel Jacobs & Jacques Rautenbach (7:26:48 | +1:13)
3. Epic Reunion: Juan Enslin and Chris Kroeger (8:39:44 | +1:14:09)
1. Madmacs/ Coopetto/ Bester Performance: Yolande de Villiers & Stéphanie Wohlters (5:42:17)
2. WR-Echo Team: Denni Cartwright and Anneke van der Walt (6:48:29 | +1:06:12)
3. Brolloks and Bittergal: Aletti Lowe & Ulande Viljoen (8:15:54 | +2:33:37)
1. Team P…F: Helena Tarantino & Jacques Human (6:56:30)
2. Skyfall: Wynand and Natasha van der Berg (7:27:31 | +31:01)
3. Life Cycle: Gobona Mantle and Warren Rigeford (8:21:20 | +1:24:50)
1. Raine Fouche (9:53:35)
1. Guillaume Mokgopo (5:17:57)
2. Stefano Madies (5:44:55 | +26:57)
3. Kyle Robertson (5:50:24 | +32:26)