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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart

Battle looming at the Hell of the South - Attakwas 2019

Riders prepare for battle at the 2018 Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen.


The Momentum Health #AttakwasExtreme, presented by Biogen, also known as the #HellOfTheSouth: 121km with 2900m of climbing from Oudtshoorn to Great Brak River | The Spur #AttakwasMini: an introduction to ultra-marathons, 52km with 1100m.

The 13th edition of the Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme presented by Biogen takes place this Saturday, 19 January 2019, which officially became part of the UCI MTB Marathon Series last year. Not only does the event offer riders a chance to collect UCI points, but the top 20 will also qualify for the UCI Marathon World Championship.

Riders entering this event are by no means guaranteed of easy points, however. A daunting 2900m of climbing through the Outeniqua Mountains is presented, with extremely wild and technical terrain that lies between the start in the Klein Karoo and the finish along the banks of the Great Brak River.

A world class field of riders is once again being assembled for the event.

2019 will see the return of defending champion, Matthys Beukes. He described his performance last year as “textbook” and for most of the race had Urs Huber’s record in his sights. The key for Beukes last year was all the hard work that he put in over the festive season and he is surely hard at it again in his quest to notch up a third title.

The women’s event will be no less of an epic throwdown. Jennie Stenerhag, 2017 Cape Epic champion has had a quiet 2018 by her own high standards. The Swede has finished 2nd and 3rd at the Attakwas Extreme before and will surely be hungry to go one better in the 2019 edition.

Some of South Africa’s brightest talents are already entered for the race and will want to keep the title in South African hands. Candice Lill, who left Team Dormakaba in April this year to pursue success internationally, had an impressive 2018 season. She racked up victory in the Tankwa Trek as well as 4th at the Cape Epic and 2nd at the South African National Championships – XCO.

Photo by Jeff Ayliffe

Yolande de Villiers, a previous podium finisher at both the Tankwa Trek and Cape Epic, is a stalwart of the local mountain biking scene known for her ability to pull off incredible performances against all the odds. De Villiers finished fourth, beating Lill to the line, in the race in January of last year and will be keen to resume her rivalry with Lill.

Photo by

Samantha Sanders will also line up to contest the title. She has had a great string of wins last year after joining Dormakaba last year and teaming up with Amy-Beth Mcdougall.

The riding should be hotly contested and the racing fierce. Take a look at the event website and keep up to date with their social media to catch all the results and highlights.

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