Pottie ends dry spell with National Cup win

The 2017 South African Downhill National Cup Series kicked off at the weekend which formed part of the MTB Gravity Series. Johann “Pottie” Potgieter cruised down the hill at a superb 2:12.735 to beat National Champion Stefan Garlicki, and Adi van der Merwe coming in at second and third place respectively at Helderberg in the Western Cape.

“It was an unbelievable day for me yesterday,” said Potgieter. “We had had the Western province race the weekend before and obviously Stefan Garlicki was on form again, so I knew that I would have to put in 110% to beat him,” he added. He mentioned how close the friendship is between him and Garlicki, but also said that the rivalry on the track is strong. “We keep each other on our toes,” he said.

Johann "Pottie" Potgieter was over the moon with his win at the first round of the 2017 SA Downhill National Cup Series in Helderberg on Sunday 29 January. Photo: Theo Bruwer

Johann "Pottie" Potgieter was over the moon with his win at the first round of the 2017 SA Downhill National Cup Series in Helderberg on Sunday 29 January. Photo: Theo Bruwer

Potgieter paced himself well, and preserved as much energy as he could ahead of the final race. “I gave it 90% in the seeding run and just tried to get the technical bits pinned and not to break myself on the pedalling sections,” he said.

After placing second in the seeding run behind Theo Erlangsen, Potgieter knew that he had to put in just a little bit extra to win at the end. He said: “I managed to nail the technical bits, I had a moment here and there, but luckily I stuck it and where I had to pedal I just gave it my everything. As I crossed the line there was no more breath left and I thought to myself that if it wasn’t enough, then well done to the other guys – they rode really well.”

After hearing he had finished with the fastest time, Potgieter said that he could not have been more “stoked”, especially after two years of injuries. “The last time I won a national was in about 2012 or around there if my memory serves me correctly. It was an awesome feeling to know that I could still do it.

In the Junior Men's category, Cullen McMaster impressed with nine minutes on the second placed rider in his category in Helderberg on Sunday 29 January. Photo: Theo Bruwer

In the Junior Men's category, Cullen McMaster impressed with nine minutes on the second placed rider in his category in Helderberg on Sunday 29 January. Photo: Theo Bruwer

“Now that I’m back, I’ve got my bike set-up dialled and all of that as well. I felt really good on the bike yesterday as well. But as you know, guys like Stefan – he’s a really quick nowadays and he puts in the hard work and is really hard to beat, so I am incredibly stoked.” He said.

In the overall Women’s category, Rika Olivier impressed all as she powered to victory with 13 seconds over Sabine Thies, and Simon Futter two seconds behind to grab the third spot on the podium.

Sabine "Beani" Thies claimed second place in the Women's Overall category at the first round of the 2017 SA Downhill National Cup Series in Helderberg on Sunday 29 January. Photo: Theo Bruwer

Sabine "Beani" Thies claimed second place in the Women's Overall category at the first round of the 2017 SA Downhill National Cup Series in Helderberg on Sunday 29 January. Photo: Theo Bruwer

In the Junior Men’s race, Cullen McMaster had just under nine seconds over Nicolaas Van Pletzen, who had 400 split seconds on third placed Francios du Toit.

ENDS

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

Elite Men

1. Johann Potgieter               02:12.735

2. Stefan Garlicki                     02:14.391

3. Adi Van Der Merwe           02:16.622

Junior Men

1. Cullen McMaster                02:19.315

2.  Nicolaas Van Pletzen       02:28.015

3.  Francois Du Toit                02:28.403

Youth Men

1.   Jasper Barrett                         02:29.346       

2.   Kayle Seaward                        02:35.932

3.   Steph Geldenhuys                02:40.407

Overall Women
1. Rika Olivier                       02:58.052
2. Sabine Thies                     03:11.134
3. Simone Futter             03:13.781

To see the full set of results, click here: https://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20170129_SA-Downhill-1-2017-FINAL-Results-1.pdf