West Rand cyclist Pieter Seyffert will be seeking the double crown in the Bestmed Satellite Classic when he lines up for both the road and mountain bike feature races on October 17 and 18. Seyffert, who lives in Helderkruin, says the race routes, which start from Saloon Route 66 on the Hartbeeshoek road, played to his strength as an all-rounder: ‘I know the roads well as they are my training routes. It would be nice if I could do the double and it would be even more special because it would be on home ground.’ As joint leader in the mountain bike standings for the Bestmed National Cycling Series, Seyffert said a race win would improve his chances of an overall victory.
This season has been marked by a strong competitive comeback from the 28-year-old, who returned to cycling in April after an enforced two-year hiatus from the sport. He says: ‘I’m feeling very confident and I’m enjoying cycling again. I’ve always enjoyed it. In my opinion, a happy rider is a good rider. I’ve done close to 40 race days in total and been on the podium or in the top 10 for basically everything.’ Seyffert said he was proud to be in the press for positive reasons once more.
With mountain bike racing now his main focus as part of the Altech-Autopage set-up, he kicked off his season with a notable second place alongside regular partner Hanco Kachelhoffer in the Old Mutual joBerg2c. Seyffert has also enjoyed wins in off-road events such as the Bestmed Lost City MTB Classic and the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek with Kevin Evans. On the road, he finished second in the inaugural Bestmed Capital Classic in May and third in the Dome2Dome this past weekend.
Seyffert also demonstrated his tour riding abilities when he claimed the king of the mountains jersey at the Bestmed Jock Tour in June. The former roadie says: ‘I haven’t won a race on the road so far this year. It would just put the cherry on the cake for this season.’ He said he was unsure what to expect from the 40km mountain bike race, as he had never ridden it before, but was looking forward to getting back to the road classic.
The 106km route straddles the border between Gauteng and the North-West province and is dominated by the imposing Hekpoort climb in the latter stages of the race. Seyffert says: ‘It’s a very physical route and unlike many races, it’s not a pure sprinter’s course. It’s undulating, and there are a lot of climbs that aren’t too long but still give you the opportunity to get away.’ The line-up of road races on the Saturday includes 106km and 80km options – both premier seeding events for the Cape Town Cycle Tour – and a new 60km route aimed at social riders.
The 40km and 20km mountain bike events follow on the Sunday. Road race entries close on October 6, with the off-road cut-off on October 11. A portion of entry fees from the weekend festival of cycling, which is presented by ASG, will go to the Cancer Association of South Africa.