New-comer to the Women’s Cross-country Pro-Elite category, Frankie du Toit, is relishing her time at the top of the Series Log as we head towards the third round of the Stihl 2016 SA XCO Cup Series, which takes place at Wolwespruit Bike Park hosted by City of Tshwane in Erasmuskloof, Pretoria on Saturday 26 March. The first two XCO events displayed exhilarating levels of competition across all the age groups and the third round is expected to repeat the competitiveness of this high-paced discipline.
The KwaZulu-Natal and South African Junior Women’s XCO Champion is currently just 10 points ahead of Elite XCO National Champion, Cherie Vale, after two rounds. Although new to the age category, Du Toit is accustomed to the world of Cross-country racing and after a disappointing second round in Somerset West, is eager to come back with a vengeance on the trails at Wolwespruit.
Du Toit mentioned that the transition from Junior to Pro-Elite has been rather challenging. “Especially doing more laps and racing for longer,” she said.
The 18-year-old Kargo Pro MTB Team rider, who has now become the ‘small fish in the big pond’, has slowly but surely familiarised herself in her new environment. “I'm also used to controlling the race, but now I’m not top dog anymore so I’m having to learn to respect the older girls and their racing. I can also learn a lot of things from them,” she said.
When asked about the new venue, Du Toit said: “I haven't been to Wolwespruit before, but I’ve heard the trails there are amazing and it’s always great to race at a new venue so I’m excited!”
Round three of the Stihl 2016 SA XCO Cup Series provides another opportunity for the Pro-Elite Men and Women to gain all-important UCI points at the UCI Category 1 event, which is vital for their points’ tally in this Olympic year.
Another opportunity to garner UCI points is at the much-anticipated UCI HC Category XCO event, which takes place at (and forms part of) the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Saturday 30 April.