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Kevin Benkenstein has received the primary battle of the brand new South African ultra-endurance race, the Rhino Run, taking out the 726km first leg of the difficult bikepacking occasion however it appears like he’ll have a battle on his arms to take care of that lead by way of the remaining 2000km.
Benkenstein – who received the 700km self supported South African Freedom Circuit race in 2021, 1000km mountain bike race The Munga in 2019 and was runner up in Australia’s Race to the Rock in 2017 – took simply over 38 hours to complete the primary part of his residence nation race.
“I used to be staggered at how briskly it was, it was simply ridiculous. There was such an enormous tailwind,” mentioned Benkenstein on a dwell feed on the race Instagram (opens in new tab) after finishing the primary part.
He was round 50km forward of Melbourne-based rider Abdullah Zeinab when he completed the entree, a modified model of the Cross Cape cycle route. Coming third was South Australian Jimmy Ashby who as an 18 12 months previous took off on a motorcycle touring journey world wide, using 39,100km solo.
The race started at 6:22am on Friday October 21 in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa with riders from the world over taking up the problem, some set to sort out simply the preliminary 700km however others persevering with the total distance of the combined terrain race.
The preliminary part took riders over tough potholed roads, gravel passes and onto the ultimate problem on the observe to Stellenbosch of the Rusty Gate Cross, and its brutally steep sections which might take a look at even contemporary and unladen cyclists.
“I simply saved it regular … tried to not kill myself on each climb, besides Rusty Gate as a result of there is no such thing as a possibility – the simplest you’ll be able to go can also be the toughest you’ll be able to go,” Benkenstein mentioned of the preliminary levels of the race.
“I rode the entire thing on my 23kg bike,” he added earlier than taking a while to relaxation earlier than persevering with on with the remaining 2,000km.
Different riders on the beginning line included this 12 months’s Tour Divide winner Sofiane Sehili, 2015 Transcontinental race winner Josh Ibbett and three-time Race to the Rock victor Sarah Hammond – who needed to scratch early after turning into ailing.
Riders affirm their race entry by donating to the Masaka Biking Membership, which reveals and develops Ugandan biking expertise, and this has helped help the entry of three Ugandan cyclists to participate of their first bikepacking race, Kato Paul, Wasswa Peter and Florence Nakaggwa.
Because the race has continued Zeinab and Benkenstein have remained out the entrance with Nakaggwa the main girls, in eight general on the time of writing. To see the most recent race scenario observe the hyperlink to the web page with dwell monitoring dots (opens in new tab).
After the entree the race headed north from Stellenbosch and strikes into more and more distant terrain, crossing the border into Namibia and crossing the Namib desert earlier than ending in Windhoek.