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Women's Podium

Hill and Withaar Crowned Inaugural Glacier Waterberg Traverse Champions

Sarah Hill and Jan Withaar won the inaugural Glacier Waterberg Traverse, in Summerplace Game Reserve; on Sunday, 5 May 2024. The three-day stage race featured a shorter distance Ride and a longer Race event to cater for a wider range of riders, of varying skill and fitness levels. E-Bikers were welcomed to the Limpopo Province too, and enjoyed the superb singletracks alongside their analogue companions.

Stage 1, on Friday, provided a hint of the riding on offer and showcased Summerplace’s newest trails. On Saturday, the Queen Stage presented more of a challenge as the route took in more of the reserve’s cross-country and even one of the Enduro lines. Then Sunday’s final stage wrapped up the riding with a spectacular day on the bike, complete with more singletrack and beautiful bushveld riding.

Waterberg Traverse
The Glacier Waterberg Traverse provided thrilling trail riding in the Summerplace Game Reserve. Photo by Sage Lee Voges for ZCMC Media.

Hill and Withaar both won all three stages in the solo women’s and solo men’s categories, en route to their overall titles. For Hill the Glacier Waterberg Traverse was her first visit to Summerplace. “Stage 1 was a great scene setter for what was to come,” Hill started. “Then Stage 2 really showed off why mountain bikers rave about the riding here. It’s tough and technical at times, but so well built that even though I took some of the gap jumps blind it wasn’t a problem. I was also lucky to be racing Respect [Ramashia], who works at Summerplace, for most of the three days, so I had a local wheel to follow.”

“Today [Sunday] was just the best,” Hill continued enthusiastically. “In the final loop I heard Respect say ‘wow’ and then I saw a herd of giraffe running alongside us. I asked him what we should do because they were really close, and he said we should slow down. I thought they were going to cross the trail right in front of us, but then they veered off at the last second and eventually galloped off. They were so majestic!”

Respect Ramashia
Respect Ramashia finished fourth in the solo men’s race, representing Summerplace. Photo by Justin Reinecke for ZCMC Media.

Withaar was pushed a little closer than Hill had been by Alan Gordon and Shaun Nick Bester. The former was the eventual champion’s closest competitor on Stages 1 and 2, but Withaar’s Summerplace experience told and he was able to distance the Insect Science rider on both occasions in the closing kilometres. On Stage 3 Bester pushed Withaar all the way, but the Security 24/7 man was unwilling to concede defeat on even one day. He outsprinted the Bester Performance rider to take a clean sweep of stage victories and the overall title.

The solo men’s champion exemplified the Glacier Waterberg Traverse spirit. Not only did he win the race, but Withaar then pedalled back to a water point, on Stages 1 and 2, to indulge in the Dryland Event Management treats. This included steak, fresh off the braai, home baked banana bread and even a beer. Withaar also turned translator during prize giving on Saturday evening, translating French to English for the crowd.

Jan Withaar
Jan Withaar enjoying some of the famous Dryland ostrich steak braai at Water Point 2 on Saturday. Photo by Sage Lee Voges for ZCMC Media.

“The trails here are incredible,” Withaar smiled. “But it’s also great to be able to enjoy the other side of the events, which I don’t usually get to do. Knowing Summerplace I could ride back to the water point and cheer on some of the other riders. And of course, to see what I miss every time I don’t stop at a water point!”

Frequent Summerplace visitor, Theresa Ralph was full of praise for the event and the venue. “I think the secret is out,” she joked. “We’ve been trying to keep it under wraps but now everyone knows how amazing it is. I love it here; the trails, the vegetation, the wildlife, the accommodation, and the hospitality all make it a special place to visit. I think the Glacier Waterberg Traverse really showcased the reserve in all its glory and will not only ensure that the race grows year-on-year, but also that Summerplace becomes even more popular as a mountain biking destination.”

Naledi Fondo
Naledi Fodo took part in her first mountain bike event and conquered the Glacier Waterberg Traverse with aplomb. Photo by Sage Lee Voges for ZCMC Media.

The Glacier Mountain Bike Series picks up again, in the Eastern Cape, in August. The Glacier Storms River Traverse takes place from the 9th to the 11th of August, from the Tsitsikamma Village Inn. As the founding event in the series, it serves as the template for social mountain bike racing. To find out more about the race visit

To reflect on the 2024 Glacier Waterberg Traverse competitors and mountain biking fans can like the Glacier Waterberg Traverse on Facebook page, or follow @waterbergtraverse on Instagram. Highlights of the event can also be viewed on the Dryland Event Management YouTube channel. The 2025 race dates will be announced at the end of May 2024, so would-be riders can visit to stay updated.

Cheers from the bushveld. Photo by Sage Lee Voges for ZCMC Media.

2024 Glacier Waterberg Traverse Results:

Solo Women’s General Classification:

  1. Sarah Hill (7:46:15)
  2. Yolande de Villiers (8:16:41)
  3. Adrienne Moolman (8:25:45)
Men's Podium
Glacier Waterberg Traverse women’s general classification podium, from left to right: Kim Smith from Glacier by Sanlam, Alan Gordon, Jan Withaar, and Shaun-Nick Bester. Photo by Sage Lee Voges for ZCMC Media.

Solo Men’s General Classification:

  1. Jan Withaar (6:37:11)
  2. Alan Gordon (6:44:47)
  3. Shaun-Nick Bester (6:46:11)
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