GZT Mens winner - stage 2

Gqeberha duo Bruce Campbell and Jay Carneiro continued their dominance of the 2023 Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race despite punctures threatening their overall lead today.

Stage two was extended by 7km to make up for the distance lost on the first day, when heavy rains made parts of the route too muddy to ride.

Weather conditions at Zuurberg in Greater Addo were much improved for the tough 65km day out, with riders setting off under cloudless albeit chilly skies.

And it was again Campbell and Carneiro who came up trumps in the men’s category in a time of 3:18:30, even if they were somewhat relieved to do so.

Their mud-splattered riding gear still showing the effects of Thursday’s downpour on the route, the teammates explained that the race’s traditional queen stage had been far from plain sailing.

“We had a great start, great tactics on the very first downhill but then we had some really bad luck and punctured,” Campbell said.

“After plugging the tyre, we started rolling again and chased the three teams that had passed us. Then we had to stop [with another puncture] and plug again, and we had to chase again.”

This had been the story of their day, Carneiro added.

GZT Mens winner - stage 2

Jay Carneiro, left, and Bruce Campbell made it two stage wins in a row at the Great Zuurberg Trek on Saturday. Photo: Full Stop Communications

While there were some “brutal” rocky and muddy sections, the single-track more than made up for it, according to him.

“It was nice to do some kilometres on the gravel road, otherwise the other stuff was just killing you. That was a nice reprieve for us.

“Then it was just a case of climbing the pass to finish the stage off.”

It was also another fine performance by Gavin Wood and Mark Pienaar, second overall overnight, to finish runners-up on the stage in 3:19:50 to consolidate their overall position.

Third were the partnership of Warren Barber and Warren Dickson.

Campbell and Carneiro (5:18:18) will head into tomorrow’s final stage with an overall lead of almost five minutes over Wood and Pienaar (5:23:17).

Warren Dickson and Warren Barber (5:33:46) are third in the general classification.

Mark and Gail Willimott from Gqeberha were in a class of their own in the mixed category for the second day running, placing at the pointy end of the field.

“It was tough but a lekker single-track,” said Gail. “We had so much fun.”

She described the first 30km as “some of the best riding you can do”.

“It was natural, beautiful riding. It was brilliant.”

The Willimotts crossed the line in 3:27:37 (5:36:40) to open up their lead on Andrew Ogden and Andrea von Holdt, who finished in 3:52:28 (6:07:43).

Victor Terblanche and Hildegard Cronje were third on the day in 4:11:30 (6:42:28).

It was a luckless day for women’s category leaders Tracey Campbell and Juanita Mackenzie after the latter fell, injuring her shoulder badly and putting paid to her further participation in the GZT.

“There we were having a great time on the single-track and then I was silly on the wet route. I slipped out and boom,” Mackenzie said.

“I knew when I fell that something wasn’t right. I tried to get back up and ride, but it wasn’t happening.”

With her out, Namibia’s Jana von Backstrom and Mimi Hough took line honours in 4:26:44 (7:08:46) to move to the top of the overall standings.

Sunny conditions are expected for the third and final stage on Sunday.


Stage 2, 65km


1 Bruce Campbell, Jay Carneiro 3:18: 90

2 Gavin Wood, Mark Pienaar 3:19:50

3 Warren Dickson, Warren Barber 3:28:47


1 Jana von Backstrom, Mimi Hough 4:26:44


1 Mark and Gail Willimott 3:27:37

2 Andrew Ogden, Andrea von Holdt 3:52:28

3 Victor Terblanche, Hildegard Cronje 4:11:30

General classification


1 Bruce Campbell, Jay Carneiro 5:18:18

2 Gavin Wood, Mark Pienaar 5:23:17

3 Warren Dickson, Warren Barber 5:33:46

Sub-vets men

1 Bruce Campbell, Jay Carneiro 5:18:18

2 Peter Lovemore, Gunther Junger 6:37:17

3 Pieter and Heinrich van der Vyver  7:39:20

Vets men

1 Gavin Wood, Mark Pienaar 5:23:17

2 Wichard Cilliers, Stephen du Preez 5:38:30

3 Liam Graham, Fjord Jordaan 5:48:01

Masters men

1 Warren Dickson, Warren Barber 5:33:46

2 Craig Dickson, Patrick Billson 5:53:24

3 Mike Askew, Stephen van Niekerk 6:41:28


1 Jana von Backstrom, Mimi Hough 7:08:46


1 Mark Willimott, Gail Willimott 5:36: 40

2 Andrew Ogden, Andrea von Holdt 6:07:43

3 Victor Terblanche, Hildegard Cronje 6:42:28