For the first time in many-a-year clear skies greeted the Glacier Storms River Traverse riders as they lined up for the opening stage of the 2023 race, on Friday, 11 August. Late winter in the Tsitsikamma Forests, along South Africa’s east coast, tends to be wet. The eleventh edition should, if the prediction holds, boast warm temperatures throughout, which helped make for a spectacular opening day.

“It’s so fantastically nice to be back at the Glacier Storms River Traverse,” Teresa Coetzee said, before the stage. “I didn’t expect to be riding this year, it actually came about by a lucky chance. But I must say it’s so nice to see all the familiar faces again. Being here at the Tsitsikamma Village Inn is like being at home and seeing your family who you last saw at Christmas.”

Teresa Coetzee said that being back at the Tsitsikamma Village Inn for the Glacier Storms River Traverse was like going home for Christmas. Photo by

Coetzee’s enthusiasm was echoed by Johann de Wet, another multiple-Glacier Storms River Traverse finisher. “We come back every year because it’s simply the best event,” he smiled. “It’s always great to spend time in the beautiful Tsitsikamma, but it’s the people who really make it the event it is!”

Spirits were clearly high before the start, and with the mercury nudging 20 degrees by 08:30 they continued to rise. By Water Point 1, 27 kilometres into the 62 kilometre long stage, the majority of the field were ready for a proper hydration stop. “It’s very relaxing,” one rider quipped, while resting up in a camp chair next to the Biogen gazebos. Both the day’s water points were perched high on the clifftops, overlooking the Indian Ocean. “The views are beautiful,” another rider added.


The Tsitsikamma indigenous forests and MTO Forestry pine plantations provided the backdrop for a spectacular Stage 1. Photo by

“I must say it’s beautiful,” Glacier by Sanlam Chief Executive Officer, Khanyi Nzukuma grinned while taking a photo of the ocean. “The riding hasn’t been too demanding either, the event is really very family orientated and the weather has been beautiful. Being able to ride alongside colleagues, Glacier intermediaries and their clients has been great too. It’s not often that we get the opportunity to network and chat while doing something we love. I’m really enjoying the friendliness and camaraderie, the relaxed atmosphere from the race village extends onto the trails and most people aren’t particularly competitive here. They’re more focused on having fun.”

While that may be true, the women’s team category was always going to be a competitive race, given the riders taking part. Alongside multiple Glacier Storms River Traverse champion, across a number of categories from solo women to mixed teams, Yolande de Villers and her partner Stephanie Wohlters, the category also featured Karla Stumpf and Kelsey van Schoor as well as Mandi Augustyn and Juanita Mackenzie.

Storms River Traverse

Anel Strampe blitzed the 62 kilometre course on her way to victory in the solo eBike women’s competition and overall on Stage 1. Photo by

Despite the firepower of those three teams, they were well down on the day’s overall victor, Anel Strampe. The solo eBike women category winner blitzed the course on her Specialized Turbo Levo. “Anel came past us like we were standing still,” Mackenzie laughed. That assessment was hardly that hyperbolic as Strampe was 8 minutes and 39 seconds faster than the solo eBike men’s victor and 34 minutes and 22 seconds ahead of the winning women’s combination of De Villiers and Wohlters.

Stage 2 should suit the fliers on their eBikes even more. With the bulk of the day’s 820 meters of climbing frontloaded into the first 15 kilometres of the 50 kilometre long stage. Without a major climb to conquer in the closing kilometres, battery management will be even less of a concern for them on Saturday.

Yolande de Villiers (leading) and Stephanie Wohlters were the first team and the first women’s team across the line on the opening day. Photo by

For more information on the upcoming stages visit To follow the race as it unfolds like the Storms River Traverse Facebook page, or follow @stormsrivertraverse on Instagram and @SRTraverse on X/Twitter.

Storms River Traverse

Smiles all round after Stage 1. Photo by

2023 Glacier Storms River Traverse Results

Solo eBike Women | Stage 1

  1. Anel Strampe (2:14:03)
  2. Petty Van Wyk (2:58:13 | +44:10)
  3. Abigail Kitshoff (3:52:05 | +1:38:02)

Solo eBike Men | Stage 1:

  1. Kobus Weyers (2:22:42)
  2. Jeremy Horner (2:23:54 | +01:12)
  3. David Wright (2:24:09 | +01:27)
Storms River Traverse

Kelsey van Schoor (leading) and Karla Stumpf were the second team and the second women’s team on the stage. Photo by

Women’s Teams | Stage 1:

  1. Yolande en Steph: Steph Wohlters & Yolande de Villiers (2:48:25)
  2. Team K&K: Karla Stumpf & Kelsey van Schoor (2:48:58 | +00:33)
  3. Team Elements: Mandi Augustyn & Juanita Mackenzie (2:49:58 | +01:33)

Men’s Teams | Stage 1:

  1. Enjoy: Hardus van Rensburg & Gerhard Hatting (2:49:43)
  2. BCC MTB Racing / Witjas: Jean Smith & Jaco du Preez (2:51:50 | +02:07)
  3. MTB Goats: Eckhard Visser & Paul Serrao (2:59:18 | +09:34)

Mixed Teams | Stage 1:

  1. Team Moerze: Martha Koekemoer & Pieter Kotze (2:49:44)
  2. Chemchamp Africa: Daniel Tenner & Biance Bekker (3:16:21 | +26:36)
  3. Best Buds: Janos Kaszas & Lesanne van der Wyver (3:37:56 | +48:11)

A group of Glacier by Sanlam riders posing for a photo at the Storms River Mouth view point. Photo by

Solo Men | Stage 1:

  1. Ludwig Lillie (2:48:59)
  2. Greg Mills (2:49:38 | +00:39)
  3. Lourie Nel (2:54:18 | +05:19)

Solo Women | Stage 1:

  1. Elizma Kock (3:14:39)
  2. Liezel van Niekerk (3:30:21 | +15:41)
  3. Karike Human (4:02:29 | +47:49)

Click here to view the results in full.