South Africa Surges Through Water Challenges!

Day 3 of the GS Trophy consisted of nearly 200 km of off-road adventure. 150 km of scenic paved mountain passes with three special challenges. The day started early – with a 6am wake-up call – but yesterday’s rain and mud soon became a distant memory as blue skies and warm sunshine greeted the early risers.

The adventure began with a 55 km blast along what many of the riders called the “perfect GS road”. It led them to the first special stage of the day – bike-to-bike towing. On a sandy, dusty, rocky track using just one tie-down strap attached to the foot pegs, one team rider had to tow his team-mate’s GS behind him – without the engine running of course – over  2 km hill, from start to finish. If a rider stopped or crashed at any point he was eliminated. The clock only stopped when both bikes had reached the finish line. It might sound easy, but only 5 teams made it up the hill without any penalty. France was the winning team. 

Next, 60 km of fantastic riding followed and the teams arrived at a picturesque river crossing for the ‘Water Bear’ special challenge. This challenge involved each teams highest levels of teamwork, physical effort and riding skill to get one of their GS bikes across a fast-flowing river strewn with slippery rocks. With one rider at the controls and the other team members having to maintain contact with the bike at all times, each country had its own ideas about the shallowest route. This provided great entertainment for the fellow competitors as every single participant got soaked in search of the fastest time. The winners of the Water Bear Special Challenge were Team Alps.

The final special stage was another 185 km away – 115 km of which was a seriously challenging off-road trail. This culminated in a 20 km section graded as a ‘black run’ where the competitors found the trail through a forest that was to barely handlebar width. Steep climbs loaded with loose rocks brought consternation for some and delight for others. The trails wound down to the shores of picturesque Christina Lake, allegedly the warmest lake in Canada.

The ‘Paddleboard Challenge’ saw teams racing from the shoreline into the lake, mounting their boards and paddling around a fixed buoy – and then back to the shore again. This special challenge was no easy task, coming straight after several hundred km of tough riding, but it was Team CEEU who won the battle for supremacy on the waves. 

The overall winners for the day were Team South Africa, having placed 4-4-2 in the three special challenges. CEEU still holds the overall lead. Ruan de Lange of Saouth Africa said, “We’re really happy to have won today. Now we just have to keep on doing this over the next four days!


BMW Motorrad GS Trophy 2014, Day Three results and overall standings:

1 CEEU 98pts

2 France 92

3 South Africa 89

4 Russia 65

5 USA 64

6 Korea 59

7 Argentina 53

7 Latin America 53

9 Alps 51

10 UK 50

10 Germany 50

12 Brazil 45

12 Italy 45

14 Canada 34

15 Mexico 23

16 Japan 22