- Altus de Wet’s ninth ‘Roof of Africa’: done.
- Altus de Wet’s eighth top ten result: done.
ALTUS DE WET, racing for team Cargo-Tac Husqvarna Factory Racing, can tick off a few things on his ‘Roof of Africa’ list after he finished this race in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho this past weekend in the fourth place overall.
“Well done to Wade Young for winning the Roof of Africa. He rode extremely well and so did Brett Swanepoel who finished second as well as my team-mate, Graham Jarvis, who was third,” De Wet said after finishing the three-day ‘Roof’ in 19 hours, 48 minutes and 52 seconds. “It was probably not the most technical Roof we’ve had in recent years, but it was tough and exhausting. I spent nine hours in the saddle on both days and no matter how fit you are, it is still tough, but we still enjoy it,” he commented.
The 29-year old factory rider from Montagu in the Western Cape, who claimed his sixth South African national championship title earlier this year by clinching the E2 championship for the second consecutive year, had a good event despite crashing during Thursday’s Around the Houses street race in Maseru (he had to settle for the second place…) and then injuring his little toe during the time-trial on the same day. He still posted the third fastest time after time-trial and started Friday’s racing section from the third position on the grid.
Friday was a long day with the route taking competitors up and down various new mountain passes. It was a day of non-stop, in-your-face racing with the front runners pushing the limits. It was also very hot – De Wet cooled himself down in the rivers and streams – and although he kept pushing, he had to reserve energy and his Husqvarna TE300 for yet another day’s racing on Saturday.
After racing for more than nine hours on Friday, Altus finished the day in the fifth place in the Gold Class behind Young (the leader); Swanepoel; Jarvis (third) and James Hodson. Another long, hot day awaited the riders who tackled the race again at 6h in the morning. According to Altus, the route was not that strenuous, but it still kept him busy for another nine hours. After three days and a total of more than 19 hours in the saddle, De Wet finished the 2014 Roof of Africa, rated as one of the toughest ‘Hard Enduro’ events in the world, in the fourth place overall.
This is his second consecutive top 10 ‘Roof’ result as part of the SA Husqvarna Factory team. Husqvarna SA claimed two of the top four places while Blake Gutzeit, who lots three hours on Friday when he ended up on the wrong route, finished the race eventually in the 14th place overall.
“It was a tough Roof this year. Thank you to the organisers, the sponsors and everyone who made it possible,” he said
“It is not possible to compete successfully in a race like this without the support and assistance of our sponsors and the team and I would like to thank the whole team who made it possible for me to bring home these results,” De Wet said. “We will be back again next year and I will again aim for the Number One step, like I did this year,” he promised.