Ryan Pelser – The Silver Bullet with Further Success in His Sights

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The name Alfie Cox is synonymous with success at the Motul Roof of Africa, and this year was no different. Riding for the Motul Alfie Cox KTM team, South African Ryan Pelser won the Silver Category at this year’s Roof. 

It was one of the most exciting contests in this Category and provided real edge-of-the-seat action for spectators to enjoy. For Ryan, it was the next stepping-stone on his climb towards the top of the Enduro rankings. 

Still only 18 (he wrote his Matric exams this year), Ryan has already competed in three Motul Roof of Africa events. He first attracted attention in 2017 as the youngest competitor in the 50th anniversary edition of the Roof. In addition to coming fourth in the Bronze Category, he also turned 16 during the race. 

Last year Ryan graduated to the Silver Category and posted an impressive fifth place overall. A born competitor, he knew he could do better, and proved that to himself and the world of Enduro with his Silver Category victory this year. 

“Day 1 was tough,” admitted Pelser. “Dwain Barnard (D and D Group KTM) stayed with me the whole day, and there was only a second separating us when we crossed the line. That meant that I had it all to do on Day 2, but ultimately, I managed to make up time on the technical climbs and build up a gap that I could defend,” he added. 

“We’ve been following Ryan’s Enduro career with great interest,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “Ever since he won the National Highschool Off-Road Championship and came second in the National Enduro Championship, he’s been one to watch for this year’s Roof. His success at the Motul Roof of Africa 2019 comes at the end of a busy year in which Ryan came third in the GXCC series and took part in all the events in the KZN WFO and Harescramble Series. We’re delighted that he’s chosen to ride for the Motul Alfie Cox KTM team,” she added. 

While Gold Category winner Wade Young (Sherco Racing) led from the front in this year’s Roof, Pelser took a more measured approach. Lying seventh after the Round the Houses and Time Trial components, he wisely conserved his energy for the greater challenges that lay ahead in the mountains. 

Pelser’s success has naturally stirred interest in his training methods, and he revealed that in addition to spending as much time in the saddle as possible (on his mountain bike as well as his KTM), he’s also been doing daily Basefit classes. 

In the build-up to the Roof, Ryan took part in National Championship races and also spent a month training with veteran Roof rider William “Wild Will” Gillitt in Kwa-Zulu Natal. 

With Roof success under his belt, Ryan plans to swap the peaks of Lesotho for the beaches of Mozambique and some well-earned rest. To see images, video and get more info about this year’s Roof, go to the Motul Roof of Africa Facebook page

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