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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Articles

Emphatic Silver for Alan Hatherly at UCI MTB World Champs

Team Spur’s Alan Hatherly capped off his best ever XCO season by finishing in second place in the U23 Men’s race at the UCI MTB World Champs in Australia, on Friday 8 September. Hatherly completed the six laps of the 4.3km course in 1:17:57, some 11 seconds behind New Zealand’s, Sam Gaze who won his second straight U23 World Championship, Maximilian Brandl of Germany rounded out the podium.

“I'm a bit lost for words,” commented the 21-year-old shortly after the finish (around 8am SA time). “So stoked with the outcome, it was the plan from early on in the year to get this kind of result here.”

The tactical race through the rainforest on the highly technical track at Smithfield Park in Cairns went just about according to plan, admits the young star, “We knew the heat and humidity was going to be a big factor, so JP (Jacobs, team mechanic) and I had our game plan for cooling well mapped out, this included ice towels during warm-up and ice water during the race."

According to Alan – who started in pole position, as the highest ranked U23 rider – the start loop was predictably fast and caused an early split, after which tactics came into play. “We all sat up after the start loop and looked at each other to see who would pull,” he says. “By that time a group of seven had formed and we kind of worked together, but watched each other closely, as the tactics continued.”

“Things got real on Lap 4,” Alan says. “Sam started going a bit harder up the climb and I – lying fourth – saw guys were losing his wheel, which had me a bit panicked because there was not much chance of overtaking there. “Fortunately with this track it splits on the climb where there are more challenging, rocky straight lines. I attacked through one of these just to get past the bunch and chase Sam down to make sure he didn’t get away too early.”

Alan and Sam rode together for a lap before Sam made his decisive move at the top of the climb on the penultimate lap. “He got out of the saddle and kicked really hard, I was feeling really good with a constant steady pace so I couldn’t react straight away. I knew though, that if I rode a steady pace I’d have a chance of maybe pulling him back. However, he got about a 10 second gap and that’s how it stayed until the end.”

“Just a massive thanks to everyone who helped along the way to get me to where I finished today, I couldn’t have done it without such an awesome support system,” Alan concluded.

Director of Team Spur, Nic Lamond, believes this is just the start for the young Hatherly, "I'm over the moon. It is such a pleasure to work with Alan – a young talent whose professionalism is already so well developed. As a team we pride ourselves on a powerful launchpad for Alan to chase his dreams, but the work still has to be done. And Alan knows how to deliver that. So many heroes behind the scenes make these results possible: staff, coach, sponsors. Special thanks to Spur Restaurants, Specialized South Africa and Kargo International for having our back all season. We need some time to let it sink in, but the team is already excited to see what next year brings – don't forget Alan has another year in the U23 ranks!"
Source: Podium Sports / Team Spur

 

KZN MTB helps finance SA team

The KZN MTB commission has joined the Western Province MTB Commission in offering support for the South African mountain biking team which was chosen to represent the country in Australia next month.

Following the recent decision by Cycling SA not to fund South African teams travelling to international competitions, the KZN and WP Commissions have offered R50 000 and R30 000 respectively to support riders to represent their country in Cairns from September 5-10.

Eight of the 18 riders selected for the South African team are from KwaZulu-Natal.

The KZN MTB Commission has decided the money will be donated to the entire team so riders and support staff from all the provinces are able to benefit from the donation.

"We take great pleasure in being able to support the team," said Ian Smith, the KZN MTB Commission chairperson. "Good governance and financial controls has enabled us to be in a position to help the team.

"We would hate to have riders being forced to withdraw from the chance of representing their country because they do not have any funds and so we felt it was important to help the entire team.

"I think there will still be a shortfall for the entire tour so I anticipate riders still having to contribute privately, but hopefully our help will ensure the full team can represent the country."

More information on the KZN MTB Commission can be found at www.facebook.com/KZNMTB

For more information contact Dellah Paul 082 781 5656

Slick and super racing for Downhill Champs

Although strong morning winds made for alternate finish section arrangements, the short but exhilarating course kept spectators glued to their seats for the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill Championships at Cascades MTB Park on Sunday 2 July. Among the brilliant names of champions crowned was Elite Men’s Champ and fastest man down on the day, Christopher Philogene. Sabine “Beanie” Thies claimed the prize for the fastest Overall Women’s category, first Youth Woman, and third Youth overall.

Originally planned to finish on two tabletops in the Cascades forest, the tables were removed from the route because of the strong winds. Riders had to ride around this section to the end, which required a fast and hard peddle sprint.

The Championships consisted of two runs - the best of both then counted towards the final result. Results were often very close between the first and second runs, proving the consistency of many of these riders.

Christopher Philogene (Fox Head South Africa, Lapierre South Africa) who was the second fastest man at the KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Championships on Saturday, once again loved his racing the day before but reserved most of his energy for Sunday.

“Today was really loose out there and it was very hard to try and keep it on two wheels. The wind played a huge role in the forests – even though we were in the trees it still affects you and you still lose a bit of speed. You never know what you’re feeling like compared to what your time is going to be. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t do the jumps at the end because of the wind and had to go around, but it was quite different and a great challenge because we had to peddle to the end,” he said.

Young dynamite package, Beani Thies (GM Cycles, Foxhead SA, Specialized Bicycles, Blu Gel, Dirt Junki) who was the fastest female rider at Saturday’s Enduro Championships, said: “Its been a hectic season, but its come to an end now for KZN. Today started off well. My first practice run was good but I had a bit of a lie down on my second one. I didn’t get hurt though so I was fine.”

Thies said she reserved most of her energy for her second race run. “I was conservative and I just played it safe because I’m going overseas soon so I didn’t want to risk anything. I have no idea what I did on the second run to get the same time as my first, but I did it. The race organisers put some nice new changes in the track which was a really cool surprise,” she said.

McMaster Brothers, Cullen and Struan also showed brilliant consistency on their rides, and claimed themselves each a spot in the Overall Men’s podium.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS FOR KZNMTB PROVINCIAL DOWNHILL CHAMPIONSHIPS (SUNDAY 2 JULY 2017)

Overall Men
1.Christopher Philogene 02:00.25
2.Jonathan Philogene 02:03.10
3.Timothy Bentley 02:03.47
4.Cullen McMaster 02:06.46
5.Struan McMaster 02:06.79

Overall Women
1.Sabine Thies 02:43.23
2.Kathryn Fourie 03:04.49
3.Sonja Engelbrecht 03:20.79

Elite Men
1.Christopher Philogene 02:00.25
2.Jonathan Philogene 02:03.10
3.Timothy Bentley 02:03.47

Junior Men
1.Cullen McMaster 02:06.46
2.Sharjah Jonsson 02:12.84
3.Keira Duncan 02:14.82

Youth Men
1.Connor Finnnis 02:17.13
2.Kayle Seaward 02:17.30
3.Jared Piek 02:54.90

Youth Women
1.Sabine Thies 02:43.23
Sub Junior Boys
1.Kyle Brand 02:50.56

Sub Veteran Men
1.Christopher Pearton 02:17.68
2.Ollie Jones 02:35.79
3.Wayne Sives 02:47.90

Sub Veteran Women
1. Kathryn Fourie 03:04.49
2.Nikki Alvin 03:26.94

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 02:25.27
2.Jason Hall 02:30.21
3.Tyrone Pinnoy 02:37.64

Veteran Women
1.Sonja Engelbrecht 03:20.79

Master Men
1.Alastair Brand 02:49.61

Sprog Boys
1.Keagan Brand 02:39.73
2.Nate Tanner Hall 02:40.97
3.Liam Tyler Hall 02:48.06

Nipper Boys
1.Cullum Finnis 03:44.62
2.Vaughn Preston 04:02.01

Philogene ready to rock Provincial Champs

The KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June. Jonathan Philogene chats about his preparation before races, sportsmanship between him and his brother Christopher, and what lies ahead for him for the rest of the season.

Philogene spends between four and five days of the week on his bike. “I train almost every day on my enduro bike and try to also fit in downhill twice a week,” he added.

When looking at results of recent Provincial and National Cup Series races, he often finds himself neck in neck with younger brother, Christopher. He said that the two are always out to encourage and push each other to better their results. When finding new and better ways to get down the hill, they’re always sharing “We’re quite open with all of that. We share all of our lines or new things that we figure out on the track. There are no secrets. Well, I hope not,” he laughed.

Although a Cascades local and very often competing at the MTB Park, Philogene says that no two tracks are ever exactly the same. “Luckily there are a few tracks at Cascades and a couple different segments that we can link together. We don’t often race the same track twice in a row,” he said.

After the Provincial Championships, the Philogene brothers will then head to the final round of the SA National MTB Cup Series DHI event at Hakahana in Gauteng. “From there we make our way to Mankele for the SA National MTB Championships and will spend a week there ahead of the race,” he said.

Locals in and around Pietermaritzburg are encouraged to pull through to Cascades MTB Park on the weekend to witness some of the most thrilling MTB action in the province.

Entries for the KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June are closed, but late entries will be accepted at registration.

For more information about the KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1935

Spectacular XCO Championships amongst the Aloes

The crispy winter morning air was soon forgotten when the riders brought the heat to the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships at Aloe Wildlife Estate on Saturday 24 June.

Many who had ridden it in practise sessions prior to racing had mentioned the flatness of the course, and that there were very few technical sections. This made for no rest time and excellent sprint finishes to watch for the spectators at the end of each race.

KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series winner Stuart Marais claimed the Elite Men’s title. Marais raced across the line with U23 Men’s winner Julian Jessop (Concept Cyclery). Marais consistent results this year have been a true reflection of the hard work and dedication he has put into to his sport. Brennan Anderson and Change a Life Academy’s Mboneni Nqcobo excited the crowds in their sprint finish for second and third respectively.

Marais said: “It was really cool racing with Julian which made for some excitement for the crowds at the finish. It definitely wasn’t a super technical course, so there weren’t many sections where you could get away from a rider. You just had to put foot and keep at it the whole way through, which is probably the reason why there were so many sprint finishes out here.”

Marais has had nine weekends of solid racing, and said that he will take some time to recover before kicking off his build-up to SA National MTB Champs in July.

Back home for the holidays from Stellenbosch University was Wartburg local Frankie du Toit (Absolute Motion), who claimed the Elite Women’s title on Saturday’s race ahead of Bianca Haw and Skye Davidson. Du Toit mentioned that because the track lacked lots of technical sections, she had no time for a rest, and constantly had to power through the race.

The Sub Junior Boys’ race was devastating for race leader Jordan Bold, whose tyre flipped out in the last corner leaving him with the internal dilemma of either sprinting to the finish with his bike or trying his utmost to ride it over the line, which he crossed in fourth place. Jonathan Watts fought a hard race against Bold and claimed the gold medal, with GO!Durban Cycling Academy’s Mncedisi Mkhize crossing the line in second to take the silver. Daniel van der Watt claimed the bronze medal to round off the podium.

GO!Durban’s Mkhize celebrated his silver medal with his team whose pride could be seen for miles. “Today’s race was nice, but it was so tough. It’s taken me six months to get here, and I am so happy,” he said.

Another dramatic and thrilling race finish was that of the Vets Men’s race, as Ewan Cochran and Warren Price threw their hearts into their legs and powered to the photo finish that showed Price just pipping Cochran to the post. Third place on the day went to Carl Adendorff.

Riders and their families stayed afterwards to braai and reflect on what had been a phenomenal day out in the aloes.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS FROM THE 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (SATURDAY 24 JUNE)

Elite Men
1.Stuart Marais 1:40.44
2.Brennan Anderson 1:45.55
3.Mboneni Ngcobo 1:45.56

Elite Women
1.Frankie du Toit 1:36.33
2.Bianca Haw 1:40.08
3.Skye Davidson 1:50.52 *
4.Kelly Simkiss

U23 Men
1.Julian Jessop 1:40.45
2.Komborero Bere 1:46.16 *
3. Henry Liebenberg 1:48.28
4.Devon Smith 1:49.33

Junior Men
1.Jordan Wisdom 1:20.08
2.Thomas Cheatle 1:22.58
3.Kieran Blunt 1:23.08

Youth Men
1.Travis Stedman 1:00.56
2.Johandre’ Marx 1:04.30
3.Sam Moore 1:05.06

Youth Women
1.Beani Thies 0:51.25
2.Megan Bircher 0:51.29
3.Bridget Theunissen 0:55.30

Vets Men
1.Warren Price 1:15.21
2.Ewan Cochran 1:15.21
3.Carl Adendorff 1:15.45

Vets Women
1.Natalie Bergstrom 1:06.41
2.Landy Puddu 1:09.10
3.Carol Thomas 1:18.18

Sub Vets Men
1.Leeroy Emslie 1:13.37
2.Carl Calverley 1:14.00
3.Frederick Rossouw 1:17.12

Sub Junior Boys
1.Jonathan Watts 0:51.16
2.Mncedisi Mkhize 0:51.25
3.Daniel van der Watt 0:51.26

Sub Junior Girls
1.Chloe Bateson 0:52.43
2.Ansli de Beer 1:00.00

Master Men
1.Philippe Moretonas 1:06.17
2.Willie Pelser 1:11.26
3.Andrew Mackinnon 1:14.13

Master Women
1.Ingrid Flint 1:00.44

Grand Master Men
1.Bruce Hansen 1:14.38

Grand Master Women
1.Frances Marsburg 1:01.37

Nipper Boys
1.Cameron Calitz 0:30.33
2.Matthew Horter 0:31.59
3.Logan Stander 0:32.09

Nipper Girls
1.Hannah Elliott 0:33.22
2.Jodi Mackinnon 0:36.38
3.Derryn Millward

Sprog Boys 
1.Omar Wilson 0:40.05
2.Liam Richard Theunissen 0:40.06
3.Keagan Brand 0:42.43

Sprog Girls
1.Emily van Heerden 0:30.19
2.Riley Smith 0:31.48

*Out of province rider

Aloes in full-bloom for XCO Champs 

Aloe Wildlife Estate in Camperdown will play host to the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships on Saturday 24 June. The estate, owned by Hennie and Erika Parker, provides entertainment like no other, breaths of fresh air, and scenic views of their little piece of heaven just outside the city.

The venue opened its doors to the public in May 2016, and has since then become well recognised by Pietermaritzburg and surrounding locals as an ideal spot for mountain biking, hiking and trail running. It caters for weddings and birthday celebrations. There is exquisite accommodation as well as camping facilities available for those wishing to stay over. The owners often encourage large groups to come along, bring their bikes or running shoes, and enjoy a warm bonfire as the sun goes down over Pietermaritzburg.

With the Birds of Prey Sanctuary situated further along the Lion Park road, this is truly a birder’s paradise as well.

Hennie Parker, who has spent many years in the safari tours industry, definitely knows a thing or two about catering for guests around their stunning reserve.

The mountain bike trails meander through the indigenous Aloes of the estate. “In two weeks’ time, we will be able to see the full beauty of these Aloes,” said Erika. The deep red of the flowering succulent plants glows bright against the bushy backdrops of the farm, and stands out like hot flames in the winter afternoons – truly a sight to behold.

 “We have been in contact with Track Designer, Nick Floros, to discuss the specifications of the routes for the Provincial Champs – its going to be an exciting event for all involved,” said Hennie.

The cross-country riders will be some of the first to experience the Aloes in full-bloom, and those camping over will be treated to the sightings of game in the morning.

“It is just so wonderful to wake up in the mornings and have this on our doorstep and take it all in,” Erika added.

Entries for the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships are open, and close on Wednesday 21 June. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1915

Newcomer Anderson climbs local XCO ranks

Amanzimtoti-born and bred keen marathon cyclist Brennan Anderson, who is brand new to the discipline of cross-country, seems to be fitting into the sport comfortably after placing first in Batch B after round one, and third in Batch A after the second round of the 2017 KZNMTB XCO Series. Round three of the series heads to Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 3 June.

Whilst growing up, Anderson had always been interested in bike riding, and used to ride his bicycle to school. “After school I saved up and bought my first bike second-hand off Gumtree,” he said.

His love for the sport began with ramping pavements, roaring down the neighbourhood roads as fast as he could, and bunny hopping when presented with the opportunity.
He then bought his first ‘serious’ bike, and entered his first ever race. He said: “It was a 40 kilometre race down at Lake Eland. “I thought, ‘this is just too cool,’ and it progressed from there and my love for mountain biking grew even more.”

Predominantly a mountain bike marathon rider and entering the longer endurance rides as opposed to the shorter more technical races, Anderson still had a keen interest in cross-country.

The 28-year-old said: “I followed it (cross-country) after watching Burry at the London Olympics. I’ve always had a deep vested interest in cross-country and wanted to try it out. I just never, ever had.”

From skills learnt as a ‘lightie’ on a motocross bike, Anderson wasn’t afraid to take risks and was prepared to attempt the technical sections on a cross-country track. “People had always said to me that the discipline would suit me but I had never tried it.  I just knew that I was falling in love with riding and most of the time found myself entering the 40 kilometre events.”

Anderson has entered, raced and thoroughly enjoyed both sani2c and joberg2c (where he finished third place in the Solo Men’s category in 2016). “I think it's the vibe and riding through the country that’s just so rad,” he added.

This year, he decided to enter the 2017 KZNMTB XCO Series races. “This is the first year that I’ve tried a cross-country race and I love it. I was happy to finish second overall at St. Ives.”

He described his St Ives race as a learning experience and said that he looks forward to the third round at Cascades.

When looking ahead at what’s next for Anderson, he said: “I don’t know what lies ahead, I just try to ride wherever I can and if I feel fit enough, I’ll enter. SA Nationals is miles above me, but I’ll see how I do at Cascades this weekend. If it’s something I think I could do, then maybe I’ll have a look at it closer to the time. I love riding, and I could just talk about it all day,” he concluded.

Online pre-entries for the third round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series close on Wednesday 30 May 2017. To enter click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1914.

Wilkinson sets sights on third XCO Provincial

World-renowned venue, the Cascades MTB Park will play host to the third and final round of the 2017 KZNMTB XCO Series in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 3 June. In the Series Points Log after two events, Wartburg’s Matthew Wilkinson currently lies second in the Overall Elite Men’s category on 86 points behind Stuart Marais on 100 points and just above South Coast’s Brennan Anderson on 74 points.

In the second cup race at St Ives last month, Wilkinson claimed the second overall position and second Elite Men’s position in Batch A in his first provincial cup of the series. When asked if he would be taking part in the third round, he said: “Coming second to Stuart Marais makes me feel that I definitely should be doing the next event to see how well I can do – and its always nice to race at Cascades.”

Looking at the new 2017 batch racing format, Wilkinson said that strong riders from other categories are beginning to make the race a lot more interesting and competitive. “Its also good for the younger riders to be exposed to racing other people who are a little bit stronger than they are,” he added.

Twenty-one-year-old Wilkinson says that he doesn’t have too many plans set in stone for the rest of the 2017 season, but knows he will be doing more of the local cross-country and marathon races, as well as some of the enduro for the fun of it.

When Wilkinson is not on his bicycle, he is on the off road/enduro bikes and spending time with his friends.

To download the Series Points Log after two events, click here: http://www.kznmtb.co.za/downloads/results/category/14-2017-kzn-prov-series?download=170:2017-kzn-mtb-xco-series-points-after-2-events

Entries for the third round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series are open. To enter click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1914

Philogene trumps Cascades

Christopher Philogene was the fastest man to descend the mountain at Cascades MTB Park during the third and final round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL DOWNHILL SERIES on Monday 1 May. The only rider to break the four minute 30 second mark, young Christopher touched on that time with a 4:30.24 in his first timed run and bettered that with a 4:27.99 on his second run, in a race where the best time of two runs counted.

Speaking in the short recess before his second timed run, Philogene said: “It’s a very tiring track and very physical and there is a lot more pedaling required in the new section they have added, which is part of the Enduro track. It makes it tiring on your legs, especially where you have to tuck down for more speed and hold the squat position. I’m feeling good and going to try and keep it smooth and consistent all the way down, but I am happy with how the first run went.”

Top contender Tiaan Odendaal suffered a crash on his first timed run, which ruled him out of contention, and Christopher’s brother Jonathan Philogene posted the second-fastest time on the first run, but came unstuck on his second run. His successful first run however secured him an overall second place.

Struan McMaster was the third fastest after both runs, bettering his first run by five seconds in another sibling rivalry battle as his younger brother, Cullen McMaster was in fifth place after the first timed runs.

“I started the morning getting my lines right and my first run was a little slow and I didn't push it too much. My second run I pushed it a bit and hit all my lines properly and I’m happy with the result. The Cascades course is amazing, it’s very close to what they race overseas, which is what we are all aiming for,” said Struan McMaster.

When chatting about the brothers-in-arms in the top five, Struan quipped: “It’s not good when my brother beats me. It’s always good racing against the Philogenes though, they have some good racing over there.”

Timothy Bentley (Elite) and Sharjah Jonsson (Junior) rounded out the Overall Men’s podium, posting times of 04:36.36 and 04:43.04 respectively.

Youth woman Sabine Thies won the women’s race overall in a time of 05:45.84 on the technical track, with Sub veteran Kathryn Fourie claiming second place (06:16.63) and Veteran Dorette Crous rounding out the podium in 07:06.16.

Relative newbie to Downhill racing, Crous shared her views on the technical race track. “It’s very physical and very pedally and you need to be quite fit to race here. I’m still learning quite a lot as I’ve only been racing this discipline for four months. It’s good fun and I’m enjoying it a lot. Upper body strength is required. A lot of people think downhill is coasting down a mountain. But especially on this course, I was really tired at half way and that is where the pedaling section only started. Fitness counts in a big way.”

Overall Men’s winner in the Enduro race, which was the third and final round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL ENDURO SERIES on Sunday 30 April was Tiaan Odendaal, who managed to keep a rampant Sam Bull at bay after his recent return to Enduro racing after a serious knee injury. Odendaal claimed the victory by nine seconds.

“It was a tough hill climb to the top, the stages were pretty cool and the last stage was nice and long. The first two stages were short and technical and the third stage was not too hard, nice and flowy. It was lots of fun and I’m happy with the win,” said Odendaal.

Bull, who has been keeping spectators entertained with his commentary at previous Gravity events, chatted about his road from recovery and his second place overall. “At African Champs last year, I tore my ACL and MCL meniscus and had big knee surgery and a nine-month strict rehab programme to get back in action. That set me back. I just wanted to get back into riding again and had nothing to prove, so I’ve eased in gently this year. I wanted to make sure that my knee is fine and I’m enjoying being on the bike again. I love Cascades, the top two stages were proper Enduro stages and they required a lot of skill. Cascades is always fun – it’s a tough climb up but you’re always rewarded on the way down.”

Women’s overall winner Sabine Thies (Youth) posted the fastest time in her category of 16:06, with Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) second (16:59) and Helen Squirrell third in 17:59.

 “Since Thursday we have been training on the tracks – I’ve never trained this hard for an Enduro so it was great. Stage one and two were the hardest, especially the steepness in stage one. Stage four was my ultimate favourite and I know that section very well. One of my friends came down from Joburg, Chris Pearton, and he was sort of coaching me through the stages during our practice, which helped me a lot.”
KZNMTB extends gratitude to the series sponsors Dirt Merchant, Rush Sports and International Trade for their support in the Gravity Series.

The next race event for KwaZulu-Natal mountain bikers will also be held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, and is the fourth round of the SA National Cup Series, which makes a turn past KwaZulu-Natal in June. The province’s riders will be out in force against their national peers.

Summary of Results – 2017 KZNMTB ENDURO Round 3 – Sunday 30 April 2017

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 12:29
2.Sam Bull (Senior) 12:38
3.Jonathan Philogene (Senior) 12:44
4.Keira Duncan (Junior) 12:52
5.Timothy Bentley (Senior) 12:53

Overall Women
1.Sabine Thies (Youth) 16:06
2.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 16:59
3.Helen Squirrell (Veteran) 17:59
4.Sonja Engelbrecht (Veteran) 18:11
5.Louise Kotze (Sub Veteran) 18:15

Senior Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 12:29
2.Sam Bull 12:38
3.Jonathan Philogene 12:44

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 13:09
2.Christopher Pearton 13:59
3.Mark Millar 14:52

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 16:59
2.Louise Kotze 18:15
3.Elja van Urk 19:39

Veteran Men
1.Keith Diederichs 14:13
2.Rory Grobler 14:22
3.Craig Seaward 14:45

Veteran Women
1.Helen Sqirrell 17:59
2.Sonja Engelbrecht 18:11
3.Nicola Nairn 23:02

Master Men
1.Alastair Brand 16:06
2.Clint Hattingh 16:43
3.Desmond Purchase 17:42

Junior Men
1.Keira Duncan 12:52
2.Sharjah Jonsson 13:06
3.Liam Read 15:04

Youth Men
1.Connor Finnis 14:03
2.Kayle Seaward 15:01
3.Brodan Symons 15:54

Youth Women
1.Sabine Thies 16:06
2.Charne Dreyer 18:20
Sub Junior Boys
1.Jordan Anastasis 16:41

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 16:04
2.Nate Tanner Hall 16:41
3.Ross Kew 16:46

Sprog Girls
1.Georgia Finnis
Nipper Boys
1.Vaughn Preston 19:31
2.Kade van Deventer 21:58
3.Cullum Finnis

Sibling rivalry at world famous Cascades track

The world famous venue of Cascades MTB Park will play host to the third and final round of the 2017 KZNMTB Enduro and Downhill Series on Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May where local Pietermaritzburg racing brothers Jonathan and Christopher Philogene will continue their series tussle for the top place on the Downhill points log this season.

Older brother Jonathan currently leads the provincial series log by just 30 points over Christopher, and with this last race remaining to determine the ultimate winner, it’s going to be tough out there.

Jonathan (20) explains that even though Downhill racing is an individual sport that determines one winner, they function as a team with a strong support structure locally from their family, friends and sponsors Lapierre SA, Fox and Good 2 Go.

“Being so tight, you always have to find ways to better your brother on race day because our preparations are all the same,” said Jonathan. “As long as one of us wins, we’re happy. We share race lines and experiences, so it really is the better man that wins on the day.

Like his older brother, Christopher (18) describes the influence that the world-famous Greg Minnaar has had on their lives and their desire to have careers in Downhill racing.

“Greg is a great rider on and off the bike, and knowing that it’s possible to accomplish international success like he has, is great encouragement for us. He has shared some positive words with us and having that backing from a hometown boy like Greg is uplifting,” said Christopher.

Both riders agreed on the intensity of the Cascades racing track. “Cascades has been around for a while, and is known to be a pedally track. Fitness will play a big role. The track is in our back yard and we ride there often and practice a lot, so I’m feeling confident,” said Christopher.

Jonathan added: “I’m super excited to be racing at the World Cup venue. It’s a lot faster and rougher than what we are used to on some of the other tracks, and much more intense. I haven’t ridden there for a while, but there are nice technical sections and some really big jumps. Fitness will come into play.”

Cascades has been the home of local mountain bikers for many years, with it’s myriad of trails throughout the hillside that lure cyclists from all walks of life. Most famously, the venue has played host to the 2013 UCI MTB World Championships, where local hero Greg Minnaar famously scooped his third world title in front of his adoring fans.

For the provincial series, event organiser Alastair Brand says that there will be some changes to the trails and tracks for the upcoming races. Sunday’s Enduro race will consist of four stages, with stages one and two starting at the top of the park; stage three begins halfway up the hill, and both stages three and four will be different to what the regular contenders are used to. There will be one uplift for the riders on the day.

Monday’s Downhill course will be based on the old SA Nationals track, with some slight changes to it. The track will start at the very top of Cascades at “Eye Boggler” and will finish at the very bottom in the bowl, utilising the jump track. Well known sections like Cloud 9, Pebble Beach, Eye Boggler, Dr Evil and the Tables will all be incorporated into what is said to be a long track.

Online entries are open, and close on Wednesday 26 April. Please note that due to logistics at the venue, the Enduro and Downhill will be held over two days. On Sunday 30 April, the Enduro practice starts at 09:00 and racing starts at 12:00. On Monday 1 May, Downhill practice starts from 07:30 to 09:00 and racing starts at 10:00. For information and details to enter, please visit ROAG http://roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1933

Summer series rocks the Midlands

KwaZulu-Natal mountain biker Stuart Marais blitzed the tacky and slippery four-kilometre cross-country course during the second round of the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series at St. Ives in the Midlands in an incredible time of 1:15:43 today.

The in-form rider posted consistent lap times of 11:30, 10:44, 10:43, 10:44, 10:43, 10:38, 10:39 – the traits of a superb cross-country racer (the first lap featured an extended loop). Matthew Wilkinson and Brennan Anderson finished the seven-lap race in second and third places in 1:18:17 and 1:18:33 respectively.

“I had a goal that I’d like to do an under 11-minute lap, and I achieved that so I’m very happy about it,” he said. “I knew it was going to be a fast course and the only way I could push it without any traffic in front of me was to take the lead. The rain last night and the two batches before we raced really settle the dry track from Friday and made it super fast and it flowed so nicely.”

Taking about his goals for the year, Marais’ focus is on the cross-country races with some World Championships being the ultimate goal. “The African Continental Championships in Mauritius in May is first up, then I’ll be heading to Czech Republic and Germany for the two World Cups. Then, it is a build up towards the SA Champs in July. Hopefully I’ll be able to compete in one or two more World Cups and hopefully make the team selection for the World Champs.”

With his focus currently firmly fixed on the short-course racing format of XCO, Marais will embark on some stage races towards the end of the year after the XCO season is over.

Hilton College pupil and cross-country newbie Jordan Wisdom (17) absolutely dominated the B-Batch race with an emphatic victory over his chasers Sam Moore, Werner Moolman, Piers Morgan and Reece McCallum in 1:29:35. With only one other race under his belt this year, that being the Sugar Rush Classic, Wisdom showed immense promise in his newfound cycle racing discipline.

“I was really chuffed with how I did today,” said Wisdom. “I’ve never raced a cross-country before and didn't know what to expect out here. I took off at the beginning and managed to stay in the lead the whole way. I only started riding properly about six weeks ago with Absolute Motion.”

When talking about the course conditions, Wisdom said, “In the morning when I rode the test lap, it was really muddy and I’m glad that the C-Batch cleared it up a bit. The rock garden was really tough, and I went straight over the big rock – the straightest line possible. I’m motivated now and want to race the next one and maybe the SA Cup in Cascades, I just need to up my training.”

Sam Moore (Youth) finished second in the batch in a time of 1:30:40, while Werner Moolman (Veteran) came third in 1:30:59.

Veteran Women’s racer Natalie Bergstrom is back in action on the XCO circuit, recording the win in a time of 1:31:42 and finishing sixth overall in the batch. Christie-Leigh Hearder finished second, in 1:33:00.

Jonathan Watts (Kloof Senior Primary) and Jordan Bold dominated the C-Batch race, passing through the start/finish area on each lap neck-in-neck and both recording a finish time of 56 minutes 31 seconds. Barring any incidents on the course, it was going to be one or the other that took the victory, and it was the extra “Watts” that counted as his wheel was ahead by a whisker. Watts’ final lunge across the line is what probably sealed the deal.

Speaking about his win, Kloof resident Watts said that it was always going to be a tough race against a rider like Bold. “We both pushed each other the whole way, our racing is always close like this. I felt pretty strong and I wasn’t sure if I would get the win at the end. We both came around the last corner at the same time and it was pretty close. I came to practice this track yesterday and it was quite dry, but it rained last night so it got a bit slippery and muddy. I love this track, especially the rock garden and the lovely singletrack is my favourite part.”

Mark Potgieter, a Master category rider, finished in third place overall in 58:49.
Sabine Thies, hailing from Wartburg, was the strongest female rider on the day, finishing in fourth position overall in a time of 59:53. Thies represents the Youth category, while fellow Youth Megan Bircher and Sub Junior Chloe Bateson finished second and third in 1:01:03 and 1:02:33 respectively.

This season’s new batching format has created added excitement to the XCO races. The participants’ no longer race against their age group, but also race against those with similar strength and riding ability, regardless of age. This format offers fresh new competition to those used to winning their respective age groups in the past.

The next event of the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series is round number three, which takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 3 June. Keep an eye on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KZNMTB/ for details and information closer to the time.

ENDS

Summary of Results for the KZNMTB Cup Series #2 (Saturday 8 April)

Batch A (7 laps)
1.Stuart Marais (Senior) 1:15:43
2.Matthew Wilkinson (Senior) 1:18:17
3.Brennan Anderson (Senior) 1:18:33
4.Jedson Tooms (Senior) 1:19:19
5.Sithembiso Masango (Senior) 1:19:20
6.Komborero Bere (Senior) 1:19:20
7.Sean Merredew (Sub Veteran) 1:19:42
8.Carl Calverley (Sub Veteran) 1:20:58
9.Dean Wortmann (Senior) 1:21:25
10.Gareth Cook (Senior) 1:22:13

Batch B (7 laps)
1.Jordan Wisdom (Junior) 1:29:35
2.Sam Moore (Youth) 1:30:40
3.Werner Moolman (Veteran) 1:30:59
4.Duane Stander (Sub Veteran) 1:31:05
5.Chris Helmbold (Veteran) 1:31:41
6.Natalie Bergstrom (Veteran) 1:31:42
7.Thomas Cheatle (Junior) 1:32:56
8.Christie-Leigh Hearder (Senior) 1:33:00
9.Piers Morgan (Veteran) 1:33:12
10.Craig Stone (Sub Veteran) 1:33:13

Batch C (4 laps)
1.Jonathan Watts (Sub Junior) 0:56:31
2.Jordan Bold (Sub Junior) 0:56:31
3.Mark Potgieter (Master) 0:58:49
4.Sabine Thies (Youth) 0:59:53
5.Megan Bircher (Youth) 1:01:03
6.Allan van Heerden (Master) 1:01:38
7.Andrew Mcckinnon (Master) 1:01:53
8.Chloe Bateson (Sub Junior) 1:02:33
9.Daniel van der Watt (Sub Junior) 1:02:51
10.Warren Moolman (Sub Junior) 1:02:56

Nipper Boys
1.Luca Zietsman 0:32:43
2.Logan Stander 0:32:43
3.Matthew Horter 0:34:19

Nipper Girls
1.Hannah Elliot 0:35:53
2.Jodi Mackinnon 0:36:34

Sprog Boys
1.Omar Wilson 0:40:30
2.Liam Theunissen 0:42:33
3.Keagan Brand 0:45:06

Sprog Girls
1.Riley Smith 0:46:46

PROVINCIAL XCO SERIES: INFO SHEET Event 2, St Ives (opposite Piggly Wiggly on the R103) Saturday 8th April.

DESCRIPTION: XCO = Cross-Country Olympic

SERIES DATES / VENUES:

18 February – Hilton (Hilton Christian Fellowship Church)
8 April – St Ives, Dargle
3 June – Cascades, Pietermaritzburg
25 June – Aloe Trails, Lion Park (Provincial Championships)
INTRODUCTION: St Ives St Ives is situated off the R103, 10km from Howick, 7km from Midmar Dam, 20 minutes from Pietermaritzburg and one hour from Durban. The course will be much the same as the one used in 2016 and will incorporate all the vital elements of a top class cross-country track.
ROUTE MAP:

EVENT PROGRAM:
Registration & Late Entry:
7:00 – 11:30 (Registration will close 30 minutes before each batch start)
Batch Starts & Race Times (Laps to be confirmed at registration)
09:00 – C Batch – 1 hr
10:15 – B Batch – 1.5 hrs
12:00 – Nipper and Sprogs (30 minutes)
12:45 – A Batch – 1.5 hrs
FACILITIES:
 Catering on site: A selection of refreshments and meals will be provided from The Boma at St Ives.
 Toilets: available on site at St Ives.
ENTRIES:
Enter on www.roag.co.za
Pre-entries close on Wednesday 5th April.
Entry fees:
Pre-entry R200 / R120 (Nippers & Sprogs)
Late entry (on the day) R250 / R150 (Nippers & Sprogs)
ENQUIRIES:
Rebecca van der Linde
Cell. 082 896 6864
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cycling all-rounder Cochran won’t miss St. Ives XCO

5 April 2017 – KwaZulu-Natal’s Vet cyclist Ewan Cochran has his bike ready to race ahead of this weekend’s second round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series, which takes place at St. Ives along the Midlands Meander on Saturday 8 April.

The Giant Cyclesphere rider loves to mix it up on his bicycles throughout the year. As a keen campaigner of the provincial cross-country series each year, Cochran also competes in road cycling events, and his most recent accomplishment is his silver medal that he won at the KZN Road Championships in the Time Trial.

“I would like to have competed at SA Road Champs as well, but I was working at the event so decided to give it a miss,” he said. “I haven’t really had too much time to race this year. In the first XCO race in February, I finished 10th in the A-Batch, and was the first Vet at that event.”

The new format of batch starts this year has been a great talking point amongst the competitors and spectators alike. Normally, the races are categorised in age groups, where riders compete against others in the same age bracket. KZN MTB found that some of the age classes had very few riders and of varying levels of fitness and ability, and in the interest of challenging the riders against those of similar strength – regardless of age – the batch-racing concept was born.

At 21 going on 44 years of age, Cochran agrees that the competitive levels have been raised this year. “Batch racing certainly puts more people on the course and makes you race harder. The batches are way bigger than the age group starts and it feels more like a big race. It definitely makes for exciting racing when competing against the same level of rider and against more of them. I think in the long run it will help improve everyone’s riding. For us now, we are chasing the youngsters, and some of them are chasing the elites and even some vets,” he laughs.

Talking about the popular St. Ives venue, Cochran recalls last year’s race. “It was a very fast track, no big hills to climb but with some nice gentle uphill sections. There is a lovely downhill section through the trees, and the climb back is twisty and you have to keep momentum through the tress. There’s not too much there that’s technical. The St Ives track has ability to introduce new riders as there is nothing frightening about it.”

Course designer Nick Floros says that the track is aligned with the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) vision for XCO tracks. “The UCI are leaning towards more natural terrain, and not overly technical like we’ve had in the past. The St. Ives track utilises the natural lie of the land and obstacles well. Even though the track is the same as last year’s, there has been some harvesting in the area and a lot of cleaning up and preparation to do ahead of Saturday’s big day.”

Entrance to watch the provincial XCO race is free and spectators are welcome to enjoy the new racing format, which promises much excitement. St. Ives Boma also offers fantastic catering and great ablution facilities as well.

Schedule:

09:00 – C Batch start – 1 hour
10:15 – B Batch start – 1.5 hours
12:00 – Nippers & Sprogs start – 30 minutes
12:45 – A Batch – 1.5 hours

The St. Ives track is the ideal way to test your skill at a cross-country race. Pre-entries for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series on Saturday 8 April are open, and close at midnight tonight. To enter, click here: http://roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1913

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Redecker reflects on exciting Provincial XCO format racing

30 March 2017 – St. Ives on the Midlands Meander will play host to the second round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series on Saturday 8 April. Entries for the event are open and close on Wednesday 5 April 2017. Cherie Redecker, who took part in the first round of the Cup, looks back on what she felt was a very successful race.

Having recently relocated to Germany, former hometown honey Redecker said: “I was super nervous at the beginning, not knowing what to expect with all the changes I have had. I was happy to start in the B batch for this reason, and I also had a wedding to attend.”
Before rushing off to other commitments, Redecker managed to bag the Elite Women’s win, as well as third place in Batch B.

She had found the race a tough one, regardless of it being ‘not too technical’ for her, and said that the batch concept created much more spectator involvement, which helped to motivate her out on the track.

After rather enjoyable ride, Redecker gave nothing but praise to the new format. She said: “I think the new system has so much potential and will really help those athletes wanting to race in internationally,” she said.

Redecker said that she would have loved to have been there for next weekend’s race, but will already be back in Germany. With Redecker not competing, the playing field widens ahead of the competition for many of the women taking part.

Major contender Henry Liebenberg will also be out of the equation as he takes part in various national cups in Europe. Other Under 23 riders such as Komborero Bere, Dean Wortmann, Ryan Naude and Christie-Leigh Hearder (to name a few) will be pulling out all the stops as they compete against not only themselves, but all men and women across all categories, with similar skill sets.

There is no entry fee to support these riders at St. Ives and the ever exciting new format promises great racing action from the morning until the afternoon.

Schedule:
09:00- C Batch- 1hr
10:15- B Batch- 1.5hrs
12:00- Nippers & Sprogs (30 minutes)
12:45- A Batch- 1.5hrs

There is fantastic catering available at the St. Ives Boma, and great ablutions as well.

To enter, click here: http://roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1913 or for more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde at : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Successful first KZN MTB Provincial XCO with new format

The first KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup of the Series once again kicked off in the forest of Hilton on Saturday 18 February. Spectators came from all over the province to support their friends and family on the day, and race organizers could not have asked for better weather conditions with temperatures reaching 30 degrees but a constant breeze throughout the day to keep the riders cool on the course.

The new batching format proved to be a challenge for some. Riders no longer raced against only their age group, but also raced against those with similar strength and riding ability - regardless of age. This format also however proved to be an exciting challenge for others, offering fresh new competition to those used to winning their respective age groups in the past.

The 6,6km lap race started and finished in Elizabeth Drive, directly across from the Hilton Christian Fellowship (HCF) Church, and then continued with single track sections through the forest. The tech zone was easily accessible from the road, which made for great spectator viewing. 

The winner of the first batch of the day, Batch C (four laps), was Junior Angus McLeod. McLeod claimed the victory ahead of many Sub Veterans, Veterans, u23, Master and Grand Master riders in his batch to finish in a time of fourty-nine minutes and fourty-two seconds.

Batch B (seven laps) victor was marathon enthusiast Brennon Anderson (Elite), his name not often associated with cross-country racing. Anderson beat RMB Change a Life Academy rider, Mboneni Ncobo to the post, with 2015 SA National Elite Women’s Champion, Cheri Redecker crossing the line in third place. 

Batch A (also seven laps) was won by Stuart Marais in a time of one hour, and 19:07 minutes – the fastest time recorded from both A and B Batches on the day. When asked about his ride, Marais said: “Jedsom Tooms (third place) went quite hard off the start and probably around 1,5km in I was able to get past him. From there it was clean heels until the end.” 

Marais spoke highly of the new format. “In the last lap I only caught two riders. In the past we would be catching guys by lap three. It was definitely much more of a fair race – we didn’t have to wait to pass anyone. It evens out the playing field so much,” he added.

The first Youth rider across the line in Batch A, and with the quickest Youth rider time over both Batch A and B, was Travis Stedman from Kloof.

“This year was a lot harder, because of the new format where we were now racing the upper age groups,” said Stedman. “I went out pretty hard on it, got to the first corner in fourth place, blew myself on the first lap but tried my hardest to hold in for the rest,” he added.

Stedman (who is also the 2017 Provincial Time Trial and Road Race Champion in his age group) also chatted about the new format of the race, and said that he definitely preferred it to the old system. “In the National cross-country series we are getting blown off the back, but this is definitely showing us what it’s going to be like with the speed and how to push ourselves for the National Cups and Championship to come,” he concluded. 

The prize giving ceremony was batch specific, so winners of each batch were awarded accordingly. Riders however will still be categorized in their respective age groups for the overall KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series Log. 

ENDS

SUMMARY OF RESULTS FOR THE PROVINCIAL KZNMTB XCO #1 (Saturday 18 February)

Batch A (7 laps)

1.     Stuart Marais (Elite) 1:19:07
2.     Henry Liebenberg (u23) 1:21:13
3.     Jedson Tooms (Elite) 1:23:17
4.     Carl Calverley (Seb Veteran) 1:23:17
5.     Komborero Bere (u23) 1:24:36
6.     Gareth Cook (Elite) 1:24:51
7.     Sean Merredew (Sub Veteran) 1:24:52
8.     Jason Davies (Sub Veteran) 1:25:37
9.     Dean Wortmann (u23) 1:26:51
10.  Ewan Cochran (Veteran) 1:27:35

Batch B (7 laps)

1.     Brennan Anderson (Elite) 1:24:51
2.     Mboneni Ncobo (Elite) 1:27:59
3.     Cherie Redecker (Elite) 1:28:14
4.     Jakobus van Heerden (Veteran) 1:29:04
5.     Wesley Parker-Dennison (Elite) 1:29:54
6.     Casper Badenhorst (Veteran) 1:31:07
7.     Simon Poole (Master) 1:32:16
8.     Ryan Naude (u23) 1:32:32
9.     Tiffany Keep (Junior) 1:32:35
10.  Tyrone Johns (Sub Veteran) 1:32:37

Batch C (4 laps)

1.     Angus McLeod (Junior) 0:49:42
2.     Sam Moore (Youth) 0:53:02
3.     Jordan Bold (Sub Junior) 0:53:37
4.     Thomas Cheatle (Junior) 0:54:46
5.     Jonathan Watts (Sub Junior) 0:56:13
6.     Kusaselihle Ngidi (Youth) 0:56:14
7.     Grant Muller (Youth) 0:56:32
8.     Daniel van der Watt (Sub Junior) 0:56:33
9.     Chloe Bateson (Sub Junior) 0:56:59
10.  Riana Niehaus (Sub Veteran) 0:57:23

Nipper Boys

1.     Luca Zietsman 0:24:25
2.     Anthony Clayton 0:25:41
3.     Rory Treleaven 0:27:11

Nipper Girls
1.     Hannah Elliot 0:26:58
2.     Jodi mackinnon 0:29:46

Sprog Boys

1.     Liam Thuinissen  0:32:11
2.     Evan Moolman 0:33:07
3.     Keagan Brand 0:33:30

Sprog Girls

1.     Emily van Heerden 0:34:24
2.     Riley Smith 0:36:55

Results per category can be found on the KZN MTB Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KZNMTB/

 

Marathon Marais ready for XCO

The 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup series kicks off with its first instalment taking place in the stunning forests of Hilton on Saturday 18 February.

MTB Marathon enthusiast, Stuart Marais, who claimed is first win of 2017 when he took part in the Wartburg Classic last weekend, looks forward to what else 2017 has in store for him.

Last year, Marais finished the Hilton leg of the KZNMTB XCO Series in second place in his age group, and third overall behind Elite Men’s winner, Brendon Davids and u23 Men’s winner Alan Hatherly.

“There’s going to be a fresh new change-up this year – as many u23’s from last year will be moving into the Elite category,” he said. “Also, Brendon Davids has decided to focus more on road cycling and James Reid has retired. Nobody knows what’s going to happen out there so it’s going to pretty epic,” he added.

Marais said that with Reid not in the equation, he currently stands as the third ranked South African cross-country rider in the country behind Philip Buys and Alan Hatherly, and 109th in the World, according to uci.ch .

He is also a keen marathon rider, and described transitioning between the two disciplines. “The format of a lot of Marathon races this year has changed from a one-day-over-100km-race to a more split up race over two days,” he said.

“This way, the cross-country riders are abler to keep up with the marathon riders when transitioning between the two disciplines. They don’t need as much endurance as was needed in the past. The marathon riders however find it a more challenging transition to switch to the cross-country discipline,” he added.

Marais spoke of his major goals for the 2017 season, and said: “I am really hoping to go to Europe in May and take part in the Czech and German World Cups. There is also a race in Austria just before that that I would like to do as well. But 2017 SA National MTB Champs is one of my major goals – I’m hoping to do really well there and make it into the national team headed for Worlds in Australia this year.”

The race this weekend takes place in the forests from the Hilton Christian Fellowship (HCF) Church and a wide selection of meals and refreshments will be available at the venue.

Event Schedule:
7:00 – 11:30 (Registration and Late entries)
09:00 – C Batch
10:15 – B Batch
12:00 – Nipper and Sprogs
12:45 – A Batch

Temperatures are set to rise to the early thirties on Saturday, with no rain predicted – a beautiful way to spend a summer’s day in KwaZulu-Natal.

Online Pre-entries are closed, however late entries will be accepted on the day.
For any more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde on 082 896 6864 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gravity riders deliver thrilling action in combined format racing

A scorching hot day greeted the thrill-seeking, extreme-inclined mountain bike riders who ventured into the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands for the opening round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES at St. Ives on Sunday 12 February.

The thermometer soared as the day progressed in a nestled away section of St. Ives’ property; a section that kept the spectators very close to some of the racing action. KZN riders and spectators alike welcomed the large Gauteng contingent that could not pass up the opportunity to tackle KZN’s green hillsides for some gravity-induced riding! A large entry field had gathered for the opening round, with over 130 for the Enduro competition and over 70 in the Downhill starting blocks.

It was to be the first time that the two “gravity” disciplines were to be held on the same day, a format that will be tweaked as the series progresses. No minute was spared between the two events as officials and riders maximised their time throughout the day.

Because of the tight schedule, Enduro competitors were afforded the opportunity to make use of the uplift vehicle once only during the four-stage event; normally riders have to make their own way to the stage starts during the untimed liaison.

Overall Men’s winner in the Enduro race was Tiaan Odendaal, who managed to ward off an eager Craig Paul to hold the overall winning time after four stages by 21 seconds. “I really enjoyed it – the tracks are fun,” said Odendaal. “St. Ives is such a great place to ride, and it is a fantastic venue because you can see the tracks on the hillside and all the stages finish close together, yet they utilise a lot of the property for the trails. It is especially great for the spectators and family.”

14-year-old Sabine Thies threw down the gauntlet to a much larger women’s field that participated in the Enduro race. Thies’ overall time of 16 minutes 43 seconds after four stages was 10 seconds faster than Charne Dreyer, also competing in the Youth category, while the remaining podium places clocked over the 17-minute mark.

“The Enduro went well. I took it easy so I thought I was slow because I didn't want to crash for the downhill,” she said. Thies also clocked the fastest descent in the women’s class for the Downhill race. “That was a really good run. I got the fastest time on the first run so I’m pretty happy with that.”

The larger-than-normal field of women didn’t deter Thies. “I have raced against these women before so I knew what to expect,” she said.

Shortly after the Enduro, those competing in the Downhill class made their way to the start at the top of the hill. In a race where the best run of two counted, an eminent storm was brewing which eventually put paid to many of the riders’ second timed run, which meant that only their first runs counted.

Christopher Philogene, who has made the leap from the Junior class to Elite this year, took the top honours in the Downhill race. “I knew that I had to put everything together in the first run because I could see the weather forecast and that the rain was on its way,” he said. “Everything had to go into that first run and I think the other riders realised that as well. The race run was good and I wouldn’t have changed much if I’d had the chance in a second run.”

Ex-local and now visiting rider Nikki Alvin netted a third place overall in the women’s race. “It was an awesome track and I absolutely loved it!” she said. “It’s a really great course for girls because we can hit all the jumps whereas some of the other tracks are a little big for us.”

Alvin travelled from Gauteng with friends for the races– some new to the sport. “They are definitely into it now – the bug has bitten,” she said. “I didn't expect to finish where I did on my first run (in second place) and then I think there was too much pressure on me so I messed that up a bit on my second run,” she laughs. “But Kath (Fourie) and Beani are absolutely awesome and it’s great to be up there with them. I will definitely be at the next event at Giba.”

KZNMTB’s Gravity Commissioner Marc Philogene said that the new format worked well on the day. “Our whole aim was to unite the two groups, and I think we achieved that. They are both gravity sports and there is a lot of crossover and a big percentage crossed over. We need to tweak the format for future events – we will look at each event as a whole as there will be challenges at different venues.”

The second round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park on Sunday 26 March.

Summary of Results – 2017 KZNMTB ENDURO Round 1 – Sunday 12 February 2017

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 12:22
2.Craig Paul (Sub Veteran) 12:43
3.Sharjah Jonsson (Junior) 12:59
4.Keira Duncan (Junior) 13:09
5.Shane Martin (Senior) 13:10

Overall Women
1.Sabine Thies (Youth) 16:43
2.Charne Dreyer (Youth) 16:53
3.Amy-Jane Mundy (Sub Veteran) 17:13
4.Louise Kotze (Sub Veteran) 17:24
5.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 17:40

Senior Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 12:22
2.Shane Martin 13:10
3.Wade Prinsloo 13:35

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 12:43
2.Duane Stander 13:41
3.Christopher Pearton 14:09

Sub Veteran Women
1.Amy-Jane Mundy 17:13
2.Louise Kotze 17:24
3.Kathryn Fourie 17:40

Veteran Men
1.Keith Diederichs 13:55
2.Thane Archer 14:13
3.Devlin Fogg 14:50

Veteran Women
1.Sonja Engelbrecht 18:42
2.Pauline Rainbird 18:50
3.Nicola Nairn 20:28

Master Men
1.Clint Hattingh 15:37
2.Alastair Brand 16:01
3.Mike Frost 16:53

Master Women
1.Karen Fortune 19:13

Grand Master Men
1.Ashley Nesbitt 18:17
2.Mike Staphorst 20:56

Junior Men
1.Sharjah Jonsson 12:59
2.Keira Duncan 13:09
3.Liam Read 14:28

Youth Men
1.Kayle Seaward 14:13
2.Connor Finnis 15:05
3.Slade Botha 15:27

Youth Women
1.Sabine Thies 16:43
2.Charne Dreyer 16:53
3.Sarah Ryan 27:26

Sub Junior Boys
1.Ethan Goveia 17:08
2.Jordan Anastasis 17:09

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 16:03
2.Nate Tanner Hall 16:09
3.Ross Kew 16:25

Sprog Girls
1.Georgia Finnis 29:27

Nipper Boys
1.Logan Stander 20:00
2.Cullum Finnis 22:44
3.Vaughn Preston

Sport Class
1.Marc Ash 16:36
2.Travis Goveia 18:56
3.Tyron Ash 18:59
4.Wayne Dos Santos 22:49

Summary of Results – 2017 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Round 1 – Sunday 12 February 2017

Overall Men
1.Christopher Philogene (Elite) 01:30.37
2.Jonathan Philogene (Elite) 01:30.98
3.Tiaan Odendaal (Elite) 01:32.42
4.Struan McMaster (Elite) 01:32.47
5.Cullen McMaster (Junior) 01:32.70

Overall Women
1.Sabine Thies (Youth) 01:58.88
2.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 02:05.20
3.Nikki Alvin (Sub Veteran) 02:05.42
4.Larise Venter (Sub Veteran) 02:07.84
5.Joanne Hicks (Sub Veteran) 02:12.19

Elite Men
1.Christopher Philogene 01:30.37
2.Jonathan Philogene 01:30.98
3.Tiaan Odendaal 01:32.42

Sub Veteran Men
1.Shai Duke-Norris 01:40.83
2.Christopher Pearton 01:41.48
3.Cyril Spence 01:42.58

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 02:05:20
2.Nikki Alvin 02:05.42
3.Larise Venter 02:07.84

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 01:44.92
2.Thane Archer 01:48.14
3.Grant Engels 01:52.49

Veteran Women
1.Dorette Crous 02:18.52

Master Men
1.Alastair Brand 01:55.81
2.Desmond Purchase 02:02.78
3.Leon Cronje 02:06.03

Grand Master Men
1.Mark Minter 02:21.24

Junior Men
1.Cullen McMaster 01:32.70
2.Shaun Smale 01:36.28
3.Sharjah Jonsson 01:37.72

Youth Men
1.Kayle Seaward 01:43.08
2.Connor Finnis 01:45.01
3.Myles Crookes 01:50.58

Youth Women
1.Sabine Thies 01:58.88

Sprog Boys
1.Nate Tanner Hall 01:59.75
2.Liam Tyler Hall 02:02.20
3.Keagan Brand 02:02.92

Nipper Boys
1.Logan Stander 02:35.36
2.Vaughn Preston 02:36.16
3.Cullum Finnis 02:44.87

Beani talks multi-disciplines ahead of first Provincial Cups

Downhill firecracker, Sabine “Beani” Thies will be tackling all three mountain biking disciplines this year, with her major focus being on Downhill and Cross-country. This weekend she takes on the KZNMTB Provincial Gravity Cup at St. Ives on Sunday 12 February, and the following weekend’s KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup on Saturday 18 February.

Thies says that she won’t focus on Enduro as her most important discipline, however still says that she will try her best and give it her all out on the course.

When chatting about the transition from downhill to cross-country racing, Thies said: “It’s not always an easy one. The downhill bike has much more travel than the cross-country bike. It is always a lot more forgiving in the rough stuff.”

She also mentioned that to come from a cross-country background is easier, because the fitness to take on any sprint will be there. Coming from a downhill background to cross-country is a lot more challenging because of the bike used.
“However, the skills I have learnt on the downhill bike have definitely helped me in my cross country racing,” she said.

With the year already in full swing, Thies has her eyes on many goals this year. She also plans to head overseas to take part in the rookie world cups. “I really would like to do well there,” she added.

In terms of the local races, however, Thies is ready and prepared to focus and give it everything that she has both on the downhill as well as cross-country tracks. Her major focus back home is on the 2017 SA National MTB Championships.

Thies will be taking part in the first instalment of the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series, which takes place in Hilton on Saturday 18 February.

Entries for the event are open. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1912

McMaster looks to continue form at St. Ives

KwaZulu-Natal downhiller Struan McMaster is seeking to continue his recent form on the downhill track at the upcoming 2017 KZNMTB Gravity Series opening round to be held at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Sunday 12 February.

The 19-year-old was the highest KZN finisher in the Elite Men category at the SA National Cup Series opening round held in Helderberg (Western Cape) two weeks ago. He finished fourth overall behind three of the local riders, which included National Champion Stefan Garlicki.

“The National went really well, considering,” said McMaster. “I came out of last year a little out of form so coming into this year, I trained harder. I really didn't know what to expect at Helderberg, but arrived there with an open mind. My brother and I worked on the lines the whole weekend and it all pieced itself together and came out so well on race day. We weren’t expecting a good result like that!” he said.

Struan’s brother, Cullen, finished sixth overall and first in the Junior Men category.

Anticipating this Sunday’s race in the Midlands, McMaster attested that the downhill course is relatively tricky. “It’s a less technical track compared to the other courses, which makes it a much faster track with closer finish times. It’s a track that you have to be very precise on as little mistakes can cost you a lot of time,” he said.

McMaster has been racing downhill for the past three years after being introduced to the extreme sport by friends who had attended the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships at Cascades MTB Park in 2013. Coming from a motorbike background, they encouraged him to give it a try, and he hasn’t looked back.

“I brought a lot of my motorbike racing skills across,” he said. “Now I’m learning how to select the best and fastest racing lines and to better my cornering. I’m getting faster now and progressing as I go. I enjoy the harder, technical stuff, like the rock gardens – they challenge me a bit.”

McMaster is currently studying an online course in graphic design when he is not training or racing his bicycle.

To enter the Downhill and Enduro races, visit the ROAG online entry portal here: http://roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1932

The first round of the 2017 KZNMTB Gravity Series takes place at St. Ives in the KZN Midlands on Sunday 12 February. Riders are welcome to experience the brand new racing format this year, with the Downhill and Enduro racing taking part on the same day. The Enduro starts at 07:00 and the Downhill starts at 13:00. Spectators are welcome and entrance is free – parking is at The Boma. Come and enjoy a fun day out with your family.

 

Change to KZNMTB XCO Cup Series format

Along with the changes to the Gravity Series format, the 2017 KZNMTB XCO Cup Series will also see adjustments, with the format being based upon the racing of riders against those of equal ability rather than age and gender.

KZNMTB’s Greg Stedman said: “The XCO format will still allow KZNMTB to generate age group results, so this will not change riders’ ability to be rewarded accordingly at the end of the series.”

Stedman mentioned that the reason that this format of racing has been adopted was to encourage more competition, and give riders the opportunity to race against people of equal strength and ability.

“We believe this format will be good for riders to improve their cross-country skills and speed as they race against an open field,” he said.

On the day, prize giving will award the top 10 riders in each batch every day.

The points system is explained below:

  • There will be three batches of racing, with batch C being the slowest riders to the fastest riders being in batch A.
    • Batch C is based upon a 1 hour targeted race time, with Batches A & B being    a targeted race time of 1 Hour 15min.
    • Riders are batched based upon their performance in the previous race.
      • The first race will be based on last year’s results and race times.
      • Points are allocated based on your position in your batch and position in your age category.
      • Batch results on the day will determine the prize giving for each event.
      • The points allocation for the series will enable us to determine overall series results and age category results.

Nippers and Sprogs will continue to race in a separate race, on a smaller course, and the Sub-Juniors will all race in Batch C due to the race time.

See below for the new KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series races

DATE

EVENT

VENUE

12-Feb

KZNMTB Provincial Gravity Series #1

St. Ives

18-Feb

KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #1

Hilton

26-Mar

KZNMTB Provincial Gravity Series #2

Giba Gorge

8-Apr

KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #2

St. Ives

30-Apr

KZNMTB Provincial Gravity Series #3

Cascades

3-Jun

KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #3

Cascades

24-Jun

KZNMTB Provincial XCO Champs

Aloe Trails

2-Jul

KZNMTB Provincial Gravity Champs

Cascades

 

New combined discipline one-day festival for DHI and ENDURO Cup Series

KwaZulu-Natal’s MTB Commission has announced the combination of the The 2017 KZNMTB DHI and ENDURO Provincial Cup Series events, the racing aspect will now take place on the same day.

KZNMTB’s Gravity (Downhill and Enduro) Commissioner Marc Philogene explained the concept behind the change: “Our idea behind this is to grow the sport by exposing more riders and spectators to both disciplines by having the races on the same day, thereby cutting operating costs, giving our sponsors a bigger audience and enhancing spectator value. This way, we will have lots of people here from the morning all through to the afternoon, and them not having to come back the next day to support a separate discipline.”

Philogene outlined that this would then mean an even more eventful day, with more spectators and an even greater electric atmosphere for those competing. The spectators will get a greater value-offering, being able to watch both races on the day. There will be dedicated spectator viewing spots, easily accessible for the public, either via spectator shuttles or marked off walking sections to get supporters to certain areas around the track/s.

“We are aiming for a crossover in the disciplines – it would be nice if the cross-country riders came along and tried out enduro, we have opened a new social class for those who would like to try it out ” he said. “There will also be a separate class in the downhill event for those with Enduro bikes”.

A larger, common finish area, as well as a combined prize giving ceremony on the day, will give the sponsors the exposure they deserve.

The first KZNMTB Provincial Downhill and Enduro Cup Series event will take place at St. Ives in the Midlands on Sunday 12 February. “It’s always such a great venue, with lots to do there,” said Philogene. “We are hoping to get a Marquee as well, with some music and a good vibe for people to hang around and have a good time,” he added.

For the riders, it’s still a two-day event, with practice on Saturday. Both courses will be open for unofficial practice between 8:30 – 16:00. Please note that there will be no marshals, medics, or shuttles available at unofficial practice. Private shuttling will be allowed, subject to the event’s land owner’s regulations. Anybody found practicing after the time allowed will be disqualified.

“We are all getting quite excited for this, its something new, and yes it is a change, but there’s going to be a lot more of a vibe in one day that in the past had to be split into two,” concluded Philogene.

Entries for the event are open. For more information, or to enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1932

Late entries will be accepted the day before from 14:00 – 16:00. There will be no late entries accepted on the day of the race.

St Ives to host the 2016 KZN MTB Awards Dinner

The annual KZN Awards Dinner takes place on Saturday 12th November at the beautiful St Ives Restaurant in the KZN Midlands. The dinner is a highlight on the KZN MTB Calendar and promises to be a festive occasion to celebrate the many achievements of our riders throughout the season. Awards will be given to those who have achieved podium positions in both the Provincial Series as well as the Championships for the three disciplines of Cross-Country (XCO), Downhill (DHI) and Enduro (END) racing. In addition, those who have qualified for KZN Colours will received their certificates and badges. The evening will culminate with the Special Awards which will remain a surprise until the awards dinner.
This is the second year the awards dinner will be held at St Ives, which provides a stunning setting for this auspicious occasion. Riders and their supporters can no doubt look forward to a superb menu and an ideal opportunity to socialise (off the bike) with their fellow rivals and friends!
Tickets are limited to two hundred seats and bookings close this - Friday 28th October.

For tickets email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Awards and Colours Schedules are available to view at http://www.kznmtb.co.za/downloads/results/category/6-kzn-prov-series

 

Hundreds of cyclists celebrate Mandela’s legacy at MTB Dash

Rio 2016 Olympian Alan Hatherly (Kargo Pro Cycling Team) and South African endurance athlete Jeannie Dreyer (Merchants) took the top honours at the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash in the windy KwaZulu-Natal Midlands located at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site on Saturday 27 August 2016. Hatherly’s conditioning was on top form following last weekend’s Olympic XCO race in Rio, and Dreyer’s supreme fitness saw them both trump the 42-kilometre route.

The grandson of our late former President Nelson Mandela – Mandla Mandela – took full opportunity to cycle in honour of his late grandfather. “Today went very well. It was a very touching moment for me to be able to participate in the 21-kilometre mountain bike ride. At the same time it was a really challenging course. In his book “The Long Walk to Freedom”, Madiba says once you have climbed to the top of the hill, only then do you realise how many more hills and rivers you have to climb and cross. The Capture Site is a direct depiction of that chapter. Once we got to the top of the first hill only then did I realise how many hills we still had left to climb. I have to applaud all of those who came out today to ride in honour of our Madiba.”

Racing in his first MTB Dash, and his first race since returning from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Hatherly said: “I started a hard effort on the final climb on the race and pretty much time trialled from there until the end. The wind was quite hectic and had to play tactics to try and hide from the wind but really happy to come out on top. On the whole, it was a really awesome race and I will definitely be back here next year’s.”

Dreyer, who has competed in every MTB Dash in the past three years, scored two out of three victories with today’s win. “It was a big surprise to win today; the race panned out differently to last year. There was quite a bit of climbing and it was a brilliant day to be on the bike.”

Riders were “blown away” by the magical route that wound it’s way through the Lions River Valley and the adjoining Sappi Forests with magical vistas of the Midmar Dam area and sections of Howick over the 42-kilometre, 21-kilometre and 10-kilometre routes.

Race winner in the 21-kilometre race was RMB Change-A-Life’s Mboneni Ngcoso, who also made it two victories out of three races. “It went well today – I came here to defend my title from last year. To win today makes me very happy. To ride for Madiba is amazing – it is a very big honour and I am proud to be an African and proud to be racing a big race like this.”

Young Sub Junior rider Chloe Bateson won the 21-kilometre women’s race: “It is the third time that I am doing this race and it was really dry and dusty today. I really enjoyed the singletrack and the flat district roads were great. There were a lot of sharp climbs but the fantastic atmosphere made it a great day out. I just kept going and raced against the guys because there weren’t any other young girls to race against.”

Race winner of the 10-kilometre race, Owen Bhengu, put his energetic traits to the full test for the festival of sports over the Mandela Day Marathon weekend. “I am trail runner – it's what I do. I love running, especially in the mountains. Trail running is like a washing machine to me, I can do it automatically. Today I did the four-kilometre trail run and finished third and then after that I decided to do the 10-kilometre mountain bike ride and I won it. It was my first mountain bike race ever. Tomorrow I will be back and will run the 42-kilometre marathon – I am sure that it will be tough, but I will do it.”

While the three races were underway, KwaZulu-Natal Cycling continued with their District Development Programme by inviting local cyclists from the Lions River area to compete in a small contained loop at the venue, some of them for the very first time. Phakamane “PK” Radebe (KZN Cycling Development Event Officer) has been working with newcomers to share his passion for cycling with a brand new wave of riders.

“Some riders have got the idea of how to ride a bicycle but don't ride as often as they can, but as you can see I coach them and get them through the loop. Some are just naturals, and they jump on the bike and just want to race,” he said.

PK’s roots are deeply embedded at Giba Gorge and he has a BMX background, racing at competitive level with his fourth place finish in SA’s was his highest finish. He started out when Giba first opened as a cycling park, and he became part of the furniture long before the MTB trails and BMX track were developed.

“I first started out as a mountain bike rider and built the track there, and I fell in love with the sport and never looked back ever since,” he said.

His absolute desire and love of bicycles developed into becoming more involved with the sport, and his greatest joy is being able to give back. He is in training for SA BMX Champs and African Continental BMX Championships over the first weekend in October.

Nhlanhla Thabede, founder of the Ladysmith Development Cycling Club in the uThukela District, commended KZN Cycling on doing a wonderful job with the development events and for helping the young riders learn and grow in cycling.

“I now would like my riders exposed to competition environments so that they can come back next time and race for honour in the main races. I am working on starting a racing league in the uThukela District to encourage my riders to start competing and to lift their level of racing.

Summary of Results – 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash

42km

Overall Men
1.Alan Hatherly 01:42:53
2.Brendon Davids 01:43:12
3.Stuart Marais 01:44:01
4.Travis Walker 01:48:59
5.Jaco Pelser 01:51:07

Overall Women
1.Jeannie Dreyer 02:05:59
2.Frankie du Toit 02:12:17
3.Hayley Smith 02:16:27
4.Desiree Verwey 02:17:27
5.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder 02:23:44

Senior Men
1.Alan Hatherly 01:42:53
2.Brendon Davids 01:43:12
3.Stuart Marais 01:44:01

Senior Women
1.Frankie du Toit 02:12:17
2.Hayley Smith 02:16:27

Junior Men
1.Thomas Jessop 01:55:35
2.Dean Wortmann 01:56:58
3.Kelvin Green 01:58:07

Junior Girls
1.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder 02:23:44

Youth Men
1.Devon Baird 02:15:31
2.James Lycett 02:33:31
3.Scott Fisher 02:38:04

Sub Veteran Men
1.Tyronne White 01:52:37
2.David Low 01:53:34
3.Mitchell Ginsberg 01:58:30

Sub Veteran Women
1.Jeannie Dreyer 02:05:59
2.Desiree Verwey 02:17:27
3.Nadine Nunes 02:37:21

Veteran Men
1.Jeremy Thomson 02:00:50
2.Marc Adam 02:08:10
3.Martin Dreyer 02:09:54

Veteran Women
1.Landie Puddu 02:26:24

Master Men
1.Kozma Dede 02:19:15
2.Charlie Young 02:21:52
3.Dave Hanbury 02:22:27

Master Women
1.Marie du Toit 02:40:41

Grand Master Men
1.Kim Phillips 02:13:25
2.Bruce Hansen 02:32:41

21km

Overall Men
1.Mboneni Ngcoso 00:48:40
2.Siyanda Masango 00:00:50:16
3.Scelo Mhlongo 00:50:33
4.Travis Stedman 00:52:12
5.Leonard Roberts 00:53:41

Overall Women
1.Chloe Bateson 00:57:40
2.Maria Pieters 01:05:37
3.Kim Kriel 01:10:27
4.Judy Gouws 01:14:59
5.Josick Watkins 01:20:00

Senior Men
1.Mboneni Ngcoso 00:48:40
2.Siyanda Masango 00:50:16
3.Scelo Mhlongo 00:50:33

Sub Junior Boys
1.Travis Stedman 00:52:12
2.Dean Gregson 00:57:35
3.Mitchel Potgieter 00:59:23

Sub Junior Girls
1.Chloe Bateson 00:57:40
2.Bandisa Ndlovu 01:41:10
3.Uyonda Majingo 01:48:39

Nipper Boys
1.Connor Wright 01:05:32
2.Omar Wilson 01:12:48
3.Luke Newlands 01:18:36

Sprog Boys
1.Josh Gillitt 01:18:07

Sub Veteran Men
1.Mbongi Ndlovu 01:01:32
2.Sphamandla Ngubane 01:06:35

Veteran Men
1.Shane Wright 01:09:17
2.Jorge Cruz
3.Kurt Knoop

Sub Veteran Women
1.Maria Pieters 01:05:37
2.Kim Kriel

Iqembu lamabhayisikile i-Change A Life Academy Izimisele Ukuqiphisana Emqhudelwaneni Egameni Lika-Madiba

Umnikazi weqembu lezamabhayisikili i-RMB Change a Life Academy kanti futhi obuye abe umdlali wezemidlalo eziningi u-Martin Dreyer uzobe elethe iqembu lakhe lezamabhayisili lasendaweni i-Valley of a Thousand Hills ukuze bezoqhudelana futhi babe ingxenye ye- Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash ezobe iseNelson Mandela Capture Site ngoMgqibelo umhlaka 27 ku-Agasti. Lomdlalo wezamabhayisikili uzobe uyingxenye yeMandela Day Marathon sports festival okuzobe kuyindemezulu yezemidlalo kuleyo mpelasonto efanayo.

“Abanye babagibeli sebekebayigibela yombili lemedlalo yeMTB Dash kanyi futhi leliqembu likhombisa ukuvuthwa kanti futhi Sisanda kujoyinwa abagibeli abasha futhi,” kusho uDreyer. “Kuzobakahle ngoba abagibeli asebemnkatshubomvu bazokwazi ukutshela laba abasebasha ukuthi ayilula lemiqhudelwano. Lelibanga lika42 km liyakhohlisana. Indlela ezogitshelwa eyakhiwe uNick Floros, owakhe neyakuma-Rio Olympics eBrazil, iletha umqhudelwano ofanelekile ngoba nabagibeli abezinga eliphezulu izobashikilisa nabo,” enenezela.

“Ngicabanga ukuthi into abagibeli abayifuna ukuqhudelana ngoba uma ungabufuni ukunzima, ugibela kulamabanga amafushane.” Phezu kuka42 km, kunamabanga ka21km kanye no10km okuyiFun Ride.

“Omunye wabagibeli bami wangenela umjaho ka-21km ngonyaka odlule wabe esechoma ngokuthi waphula amarekhodi kodwa ngabe sengimuchazela ukuthi wayeqophisana lezingane. Ngathi kuyena akazame ibanga lika42km abone ukuthi uzolunga yini,” kusho uDreyer.

Egameni likeMengameli uNelson Mandela osakhothama nangomoya wakhe nokuqophisana egameni lenkululeko ayilwela, uDreyer uchazile ukuba bazivozavoza kanjani neqembu lakhe bezilungiselela lomjaho. “UMandela uyena umuntu ababukela kuyena futhi bambuka ngenhlonipho emangalisayo. Kwakhona ukuthi lomjaho uqanjwe ngegama lakhe kuyinto enkulu kabi kubona.

“Kuthi cosololo kimina ngaphakathi uma ngibona indlela uMasipala uxhasa ezemidlalo ezifana nezamabhayisikili, ezokusubatha, kanye neminye imidlalo ngoba imidlalo eminingi yethi ixhaswe izinkampani ezizimele kanti uma kuxhasa nohulumeni, kuba kahle kakhulu.”

Ekhuluma ngenani labagibeli abaseqenjini lakhe, uDreyer uchazile ukuba inani baligcina eshumini. “Ilona inani ekusebenzekayo ngalo, njengokukhanda amabhayisikili, ukuthola ukudla kweqembu, kungena abantu abangyishumi etekisini, amanani ezinto ayabiza kodwa kuyazameka uma beyishumi abagibeli. Abagibeli abasha bayafika kanti abadala badlulela phambili ngoba befuna ukuyofunda noma bethola umusebenzi.

“Uma ubheka umgibeli ofana noJohn [Ntuli], akukho lapho angakaze afike khona kanti useze wathola abaxhasi i-Merchants. Ungumuntu ozimisele futhi usehola neholo kanti siyazigqaja ngaye ngoba abaningi babhekele kuyena. Konke okuhle okumehlekelayo kumfanele.”

UDreyer udlulise igama lokubonga kumgqugquzeli balomdlalo u-Alec Lenferna ngoxhaso lakhe lweRMB Mountain Bike Academy kanti nangokusiza ngemali yokungenela lomqhudelwano. “Uma kukhona lapho songa khona imali, leyo mali isiza kwezinye izindawo,” kusho uDreyer.

Lomdlalo uzoqala kuthi uphele eNelson Mandela Capture Site eHowick ngaseMidmar Dam. Abantu ngeke bagcine ngokuhehwa igama likaMadiba kanti bazohehwa nayizizumbulu zemali ezizowinwa abayonqoba.

Abafisa ukubhalisela iMandela Day MTB Dash kusavuliwe kuze kuvalwe ngoLwesithathu ngo-Agasti 24. Abafisa ukubhalisa sekuvaliwe bangaya e-Olympia Hall eShow Grounds eMgungundlovu ngoLwesihlanu umhlaka-26 Agasti kusukela ngehora like 11h00 kuya ku-17h00. ENelson Mandela Capture Site khona kubhaliswa ngoMgqibela mhlaka-27 Agasti ngo-06h00 kuya ku-07h30.

Izikhathi zemijaho zimi kanjena:

Umjaho

Kuqalwa

Imali Yokubhali

Uma Sekuvaliwe

10km Fun Ride

08:30

R 80,00

R 100,00

21km MTB Intermediate

08:15

R 100,00

R 120,00

42km MTB Classic

08:00

R 130,00

R 150,00

 
Uma ufuna olunye ulwazi nge-2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, vakashela ku – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

Uma ufuna ulwazi ngabagqugquzeli i-KZN MTB Commission, vakashela ku – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

Uma ufuna ukungenela, vakashela ku – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

Cycling development going full circle at Mandela Day MTB Dash

The inaugural KwaZulu-Natal Youth Development Camp held in Pietermaritzburg last month saw a number of pupils from KwaZulu-Natal’s Districts learning skills and how to ride and race in various cycling disciplines. It is with great pleasure to announce that riders from Ladysmith, Hammarsdale and Pietermaritzburg, who attended the camp, will be attending the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash on Saturday 27 August, taking part in the 10-kilometre and 21-kilometre races.

The skills learned in the controlled environments set up for them in Pietermaritzburg, were then able to be practiced at home, and will now be put to the test in a real competition environment. Encouraged by friends, family and other members of their communities, these young riders are also now able to encourage others to join the sport.

“Having the learners from the Youth Development Camp compete at the MTB Dash in the main events is an exciting leap forward and shows that our development plan for KZN Cycling is working,” said Event Organiser Alec Lenferna. “By attending the various District development Races around the province, then by further developing their skills at the Camp, those riders who have advanced are now ready to tackle the race distances of 10 kilometres and 21 kilometres. And the more events they compete in, the more confidence they will gain, and so they will be shining examples to their peers who are only beginning this process of cycling development.”

Additionally, with the support of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, KZN MTB will also be hosting a development clinic at the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash on Saturday. The clinic will introduce 60 youth from the region to the sport of cycling, most for the very first time!

The input and support from Cycling South Africa has facilitated the development process and seen the projects come to fruition through the KZN Cycling Development Programme.

KwaZulu-Natal Cycling Development Officer, Tyrone Johns said: “All these youngsters coming here for the development clinic will be complete newbies to the sport.”

Riders from the Youth Development Camp who are taking part in the 10-kilometre and 21-kilometre events, began in a similar way to those riding for their first time at the clinic. They will be great examples for those wishing to one day ride competitively.

“The riders who are learning at the clinic will see those competing in the main races and will be exposed to what they could one day be doing,” said Johns.

Those attending the development clinic will then in turn become examples for the next set of youth wishing to learn, taking cycling development to great heights around KwaZulu-Natal and hopefully across the rest of the country.

When chatting about the legacy of Madiba, Johns said: “Like what Nelson Mandela meant when he said that sport can change lives – it’s the truth. The youth learning how to ride and those who want to take it seriously, show passion and excellence in what they do.

“The skills learnt on the bikes go much deeper than just riding. They learn discipline, respect for others and the fact that sometimes you will win, and sometimes you will lose. These are great skills to apply to life, off the bicycle and at home as well.”

Johns also mentioned that the children in communities begin to feel a greater sense of purpose when they have sport in their lives. “Sport builds them positively as people and keeps them busy, and away from misbehaviour or trouble,” he added.

Shaun Peschl from Kargo Pro MTB Team, will also be bringing between six and eight development riders from the GO!Durban Cycle Academy to take part in the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash; and Guy Watkins from the Codah Cycling Club in Hammarsdale will have four of his young riders competing in the 20-kilometre races as well.

The Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash takes place at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site on Saturday 27 August. The mountain bike event forms part of the greater Mandela Day Marathon sports festival over the same weekend. Not only will the essence of Madiba draw the crowds, but also a lucrative prize purse, which will be an added bonus to the already incredible event.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 24 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Olympia Hall, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg from 11:00-17:00 on Friday 26 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:00-07:30 on race day, Saturday 27 August.

Race

Start Time

Pre Entry Fee

Late Entry Fee

10km Fun Ride

08:30

R 80,00

R 100,00

21km MTB Intermediate

08:15

R 100,00

R 120,00

42km MTB Classic

08:00

R 130,00

R 150,00


For information on the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

Change A Life Academy Team eager to race in honour of Madiba

Founder of the RMB Change a Life Academy and keen multi-sport enthusiast, Martin Dreyer, will be bringing his MTB team from the Valley of a Thousand Hills to take part in the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, which takes place at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site on Saturday 27 August. The mountain bike event forms part of the greater Mandela Day Marathon sports festival over the same weekend.

“Some of the riders have done both MTB Dash events, but the team has been evolving and there have been some new guys coming into the team,” said Dreyer. “It’s going to be quite nice because some of the more experienced riders will be able to tell the younger guys that it is a tough ride. It’s by no means easy – the 42-kilometre distance is quite deceiving. Having Nick Floros, the Rio Olympic course designer, set the route adds a lot of value to the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash. But having said that, it does make it an honest, hard course for those racing at the top,” he added.

“I think it’s what the guys want as a challenge, because if you don’t want a tough ride then you do the lesser distances.” Paralleled to the distances of running races, there is also the option of taking part in the 21-kilometre Intermediate and the 10-kilometre Fun Ride.

“One of my good riders did race in the 21km last year and he is bragging about how he has the record now. But I explained that he was racing against kids so we’ll see if he races against the men in the 42km this year,” Dreyer said.

In terms of the late former President Nelson Mandela’s legacy and racing in his honour for freedom, Dreyer explained how his team prepares for such an iconic race. “Mandela is their ultimate role model, they look up to him with huge respect. Just to have his name associated to the race creates a good vibe.

“It’s just wonderful from my side, to see the municipal support coming into sport with the marathon, trail running, triathlon and mountain biking, because most of our local races are privately sponsored but this has got the municipal support, which is a great thing.”

Speaking about the size of his team, Dreyer explained that it revolves around the number 10. “It is the optimum amount in terms of bike maintenance, food parcels, ten-in-a-taxi. It is budget restrained but a team of 10 is enough for me to manage. Some new guys come in, some guys move off because they have raced hard for two years and then they get an opportunity to study or they get a job.

“For a rider like John (Ntuli), he has been taken to the highest level with a private sponsor, Merchants. You can say that he is a professional mountain biker, earning a salary. He’s a clean-cut, hard worker and the guys look up to him and are proud of him. I feel that he is deserving of that type of sponsor.”

Dreyer also extended thanks to event organiser Alec Lenferna for his support of the RMB Mountain Bike Academy, and for helping with the entry fees. “Wherever I can save costs in one place I can add value somewhere else,” said Dreyer.

The start and finish of the mountain bike race takes place at the famous Nelson Mandela Capture Site, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands (near Midmar Dam). Not only will the essence of Madiba draw the crowds, but also a lucrative prize purse, which will be an added bonus to the already incredible event.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 24 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Olympia Hall, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg from 11:00-17:00 on Friday 26 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:00-07:30 on race day, Saturday 27 August.

Race

Start Time

Pre Entry Fee

Late Entry Fee

10km Fun Ride

08:30

R 80,00

R 100,00

21km MTB Intermediate

08:15

R 100,00

R 120,00

42km MTB Classic

08:00

R 130,00

R 150,00

For information on the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

 

Owamabhayisikili weMandela Day Marathon MTB Dash Uphakamisa Umoya Wobuntu

Ngenyanga ka-Agasti, ingxenye emaphakathi yesifundazwe saKwaZulu-Natal iyona ekuyobe kuyindawo yokubungaza impilo kaBaba wesizwe kanti nalowo owayenguMengameli wokuqala wentando yeningi uNelson Mandela. Lapha, kuyobe kukhunjulwa zonlke izingqinamba abhekana nazo ukuze ashintshe izimpilo zethu zibe ngcono. Abagibeli bazobe bebhekene nezintaba nemiqansa kumigudu yeMandela Marathon MTB Dash ekungeyamabhayisikili ngoMgqibelo mhlaka 27 Agasti.

Imidlalo yamabhayisikili yasezintabeni iyingxenye yomqhudelwano omkhulu yeMandela Day Marathon, yona ezodlalwa ngoJulayi 27 kuya kumhlaka 28. Lemidlalo izoqala futhi iphelele eNelson Mandela Capture Site, okuyilapho uMandela aboshelwa khona ngaphambi kokuba ayodonsa iminyaka ejele. Lendawo isiphinde yadunyiswa isithombe sikaMandela esibazwe ngensimbi esafakwa ngo2012 ngumbazi uMarco Cianfanelli. Imijaho ekhona engamabanga angu-42 km, 21 km kanye no10 km kulendawo eyisingqazu.

UMeya kaMasipala waseMgungundlovu uYusuf Bhamjee ethula inkulumo yakhe uthe ngesikhathi kuthulwa yakhe isiqubulo salonyaka sithi: Kuhlale kubukeka kunzima ngokweqile kuze kwenziwe, ngempumelelo yomoya wobuntu”. Konke lokhu kumele umuntu uMandela ayewuyena, owayeyiqhawe lenkululeko umhlaba wonkana.

“Sithi asiwuhlabe umkhosi kubo bonke abantu abafisa ukuba yingxenye yendumezulu yemidlalo egameni likaBaba wesizwe, okukhombisa ukubaluleka kweMandela Day Marathon Sports Festival,” kusho uKhansela Bhamjee.

“UMandela ungowethu sonke njengoBaba wesizwe. Akumele sivumele izizukulwane zilibale ukuba uMandela wayengubani. Abadlali abahlukene bazobe begijima, abanye begibele amabhayisikili kanti abanye bephilela egameni likaMandela ukuze imisebenzi yakhe ingashabalali.

OnguMengameli we-KZN Cycling u-Greg Stedman ulamukele ithuba lokubona i-Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash iyingxenye yeMandela Day Marathon eminyakeni emithathu eyandulelanayo.

“Ave sikuthakasela ukuba yingxenye yalomcimbi. Kuleminyaka emithathu eyedlule, i-Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash isikhombise ukudlondlobala okukhulu kanti futhi isikhombise ukuba enye yemidlalo yamabhayisikili okumele baze kuyo abagibeli, kuphawula uStedman.

U-Stedman futhi ukhulumile ngokuzinikela kwe- KZN Cycling ekutheni lemidlalo yamabhayisikile isabalaliswe ukuze ifinyelele nakubantu abamnyama njengoba idlalwa ikakhulukazi abamhlophe.

“Igalelo esilenzayo lisho ukuthi kumele sihehe intsha ukuba izongenela lemidlalo kanti futhi nokuba sivule amathuba okuba iqhudelane ezigabeni zesifunda kanye nakuzwelonke,” kuphawula uStedman.

Imidlalo ka2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash izonika ithuba abagibeli abevile ku-150 ukuba bafunde ukugibela amabhayisikili nokuba babe yingxenye yalemidlalo. “Lonyaka uzolandela umgudu othi awufane neminye iminyaka eyedlule ekufakeni intsha yendawo,” enezezela.

U-Stedman ugcizelelile ukuba abagibeli kanye nosaziwayo abakuleli bazobe sebebuyile phesheya kwezilwandle lapho abahlala futhi baqhophisane khona uhhafu wonyaka, okuyosho ukuba bayokwazi ukungenela lomjaho.

“Laba bagibeli baheha izintatheli eziyindathane kanti futhi bangenela izigaba ezahlukeneyo kulemijaho,” enezezela uSteadman.

“Kungaba ukuthi ufuna ukungenela ukuze uwine noma uzenzela wena nje ngokwakho, lemidlalo isebenza ngomoya kaMandela wobuntu kanti futhi inikana ithuba lokuba wange umoya wokunqoba kobuntu,”esho ephetha.

Abafisa ukubhalisela ukungenela emusombulukweni kwi Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash kuzovulwa kusukela ngoLwesithathu mhlaka 24 Agasti. Kanti abayokweqiwa isikhathi bavunyelwe ukubhalisa eRoyal Showgrounds e-Olympia Hall eMgungundlovu ngehora lesi-11h00 kuya ku-17h00 ngoLwesihlanu mhlaka 26 Agasti kanye nase Mandela Capture Site ngomhlaka-27 Agasti ngoMgqibelo kusukela ngo-06h00 kuya ku-07h30.

Ukuthola imininingwane nge-2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, vakashela ku- http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

Mayelana ne KZN MTB Commission, vakashela ku– http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

Kwabafuna ukubhalisa kwi-internet, bangavakashela i-website ye-ROAG ku– http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

Green embraces Madiba’s view on sport

Local athlete Kelvin Green has embraced the tagline of this year’s Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash – Triumph of the Human Spirit – in honour of the overcoming of trials and tribulations faced by former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Green placed second behind Joshua Nelson in the Junior Category last year and is looking ahead to better his result on Saturday 27 August.

“Well I’ve done the race for two years now. The first year that I did it I was under 16, and I came second in that race, which was really nice,” he said.

Green was chuffed at the route change last year. “They added a section of single track on top of Piggly Wiggly on the hill there, which was lots of fun,” he said.

Hoping to do well last year, Green would have like to have claimed the first prize. “I think we all do, but Josh is a really good rider and unfortunately I didn’t have the legs on him that day,” he added. He also mentioned that the KwaZulu-Natal MTB racing scene is a competitive one.

The Michaelhouse matric pupil has also taken part in the Dusi Canoe Marathon for three consecutive years. “It’s at the beginning of the year so it’s really good base training – it sets the tone for the season,” he added. Green has also finished in the top 100 finishers each year that he has competed.

He lives on a farm in the Drakensberg and has known mountain bike riding ever since he was a child. “My parents wouldn’t let me stay inside, so I had to make do with the great outdoors,” he laughed. “My uncle is also in charge of the Berg n Bush. Seeing people riding through the farm made me want to ride more and I’ve been lucky enough to do that event twice, which is really cool,” he added.

Although focusing predominantly on marathon racing because he enjoys to “suffer long climbs”, Green has also dabbled in cross-country racing, but his season was cut short due to a lung infection. “I’m not too sure where that puts me in terms of training for the race,” he said.

On the essence of Madiba captured through the iconic sporting event, Green said: “We all get a great feeling from exercise. Madiba once said: “I have always believed that exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind”. He wanted us to make the most of our freedom and come together as a nation. The race really promotes that. It’s a huge event, which caters for everyone and that is really nice.

“As young riders, we are laying the foundation for future generations. Cycling in South Africa is not where it is in Europe, even running as well, and an event like this just promotes that so much more. South Africa has had really hard times. I think a great place to start is obviously education, but exercise is just as important, so promoting the benefits of it is also so great. To be honest I think that’s what he would’ve wanted, we see that with how he drove to become a part of the Rugby World Cup in 1995.”

The start and finish of the mountain bike race takes place at the famous Nelson Mandela Capture Site, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands (near Midmar Dam). Not only will the essence of Madiba draw the crowds, but also a lucrative prize purse, which will be an added bonus to the already incredible event.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 24 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Olympia Hall, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg from 11:00-17:00 on Friday 26 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:00-07:30 on race day, Saturday 27 August.

Race

Start Time

Pre Entry Fee

Late Entry Fee

10km Fun Ride

08:30

R 80,00

R 100,00

21km MTB Intermediate

08:15

R 100,00

R 120,00

42km MTB Classic

08:00

R 130,00

R 150,00

 

For information on the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

 

Ntuli and Msimango ready for the Triumph of the Human Spirit

The RMB Change a Life Academy, founded by Martin Dreyer, has seen success from its athletes in many disciplines of sport, including mountain biking. Many members of the Change a Life mountain bike family have thrived in their own skill sets on the bike, including Merchant rider, John Ntuli, who will take on the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday 27 August. The mountain bike event forms part of the greater Mandela Day Marathon sports festival over the weekend of 27-28 August.

Ntuli captained the Change a Life Academy Mountain Bike Team until March this year, when he attained his own personal sponsorship from Merchant. “This will be my second time doing the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash,” he said.

Speaking about the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, Ntuli said: “This race is a very important race for me. It’s important because it shows that South Africa is free, and we get to race under the Mandela name. It’s just brilliant. It is extremely important in my life.”

Ntuli, who has succeeded in not only mountain biking but in many multi-sport events too, is referred to by his peers and Dreyer as “Ngwenya” (crocodile) because of his sheer toughness and resilience. “Mountain biking is my career and my life now. I do it full time, and train six days a week. I train mostly on weekdays and race on weekends, but if there’s no races, I still train,” he said.

“I am looking forward to the MTB Dash and I am just going to show up and try my best,” he concluded.

RMB Change a Life Academy’s Mazwi Msimango from Inchanga said: “I have been with the team for two-and-a half-years now, if I’m not mistaken.”

Msimango began riding only three years ago. “I just began riding normally and then I joined a team and I started training properly. I then got a good bike to race on. I started racing my bike in August of 2014,” he said.

24-year-old Msimango chatted about his dream of being able to take part in the MTB Dash: “This is really good for me. It was always a wish of mine to be able to ride a bicycle and to race with other people – it’s a great experience and a really good achievement. If I wasn’t in the Academy, these opportunities would not be available to me as mountain biking is too expensive, and traveling to races and equipment costs money. So for me – this is such a good thing because I’m achieving a lot and experiencing a lot. I talk to people and learn about their experiences and their thoughts – we share everything, and it’s really good.”

The start and finish of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash is at the well-known Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands – a reminder of the struggles endured by our former president and leader.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 24 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Olympia Hall, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg from 11:00-17:00 on Friday 26 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:00-07:30 on race day, Saturday 27 August.

Race

Start Time

Pre Entry Fee

Late Entry Fee

10km Fun Ride

08:30

R 80,00

R 100,00

21km MTB Intermediate

08:15

R 100,00

R 120,00

42km MTB Classic

08:00

R 130,00

R 150,00

For information on the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

 

Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash a triumph the human spirit

In the month of August, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands will be the location for the celebration of the life of the Father of the Nation, Nelson Mandela, where we will remember the trials and tribulations that Madiba had to overcome in order to change our lives for the better when eager participants will face challenges, hills and obstacles along the route of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash on Saturday 27 August.

The mountain biking event forms part of the greater Mandela Day Marathon sporting festival, which takes place from 27-28 July. The start and finish of the mountain bike event is at the iconic Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, which has become a popular tourist destination since the erection of the famous steel-column sculpture in 2012, made famous by artist Marco Cianfanelli. 42-kilometre, 21-kilometre and 10-kilometre routes are on offer in the scenic Midlands.

The Mayor of uMgungundlovu District, Yusuf Bhamjee, said in his speech at the Mandela Day Marathon Media Launch that the theme for this year’s event is: “It is always impossible until it is done, the triumph of the human spirit”, which is the epitome of Nelson Mandela, who was a universal icon of freedom.

“We reach out to the people who want to associate themselves with the memory and the legacy of the Father of the Nation; this contextualises the importance of the Mandela Day Marathon Sports Festival,” said Councillor Bhamjee.

“Madiba belongs to all of us as the Father of the Nation. We must never allow generations after us to forget who Madiba was. Participants will be running, cycling and living for Madiba so that his legacy lives on. We are celebrating an international icon who has been embraced nationally and internationally because he had a story to tell, and that story is the “triumph of the human spirit”.”

President of KZN Cycling, Greg Stedman, embraced the opportunity to once again see the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash on the Mandela Day Marathon sporting festival’s calendar for the third consecutive year.

“We are very privileged to be a part of this sports event,” he said. “Over the past three years, the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash has grown from strength to strength and has become a “must do” event on the KZN Cycling Calendar,” he added.

Stedman also spoke about KZN Cycling’s dedication to transformation and development, and listed their involvement with various projects around the province. “These projects introduce the youth to the sport of cycling, as well as create opportunities for up and coming talent to compete at Provincial and National level,” he added.

The 2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash gave more than 150 local youth the opportunity to learn to ride and participate in the event. “This year will follow a similar theme involving the local youth,” he said.

Stedman also mentioned that most of the country’s top-end Elite and high-performance athletes would have returned from their racing commitments in Europe by the end of August and would have the opportunity to participate. “These athletes attract a lot of media attendance, and make for great racing across their various categories,” he added.

“Whether you are competing for the win or for personal achievement goals, this event embodies the essence of Nelson Mandela, and provides the platform to embrace the Triumph of the Human Spirit,” he concluded.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 24 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Olympia Hall, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg from 11:00-17:00 on Friday 26 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:00-07:30 on race day, Saturday 27 August.

Race

Start Time

Pre Entry Fee

Late Entry Fee

10km Fun Ride

08:30

R 80,00

R 100,00

21km MTB Intermediate

08:15

R 100,00

R 120,00

42km MTB Classic

08:00

R 130,00

R 150,00

For information on the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

Odendaal and Fourie beat the wind at provincial Downhill Champs

Tiaan Odendaal and Kathryn Fourie made it a double when they claimed the fastest times of the day in the Men and Women’s classes at the 2016 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. Both riders had secured the ENDURO Championship titles the day before after completing five stages at Cascades MTB Park.

The participants competed in two timed runs of the track, with only the second timed run counting for the Championship prize.

For Tiaan Odendaal, victory was sweet at a track that he has become very well accustomed to. However, the wind blew strongly on their first timed run, which resulted in tackling some sections a little more cautiously.

“I didn't jump the table tops on my first run, as we saw David Hogan suffer a crash at that open section due to the strong crosswinds,” said Odendaal. “On my second run, I just went over them and luckily there was no wind to contend with.

“It was a tough race, we raced the whole World Cup track from the top to the bottom. I wasn't so enthusiastic about the pedalling but we all had to do it. There was quite a bit of competition with the rest of the guys and with SA Champs coming up soon we’re all quite fit. Having done the Enduro yesterday, I could feel it in my legs today. I was quite tired, but the victory is sweet.”

Being awarded second place overall and first Junior rider home, Christopher Philogene’s ramped-up exercise regime is paying off. Working on his gym and strength fitness of late, Philogene has his eyes set on the World Champs in September and knows all to well that the European tracks require much greater physical strength.

“I’m pretty stoked, I’ve been working hard on my training and this was a very long and pedally track, so I’ve been working hard for this,” said Chris. “It’s unlucky that I’ve been sick for the past two weeks but I would like to say thanks to Shane Martin, who has been helping me with my training.

“And better luck to my brother because I think he could’ve had a good chance to take the overall title, but Tiaan rode very well today and well done to him. It was a great race.”

Racing in the Sub Veteran category, course designer Nigel Hicks was chuffed with his provincial title. “It’s always an honour to win KZN Champs. We have a very strong Sub Vet class here. It was unfortunate that we didn't have the greatest turnout today. I’m also really bummed for Mark Millar on breaking his foot, and a lot of the competition was out of it. Still, it wasn’t and an easy coast down but I’m still stoked to take the KZN Champs and the Series title as well. All has been good for me this year!”

Speaking about the last minute decision to revert to the familiar World Cup track in the week leading up to race day, Hicks said: “Nick Floros has created a super steep and super technical track on the hill here. Unfortunately, a late decision was made that it was just a little too tough for the youngsters and the women who usually race provincials. I really hope that we can use it for SA Champs in two weeks time. The decision hasn't been finalised yet, but we will hear from the Chief Commissaire soon. We really want to push the sport here for the advancement of Downhill racing.”

The fastest woman of the day was Sub Veteran Kathryn Fourie, who had her work cut out for her with young Sub Junior Sabine “Beanie” Thies putting on a strong challenge for the title.

“We’ve ridden that track a lot, so we’re all quite used to it and no one was really at a disadvantage,” said Fourie. “The only tricky part about today was the wind. As soon as we came out of the gully, there was this crosswind over the table tops so you lost all your speed in order to ride over the table tops, and then (with no momentum) pedal your backside off to get through the pedally section afterwards. I realised after my first run that the times between Beanie and I could be very close in the end, so I really gave it my all.”

Thies, the second placed woman overall, said: “It didn't start off the way that I wanted it to. I got a few lines wrong in Pebble Beach and from there it went all right. The pedalling was rather hard, and my legs felt dead after the Enduro yesterday.”

After a successful three events each in the increasingly popular Enduro and Downhill Series races, as well as once-off Championship races in each discipline, presenting sponsor Greg Minnaar Cycles’ Travis Browning was well impressed with how the season unfolded.

“Greg Minnaar Cycles has been very pleased with the Enduro and Downhill Cup Series for 2016. The execution of each event was flawless – from the organisers at KZN MTB, course designers, timing systems and finally the participation from riders themselves, it is great to see the depth of talent that is emerging from the KZN MTB scene in both the Enduro and Downhill disciplines. We most definitely have some future champions in the making!

“With the majority of our staff being riders themselves, we got to enjoy the social aspect of these events as well as the spectacular trails that played host. I’d like to express a huge thank you to every rider, supporter and spectator that took part, to KZN MTB as well as BOS Sport for keeping our riders hydrated at each event.”

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Championships – 3 July 2016

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal (Elite) 04:10.53
2.Christopher Philogene (Junior) 04:19.95
3.Jonathan Philogene (Elite) 04:22.07
4.Timothy Bentley (Elite) 04:23.34
5.Kelvin Purchase (Elite) 04:38.24

Overall Women
1.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 05:45.10
2.Sabine Thies (Sub Junior) 05:50.21
3.Tammy Sturrock (Elite) 06:35.02
4.Lauren Hoyer (Elite) 06:45.78

Elite Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 04:10.53
2.Jonathan Philogene 04:22.07
3.Timothy Bentley 04:23.34

Elite Women
1.Tammy Sturrock 06:35.02
2.Lauren Hoyer 06:45.78

Junior Men
1.Christoper Philogene 04:19.95
2.Cullen McMaster 04:55.50

Youth Men
1.Jason du Toit (Western Cape) 04:45.45
2.Keira Duncan 04:46.69 (KZN Champ)
3.Shaun Smale 04:59.00
4.Kayle Seaward 05:04.75

Sub Junior Boys
1.Kyle Brand 05:47.90
2.Robert Jessop 05:57.83

Sub Junior Girls
1.Sabine Thies 05:50.21

Sub Veteran Men
1.Nigel Hicks 04:58.43
2.Robert Klopper 05:26.87
3.Jacques Dreyer 05:27.29

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 05:45.10

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 05:13.11
2.Alastair Brand 05:53.95
3.Kevin Crookes 05:59.93

Nipper Boys
1.Caleb Archer 08:22.92
2.Gabriel Archer 10:52.61

Sprog Boys
1.Nate Tanner Hall 06:03.68
2.Liam Tyler Hall 06:10.45
3.Keagan Brand 06:15.51

Five stage Enduro challenges KZN’s best

Tiaan Odendaal, Kathryn Fourie and Cherie Redecker posted the fastest times in the Men and Women’s races respectively to claim the gold medals at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July.

Local rider Tiaan Odendaal was not deterred by the fact that the “top secret” stages were only revealed on race day. ENDURO route designer Mark Sydney’s approach of not revealing the routes in the lead up to the event was an effort to ensure fairness amongst all the riders, particularly to those who were not familiar with the myriad of trails that Cascades had to offer. The riders however, were able to practice the route in the morning before the racing started.

“I’m happy to take the win, but I honestly just came out here to have some fun today,” said Odendaal. “I’d probably say that stage five was my favourite because it was the shortest and there were no uphills. Stage one and stage three were quite cool as well; they were quite steep and technical.”

With riders being able to tackle the first three stages in any order they choose, almost all of the riders opted to complete the first and third stages early on in order to avoid the long trek back up to the top of Cascades – stage two started lower down the hill with its finish far down the mountain.

The second-fastest rider of the day, Tim Bentley, opted to stay at the back and start towards the end of the self-seeded queue in order to hit the trails when they were a little drier. “The top two stages we did in order so as not to waste our energy. That was a hard day; I won’t lie. There was a lot of pedalling in that Enduro. We did five stages and we normally do three or four, so it was tough. I knew the technical stuff really well so I gained all my time there but I lost a lot of time on the pedalling.”

Overall Women’s winner to tie with Cherie Redecker, Kathryn Fourie, felt that getting through five stages went a lot quicker than she expected. The race involved riding their bikes to the very top of Cascades during the untimed liaison where they started stages one and three.

“There had been some chatter about keeping the trails secret and in the end it worked out better because everyone was at the same disadvantage,” said Fourie. “My approach was to get the two furthermost stages out of the way. I had to go a bit slower in some sections because I had a few close calls early on, but stage four and five were shorter and easy to get to and they were a lot of fun.

“I feel stage one and three were my favourite. I really had a good day out and I think I tied with Cherie, which I’m happy about, because she is flipping quick!”

Current SA National XCO Champion, Redecker enjoyed her day on the bike and agreed with the sentiments that five stages created a tough day out. “It was such a great change to set off at the start and to see everyone was so chilled and chatting and it’s not a mad rush to get going, as is the case with XCO. This is my second ever Enduro because I had done one previously in Namibia. It’s such a cool vibe because when you finish a stage, you meet up and ride with your group of mates back up to the next stage start. The climbs to the start of stage one and three ere tough, but there is chance to rest in between which adds to the fun.”

Nipper winner Omar Wilson (10) has competed in four Enduro races and attests to their popularity saying that each one he has entered has been fantastic. Speaking of today’s Championship race, he said: “Stage one and two were fast and long, stage four I felt a bit tired, but stage five was my best. Everybody was on the last stage and they were all cheering and it was just brilliant.”

When asked what he most enjoyed about Enduro racing, Wilson said: “I enjoy going up and then getting the payback on the downhill – you just chillax and its fast and fun on the downhill.”

Relative newcomer to the sport, Tammy Sturrock, thoroughly enjoyed her fourth ever Enduro race. Having only started cycling two years ago, and competing in Enduro events since last year, Sturrock confirmed that fitness is required. “You definitely need fitness, which I didn't have this time. Next year I’m definitely going to plan a little more training. What’s nice about the Enduro is that you can ride with your boyfriend, you can ride with kids and it's a great way to get the families cycling. It’s great to meet up with all your friends afterwards and share stories over a beer or two.”

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Championships – 2 July 2016

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 17:27
2.Timothy Bentley (Senior) 17:43
3.David Hogan (Senior) 18:03
4.Craig Paul (Sub Veteran) 18:11
5.Keira Duncan (Youth) 18:44

Overall Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39
1.Cherie Redecker 22:39
3.Sabine Thies 22:43
4.Tammy Sturrock 27:08

Senior Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 17:27
2.Timothy Bentley 17:43
3.David Hogan 18:03

Senior Women
1.Cherie Redecker 22:39
2.Tammy Sturrock 27:08
3.Lauren Hoyer

Junior Men
1.Christoper Philogene 19:02
2.Thomas Jessop 20:23

Youth Men
1.Keira Duncan 18:44
2.Kayle Seaward 19:56
3.Connor Finnis 20:00

Sub Junior Boys
1.Robert Jessop 23:02
2.Matthew Millward 25:56
3.Kyle Brand

Sub Junior Girls
1.Sabine Thies 22:43
2.Charne Dreyer 27:21

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 18:11
2.Craig Scott 19:15
3.Andy Noble 19:46

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39

Veteran Men
1.Patrick Morewood 19:20
2.Craig Seaward 19:53
3.Keith Diederichs 20:01

Master Men
1.Brian Magor 22:31
2.Michael Frost 22:46

Nipper Boys
1.Omar Wilson 24:23

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 23:22
2.Nate Tanner Hall 23:28
3.Keagan Brand 25:18

Millar anticipates friendly competition for Downhill and Enduro Champs

Downhill enthusiast, Mark Millar, is keen to hit the hills with horns when he competes in the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill and Enduro Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, which takes place this weekend at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 2-3 July. Entries are still open and close at midnight tonight (Wednesday 29 June 2016).

Recovering from a bout of flu, Millar said, “I’m super keen to do the Downhill race of course, but in terms of the Enduro on the Saturday, I will have to make a call closer to the time as I am suffering with the flu, which isn’t ideal,” he said.

Millar took the win at the final Downhill instalment of the KZNMTB Provincial Downhill and Enduro Series in the Vets Men category, ahead of good friend Nigel Hicks. “The competition between us is and always will be super friendly. We do it because we enjoy riding our bikes down hills. To be brutally honest both of us would love to win, but we’ll give it a go and see how it goes,” he said.

When chatting about the track, Millar said: “Nige may have some advantage as he was Masters World Champion at that venue. I’ll definitely give it a go and see how it turns out. Regardless of what happens on the day, both of us will be sharing a beer at the end of it.”

For Millar, the essence of Downhill racing is “a bunch of like-minded people coming together trying their hardest to go as fast as they can”.

“Whether it be in top 10, or not in top 10, it’s about pushing yourself. Maybe it’s getting a corner set up right and going through it as fast as you can, or hitting a jump that you weren’t able to jump before. It all comes down to personal progression on a bike that will help you go faster and ride better.”

Although there have been changes to the said Downhill track, the Enduro course is still a secret, according to track designer Mark Sydney. There will be no practicing permitted at all on the Enduro course on Friday. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in time penalties on race day. Practice is only allowed on race day (Saturday 2 July) from 08:00-10:30.

A final decision was made on Monday to revert to the 2011 World Cup track for the Downhill Championship event due to logistical reasons. Downhill event organiser, Nigel Hicks, made the post on social media platforms asking other riders to spread the word about the track change as mentioned in our previous story. The track will be trail bike-friendly.

The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730.

Brand new Downhill course for KZN Champs

The KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Championships presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles this year boasts a brand new downhill track, and will be taking place at Cascades MTB Park on 2 and 3 July.

Track designer, Nick Floros says that all procedures have been put in place to ensure that the brand new downhill course will bring exhilarating thrills for all of those involved.

Floros explained the story behind the change: “Well the guys have been riding the same World Cup Downhill course for the past five years, so they begin to know every inch and every rock and it isn’t doing much to push them and improve their riding.” 

Floros described the course as “quite technical” and “much steeper” with old camber spectrums in the mix as well. “It’s completely different to the old one,” he added.

Although the Championship event is aimed at the KwaZulu-Natal riders, Floros said that those from the other provinces should definitely get involved and come and ride the track.

While seemingly more difficult, Floros ensured that the course is also catered to those not as experienced. “We have focused quite a bit on the Elites in order to challenge them more. However, having said that, for every obstacle there is on the course, there is an easier way around it.”

He mentioned the importance of balance between the A and B lines in order to still get a good run in. “I’ve ridden the track on a trail bike, just to put it into context,” he concluded.

The Enduro tracks are being taken care of by Mark Sydney, who has so much to say about this year’s Enduro Champs course, but won’t. “The thing is, most of the trails have all been ridden before in Cascades, and when the riders know where the tracks are, the locals in Pietermaritzburg get the ‘advantage’ of riding them in the week and weekends for practice,” he said.

This way, Sydney felt that Pietermaritzburg locals wouldn’t have any advantage over other riders across the province, as there will be no information made available until just before the race. “Now, there’s no way that the course will be ‘over-practised’ on, and destroyed before the day of the event, so that the riders are able to have great trails ready for them.”

Sydney was firm in his decision not to dispose or give away anything. “I could say that it’s similar to last year’s trails, I could say that it’s completely different, but I’m not going to. Let the riders come and see for themselves, and be surprised on the day,” he added.

“We’re hoping to get a solid amount of entries, between 100-120, that would be fantastic,” Sydney concluded.

The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730

Redecker and Marais find success at XCO Provincial Champs

Current National Champion Cherie Redecker (Novus OMX Pro Team) and Stuart Marais were crowned Elite Provincial Champions amidst brilliant conditions at the all-exciting 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships, which took place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 25 June.

Race organisers could not have asked for better weather when the riders and all involved were greeted by a rather crisp morning. But when noon arrived, the gloves, scarves, jackets and beanies were all a thing of the past as the warm KwaZulu-Natal sun brought temperatures up to the mid twenties.

The cold mornings, summer-like days and fresh afternoons in the province in the past few weeks, had resulted in many of the riders suffering nasty colds and flu by the time they reached the start line.

The dry and rainless weeks leading up to the Championships made the course even more challenging, as the track was loose and very dusty. Elite Women’s Champion, Cherie Redecker, said: “With the dry winter there are sections on the track, which are loose and slippery but that all adds to the challenge. I think Nick (Floros) surprised a lot of us by creating a completely different track. At first I didn't enjoy it, maybe because subconsciously I was doing the technical bits from a different direction. After finding a rhythm on the course today I started liking the new course.”

Redecker lead from the get-go but faced a mechanical on the third lap when her derailleur took a beating through rapid rocks, which set her back. However, the National Champion accepted the setback, and embraced the lesson learned. Redecker mentioned on social media: “It was a great reminder that one needs to sort out a technical as quickly as possible and to keep calm in the situation.”

Defending KZN XCO Champ, Stuart Marais once again claimed the Elite Men’s title by close to six minutes ahead of Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Andrew Warr. In his podium interview, Marais said: “The course has changed a lot since last year so it was an interesting day. But it was great racing; it was fun racing. It was good to see what we can expect in the next two weeks (for SA National Champs) and great to be able to practice the course ahead of SA Champs.”

Concept Cyclery’s Julian Jessop and Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Frankie du Toit won the under-23 races.  In his podium interview, Jessop said: “I really enjoyed the track, it was very hard with those two steep hills – in the last lap I was dying.”

When speaking about the track in more detail, Jessop said: “It was really great to be able to ride this track in preparation for SA Champs – the National title is a huge goal of mine. It was awesome to get some practice and to see where it hurts most in the final days leading up to Nationals. It’s such a great track for SA Champs – well done to Nick (Floros).”

Track designer, Nick Floros received excellent feedback about the track from riders on the day, and on social media posts later on.

Under-23 Women’s Winner Frankie du Toit had her entire family out there to support, including mum Marie, who took the Master Women’s win on the day. “I was super proud of my mom for racing because it was quite a technical course and she really pushed herself out of her comfort zone but rode amazingly,” she said.

Du Toit also mentioned how much she had enjoyed the course. “It is completely different to anything we’d ridden recently at cascades, and a change is always welcome. Without rain recently the course was a little sketchy in places so some rain before the SA's would be very welcome.”

Absolute Cycling’s Christie-Leigh Hearder, who took the Junior Women’s title by 11 minutes, said: “SA Champs will be a lot tougher as there will be a lot more people racing, but I feel that as long as I just ride as hard as I can and have fun then anything is possible.”

Jessop number two, Thomas, claimed the Junior Men’s title. “It went really well for me today, I got through most of the slower under-23s and elites in the start and pushed hard with the guys I was with. The hills were brutal combined with the heat so I am very happy to have won,” he said.

In the Youth Men and Women’s categories the KZN Championship Team PAW’s Cian Leveridge and Tiffany Keep claimed titles respectively.

The Vets Men and Women Champions on the day were Ewan Cochran and Natalie Bergstrom.

For these riders, the next big event on the XCO racing calendar is the SA National Championships, which take place at the same venue of Cascades MTB Park on 16 and 17 July. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships – 25 June 2016

Elite Men
1.Stuart Marais 01:28:46
2.Andrew Warr 01:35:16
3.Ryan Ellis 01:36:20

Elite Women
1.Cherie Redecker 01:32:01
2.Candice Parker-Dennison 01:49:12
3.Nora Richards 01:54:46

u23 Men
1.Julian Jessop 01:28:24
2.Wade Prinsloo 01:34:15
3.Matthew Wilkinson 01:37:18

u23 Women
1.Frances du Toit 01:31:34
2.Hayley Smith 01:32:39

Junior Men
1.Thomas Jessop 01:21:04
2.Dean Wortmann 01:21:38
3.Ryan Naude 01:28:08

Junior Women
1.Christie-Leigh Hearder 01:19:46
2.Saffron Vosloo 01:30:30
3.Sabrina van Wyk 01:39:30

Youth Men
1.Ryan Conradie 01:03:19 (non-KZN rider)
2.Cian Leveridge 01:11:07 (KZN Champ)
3.Luan Fischer 01:12:34 (non-KZN rider)
4.Reece McCallum 01:16:41 (2nd)
5.Devon Baird 01:28:14 (3rd)

Sub Vets Men Overall
1.Brand du Plessis (non-KZN rider)
2.Bradley Rowlett (KZN Champion)
3.Duane Stander (2nd)
4.Frederick Rossouw (3rd)

Sub Vets Women Overall
1.Nadine Nunes 01:04:14

Vets Men Overall
1.Ewan Cochran 01:05:34
2.Warren Price 01:08:05
3.Hendrik Bester 01:08:14

Vets Women Overall
1.Natalie Bergstrom 01:00:14
2.Belinda Mason 01:09:00

Master Women
1.Marie du Toit 00:55:24

Grand Master Women
1.Frances Marsburg

Sub Junior Men
1.Travis Stedman 00:52:36
2.Matthew Millward 00:58:58
3.Mitchel Potgieter 01:00:36

Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 00:40:13
2.Chloe Bateson 00:41:48

Nipper Boys
1.Connor Wright 00:32:15
2.Luca Zietsman 00:34:26
3.Logan Stander 00:34:26

Nipper Girls
1.Hannah Eliott 00:26:55
2.Jodi Mackinnon 00:33:57
3.Derryn Millward 00:49:45

Sprog Boys
1.Nicholas de Bruin 00:41:24
2.Jonathan Watts 00:41:45
3.Liam Theunissen 00:43:58

Sprog Girls
1.Riley Smith 00:40:25
2.Anvia Bredenkamp 00:41:04

Wortmann and Hearder eager for Provincial XCO Champs

As the weekend draws nearer, so does the guarantee of a new set of KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Mountain biking cross-country Champions. The 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park on Saturday 25 June, and local cross-country stars are chomping at the bit to race at the World Championship venue for this season’s victories. Entries for the event are open, and close at midnight tonight (Wednesday 22 June 2016).

Not only will there be an impressive Elite field on the start line this weekend, but also some very eager Juniors, ready to battle their hearts out for their respective titles.

Jowetts Cycles’ Dean Wortmann is more ready than ever to put his preparation to the test. “I'm very positive that this weekend’s Champs is going to go well,” he said. Wortmann has had a successful 2016 season so far, winning the overall KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series in the Junior Men’s age group. “I'm hoping that I get similar results to those in the past XCO races,” he added.

Last year Wortmann had battles with lower back pain, which have since then been rectified, allowing him to focus more on the pedal and not the pain. “I also feel that my technical skills and my climbing have improved a lot since this time last year,” he added.

18-year-old Wortmann, who also enjoys dabbling in marathon races, has decided to focus the next half of this year in the aforementioned discipline. “Namely the ROAG Series, which I'm currently leading with four races to go. I'm hoping to take the win in the Junior category,” he said.

He also is focused on his studies at Wartburg-Kirchdorf School, as Matric Trials and Final examinations are just around the corner.

Junior Women’s hopeful, Christie Leigh Hearder (Absolute Cycling) is looking forward to an epic race on the weekend. “I haven't done a cross-country race in quite some time, so I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend's race. I'm also excited to put my new bike to the test on the Cascades course, she said.

Hearder, who claimed fourth overall place in the Junior Women’s category at the National XCO Cup Series, and first Junior woman overall in the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series, is hoping for similar results on Saturday. “I plan to ride as fast as I can and have as much fun in doing so and hopefully I will get the results I want,” she said.

Even though this is a once-off chance, Hearder says that she views the Champs as she does any other race, and never changes the amount of pressure involved. “Every race is a shot to prove yourself, but if you don't, you move on to the next one and try again,” she said.

Hearder feels that her biggest improvement this year has been her confidence level on the bike. “I feel that I've definitely grown and become more confident in racing and in doing the technical aspects of riding. But mostly I think I have found a greater passion for riding my bike,” she added.

Entries for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships are open and close at midnight on Wednesday 22 June. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1734. Late entries will be accepted at registration, with a nominal fee of R50.

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Hoyer eager to better his own at Provincial Enduro and Downhill Champs

15 June 2016 – The Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, which has played host to many national and international mountain biking events, will again host this year’s KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Men’s Master rider, Peter Hoyer, will be at the Championships in full force, ready to once again share the pure enjoyment of Downhill riding with the racing family.

Hoyer, who used to ride Cross-country races, explained his transition to the ‘dark side’: “I’ve been riding Downhill for close to eight years now. I used to be a keen cross country rider, and felt the need to better my technical skills on a bike. It was at this time that Nigel Hicks (who was dating my daughter Joanne) managed to organise me a second-hand downhill bike. I began to enjoy it more and more, and as my skills improved I bought myself a bike, and began to enter series events.”  

When asked about the major difference between Cross-country and Downhill racing environments, Hoyer said: “In Downhill, every single person is there to have fun – there’s much less competitiveness and much more of a sense of community.”

Hoyer felt that the need to share and help out fellow riders with lines and skills was more prominent in Downhill racing. “If you see a great line, you share it with your friends, and its more a case of helping others better their own technical skills and personal bests. In Cross-country, this isn’t always the case, and is often much more competitive,” he said.

“In Cross-country, it often comes down to strength and fitness on the day. Downhill is adrenaline, its excitement, and its specific. The adrenaline factor is also one of the reasons why Downhill is so exciting,” said Hoyer.

Hoyer mentioned that he enjoys friendly competition, but is truly out there to have a great time, and to better his own riding performance. “I’m not particularly concerned about where I come in a race, I’m more interested in whether or not I can challenge myself and be better and quicker each time,” he said.

Hoyer, who also enjoys Enduro racing, embraced the concept by saying: “It’s a great transition from Cross-country to Downhill. For those Cross-country riders interested in a more gravity-driven race, its definitely safer, friendly, non-threaten type of ride where you can go at your own pace. If there’s a section that scares you, go around it, you’re really only racing against yourself,’ he said.

The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730

Du Toit looks back ahead of XCO Provincial Champs

13 June 2016 – Cascades MTB Park once again plays host to the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships this year, which take place in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 25 June.  2015 Junior KZN XCO Champion, Frances “Frankie” du Toit returns this year as a Pro-Elite in the under-23 category, hoping to put what she has learnt in her first year as an Elite into practice.

From riding in the Junior category last year, the biggest change for Du Toit, she feels, has been the number of laps. “With racing in the Elite category comes added pressure as well. At first it was difficult to race with the increased pressure but I'm learning to deal with it better at every race,” she added.

The Kargo Pro MTB Team rider is feeling great ahead of next weekend’s Provincial Championship, after taking the overall Women’s win at the Baynesfield Classic MTB at the weekend, and the Karkloof Classic victory the weekend before. The 19-year-old is eager to put her training to the test at the Provincials.

“I feel good, we've changed a few things with my training and it seems to be working well. Well, it has worked in the marathons and longer distance races and I'm looking forward to see if it works with XCO racing,” she said.

Looking back to just a year ago, Du Toit said: “Wow! I've changed a lot since a year ago. I've learnt many things, and not just about cycling; many life lessons too. But in terms of cycling, I've learnt through my experiences this year and especially from my teammates, like Alan Hatherly. One thing I have learnt is that being a professional cyclist is hard, but rewarding work.”

Du Toit heads off to Bloemfontein this weekend to take part in the last round of the Stihl 2016 SA MTB Cup XCO Series, which will provide the necessary tweaking in the cross-country discipline before she tackles the Provincial Championships the following weekend.

Entries for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships are open and close on Wednesday 22 June. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1734. Late entries will be accepted at Registration, with a nominal fee of R50.

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash -- 27 August 2016

9 June 2016 – A country like ours will never stop celebrating an icon such as our beloved Nelson Mandela. His influence and graciousness upon the nation will linger forever. So it is fitting that we continue to remember him in various ways including the fact that he was indeed an avid sportsman.

Now in its third year, the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash is fast becoming a must-do event on the annual cycling calendar and it would not be possible without the leadership and generosity of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, located in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. As sport lovers we are indebted to our local political fathers and mothers who lead our regional area and districts and municipalities, which include the seven local municipalities Impendle - Impendle, Mkhambathini - Camperdown, Mpofana - Mooi River, Msunduzi - Pietermaritzburg, Richmond - Richmond, uMngeni - Howick, and uMshwathi - New Hanover/Wartburg.

In keeping with their generous support for the sport of cycling, which is growing vastly across the entire population in KwaZulu-Natal thanks to Cycling South Africa and their regional programme of taking bicycles to young people, the uMgungundlovu District Municipality must continue to receive the acknowledgement for their financial assistance in hosting this event. This assistance allows people from all walks of life to stand shoulder-to-shoulder showing the spirit of a great past leader.

Paralleled to the running marathon race, the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash celebrates a “triumph of the human spirit” and offers mountain bike race distances of 42 kilometres, 21 kilometres and 10 kilometres. The substantial prize money remains unchanged from last year, with a total prize purse of R 117 200 up for grabs across the age groups in the 42- and 21-kilometre events.

Starting and finishing at the iconic Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands – where late former President Nelson Mandela was apprehended in 1962 and taken into captivity and incarcerated for 27 years until his release in 1994 – the race events ironically epitomise the freedom of choice that today’s people of the rainbow nation have.

KwaZulu-Natal-based and internationally renowned mountain bike route designer and designer of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games MTB course, Nick Floros, says that the track will be similar to that of last year’s event and caters for a variety of riding abilities and fitness.

“Although very much the same as last year’s route, we have made some small enhancements to a trail that has worked well for the event in the past,” said Floros. “We have included new single track into the course, but the layout is still the same and there will be no congestion because it will flow better.”

Traversing though the pride lands and timber plantations, the route incorporates some district road with some hills to climb and lots of mountain biking terrain.

“There is beautiful scenery at the top of the hills. Most people never get to ride these areas because they’re never opened to the public, so this is a great chance to do so,” continued Floros.

While some hills are inevitable in any mountain bike ride, Floros encourages everybody to come and experience riding in terrain that is usually not open to the public.

“We encourage everybody to come and challenge themselves – it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to finish the race. We enjoy preparing these trails with the “Weekend Warrior” in mind as we want them to come along and challenge themselves and conquer the race!”

Pitched at the regular rider, competitors will still require a reasonable level of fitness in order to enjoy the 42-kilometre race, bearing in mind that the route needs to be challenging for the top riders as well.

For those considering mountain biking or for those who have lost a little of their fitness, the 20-kilometre race is a great stepping-stone to mountain biking and to getting back into the sport.

Floros added that the 10-kilometre route, which is aimed at the entry-level competitor and the younger age groups, has had quite a few changes to make it a lot easier than last year’s event.

Non-participating families and friends will be able to look out for the riders at some of the road crossings and on parts of the route that are close to the road. For those who aren’t riding, the Midlands Meander is a fantastic way to spend your day. There are so many little stores, coffee shops and craft places to enjoy.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 24 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Olympia Hall, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg from 11:00-17:00 on Friday 26 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:00-07:30 on race day, Saturday 27 August.

Race

Start Time

Pre Entry Fee

Late Entry Fee

10km Fun Ride

08:30

R 80,00

R 100,00

21km MTB Intermediate

08:15

R 100,00

R 120,00

42km MTB Classic

08:00

R 130,00

R 150,00


For information on the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735

Electrifying display for Provincial DHI Series Finale

The forests of Karkloof put on a spectacular display for the third and final round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on Sunday 22 May. As another remarkable series drew to a close, the KwaZulu-Natal sun began to set behind the podiums of the fastest overall man and woman on riders of the day, Jonathan Philogene and Sabine Thies.

The weather could not have been more welcoming of a Provincial Downhill Cup, which also doubled this weekend as the fourth round of the 2016 SA DHI Cup Series, with valuable national points on offer.

The Elite and overall Men’s winner, was 2Bros Racing’s Jonathan Philogene. The 19-year-old was ecstatic to take the title, as well as managing to pulling off two “clean” runs, which he feels is not very often the case. “The race went well, the regional and national result meant a lot to me, I needed to do well at this round to meet the criteria for world champs selection, which is my ultimate goal for the year. So finishing first really did mean a lot to me,” he said. Philogene was able to share the excitement with 17-year-old brother, Christopher, after he took the Junior Men’s title on the day.

Sub-Junior and overall Women’s winner, Sabine Thies, was over the moon at her double win at the weekend, having taken the overall women’s title in the Enduro on the Saturday as well. “I feel great. Its’ been a long time coming that I was going to win overall so I’m really happy,” she said.

Thies (riding for Greg Minnaar Cycles / Pizzology Craft Café / Foxhead South Africa) spoke about her experience of the series: “The series overall went well. I had a few bad races but held it together until the end, so I’m really glad to take the series win. This Karkloof track is definitely my favourite, but St. Ives definitely gave this one a bit of a run for its money as well.”

Sub Veteran Men’s winner, Mark Millar, was excited to take the win on the day ahead of good friend and opponent, Nigel Hicks. “The series has gone pretty well – it’s been up and down,” said Millar.

“Today went really well, to be honest. I came in this morning feeling a little bit nervous about the track. There are quite a few big jumps and I hadn’t ridden the track in quite a while so I was slightly nervous about hitting them. The first run down settled my nerves when I had a go,” he said.

When chatting about his race runs, Millar said: “The first race run was rubbish because I crashed in the final corner. The only reason I held it together in the second run was because a couple of friends halfway down the track were up to no good with their usual tricks. I was actually about to give up but then I saw all of my friends misbehaving and encouraging me on the side-lines and then I got psyched again and carried on pedalling to keep it up until the end, where I managed to come home just a few seconds ahead of Nige’s time.”

The next event is the once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, and takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 July. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730.

 Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Series #3 – 22 May 2016

Full results are available at www.elitetiming.co.za

Overall Men

1. Jonathan Philogene 02:37.65
2. Tiaan Odendaal 02:38.65
3. Christopher Philogene 02:41.74
4. Timothy Bentley 02:43.57
5. Adi van der Merwe 02:47.60

Overall Women

1. Sabine Thies 03:34.95
2. Kathryn Fourie 03:46.30
3. Kim Westbrook 03:50.90
4. Joanne Hicks 04:04.40
5. Tammy Sturrock 04:11.74

Elite Men
1.Jonathan Philogene 02:37.65
2.Tiaan Odendaal 02:38.65
3.Timothy Bentley 02:43.57

Elite Women
1.Kim Westbrook 03:50.90          
2.Tammy Sturrock 04:11.74
3.Lauren Hoyer 04:20.74

Junior Men
1.Christopher Philogene 02:41.74
2.Cullen McMaster 02:50.02
3.Francois du Toit  02:52.19

Youth Men
1.Jason du Toit 02:57.10
2.Shaun Smale 02:57.65
3.Kayle Seaward 03:36.07

Sub Junior Men
1.Robert Jessop 03:41.46
2.Kyle Brand 03:45.55
3.Maximillian Wolfson 03:48.37

Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 03:34.95
2.Charlotte Wolfson 05:17.44

Nipper Boys
1.Caleb Archer 05:50.07
2.Benjamin Wolfson 06:43.13
3.Gabriel Archer 09:28.29

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 03:53.61
2.Nate Tanner Hall 03:56.77
3.Keagan Brand 04:00.57

Sub Veteran Men
1.Mark Millar 03:02.68
2.Nigel Hicks 03:05.34
3.Cyril Spence 03:07.31

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 03:46.30
2.Joanne Hicks 04:04.40
3.Nikki Alvin 04:20.61

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 03:14.68
2.Thane Archer 03:19.58
3.Grant Dekker 03:26.00

Master Men
1.Peter Hoyer 04:09.11
2.Mark Minter 04:38.91

Thies and Odendaal claim final Enduro Series points

The stunning trails of Howick were an excellent final venue for the last round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Cup Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on Saturday 21 May. Thirteen-year-old mountain bike trail star, Sabine ‘Beani’ Thies and Downhill racer, Tiaan Odendaal, took the overall women’s and men’s titles respectively.

Greg Minnaar Cycles/Pizzology Craft Café/Foxhead rider, Beani Thies, was elated to take the title. “I feel awesome – I’ve never gotten an overall victory before. It’s always been my goal to get an overall win. I’m pretty stoked,” she said.

When asked about the day’s racing, Thies said: “The stages were definitely as tough as people said they would be. There was a lot of pedalling; they were very long, and quite tough with rocks and lots of drops.

“The first stage had a lot of rocks, and unfortunately I fell but I got back up and then I T-boned a rock, which didn’t end well but I still got a good time. The second stage was just as long but more through pine forests and lots of flowing sections. Stage three was the best of them all. “The Face” had lots of rocks!”

Thies mentioned that she has loved this year’s series, and that she has thoroughly enjoyed the tracks. “I would just like to say a huge thank you to the organisers. And of course to my sponsors – thank you for everything and for keeping us well hydrated. I can’t wait for another awesome year next year!”

The odds weren’t in everybody’s favour in the Men’s category, however as Junior Men’s overall log leader, Sharjah Jonsson’s luck took an unfortunate turn when a crash resulted in a wrist injury.

Elite and overall Men’s winner, Tiaan Odendaal said: “The trails were pretty tough but enjoyable at the same time. The ride up was quite long, but not as steep as the Cascades Enduro, and it was really nice to just cruise up and chat with my friends.”

Odendaal had entered the first Enduro at St. Ives, but had to pull out due to a mechanical, and didn’t enter the second round because of his major focus on the Downhill discipline.

“Today I decided to enter because one of my really good friends, Brian Bentley, has sponsored me a bike and helped me out. I might even be changing my major focus to Enduro, who knows?” he said.

Saturday’s Enduro in Howick culminated the three-part 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Cup Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, which consistently welcomed over 120 riders to each event, cementing the popularity of this growing sort in the province. The next event is the once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, and takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730.

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Cup Series #3 – 21 May 2016

Overall Men

1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 21:58
2.Craig Paul (Sub Veteran) 22:11
3.Shane Martin (Senior) 22:52
4.Hilton Frost (Senior) 23:04
5.Keira Duncan (Youth) 23:30

Overall Women

1.Sabine Thies (Sub Junior) 26:37
2.Kim Westbrook (Senior) 28:11
3.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 28:27
4.Charne Dreyer (Sub Junior) 29:46
5.Joanne Hicks (Sub Veteran) 32:25

Senior Men

1.Tiaan Odendaal 21:58
2.Shane Martin 22:52
3.Hilton Frost 23:04

Senior Women

1.Kim Westbrook 28:11
2.Tammy Sturrock 32:39
3.Lauren Hoyer 33:22

Junior Men

1.Dean Wortmann 25:31
2.Mitchell Meugens 26:05

Youth Men

1.Keira Duncan 23:30
2.Kayle Seaward 25:41
3.Mathew Green 27:51

Sub Junior Boys

1.Robert Jessop 28:18
2.Dreyer Botma 30:18
3.Kyle Brand 30:58

Sub Junior Girls

1.Sabine Thies 26:37
2.Charne Dreyer 29:46

Sub Veteran Men

1.Craig Paul 22:11
2.Duane Stander 23:34
3.Mark Millar 23:45

Sub Veteran Women

1.Kathryn Fourie 28:27
2.Joanne Hicks 32:25
3.Tamryn Taylor 32:57

Veteran Men

1.Oliver Burnett 24:34
2.Keith Diederichs 24:41
3.Patrick Morewood 24:42

Master Men

1.Brian Magor 27:02
2.Michael Frost 28:00
3.Guy Ronaldson 32:05

Grand Master Men

1.Ashley Nesbitt 30:49
2.Mike Staphorst 38:11

Nipper Boys

1.Omar Wilson 36:01
2.Logan Stander 37:47
3.Cameron Morewood 37:51

Sprog Boys

1.Nate Tanner Hall 30:16
2.Liam Tyler Hall 31:36
3.Keagan Brand 31:41

Sublime trails beckon final KZNMTB Downhill and Enduro Series competitors 

The sublime trail network and heavenly singletracks that are synonymous with mountain biking in the Howick and Karkloof areas will play host to the third rounds of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, on Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May respectively. Sunday’s Downhill event will no doubt attract riders from around the country as the race doubles as the fourth round of the 2016 SA National DHI Cup Series.

“I'm loving this season so far,” says Junior Men’s Provincial Series Log leader, Christopher Philogene. “Leading my category is awesome and being up there with the big guys is even better,” he added. Philogene says that the plan for him would be take the title in his age group in the SA National Cup as well as the KwaZulu-Natal series race this weekend so that he can be selected for the UCI MTB World Championships in Val Di Sole, Italy, from 6-11 September. “I feel if I stay on my bike I could take the win, although, my competition is getting better and better every race,” he said.

The 17-year-old says that being “up there” in the rankings, where he currently lies third overall on the National Series Log, is “rad”. “Jono (my brother) is also up there in first place for the SA DHI Cup Series, and being up on the podiums with him is awesome,” he said. “We both have been putting in the effort together and he's helped me a lot, so being up on the podium with him and seeing the hard work pay off is a great feeling – I’m sure he would say the same.”

The 2 Bro’s Racing rider says that he only began to take Downhill riding seriously last year, when “2 Bro’s” started. Him and his brother have been riding since the age of eight and had been intermittent with the Downhill discipline until the past few years. “We originally started motocross at the age of four until it got a bit to costly for my parents, although Downhill isn't far off now,” he said.

Both brothers had dabbled in other disciplines as well, such as Motocross, BMX and XCO. “While racing our first cross-country race at Worlds View in Pietermaritzburg, we saw a much more exciting and crazy sport on the other side of the mountain, which was obviously the Downhill. Ever since then I've loved and enjoyed the sport. I decided that this is what I want to make a success out of in my life and now put everything into my riding,” he concluded.

Taking part in both events is Elite Women’s contender Lauren Hoyer. And in order to keep her energy up for Sunday, she says: “After the Enduro on Saturday, the key is to get hydrated and then just to relax, normally by having a few post-race beers. For me, the Downhill event is a mental race so I can generally ignore the pain in my arms and legs from two days of hard riding because you don't really have a choice but to just suck it up and carry on.”

Her first ever visit to the Karkloof course was last weekend. “I am so excited to race there,” she added.

Like the younger Philogene, Hoyer also experimented with cross-country racing. “Until I realised it really was not all that fun, so I started on a Downhill bike about two years ago and raced my first season last year. Now I plan my yearly calendar around the races,” she says.

When asked about the possible pressure of the Downhill Provincial also counting as a National Cup race, she said: “I am not very fast, so for me competing in the races helps me to push myself to develop my riding skills and have fun with all my mates. I am not racing for places or points, although getting good results is always a great feeling!”

Sitting second in the Elite Women’s category for Downhill and third in the Enduro in the KZNMTB Series Logs, Hoyer says that the major difference between Downhill and Enduro is the length of the race. “For the Enduro, the stages for this weekend are really long and you have to be strategic about where to go flat out and where to rest. I’m not sure how I’m actually going to get through all three of the stages without passing out,” she laughed.

“The Downhill is all about practice, line choice and making as few mistakes as possible to get the cleanest and smoothest run. A smooth run in a Downhill race is one of the best feelings ever, whereas in Enduro, if you mess up on one stage you could possibly make it up on another,” she added.

To view the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Series Log after two events, click here.

To view the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series Log after two events, click here.

To view the 2016 SA DHI Cup Series Log after three rounds, click here.

The third and final rounds of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place in Howick on Saturday 21 May and Karkloof on Sunday 22 May respectively. Entries are open and close at midnight on Wednesday 18 May. Click here to enter: https://www.roag.co.za/online-entries.aspx?EventID=1729.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Family Flair for Enduro and DHI Provincial Series Log top contenders

The third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, take place in Howick on Saturday 21 May and Karkloof on Sunday 22 May respectively. The family elements of mountain bike riding is evident in next weekend’s competitors, Hilton Frost (Enduro) and Jonathan Philogene (Downhill).

Enduro

The Enduro event starts and finishes at the Karkloof Farmers Market (in Howick, on the Karkloof road) and meanders into the Howick trail network.

Leading in the Elite Men’s points log, is local rider Hilton Frost. When chatting about his feelings about the top position, he said: “To be honest I try not to think about it. I just like to get on and ride my bike. Although not necessarily having to win all the time, a podium position should be what I’m aiming for on each ride.”

Supported by Pyga Industries and associated sponsorship from ShreddTech, Frost highlighted the importance of not putting too much pressure on himself. “Just go out there, have a good time, be consistent, and try not to puncture or injure yourself.”

Frost’s father, Mike Frost, also sits comfortably high in the Masters’ log, 95 points behind leader Con Malherbe. “It’s super cool to be riding and sharing this experience with my dad,” says 25-year-old Frost. “I grew up riding the KZN Cross-countries with him. Now whenever I practise he comes with and I’m able to show him and talk him through some of the lines. It’s awesome to see the ‘Ballie’ doing so well also,” he added.

The family element of Enduro racing was mentioned many times by Frost. “Its just really cool to be able to race, but also catch up with him and my friends during the rides in between the timed sections. It’s a great discipline and open to anyone. I mean, my dad is 59 and he’s still pinning it down on the trails,” he said.

Twenty-odd years ago, Frost was taught how to ride a bike by his father, who he now is teaching to do gap jumps down hills. “Its like a complete role reversal – our roles have flipped. And now I’m the one nervous seeing my dad do a trick or skill that I’ve just taught him,” he said.

The Howick trail network means a lot to Frost for many reasons, especially that he has never ridden an Enduro there at ‘race pace’. “We also have just opened up a shop really close to the venue, so they’re now our home trails. Its special as well to be riding the trails built by Ken Pascoe – the inspiration behind the Pygo Pascoe bikes,” he said.

To download the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Series Log after two events, click here.

Downhill

The third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place at Karkloof MTB Club on Sunday 22 May. This event also doubles up as the fourth round of the SA National DHI Cup, with very important points on offer.

Lying second in the Elite Men’s DHI Log, is 2Bro’s Racing’s Jonathan Philogene. Philogene currently lies 58 points behind leader, Tiaan Odendaal.

“I’ve ridden the Karkloof track a few times. It’s a nice track. It’s got quite a bit of pedalling involved, some technical sections - all of the elements of a great Downhill track,” says Philogene. “Last year it rained quite a bit, it was really muddy and made the track a lot harder than it normally is. Hopefully this year it doesn’t rain. It’s a really fun yet challenging track,” he added.

Jonathan and his younger brother, Christopher, have a very tight sibling relationship, and each is very supportive of the other, but when it comes to race day, it’s a different story: “We are pretty competitive. Between us there is a bit of rivalry but we’re still there for each other. We push to beat each other but we will never hold anything back. If we are at a track and there’s a faster line, we’ll share the line with the other. We work together, but on race day we try and beat each other. We do everything the same: we practise together, we do all of the same lines. But when we get to the race runs we try as hard as we can to beat one another. Generally, if one of us gets bad luck the other one excels so its pretty cool in that aspect.”

When sharing his goals for the season, Philogene said: “My goal for this year is to be selected for World Champs.”

The brothers are currently in the process of seeking out and pursuing sponsorship in order to pursue international racing goals. “We are busy pursuing financial sponsorship to get over to Europe. We are looking at going to Austria in for an iXS Cup race in Schladming and then the World Cup in Leogang in June,” said Philogene. He also added that they are hoping to head to Andorra for the World Cup there in early September, just before the UCI DH MTB World Championships in Italy from 8-11 September.

“My brother should hopefully be easily selected in his category, but it has been a bit tricky for me this year,” said Philogene. “The main two races that have counted for the most points I’ve had a bit of bad luck in, so I’ve had to plan and come back from that and do well. I especially have to do well at Karkloof. We would love to be selected to represent the country at World Champs,” he concluded.

To download the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series Log after two events, click here.

The third rounds of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place in Howick on Saturday 21 May and Karkloof on Sunday 22 May respectively. Click here to enter: https://www.roag.co.za/online-entries.aspx?EventID=1729

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Gnarly and Rowdy’ third rounds anticipated for Enduro and Downhill provincial

The third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place in Howick on Saturday 22 May. Following the Enduro event, the third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place at Karkloof MTB Club on Sunday 22 May.

ENDURO

The Enduro event starts and finishes at the Karkloof Farmers Market, 2km outside of Howick, on the Karkloof Road.

“We often like to refer to our trails as ‘raw and unplugged’,” says Howick MTB Committee member, Gavin Ryan.

Ryan says that this is because the trails are rough and rugged. “There are going to be rocks, there are going to be sticks, these trails aren’t maintained to pavement perfection,” he added.

Because the tracks are maintained on a voluntary basis by members of the local club, Ryan says that the trails are often rougher than a normal bike park trail. “I think it’s one of the reasons many of the Enduro riders like these trails – the terrain suits their style a lot more than it does some of the cross-country riders,” he said.

This is the second major Enduro event being held at Howick. With ‘gnarly’ names such as ‘Suicide Slide’ and ‘The Face’ – a really rocky piece, the Howick Enduro event hints at anything far from just fun and games.

Just over 30 years old, the Howick MTB Park has grown with the local riders, and undoubtedly become a heritage within the biking community.

“In terms of the trails and design of the course, and the ever-growing popularity of the enduro discipline, we are leaning more towards endure trails and tracks in the future of the Howick venue,” said Ryan.

The facilities include ablutions and showers for the riders who would like to make use of the facilities after their race. “It would be great for the riders and spectators to arrive a while earlier so that they can enjoy the fresh produce and wonderful goodies for sale at the farmers market,” he concluded.

With having over 100 entries for the two previous provincial endures, Ryan hopes to break the entry record at the third round. Downhill event organiser, Nigel Hicks, added that the Endruo is only three stages, but is going to be ‘rowdy.”

DOWNHILL

“Course Designer and Trail Builder, Hylton Turvey, puts everything into his job, and that is why Karkloof is always so popular,” says keen downhill enthusiast, Mark Millar.

According to Millar, the course isn’t too different or drastically altered in any way. “There are very minor changes that we have had to make in order to accommodate some of the animals who have chosen to reside in a few of the sections of the course,” he says.

“I’ve just heard for Hylton now that the course should be roaring and ready to go by next Thursday, or Friday the 13th,” he added.

Millar spoke briefly of the track, and said: “The top section is super fast, and then there are a couple of jumps. It’s a short and fast course. There’s a bridge section which goes over a pond, and then soon down into a sustained rock garden – which seemed to have done a few people in last year,” he laughed.

When asked about the popularity of Karfloof, Millar replied: It’s always been known as more of a trail-riding venue so you have the trail riders in and out all the time. The truth is, the reason that Karkloof is so great, is because it so well run by the club involved. Hylton’s passion is to ride his bike and to build trails that he likes to ride. It seems that those riding also love to ride the trails that he builds. You can see the pride and care he puts into his work, and its obvious in the enjoyment of the riders. He dedicates everything to it, it’s his full-time job.”

The third rounds of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place in Howick on Saturday 21 May and Karkloof on Sunday 22 May respectively. Click here to enter: https://www.roag.co.za/online-entries.aspx?EventID=1729

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fast and flowing trails in store for riders at St.Ives XCO No.3

Cross-country mountain bikers will be heading to the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands for the third and final round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial Series at St. Ives MTB Park on Saturday 16 April.

The Series Log after two races reflects that there will be some exciting racing action in some of the age categories as riders battle it out to win the Series overall.

Brendon Davids (Trek South Africa) has had two straight wins so far this season in the Elite Men’s class while the Elite Women’s class sees two riders tie with equal points, having each raced one event this season – Candice Parker-Dennison and Mandy de Beer (Team Jordana). Alan Hatherly (Kargo Pro MTB Team) leads the under-23 Men’s class by 125 points after two straight wins as well, with Frankie du Toit (Kargo Pro MTB Team) leading the under-23 Women’s Log. Teammate Hayley Smith and Genevieve van Coller (Absolute Cycling) are tie in second place.

Kelvin Green leads the Junior Men’s race with two consistent second places after two races with Dean Wortman (Jowetts Cycles) only five points behind; and Chriestie Leigh Hearder (Absolute Cycling) leads the Junior Women’s class with two straight wins. Cian Leveridge and Tiffany Keep (both Team PAW) lead the Youth Men and Women’s Series Log so far after their dominant performances this season with two straight victories to their names.

St. Ives’ neighbouring Sappi forests will be utilised for the XCO track and the nature of the course will suit both newcomers to the sport as well as those at the sharp end of racing, and keeps the racing closer to the Boma area. Measuring 4.5 kilometres, the singletrack trails wind their way through Blue Gum plantations with very few technical elements, which lends itself to exceptionally fast racing.

As is said in mountain biking, “the faster you go, the harder it gets” and this will be the case as the marked course is relatively flat with one gradual climb to factor in. The twisty trails are in fantastic condition and there will be a double feedzone along the track. The younger nippers and sprogs categories will race along a shortened 3.7 kilometre track so that they can complete more than one lap.

While the provincial series provides riders at the sharp end of the sport the opportunity to claim provincial honours and to improve their racing on local terrain, it also provides newcomers to cross-country racing the opportunity to test their skill and abilities more competitively.

The St. Ives Boma, where registration and prize giving will be held, provides a wonderful, scenic setting next to the dam and offers food and refreshments on race day.

Round three of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series – takes place St. Ives MTB Park, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, on Saturday 16 April. Entries close at midnight tonight, Wednesday 13 April 2016. Enter here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1733.

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

GO!Durban Cycle Academy riders relish provincial XCO Cup Series

Mountain bikers from the GO!Durban Cycle Academy, in partnership with the Kargo Pro Cycling Team, are relishing the opportunity to tackle the trails of St. Ives MTB Park in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands for the third and final round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial Series on Saturday 16 April.

While the provincial series provides riders at the sharp end of the sport the opportunity to claim provincial honours and to improve their racing on local terrain, it also provides newcomers to cross-country racing the opportunity to test their skill and abilities more competitively.

The GO!Durban Cycle Academy was established to provide an environment for local cycling training and to bring young people together to meet and engage with each other using the sport of cycling as the common focus. It serves recreational, commuting or sporting purposes.

Kargo Pro MTB Team Manager, Shaun Peschl, explains that the youngsters from the GO!Durban Cycle Academy that are competing in the KZNMTB XCO Provincial Series already have race experience from competing in the KwaZulu-Natal High School Series.

“The talent is already there, but by competing in the provincial series we’re helping them to take their racing to the next level,” he said. “We’ve taken the youngsters to all the XCO Cup Series events in KwaZulu-Natal so far and they will definitely be at St. Ives. Some of the guys have done really well and they might also race in the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at the end of the month.”

The Academy, which focuses on individual growth, is linked as an official feeder for professional cycling teams like the Kargo Pro Cycling Team, and provides a developmental opportunity for potential cycling talent.

“We’re getting them to do as much racing as possible,” continued Peschl. “Training is one thing; they need to be exposed to racing and to get that race experience, which cannot be taught any other way.”

The young cyclists simply love riding their bikes and doing sports, and Peschl says that that overrides the fear and intimidation of a tight race. “They definitely don’t back down when they’re on the track – they go as hard as they can.”

Members of the Kargo Pro Cycling Team mentor the young cycling stars and the exercise shows them that there is a little more to life than just racing your bike. In mentoring and providing guidance to the newcomers of the sport, the team members are able to give back to cycling in some way.

According to the Academy’s press statement from the team launch, “the GO!Durban Cycle Academy forms the foundation for the creation of a robust cycling culture, as the City forges ahead with its planned GO!Durban integrated rapid public transport network. Intrinsically linked to this is the provision of walkways, pedestrian bridges and cycling lanes primarily as a means to provide access to public transport, but also to make provision for those, who, through circumstance, were unable to afford it.”

Round three of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series – takes place St. Ives MTB Park, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, on Saturday 16 April. Entries are open and close on Wednesday 13 April 2016. Enter here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1733.

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Downhill daredevils brave the dirt at Giba Gorge

29 March 2016 - The second round of the KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles doubled up as the second round of the 2016 South African DHI Cup Series and the province once again proved that KwaZulu-Natal is one of the greatest places to be as the Autumn months begin to kick in. With temperatures reaching 36 degrees in Pinetown and no breeze, the South African sun and very technical course took no mercy on the prisoners of the track.

With a field of 90 riders lining up to start, an incredible day out was had by all from the Masters Category all the way down the youngest rider, eight-year-old Benjamin Wolfson.

Elite Men’s and overall winner on the day, Jonathan Philogene, wasn’t aware that only moments before his own run, his brother was in the hot seat. “I do know what he’s capable of so I was a little worried because we are pretty close with our riding abilities. I expected him to be right up there, I’d never count anything out,” he said.

“I was stoked for him, I really was,” said the younger Philogene, Christopher. “The overall was there for him to take and he got it, so I’m stoked for him.”

Both brothers are now off to take part in the African Continental MTB Championships in Lesotho next weekend. “I was fortunate enough to go last weekend for a few days, and I noticed how the altitude makes a huge difference. That’s why we’re going early this week to acclimatise,” said Jonathan.

In a fit of laughter, Elite Women’s winner, Kim Westbrook said: “I actually didn’t think I was going to make it down the hill half the time. Everything I tried was just wrong so I ended up just skidding down the hill.”

Westbrook said that the track was steep, rocky, and very loose. “I just didn’t have a head for it today. But I did my best, I got on my bike, I went down the hill, I crashed, I got back on my bike, got to the bottom, and then I did it all again, but I had a really good time out there,” she said.

“It was pretty good, dusty and bumpy, but lots of fun. I managed to shave off five seconds from my first run on my second, which was great,” said sub Junior Women’s winner and second over all woman, Sabine Thies.

Thies said that she would love to see herself on top of the podium for Elite Women, and to get the SA Champs behind her for Downhill, Cross Country and Enduro.

Leaving early to get used to the altitude as well, Thies also heads off to Lesotho ahead of the weekend’s African Continental Champs.

Downhill course designer, Nigel Hicks extended his gratitude to Bos Energy Drinks, Greg Minnaar Cycles, and everybody involved at the Giba Gorge MTB Park for the outstanding event.

The third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI and Enduro Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place at Karkloof MTB Club near Howick on Sunday 22 May.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Series #2 – 27 March 2016

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Overall Men

1.Jonathan Philogene 01:35.43
2.Tiaan Odendaal 01:36.42
3.Samuel Bull 01:36.67
4.Johann Potgieter 01:37.63
5.Christopher Philogene 01:37.75

Overall Women

1.Kathryn Fourie 02:24.22
2.Sabine Thies 02:31.24
3.Joanne Hicks 02:33.06
4.Kim Westbrook 02:43.97
5.Nikki Alvin 02:48.71

Elite Men
1.Jonathan Philogene 01:35.43
2.Tiaan Odendaal 01:36.42
3.Samuel Bull 01:36.67

Elite Women
1.Kim Westbrook 02:43.97
2.Tammy Sturrock 03:00.56
3.Lauren Hoyer 03:04.34

Junior Men
1.Christopher Philogene 01:37.75
2.Cullen McMaster 01:44.91
3.Sharjah Jonsson  01:46.20

Youth Men
1.Jason Williams 01:43.97
2.Jason du Toit 01:48.05
3.Shaun Smale 01:50.90

Sub Junior Men
1.Robert Jessop 02:13.93
2.Maximillian Wolfson 02:15.23
3.Kyle Brand 02:23.38

Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 02:31.24
2.Charlotte Wolfson 03:22.60

Nipper Boys
1.Benjamin Wolfson 04:34.22
2.Caleb Archer 04:41.94

Sprog Boys
1.Keagan Brand 02:20.06
2.Nate Tanner Hall 02:26.73
3.Liam Tyler Hall 02:27.97

Sub Veteran Men
1.Nigel Hicks 01:53.95
2.Cyril Spence 01:55.95
3.Mark Millar 01:56.59

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 02:24.22
2.Joanne Hicks 02:33.06
3.Nikki Alvin 02:48.71

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seawood 01:58.49
2.Thane Archer 02:03:02
3.Vince Muir 02:06.19

Master Men
1.Mark Minter 02:43.62
2.Peter Hoyer 02:48.84

Frost and Westbrook scorch at Giba Gorge ENDURO

28 March 2016 – Scorching hot and sticky humid conditions greeted over 130 riders for the second round of the thrilling KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at the popular Giba Gorge MTB Park near Pinetown on Saturday 26 March.

Those that know the lie of the land at Giba Gorge know that there was a fair amount of climbing to get to the top from the central point at the trail centre, but that did not deter the thrill seekers who were hungry for twisty, slippery descending trails and gripping adventure.

With two starts on each opposite hilltop, riders set off to begin either Stage one, two or three in any order, with everyone starting the fourth stage last. It was Hilton Frost and Kim Westbrook who would take the overall Men and Women’s titles on the day.

Enduro course designer, Guy Ronaldson, had a blast creating the course. “Nigel and Dave approached me about six weeks ago, because I ride the trails here a lot, and they asked if I wanted to set the Enduro course. They let me loose and it was a fun experience. There were a lot of existing trails but what we did is cut a lot of new sections as well. I think the guys really enjoyed the new stuff and had fun.”

Ronaldson enjoyed the fruits of his labour by competing as well. “I enjoyed it hey. You know, I ride the trails here so much so I thought, well it's a race I’m not going to have that much fun, but its such a great place to ride and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

On the competitive side in the Masters class, Con Malherbe (Pyga) shared his thoughts on this social aspect of mountain biking. “It’s really fun. I don't have a lot of time to put into my riding right now, so Enduro is really ideal. The format is great because you don't have to kill yourself up the hills; you just have to get there. And then there are fast downhills, which makes it really exciting.”

In terms of the strong competition in the Masters category, Malherbe said: “I came down and clocked in and I thought I was one of only two riders, but then there were five or six after us. There is a lot of competition in the over-50s. It’s really cool to start a race where the gun goes and nobody launches off at 100 kilometres per hour. It has a great social aspect and it’s a lot of fun!”

Greg Minnaar Cycles/Santa Cruz rider, Andre Pretorius, was thrilled with his third place overall. “I’ve been doing Enduro now for two years but it’s the first year now that I am taking it seriously. I came third overall so I’m pretty stoked about it. Hopefully I’ll get a second or a first place next time. Giba is my home town, I was expecting to get a first here but I’m still stoked with a third place in my home town.”

Downhill organiser, Nigel Hicks, also enjoyed his time on the Enduro trails of Giba Gorge. “The trails here are fantastic. We had a whole lot of rain in the beginning of the week and it’s been really good to settle in the dust. The past few days it has really packed in and it got a little bit slick out there, a bit “marbley”, but it’s fantastic and everyone has had a great time.”

Hicks crashed heavily at the start of the fourth stage. “Except for landing on my head, it was great fun,” he chuckled. “The guys at Giba have really done a fantastic job with the trails so big up to them. It’s so nice to see them supporting Enduro. We really do need more bike parks like this to take a step forward and push the sport. It is growing exponentially – 130 riders today, it’s really good to see that many people taking part in such a fun discipline.”

Young Robert Jessop recorded his second win out of two races in the sub junior category this season: “It went really well, I really flowed through the whole stage and went back to the top and started the next stage. I rode with a few friends. On stage three I got a bug in my eye and so I lost quite a lot of time there, otherwise I had really good runs. I’m really happy to be leading the series – I’m back winning again after losing it a bit in the cross-country races.”

Overall Women’s winner, Kim Westbrook (Pyga/adidas Eyewear), didn’t find the going tough and had an absolute “jol” on the trails. “The trails were awesome and so grippy. Normally when you ride Giba it can be quite slick and loose because of the gravel, but today was just perfect. It was hot during the in between stages, but then you hit the stage and the wind hits you in the face and keeps you cool. But hydration was important today.”

Apart from technical skills coming in handy, Westbrook says that fitness is important too: “For the length of the stage, you are sprinting as fast as you can so fitness is very important. But you also need to be able to read the roots, rocks and corners so strong technical ability goes a long way.”

“Resident” cyclist Jason Hall (Good to Go) finds the going getting a bit tougher with his two young sons chasing him on the trails. “It’s an awesome family event, Enduro is the way forward. I ride with my two boys, Nate and Liam. It’s a race that can be easily done, as there is no racing uphill. It’s all about fun, I think more and more families should be involved.”

Enduro enthusiasts will gather again for the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-pmb-mtb-festival/ on Monday 2 May 2016 before tackling the third round of the KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on the magnificent trails of Howick on Saturday 21 May 2016. See you all there!

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series #2 – 26 March 2016

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Overall Men
1.Hilton Frost 00:15:59
2.Timothy Bentley 00:16:06
3.Andre Pretorius 00:16:14
4.Heiko Redecker 00:16:15
5.Sharjah Jonsson 00:16:18

Overall Women
1.Kim Westbrook 00:19:23
2.Kathryn Fourie 00:19:40
3.Sabine Thies 00:20:58
4.Tammy Sturrock 00:21:15
5.Charne Dreyer 00:21:22

Senior Men
1.Hilton Frost 00:15:59
2.Timothy Bentley 00:16:06
3.Andre Pretorius 00:16:14

Senior Women
1.Kim Westbrook 00:19:23
2.Tammy Sturrock 00:21:15
3.Lauren Hoyer 00:24:11

Junior Men
1.Sharjah Jonsson 00:16:18
2.Dean Wortmann 00:17:57
3.Mitchell Meugens 00:18:07

Youth Men
1.Kayle Seaward 00:17:00
2.Keira Duncan 00:17:17
3.Liam Read 00:18:34

Sub Junior Men
1.Robert Jessop 00:20:25
2.Dreyer Botma 00:22:03
3.Kyle Brand 00:22:44

Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 00:20:58
2.Charne Dreyer 00:21:22
3.Sarah Ryan 00:29:15

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 00:20:08
2.Nate Tanner Hall 00:20:12
3.Keagan Brand 00:21:45

Nipper Boys
1.Caleb Sandeman 00:23:25
2.Evan Moolman 00:23:32

Sub Veteran Men
1.Joe Bauckham 00:16:25
2.Craig Scott 00:16:26
3.Mark Millar 00:17:03

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 00:19:40
2.Nikki Alvin 00:21:43
3.Joanne Hicks 00:21:47

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 00:16:44
2.Devlin Fogg 00:17:01
3.Keith Diederichs 00:17:52

Master Men
1.Con Malherbe 00:18:22
2.Guy Ronaldson 00:18:57
3.Brian Magor 00:19:48

Grand Master Men
1.Mike Staphorst 00:23:10
2.David Hancocks 00:25:05

Thies and Fourie encourage more women to Downhill

23 March 2016 – As the cooler autumn months creep closer, riders from around the country will still be able to soak up the sunshine on offer from the warm province of KwaZulu-Natal at the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI (which doubles as the South African DHI Cup Series) and Enduro Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, which takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March.

Ever ready to take on the next descent is young KwaZulu-Natal local, Sabine “Beani” Thies, sponsored by Greg Minnaar Cycles / Pizzology. Thies says that for her, a Provincial doubled-up as a National doesn’t necessarily mean added pressure. “It just means that I will have to race harder because there will be girls and women from all over the country racing at one of our local provincials. It is always nice to see so many more girls coming to the downhill events,” she added.

Looking forward to the course venue, Thies said: “This course is challenging at a few parts but otherwise it is a fun, spectator-friendly track. It has one or two tricky rock gardens and nice flowing berms. I always like a bit of a challenging track that can test a person’s skills and capabilities. This track is one of the best I have ever ridden.”

Even though she is one of the youngest female members of the Downhill community, the 13-year-old is by no way threatened by her peers. In fact, she looks up to the other women and pushes herself each day to improve on the day before. “Racing against Elite Women makes me want to push myself harder each time I do a run. Getting onto the podium with Elite women shows me I am capable of racing against women older than myself,” she said.

Thies says that she likes to live by a simple philosophy: “Dream big, never give up, do your best, be kind, love your family, set a good example, give hugs away, love God, keep the faith and your goals will follow.”

She has demonstrated remarkable abilities not only on the Downhill scene, but in other mountain biking disciplines as well. “I am also racing the Provincial Enduro on Saturday the 26th, and I will be doing the Cross-country, Enduro, and Downhill races in Lesotho next weekend at the African Continental Champs. It’s too much fun!” she concluded.

Also riding in both disciplines this weekend is KZNMTB’s Downhill damsel, Kathryn Fourie. “In terms of the Enduro, Giba is always a really good venue as the stages are close together and centralised, but it's even more exciting this year as they're adding in new tracks and sections of single track. There are also a number of really cool built features that we all enjoy riding like drops and jumps, so it's so much fun to ride. But it's also easy to overcook things and get it wrong so you need to ride smoothly and consistently versus aggressively,” she said.

Fourie says that although the Downhill course is short, it can be brutal if concentration is lacking. “You need to really know your lines to keep moving fast. Nigel (Hicks) has added in a new rock garden for an interesting twist and really overhauled the finishing jump, which looks awesome!” she added.

Although this Provincial doubles up as a National, Fourie too doesn’t feel pressure from the status of the event. “My aim for the National Series was just to complete it and support the development of the female contingent. I rode the Cape Town National a few weeks back and had a very average race, so I've ticked that box already. If I do well enough at the two KZN events with national status, that may lift my points and position but to be honest I'm more focused on riding well and telling the story of female progression than my actual results,” she said.

Fourie ended by saying: “If you're conquering something that really challenged you before but you're not winning, that's better progress than winning but avoiding the thing that intimidated you before.”

Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro/DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March respectively.

Entries close at midnight tonight (Wednesday 23 March 2016). Enter here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1728. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Second round of Enduro and DHI provincial not for the faint-hearted

17 March 2016 – The second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI and Enduro Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March and promises to be one of the more technical tracks, according to Downhill course designer, Nigel Hicks.

Although labelled “tricky” and “steep”, there are some B-lines for those who are not so confident to hit the hard sections, yet there are still a number of obstacles that will put technical abilities to the test.

Hicks says that the Giba Gorge MTB Park downhill track is the roughest of the provincial season, with its natural, raw rock garden extending for some 250 metres from just below the start. With the inclusion of the round as part of the National Points log, the track has been extended with a new step-up above the rocks and the addition of a new slick rock section high up on the course.

“A couple of changes are likely to be made near the bottom too, to aid in the spectacle of the riders sending some big hucks to the finish line,” says Hicks.

Although being one of the more technical tracks on the KwaZulu-Natal MTB calendar the track is not known for big airs, with the riders having to tackle the mentally and physically jarring rocks before entering a fast flowing middle section with a steep off cambers and natural fade-aways to the finish.

Newer riders fear not, as the track is totally ride-able with B-lines around the one large drop on the course. All other obstacles are designed with safety in mind and are fully roll-able.

As a tip of advice offered to all at the top of the hill before their giving their all – Hicks says:

“With Giba being a relatively short track with a steep overall gradient (25% average) and limited pedalling sections, the track requires absolute precision from the riders if they want to lay down a good time. The smallest of mistakes can put paid to a medal as the times are always exceptionally close on this track.”

KZNMTB would once again like to thank both Giba Gorge MTB Park and landowner Brian Zorg of Hillcrest Lawn Mower Centre for their continued support towards Downhill racing and allowing the event to take place on their properties and utilise his access roads.

Enduro course designer, Guy Ronaldson talked us through the Enduro track: “We have two trails on the blue side and a few inter-linking trails as well, and we’re adding one or two new pieces being built as we speak.

“On the freeway side we have two exciting trails, which start at the top of the main line. Stage three is the old Enduro course, including the “Three Bridges Backwards”.

Ronaldson said that the Queen stage (stage four) includes some great pallet jumps. “What’s also cool is that we have a lot of B-lines around the sections, and this course leads down to the restaurant. In the middle of stage four, however, riders will have to huff and puff quite a bit, as there is a steep climb of about 10-15 metres,” he added.

The family-fun sport of Enduro is an ever-growing discipline, and knits well with the personalities and general way of the people of KwaZulu-Natal. “Enduro is a really cool and exciting fun thing to do. It combines gravity with the need to pedal everywhere. It’s totally relaxed and fun,” he concluded.

Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro/DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March respectively.

Entries are open and close on Wednesday 23 March 2016. Enter here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1728. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

DHI and Enduro Series displays competitive camaraderie

10 March 2016 – The second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI and Enduro Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March. The first round of the season impressed those involved with the turn out of participants and level of racing in the younger age groups. The Vets also had many surprises up their sleeves, with newcomers and old timers taking to the hills once again.

Newcomer to the Downhill and Enduro disciplines, Craig Scott, has recently joined this daredevil community and slingshot his name straight towards the podium. “This will be my second year in racing Enduro. Last year I came second overall in the Vets class in Enduro after placing third, then second, then first,” he said.

Scott mentioned that he was a bit of a late starter, but used to ride BMX way back. “I used to watch quite a bit of the EWS (Enduro World Series) online and that’s what got me interested in the Enduro discipline,” he added.

Always keen for extreme sports and adventure, Scott felt that this discipline could not go untested: “I felt that I kept getting injured on a skateboard – why not try something new? What pulled me in I think was the combination of exercise, adventure, and of course, adrenaline, which I’m semi-addicted to.”

Scott felt that it was the unbelievable sense of camaraderie that optimised the essence of the sport of Enduro and DHI. “There are just good vibes around, and you’re surrounded by people who share the same love and passion for the sport and having a good time as well,” he concluded.

After a break from racing competitively, Vets rider Craig Seaward is now back on the Downhill racing scene and this time, it’s with his son. “I’ve been riding socially for about 30 years, but it was 15 years ago that I raced competitively. When my son started to take an interest in the sport, it pulled straight me back to the scene,” he said.

Seaward has a different approach to the discipline after his time off the competitive scene, and couldn’t ask for anything better than to share the love and passion for a sport with family. “In terms of goals and things like that, I feel like I’ve had my hectic racing days, and the goals would purely just be for my son. Of course I would like to push it a little, I am competitive to some extent. But for me now it’s all about being there on the weekends with my son and enjoy the riding. It’s just awesome to be at the top of the hill beside home,” he added.

When looking at Enduro and DHI, Seaward feels that, although the competitiveness at times is different, they are not too far apart from each other when it comes to the environment that surrounds them. “The sense of community, slight competitiveness and the social fun aspect is a huge part of the sport, especially when it comes to Enduro,” said Seaward.

Both Craigs will be taking part in the next round at Giba Gorge at the end of the month.

Entries are open and close on Wednesday 23 March 2016. (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1727). For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hot competition for Provincial XCO at Mazarat

5 March 2016  – Sunny KwaZulu-Natal put on a spectacular display of sunshine and great weather for the second round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series, which took place at Mazarat MTB Park in Waterfall on Saturday 5 March.

In the U23 Men’s race, the first place title as well as overall first finisher on the day went to Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Alan Hatherly, just ahead of Elite Men’s winner and teammate, Brendon Davids.

Hatherly, whose season has gotten off to a great start, was extremely happy with his win and shared his story: “We started three minutes behind the Elites, which is not the normal thing we do here at the provincials, but it was great training for me – it’s always motivation to try and close the gap. Marco (Joubert) and I started off at the front and went pretty hard. Unfortunately he had a fall at the top of the climb so I got the gap there on him and then pretty much rode solo. I progressively got into a good rhythm and began to close the gap to the Elites slowly but surely. I ended up winning overall by about six minutes. So a super good day!”

First u23 and overall woman, Frankie du Toit said: “The last National wasn’t too great for me, so I had to come back this weekend and just hope it would be a better race. I went hard from the start and managed to pull a gap on the rest of the ladies field in the first lap and maintained that for the rest of the race. I got to then kind of race at my own pace, and I’m a bit sick so I didn’t push myself too hard. But it was great, I really enjoyed the ride and the course and the venue was such a treat. It was quite tight and there were a lot of turns but there was just such a good vibe out here today.

“It was also so great to see some of the GO! Durban guys out here today. I have met with them and ridden with them but never actually seen them race. And let me tell you, they gave some of the others a run for their money. It’s such an amazing initiative and such well mannered youngsters.”

Elite Men’s winner, Brendon Davids (Kargo Pro MTB Team) suffered an injury to his knee on the course, but did his utmost to push through. “The new venue is really cool. Pretty tight racing in the singletrack made for some interesting tactical kind of racing between the riders,” he said. Davids added that the no-over-taking option in the single tracks made for tough and hard pushes to get out front and make it count.

“Other than my knee going bang three laps in I think the form is really good going into the Cape Epic but I have a scan on Monday just to see where I’m at and see if the damage isn’t too serious and if I can actually take part,” he added.

Elite Women’s winner, Johannesburg-er, Mandy de Beer (Team Jordana) said: “The track was quite technical to get going and to see what it was all about. But at the end of the day it was an amazing event. I raced against the u23 ladies and a very strong field. I had one or two crashes at the technical sections but all-in-all, coming here for training it was absolutely fantastic. Great race, great event, great vibe. A huge thank you to KZN MTB for such a great event.”

Cian Leveridge (Team PAW) took the Youth Men’s title, and enjoyed the twists and turns of the Mazarat course. “I like this track because it’s tight and twisty, and has a really great climb at the back. In the forest you’re just going flat-out, and trying hard to stay on the line that you practiced,” he said.

Leveridge said that he wasn’t happy with his start, but managed to get going in the singletrack and stay ahead for the duration of the race. “Luckily they didn’t catch me,” he added.

Youth Women’s winner, Tiffany Keep (Team PAW) spoke about the Mazarat course: “Racing at this venue was a great new experience. This course was extremely tough to race. It’s very tight and twisty and riding with bigger 29-er wheels made it even more tough.”

Keep mentioned that the ladies field is extremely tough this year. “It was just great being able to race with them and get that experience from it all,” she added. The 16-year-old said that it was very hot, and that the dust made for an even tougher experience, but that she really enjoyed her race. “I think the last round will be very interesting with all of the ladies competing to gain those vital points for the last little one, so it’s going to be tough,” she concluded.

“The race was super hard,” said Junior Men’s winner, Thomas Jessop (Specialized Concept Cyclery). “The first lap was really tough on the climb. There is no shade and about 23 switchbacks I think. Every time you got a gap someone closes down really easily. The singletrack was also just about being smooth rather than stop-starting so that’s where I got away I think,” he said. The bionic-legged youngster sported a red leg brace (after two ACL reconstructions) throughout the race wasn’t going to (and didn’t) let anything stop him.

The Junior Women’s title went to an always-smiling Chriestie-Leigh Hearder, close to nine minutes ahead of Sabrina van Wyk (BestMed ASG).

The third round of the KZNMTB XCO takes place at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday 22 April 2016.

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #2 – 5 March 2016

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Sprog Boys

1.Nicholas de Bruin 00: 33:15
2.Jonathan Watts 00:34:58
3.Liam Richard Theunissen 00:35:21

Sprog Girls

1.Emma Clipstone 00:44:15
2.Riley Smith 00:49:25

Nipper Boys

1.Connor Wright 00:24:07
2.Logan Stander 00:26:37
3.Luca Zietsman 00:28:23

Nipper Girls

1.Hannah Elliot 00:30:35

Youth Men

1.Cian Leveridge 01:11:23
2.Aaron Michell 01:14:29
3.Hayden Vinnicombe 01:15:35

Youth Women

1.Tiffany Keep 00:53:44
2.Courtney Smith 00:58:56
3.Megan Bircher 01:05:16

Junior Men

1.Thomas Jessop 01:04:41
2.Kelvin Green 01:06:04
3.Felix Manke 01:07:21

Junior Women

1.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder 01:18:54
2.Sabrina van Wyk 01:27:27

U23 Men

1.Alan Hatherly 01:25:23
2.Marco Joubert 01:30:48
3.Devon Smith 01:42:35

U23 Women

1.Frances du Toit 01:10:59
2.Hayley Smith 01:12:00
3.Genevieve van Coller 01:20:14

Elite men

1.Brendon Davids 01:32:16
2.Stuart Marais 01:33:14
3.Jedsom Tooms 01:35:34

Elite Women

1.Mandy de beer 01:23:12

Sub Vets Men

1.Sean Merredew 01:18:15
2.Duane Stander 01:18:47
3.Carl Calverley 01:21:26

Sub Vets Women

1.Nadine Nunes 01:26:59

Vets Men

1.Warren Price 01:24:41
2.Hendrik Bester 01:25:08
3.Tim Keep 01:29:22

Vets Women

1.Natalie Bergstrom 01:19:36
2.Landy Puddu 01:26:46
3.Belinda Mason 01:34:18

Masters Men

1.Charles Young 01:12:45
2.Brian Magor 01:16:07
3.Tony Stark 01:18:26

Masters Women:

1.Marie du Toit 00:52:50

Grand Masters Men

1.Charles Stander 01:02:28
2.George Eybers 01:09:05
3.Mike Staphorst 01:26:34

Grand Master Women

1.Frances Marsburg 00:47:05

XCO Masters Champion embraces the essence of cycling

 A smashing new venue awaits the KwaZulu-Natal cross-country specialists this weekend as the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series takes place at Mazarat MTB Park in Waterfall on Saturday 5 March. 2015 KwaZulu-Natal Veteran Men’s Champion, Warren Price (Jowetts Cycles) will be at the next event, either racing or supporting his son, or both.

The 40-year-old has not always been a cyclist. “I have only been cycling for about five years and of those five, competitively for four of them,” he said. “I have however been a competitive sportsman for almost twenty years now. I used to be a very keen canoeist, where I earned six gold medals at the Dusi Canoe Marathon,” he added.

After a few years of Adventure Racing, getting married, and starting a family, Price took up cycling. He has many accolades under his belt for cycling, including winning the Imana Wild Ride from 2012-2015, and is the current SA Masters Marathon Champion, as well as the 2015 KZN MTB XCO Veteran Champion, to name only a few.

Cross-country hasn’t been his only discipline, however, as he also enjoys longer distances and endurance-like stage races.

The KwaZulu-Natal community seem to always highlight the importance of family at these events, and Price could not agree more. The family man of four puts family above everything. When asked about how he balances work, family time and training, Price said: “We are fortunate enough to self-educate our children, well my wife does 99.9% of the work. But it’s great because I get up and ride from 04:30 to 06:30 in the morning and the children only start waking up. They then only start learning at around 9:30 so I get to spend time with them in the morning and in the evening after work.”

Price loves cycling for the balance that he is able to put into it. “There are so many things I wished I had known back in my days of competitive canoeing that I have learned from cycling. I wish there were people to lead me in the right direction. This is why I have begun to slowly coach a few people and assist them in terms of training and nutrition suggestions and the science of cycling, not to just go all out and tire yourself out. I feel like it’s my contribution to giving back to the sport,” said Price.

Price took the win at the first provincial XCO last month, and looks carefully at his decision to ride on the weekend. “I don’t want to go all out and cause injury as I hurt my ribs a few weeks ago. I don’t want to do something silly so close to the Epic. I also, however know that I need to do this to keep my points up to get a chance at winning the series. A lot of thought is going into this decision,” he added.

Price then heads to the Western Cape to take on the ever-anticipated Absa Cape Epic with his partner, Andrew Davies. “He called me up, I didn’t know him before, but he had seen my stats from last year and asked if I wanted to ride with him. Epic is totally my thing; I am more of an endurance rider and do a lot of these cross-country races to also work on my speed. But I have wanted to do it for so many years, and this year Safire has come on board to sponsor my Epic dream. It’s truly a dream come true.

“I’m not a pro cyclist, I’m not anything special, I’m just a common guy living the dream,” he concluded.

Warm sunny weather is headed for the province this weekend and a large crowd is once again expected to take advantage of the sunshine by either racing or supporting friends and family at the stunning Mazarat Farm.

Pre-entries have closed, but late entries will be taken at registration on race day – Saturday 5 March – from 06:00 to 11:00.

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mazarat a new venue for Provincial XCO in March

The second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series takes place at a new venue this year – Mazarat MTB Park – in Waterfall on Saturday 5 March. KZNMTB saw a fantastic turn out at the first round, which took place at the forests of Hilton earlier this month. This venue will be a first for the Provincial series, as Mazarat is a brand new track.

Duane Stander from Concept Cyclery Waterfall, who has been hard at work building the track, is looking forward to the weekend of solid XCO racing at the new venue. “The venue is at the local Mazarat farm, which is an absolutely beautiful place. It’s lovely and green, and a wonderful little stream flowing through the property, and even some horses. It’s just such a great setting,” he said. 

In terms of the course, Stander mentioned that it would be a four-kilometre loop of mountain bike trails with lots of exciting sections to look forward to. “There’s a nice big climb, great bridge crossing, and awesome rock gardens,” he added.

The Mazarat MTB Park also plays host to XCO time trials every Wednesday evening for local riders to come and test their off-road pedal skills against the clock.

“Its also great for the local riders around the Hillcrest, Gillitts and Pinetown areas to come along and ride in a great, safe venue such as this one,” he added.

Stander mentioned that it was a goal to have more cyclists coming to the park to enjoy the facilities in the safe environment. Developments such as this will ultimately nurture young talent and further grow the sport of mountain biking in the province.

Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series – takes place Mazarat MTB Park, Waterfall on Saturday 5 March. Entries are open and close on Wednesday 2 March 2016. Enter here: (https://www.roag.co.za/online-entries.aspx?EventID=1732).

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Youngest Philogene brother pips Minnaar at the post in DHI Cup

St. Ives Lodge and Restaurant on the Midlands Meander shared its MTB Park and Trails with the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on Sunday 21 February. The most memorable moment of the day was for Junior Christopher Philogene, when he beat the time set by multiple World Champion Greg Minnaar and took the overall men’s title.

The scorching KwaZulu-Natal sun pierced through the trees and tents on the day, enough to leave a few pink patches on spectators, but the crisp mountain breeze made it much more bearable for the riders. Riders had to complete two runs down the hill side with the fastest run determining their result.

Only able to do one run before catching a flight, local and international Downhill hero, Greg Minnaar started off the day with a difficult-to-match time of 01:32.95. The first few runs after Minnaar weren’t close enough to be a worry, although the super competitive Vets Men category provided the always-expected entertainment as they battled each other for the top position.

Then the crowd went silent, but the silence soon changed to cheers of excitement when youngest Philogene brother, Christopher, beat Minnaar’s time at a whopping 01:29.45 in his first run. “Today started off very good,” said Philogene. “The weather in the morning was overcast, the track was tacky until the first run it got a bit dry,” he added.

Philogene said that he was “stoked” when he came across the finish line. “I found out that I beat Greg (Minnaar) even though I don’t know if he was trying his hardest but I was stoked,” he said. The 17-year-old had only great things to say about the venue: “St. Ives is awesome, there’s a ‘lekker’ view of the track and a great vibe here, especially and the Greg Minnaar Cycles tent and the music playing, and the BOS energy drinks was all so nice. I’m really looking forward to the next one at Giba Gorge as well – it’s my favourite track.”

Although the Elite Men gave a solid effort for both runs, Philogene managed to hold onto the hotseat for the rest of the day, pipping Elite Men’s Tiaan Odendaal.

Sub Vets Men winner, Craig Paul said: “Yesterday, the Enduro was terrible for me – I just wasn’t fit enough so I puzzled a bit and I was destroyed by the cross-country riders.”

Today went much better for Paul. “It was great to win my category, but I still got smoked by the kids,” he said. In the same breath, he mentioned how impressed he was at the level of riding and how its been improving. “There’s a group of guys out there every weekend pushing each other, and it shows in the results now. They’re all cracking top tens and top fives, and its really good to see,” he said.

Paul was happy with the turnout over the weekend as well. “With 87 riders in the Downhill and 124 in the Enduro, its awesome to see both disciplines growing,” he said.

Kathryn Fourie, who won the Sub Vets Women category, had made a major recovery overnight as she had fallen ill and could not take part in the Enduro the day before. “It went pretty good,” she said.  “Its different hitting it at race pace because the course is short but its quite intense and you’ve got to learn the corners quite well, and it changes quite a lot as time goes on,” she added. Fourie also received her South African Federation colours for her performance in the World Masters Downhill Championships last year.

Fourie had practiced the course the week before. “I even practiced the jump that I did my AC joint on last time – that was my big nemesis and I never finished my run last year.  It went really well. At a fast pace the open corners were more difficult so that was definitely something we had to control during our race runs. In the end I got two almost identical times. I don’t think I could have gone any faster to be honest, but I’m just really happy I didn’t end up in the hospital,” she laughed.

The laughter and camaraderie among the downhill riding community echoed through the midlands forest all the way from the top of the hill to the finish line, throughout each and every age group. Nipper Boys winner Caleb Archer, said: “I love downhill racing. My favourite downhill track is Cascades. Today’s race was very nice, and fun, and cool, but mostly fast.

Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Sunday 27 March. Entries are open and close on Wednesday 23 March 2016. (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1727). For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ENDS

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial DOWNHILL Series #1 – 21 February 2016

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Senior Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 01:30.70
2.Jonathan Philogene 01:31.85
3.Samuel Bull 01:32.80

Senior Women
1.Kim Westbrook 02:04.80
2.Tammy Sturrock 02:16.82
3.Lauren Hoyer 02:25.70

Junior Men
1.Christopher Philogene 01:29.45
2.Sharjah Jonsson  01:36.99
3.Cullen McMaster 01:37.69

Youth Men
1.Jason Williams 01:36.95
2.Shaun Smale 01:44.16
3.Kayle Seaward 1:45:88

Sub Junior Men
1.Kyle Brand 02:05.92

Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 02:04.19

Sprog Boys
1.Keagan Brand 02:18.20

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 01:39.57
2.Cyril Spence 01:40.74
3.Mark Millar 01:43.23

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 02:01.51
2.Joanne Hicks 02:11.46
3.Tamryn Taylor 02:22.93

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seawood 01:47.09
2.Grant Dekker 01:50.41
3.Leigh Hand 01:54.59

Master Men
1.Peter Hoyer 02:16.97

Nipper Boys
1.Caleb Archer 03:42.00

Minnaar sizzles in Midlands ENDURO

World Downhill superstar Greg Minnaar sampled his local trails in a close race with fellow trail maestro Hilton Frost at St. Ives MTB Park in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands for the opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on Saturday 20 February.

The chill and laid back vibe of the ENDURO racing scene came to life in extremely hot conditions as over 120 riders departed from the Boma area next to the St. Ives Restaurant and began their leisurely climb to the top of the hill within the St. Ives property. Although the four timed stages meant a race distance of only eight kilometres on beautifully descending trails, competitors had to work their way up the hillside four times during the course of the day totalling almost 20 kilometres in the worsening heat.

The tussle between Minnaar and Frost was close as Minnaar posted two faster times, Frost timed one faster stage, and they both tied the third stage, with Minnaar taking the victory by just four seconds.

Minnaar, who leaves for Portugal on Sunday afternoon for testing with his team Syndicate, enjoyed the trails and the vibe of the ENDURO and decided to participate and “try out” some of the local trails. “The guys put together some really good trails! It was a bit sketchy because I haven’t really seen the track and I’m trying to race it and go as fast as I can, so I had a few moments but all in all it was really cool and really fast. There was some nice tight stuff – not overly technical, which was nice for the beginner riders, but when there were some technical sections we had some pretty good options. It was a good event and really social; good to see a lot of old faces and a ton of new faces. We’re really excited to be involved with this series as title sponsors.

“I got here late and ran four runs then grabbed my downhill bike and practiced the downhill quickly before the storm rolled in. Tomorrow’s downhill should be good – I’ll do a few runs in the morning.”

Frost, the runner-up, said: “It was very cool today – it’s always nice at the first race of the season because you never know what the guys have actually done in the off season. It’s great just to come back here and see mates again and catch up.”

Supported by Pyga Industries and ShreddTech, Frost said that he is part of a team of five riders, hailing from KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg. “In KZN, we’re sort of the first province to host a provincial ENDURO “series”. It’s nice that we’ve actually got a proper, organised series here, attracting a lot of Joburg guys down here as well. Everyone is just here to have a good time. I suppose that’s why we ride our bikes at the end of the day. It’s cool to have like-minded people and a more relaxed environment.”

Patrick Morewood, who won the Veteran Men’s class, said: “Everyone wants to win, but we’re also all here just to relax and have fun and spend time with the family. I’ve got my son here whose nine, and he’s riding today. It’s a nice safe place for kids to come out and ride. There’s always someone who’s going to join and ride with them and come and help them.

“The thing about ENDURO is that everybody helps each other. It’s not about whose got the best line. There’s a lot of that in Downhill, where you keep lines to yourself and you want to have the maximum advantage. At an ENDURO, you can arrive in the morning and just do a bit of riding and practice with your friends. It’s just more of a family kind of atmosphere. That’s the essence of ENDURO, I suppose.”

With the option of starting the first, second and third stages in any order, winner of the Junior Men’s race, Sharjah Jonsson, opted to start on the third timed stage. “It didn’t look like there was too much traffic at stage three to start off with. But then on my second stage, I crashed into a tree and popped my collarbone out, and it kept on popping out. So that set me back quite a bit but I managed to finish the race, and I’m sitting in the top ten overall so I’m pretty happy with that. I’m excited about the downhill tomorrow, the track’s a bit blown out, but I’m going to take it as it comes.”

Winner of the women’s race in the sub veteran class, Joanne Hicks also overcame the extreme heat to record some good times on the stages. “My day was awesome, I had such a good time out there. It was really hot when we had to go uphill, but luckily with ENDURO we can push our bikes so it’s fine. I had some really cool runs on the way down. It was a bit slippery in places and Tom and Jerry’s was a nightmare through the muddy puddles but it was all good. I had a lot of fun.”

Speaking about the vibe at the season opener, Hicks said: “It’s awesome to see everyone again after the break and to see how many people came down from Joburg. It was a really fun day out with everybody all together. It was great on the hill.”

Hicks will also be competing in the Downhill provincial series opener on Sunday. “Downhill is different because we get to take the vehicle shuttles to the top of the hill, and don't have to get up the hill on our own steam. I’m looking forward to it – it’s such a lovely event and such a wonderful venue.”

ENDURO event organiser, Dave Drummond, said: “It was a very hot day out but the trails were awesome. The new stage-one was loose and raw, which is the way we like it and we had an excellent day out and I really enjoyed it. There was a great turnout – about 124 riders. Anything over 100 we are pleased with and I think everyone is eager to get going in the new season. The sport is growing in popularity and the social side of ENDURO is drawing people in. We had people from Johannesburg and Durban, and the guys who ride in Pietermaritzburg and Howick all came to have a good time.”

Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Saturday 26 March. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series #1 – 20 February 2016

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Senior Men
1.Greg Minnaar 14:12
2.Hilton Frost 14:16
3.David Hogan 14:39

Senior Women
1.Kim Westbrook 18:09
2.Tammy Sturrock 20:46
3.Lauren Hoyer 24:08

Junior Men
1.Sharjah Jonsson 14:53
2.Felix Manke 14:55
3.Peter Fogden 16:47

Youth Men
1.Keira Duncan 15:39
2.Kayle Seaward 15:47
3.Connor Finnis 17:38

Sub Junior Men
1.Robert Jessop 18:19
2.Kyle Brand 21:16
3.Byron Werth 23:57

Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 18:33
2.Charne Dreyer 19:42
3.Sarah Ryan 25:37

Sprog Boys
1.Nicholas de Bruin 20:22
2.Liam Tyler Hall 20:26
3.Nate Tanner Hall 20:58

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 15:08
2.Mark Millar 15:28
3.Jade Gutzeit 15:34

Sub Veteran Women
1.Joanne Hicks 20:17
2.Michele Reynolds 22:05
3.Tamryn Taylor

Veteran Men
1.Patrick Morewood 15:34
2.Craig Seaward 15:43
3.Oliver Burnett 16:00

Veteran Women
1.Kerry Frizelle

Master Men
1.Con Malherbe 16:38
2.Michael Frost 18:06
3.Dave Lees 19:22

Grand Master Men
1.Mike Staphorst 24:28
2.Ashley Nesbitt

Thrilling gravity provincial series opener kicks off at St. Ives

17 February 2016 – The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands opens its heart to all the riders taking part in the first rounds of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at St. Ives on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 February.

Friends and family can spectate and support extraordinary racing for two days, as the Downhill daredevils and Enduro enthusiasts take to the hills over the action-packed guaranteed weekend. The spectator-friendly venue allows for great race viewing and track criss-crossing.

The Enduro event takes place on Saturday 20 February. The relatively new but ever-growing discipline combines elements of weekend cross-country mountain bike rides among friends, with the sheer competitiveness of speedy timed downhill racing.

The route has a total distance of close to 20 kilometres and a race distance of approximately eight kilometres. There are four special stages. The total in-stage descent is close to 700 metres and the in-stage ascent, 30 metres. On race day, the event base will be situated at the main Boma area next to the St. Ives Restaurant with pit area and parking on the grass behind the venue. All documentation will take place here.

Helmets are required at all times on the course. Normal cross-country open-faced helmets are acceptable and knee and elbow pads are recommended.

The Downhill event takes place on Sunday 21 February. Course designer, Nigel Hicks said: “It’s going to be hot this weekend. But I just want to say a huge thank you to St. Ives Hotel and Restaurant for hosting event, and a very big thank you to our title sponsors, Greg Minnaar Cycles.”

The flowing 1.1 kilometre course has great jumps, rather favourable five-minute shuttle route and three-minute cycle to the top. The total descent is close to 150 metres, and the course is said to be great for newcomers and old timers of the sport.

A full-face helmet with a peak is compulsory. Long sleeve shirts or short sleeves and elbow guards, and long pants or short pants and knee guards are the options for protective Downhill gear. Back and neck protection is also recommended.

Entries for the first round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles are still open and close at midnight tonight (Wednesday 17 February 2016). (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1727).

Please Note - there will be no Late Entry for Downhill riders on Sunday as seeding and timing need to be finalised by Saturday night. Riders must either pre-enter online or late enter on Saturday at St. Ives.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bull keen for fierce competition in KZN’s DHI/Enduro Provincial

10 February 2016 – Sportsnut DH Team rider, Sam Bull is refreshed after his off-season spent with friends and family, and ready for the first 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, which takes place at St. Ives from 20-21 February.

“I rode every day in my month off, but purely just to be on my bike – we have such amazing riding out here in KZN. It was so good to be out there and just unwind,” he said.

Bull enjoys being back in the routine of training. “It’s always good to have something to follow which keeps you motivated. I want to do well, so I don’t struggle to find the motivation to put in the hard hours,” he added.

In terms of the opening round, Bull hopes to take the title. “Of course I am hoping to win – you race to win, and if you say you’re not you’re only kidding yourself,” he laughed. “I’m a competitive person so I always want to win. There are also a lot of fast local guys and up-and-coming young juniors who are riding really well. In these fast, short courses, anything can happen. These provincials are always a challenge but I enjoy them because they are a challenge, so you’re always putting pressure on yourself,” he said.

Excited about stiff competition, Bull also said that he was glad to see how the sport was growing.

On Provincial racing, Bull said: “Provincials keep me fresh. I would’ve planned to be on the bike on a weekend anyway, but it keeps the actual racing fresh. You can easily go on timed runs on the weekend on your own, but nothing quite matches a race weekend and the environment around it – it keeps you on your toes. I enjoy it.”

Having never actually raced at the St. Ives course before, Bull mentioned that he was involved in the development and building process of the track. “It’s great when the riding community comes in to help. Nigel Hicks and crew always do an awesome job, so I love to try and lend a hand, and offer ideas where I can,” he said.

Bull managed to have a few practice runs at the weekend, and said that the course is great. “It flows, there are some cool jumps and a great shuttle route. This course is going to be good for people being introduced to the sport to see what it’s all about, enjoy it and have a good weekend,” he added.

On the 2016 season as a whole, Bull mentioned that he has set many personal goals for himself on the bike. “I want to have the season that I know I’m capable of. I want to put in the work, but also enjoy it – that’s the main thing. I’m really excited for this season and hope it’s going to be a great year,” he concluded.

Entries for the first round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles are open and close at midnight on Wednesday 17 February 2016. (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1727).

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hatherly and Du Toit find early form at Provincial, Hilton

6 February 2016 – Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Alan Hatherly and Frankie du Toit were on top form claiming the overall men and women’s races at the opening round of the well-supported 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series in the forests of Hilton at Hilton Christian Fellowship today.

Hatherly (U23) was in a four-way tussle with his teammate Brendon Davids (Elite), Stuart Marais (Elite) and Travis Walker (Elite) early in the Men’s race, where the U23 and Elite classes completed the same number of laps. While jostling for positions during their thrilling six-lap race, Davids suffered a mechanical and Walker crashed into a tree in the tight singletrack while Hatherly chiselled away at extending his lead.

“I had a really big week this week,” said Hatherly. “The race started off quite hard and I took the first two laps pretty easy just to suss out the field and see where my legs were before I opened up. I managed to open a gap near the end of the second lap on the last climb up towards the finish. I got a bit of a gap with Brendon Davids and the two of us were working together. Unfortunately, because of his mechanical he had to drop back. From there I went on my own, got into a good rhythm, got all the technical sections dialled in and raced to the finish. I’m really happy to take the win.”

Davids put in a momentous performance to claw his way back from fourth place to second overall, contending with the high race pace despite dropping his chain four times. He claimed the Elite category victory. Marais finished in third place while Walker claimed fourth overall, finishing second and third in the Elite category respectively.

“I had a pretty good start,” said Davids. “Alan managed to get a gap on the second lap and I had a bit of an issue and lost some time. I managed to chase back. Every lap I seemed to have an issue at the same area, but I rode through it and managed to come right. It was good to get a hard session in while chasing through the pack and setting milestones to catch the next guy, and then the next guy.”

The women’s race was a different scenario with Frankie du Toit stamping her authority from early on. With no mechanicals or crashes to contend with, her smooth run saw her take the overall women’s victory by more than two minutes from her closest rival, Genevieve van Coller (Absolute Cycling - U23) with Hayley Smith (Kargo Pro MTB Team) claiming third place (U23).

“The track was a bit longer than what we’re used to and there was a lot of single track and it was quite flat,” said Du Toit. “So it was fast racing – you had to accelerate out of every corner and there was no chance to rest. But it was good, and the tracks were flowing. It’s nice to see the level of racing going up. Coming into the season I’m feeling strong and it’s always great going into a season like that.”

On the importance of supporting and participating in the Provincial Series, Du Toit said: “You can’t have a national series without a provincial series and you have to start somewhere so this plays a large role in developing the riders. For me I use it as training and it’s also a great racing experience. I’m really enjoying the provincial series – KZNMTB are really doing a great job with it!”

Winning the Elite Women’s race was Scottburgh’s Candice Parker-Dennison, who maintained a consistent pace despite not practicing on the course prior to the race. “I really enjoyed the race today. It was a bit muddy at the beginning and the roots were quite slippery but I did the drop off and managed the technical sections, which was really cool – it’s a very good start to the season! I just started my new job so it’s very difficult to balance my work and my cycling but I’m going to do the best that I can.”

In the Junior categories, Dean Wortmann (Jowetts Cycles) and Chriestie Leigh Hearder (Absolute Cycling) claimed the men and women’s victories.

“I had a very good race and felt really strong out there,” said Wortmann. “The course was tough with some very sharp corners. I did fall once in the pine forest but it was just a bit of a lack of concentration. But otherwise I overcame that and got my rhythm back and it was really good.”

Hearder said: “I had a really good start in this race and I tried to keep up with the top ladies, but soon found that I lost the strength in my legs. I just pushed hard and worked to get a good time for myself. I absolutely loved the forest, even though it was very tight. I was worried about the trees but it was so much fun. I had practiced the day before on the A-lines, but got to the jump and panicked and then took the B-line,” she laughed.

Teammates Cian Leveridge and Tiffany Keep (Team PAW) both claimed the men and women’s Youth categories.

“It was a hard race, and the course was nice,” said Leveridge. “It’s really nice coming back home to race on these types of courses where it’s nice and twisty, after being in Australia for eight weeks. The race itself was quite tough, as I didn’t know where anybody was, so it just kept on pushing me to go faster.”

Keep said: “There was no chance to rest on the course today. It was very tight and very hard, but it made for a fun day out. The trail flowed smoothly through the trees, and I had fun, which is all that matters.”

Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series takes place on Saturday 5 March in Waterfall (near Kloof). For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #1 – 6 February 2016

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Elite Men
1.Brendon Davids
2.Stuart Marais
3.Travis Walker

Elite Women
1.Candice Parker-Dennison

Men U23
1.Alan Hatherly
2.Julian Jessop
3.Tiaan Odendaa

Women U23
1.Frankie du Toit
2.Genevieve van Coller
3.Hayley Smit

Junior Men
1.Dean Wortmann
2.Kelvin Green
3.Sharjah Jonsson

Junior Women
1.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder

Youth Men
1.Cian Leveridge
2.Joshua Clipstone
3.Hayden Vinnicombe

Youth Women
1.Tiffany Keep
2.Megan Bircher
3.Courtney Smith

Sub Junior Boys
1.Travis Stedman
2.Mitchel Potgieter
3.Campbell van Rooyen

Sub Junior Girls
1.Sabine Thies
2.Chloe Bateson
3.Sarah Ryan

Sub Veteran Men
1.Sean Merredew
2.Carl Calverley
3.Duane Stander

Sub Veteran Women
1.Carla van Huyssteen
2.Nadine Nunes
3.Riana Niehaus

Men Veteran
1.Warren Price
2.Hendrik Bester
3.Jako van Heerden

Women Veteran
1.Landy Puddu
2.Belinda Mason
3.Carol Thomas

Master Men
1.Brian Magor
2.Charles Young
3.Tony Stark

Master Women
1.Marie du Toit
2.Ingrid Flint

Men Grand Master
1.George Eybers
2.Bruce Hansen
3.Mike Staphorst

Women Grand Master
1.Frances Marsburg

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Richard Theunissen
2.Nicholas de Bruin
3.Jayden Moolman

Sprog Girls
1.Emma Clipstone
2.Riley Smith

Nipper Boys
1.Aiden Wright
2.Connor Wright
3.Omar Wilson

Nipper Girls
1.Hannah Elliott
2.Jodi Mackinnon

Pure love of MTB for Jonsson ahead of Provincial DHI/Enduro Series opener

The first round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles is two weeks away and KwaZulu-Natal will get to witness the passion, fire and pure enjoyment on the faces of those taking part at St.Ives from 20-21 February.

Sharjah Jonsson (riding for Greg Minnar cycles/ Santa Cruz bicycles/ Pizzology craft café/ Foxhead South Africa/ Cadence Nutrition) will also be taking part, never missing out on an opportunity to be on his bike.

With a strong passion for cross-country, downhill and enduro racing, Jonsson enjoys sharing his love of cycling across the disciplines: “I grew up riding pretty much what Enduro is now and I have and will always love taking a nice cruise to the top of a track, which includes the mandatory banter and bombing down old and new tracks just for the pure love of mountain biking.”

For 16-year-old Jonsson, the difference between Enduro and cross-country disciplines is “the different types of pain felt”.

“Cross-country puts your mind into full over drive and allows you to think about anything. Sometimes, while I'm racing, I swear I have solutions for half the world's problems,” said Jonsson.

Although Downhill his main focus, Jonsson has a clear head and no major expectations ahead of the opening round of the XCO Provincial tomorrow, 6 February, in the forests of Hilton. “I am just going to have to see what I can do. Obviously we all like to win otherwise we wouldn't race but you can't live on empty wins if you are not having fun,” he said.

Amongst balancing schoolwork and training there is much on the plate for the young man, but nothing will stop him from setting big goals for himself. “My main goal is to be selected for Downhill World Champs in Val Di Sole, as well as getting my school marks up for varsity applications,” he said.

Entries for the first round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles are open and close at midnight on Wednesday 17 February 2016. (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1727).

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

KZN Road Champion ready for XCO Provincial Series

Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Brendon Davids will be lining up against KwaZulu-Natal’s favourite cross-country stars to take on the sublime singletrack trails of the well-liked Hilton forests for the opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial Series on Saturday 6 February.

Davids, who took the title at the KZN Provincial Road Championships last month, is feeling strong on the road and mountain bike, and is determined to take this weekend’s cup race by the horns. “It’s always great to get a win for the team. I definitely feel that the different disciplines help ease the monotony that can sometimes come with training. I’m a huge fan of racing on the road, so I like to jump at any opportunity to race the skinny wheels.

“The road bike also gives a lot more consistency when training as the roads are generally smoother, which allows me to get better quality in some of my sessions,” he said.

After competing in the first leg of the National XCO Cup Series at Mankele MTB Park (Mpumalanga) at the weekend and finishing 5th in the Pro-Elite class, the 23-year-old is raring to go. “Training has been going well thus far, although I've only just begun to work on my intensity. This past weekend’s race was a little frustrating for me as a few issues out on the track left me constantly trying to chase back to the leaders – however I’m pretty happy with where I am at the moment with my preparations and I’m hugely motivated for the next National XCO Cup in the Western Cape.

Looking ahead to the KZNMTB XCO Provincial Cup, Davids said: “I think this weekend is going to be a interesting one for me. I’m now hitting the intensity pretty hard, especially this week. So you never quite know how the legs will respond after a tough week of training, however I’m pretty psyched to nab another good result, especially after last weekend.”

Davids mentioned that he and teammate Alan Hatherly often enjoy “sparring” each other out on the courses that aren’t too technical. “It’s essentially making ourselves a punching bag for the other out on course – it helps simulate the efforts we’ll be doing at the next National XCO,” he added.

According to Davids, the XCO course in Hilton has no real climbing, which he believes will increase the intensity when racing the distance.

The opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial takes place in the forests of Hilton at Hilton Christian Fellowship (opposite Grace College on the Hilton College Road) on Saturday 6 February 2016. Entries are open and close at midnight tonight (Wednesday 3 February 2016). (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1731).

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Du Toit eager to take on first XCO Provincial

The opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial is almost upon us, and the province will get to see some of it’s greatest mountain bike names battle it out on some of the best courses KwaZulu-Natal has to offer. The first round takes place in the forests of Hilton at Hilton Christian Fellowship (opposite Grace College on the Hilton College Road) on Saturday 6 February 2016.

2015 SA Junior Women’s XCO National Champion, Frankie du Toit, who has won the hearts of many by her strong determination and huge smile, is ready to take on the first provincial of the season.

Du Toit, who has claimed top honours in road and mountain bike disciplines, recently took part in the KZN Road and Time Trial Championships, as well as the Drak Descent (a two-day mountain bike stage race in the Drakensberg). For both races I was feeling strong and enjoying my new bikes (a LIV Envie advanced road bike and a LIV Lust advanced MTB) especially for the Drak Descent. I got to test my mountain bike out on all the single track in the race and find a flow and rhythm on it ahead of this weekend’s National XCO Cup and next weekend’s Provincial XCO,” she said.

The young 18-year-old kicked of the 2016 season with her new team, Kargo Pro MTB Team, and mentioned that her experience with them so far has been amazing. “I’ve received great support and am enjoying being in a co-ed team for the first time with some top-end elite men, which is a great opportunity to learn from the best in SA,” du Toit added.

Speaking about her goals for 2016, Du Toit said: “This year is an Olympic year and there is like a 1% chance that I could go, but it's a 1% chance and how often does that come around? So I’m going all out for that and just trying to become a major contender in the National XCO races.”

The 2015 SA Junior XCO National Champ is looking forward to the venue in Hilton. “Although Cascades is a really nice venue to race, it’s great to have the Provincials at a new venue – and I think that Hilton will be a great place to have it with some amazing flowing trails. It’s going to be a nice race for everyone, from the inexperienced to the experienced rider. After this weekend’s National, I’ll be in a cross-country mind-set and will be able to hit the Provincial hard!”

The first XCO round takes place in the singletrack forests at Hilton Christian Fellowship (opposite Grace College on the Hilton College Road) on Saturday 6 February 2016.

Entries are open and close at midnight on Wednesday 3 February 2016. (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1731).

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Exciting venues for 2016 Greg Minnaar Cycles DHI and Enduro Series

The 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Series is set to kick off with a bang as the province signs a new presenting sponsor – Greg Minnaar Cycles – for the Enduro and Downhill events. GMC returns after having previously sponsored the series for many years, and aims to introduce new talent to the disciplines of Enduro and Downhill mountain biking.

Greg Minnaar Cycles (GMC) Operations Manager, Travis Browning, said that KwaZulu-Natal is fortunate to have some of the best riding venues South Africa has to offer, right on our doorstep.

“2016 will no doubt bring a successful series of races and we are very excited to be a part of it.For GMC, it isn't as much about racing but rather giving back to the mountain biking community. It’s about creating a safe, well-sanctioned event in conjunction with KZNMTB.

Browning highlighted that it is the social aspect of cycling in general that sets cyclists apart from other main stream sportsmen and women and is something that is great to witness first-hand at the races.

“Friends’ riding with friends -young and old- it doesn’t really matter. Our main objective is assisting KZNMTB with creating an interest in both Downhill and Enduro, a passion we all live at GMC. Ultimately we would like to see the continued growth in the Gravity side of mountain biking in KZN. If the series helps to achieve that, then we have accomplished our goal as a sponsor.”

The 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Series is made up of three Cup rounds and one Championship event in each of the three disciplines: XCO, Enduro and DHI.

In the DHI competition, two of those Cup races will count towards regional points as well as National Series Points in the absence of the DHI National Cup Series this year.

KZNMTB Commissioner for Downhill and Enduro, Nigel Hicks, said: “This added points log will see the series grow even further from 2015 with the inclusion of riders from around the country in two of the three series events.”

The first round takes place on 20 and 21 February at St. Ives MTB Park, with the Enduro on the Saturday and Downhill on the Sunday. “The Enduro trails are being finalised and promises a kickass opening round in the heart of the Midlands at one of the most stunningly picturesque venues on the calendar,” said Hicks. The DHI will count towards provincial points only and is a great way to be introduced to the sport with a fun, flowing track awaiting the riders.

For XCO riders, racing starts even earlier with the first event taking place in the magical singletrack forests of Hilton at HCF (on the Hilton College Road) on Saturday 6 February.

Entries are open and those riders wishing to participate can enter on the ROAG website for the XCO race (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1731) and the DHI and Enduro (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1727) races.

Once again, KZNMTB would like to thank its sponsors Greg Minnaar Cycles, as well as all those involved in the series for helping make it all happen.

Date 2016

Event

Venue

Sat – 6 February

XCO 1

HCF, Hilton

Sat – 20 February

Enduro 1

St. Ives MTB Park

Sun – 21 February

DHI 1

St. Ives MTB Park

Sat – 5 March

XCO 2

Waterfall (Kloof)

Sat – 26 March

Enduro 2

Giba MTB Park

Sun – 27 March

DHI 2

Giba MTB Park

Sat – 16 Apr

XCO 3

St. Ives MTB Park

Sat – 21 May

Enduro 3

Howick MTB Club

Sun – 22 May

DHI 3

TBC

Sat – 25 Jun

XCO Champs

Cascades MTB Park

Sat – 2 Jul

Enduro Champs

Cascades MTB Park

Sun – 3 Jul

DHI Champs

Cascades MTB Park

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Minnaar: "It was a great season"

South African cycling legend Greg Minnaar has completed yet another incredible season where the three-time World Champion claimed his 18th World Cup career victory making him the most successful downhiller of all time, as well as adding a tenth World Championship medal to his collection when he claimed a silver medal at the spectacular World Championships in Andorra to wrap up the season.

South African cycling legend Greg Minnaar has completed yet another incredible season where the three-time World Champion claimed his 18th World Cup career victory making him the most successful downhiller of all time. Photo: Kathy Sessler / Santa Cruz Syndicate

At thirty-four years of age, the Santa Cruz Syndicate team rider has had a phenomenal season despite a shaky start with a hand injury to his left hand. Minnaar was not up to full strength by the first World Cup of the season yet still managed to score a few points in the opening round to kick off the year.

The World Championship in Andorra had fans on the edge of their seats. Where all the riders before him seemed to post a slower time in the first third of the track, Minnaar nailed the opening section to post the fastest time by four seconds, earning him a place in the hot seat.

Minnaar describes his silver medal championship run as one that “I could repeat over and over again. It was safe and solid and it was in drying conditions. We weren’t quite sure how wet the sections of the track would be so it was quite tricky. To win World Champs you have to push it a little bit more. To get that safe and solid perfect run, it has to be a little wild at times. I don't think that I expressed that in my run.”

Describing the moment in the hot seat, Minnaar tells of the celebrated finish. “As I came through the finish line, and I saw the gap that I had knowing that most of the main contenders had already come down, that four-second advantage on the rest of the field was expressed with my crowd jump with a whole lot of friends there supporting me.

“Being in the hot seat is horrible, watching all those riders come down, and then they go off the track, and then you’re relieved. Until Bruni came down and you don't want him to crash but you hope that he might make a little mistake, which he never did. He rode the perfect run down, pushing it the whole way and letting it go enough to be able to control it. And I wasn't disappointed then, I was really happy for him.”

Young Frenchman Loic Bruni stole the show with a perfect descent. “Bruni’s a really good rider – he is really good to watch and his riding style and the way he approaches it shows he is serious about his racing. I admire that about him. He hasn't been all that lucky and hasn't had the win yet in a World Cup but he has consistently been up there.”

Looking back on his season where he has been dubbed “the most decorated downhill rider of all time” with 18 World Cup victories to his name, Minnaar confesses that it was never a target he had set out to achieve. “It had crossed my mind but I never saw it as a target or a goal in my career of racing. While I am stoked to have achieved that many victories, it wasn’t something that I set out to do when I started racing. It’s just one of the things that happened along the way.”

In terms of immediate goals, Minnaar has yet another challenge ahead of the 2016 season, where surgery on his right hand last week places him in a similar position to this time last year where he was rehabilitating his left hand.

"That four-second advantage on the rest of the field was expressed with my crowd jump with a whole lot of friends there supporting me," - Greg Minnaar after his run at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Andorra in September. Photo: Kathy Sessler / Santa Cruz Syndicate

“I think it’s going to be a good season and I’m quite excited,” explains Minnaar. “2015 was tough. I got injured two weeks before the first World Cup round; I managed to scrape a couple of points together and then come back to second overall within striking distance of winning the World Cup series going into Val di Sole. I gave that a good crack and then ended up crashing so I finished fourth. But I really had ‘missed’ the first round so taking that into consideration, I think if I can start the 2016 season healthy, I think I’ve got a good shot at winning the overall World Cup series. I can definitely mix it up with the guys.”

Minnaar’s crash at Mont Sainte Anne in the practice run saw him slip off a jump, running wide of the track and going over the handlebars into rocks. “I struggled through the season with my hand. Going into the steeper tracks of the season like Val di Sole and Andorra, I was really struggling to hold onto the handlebars. The week before Andorra, we were messing around with some friends and my thumb hooked my shirt and tore whatever tendon was trying to heal. So it was a big set back. I was off the bike most of the week before Andorra World Champs because of that. I just couldn't hold the handlebar.”

Minnaar has just undergone an operation in which doctors pulled a tendon from his forearm and reattached it to his thumb so that his thumb will grip again. “It is going to be a fresh season for me coming up. The plus side is that being able to hold the handlebar next year is definitely going to make me more confident on the bike.”

South African mountain bike star, Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) claimed the silver medal at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Andorra in September. Photo: Kathy Sessler / Santa Cruz Syndicate

When asked how he would wrap up the 2015 season in one sentence, Minnaar said: “It was a great season!” explaining, “It started off bad with the injury and then everything just worked. The effort we put into the bike and trying different things with my bike helped me so much. Everything that we did testing-wise was just perfect; suspension-wise we progressed a lot and everything just fell into place. It was a great season but not perfect because of my injuries.”

 

Cyclists honour Mandela's triumph of the human spirit

Hundreds of eager mountain bikers gathered at the iconic Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to cycle in honour of the great late former President Nelson Mandela as they tackled the 42km, 21km and 10km routes with Brendon Davids and Candice Neethling claiming the victories.

In what has been dubbed a massive prize purse for a classic race distance, Davids (Kargo Pro MTB Team) and Neethling (Pam Golding/Specialized) were both dominant in their performances from the get-go.

Davids pushed hard from the start and was not pressured by acclaimed cycling stars Darren Lill, Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance), Tyronne White (Thule SA), and other eager cyclists climbing the pack. By the 30km mark he had stretched his lead to more than five minutes in the incredible singletrack that was waiting for them in the Lion’s River Valley.

He was unfortunate to get tangled in some barbed wire, which would set him back slightly but fortunately not cost him his lead.

“I managed to get a gap about 20 minutes in, and I just focused on keeping it as hard as possible,” said Davids. “I pushed as hard as I needed to where I could and unfortunately just before the halfway mark I hooked a piece of barbed wire with my foot and came down quite heavily on my knee. Luckily I had worked hard enough from the start to still have some time to get going again and finish in front.”

This is the second Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash title for the Kargo Pro MTB Team. “Travis (Walker) was in Kargo colours last year when he won this race, and I think it’s pretty cool to get it second year in a row for the team,” said Davids.

Top contender and local rider Hill abandoned the race before the halfway mark due to an illness. It was Lill who continued to surge ahead in a bid to catch Davids, claiming second place overall, with third place going to White.

Smimango Mazwi of RMB’s Change a Life Academy, who finished 11th overall, breathlessly described the team’s experience of the race. “It was very good, but it was very tough. There was a lot of climbing. We tried to manage it even though it was very hard. But we really enjoyed it. It’s great to be racing for Mandela’s name, and so good for Change a Life.”

In the women’s race, it was Candice Neethling that rode a very strong race and remained untouchable throughout. Neethling heads to Europe next week to compete with the National Road team in two UCI races.

“I felt very strong, I’ve been training really hard because I am going to Europe next week to compete in some road races. This race fell at the right time for me and it was good to have done some hard mountain biking before I leave. A win is always a good confidence boost – I know it's going to be a completely different story in Europe but I’m leaving on a positive note.”

Almost eight minutes behind was Tiffany Keep (Pure Adventure Wear) and a charging Hayley Smith (Bell), who rode a stronger second half of her race to pass endurance rider Jeannie Dreyer (USN/Hi-Tec) and claim third place overall.

Keep’s impressive performance throughout the race saw her claim the first prize in the Youth Women’s category and second place overall. “It was a very hard ride, it was extremely dusty out there. The course was really nice and I really enjoyed the singletrack that they put in this year. I was riding with a nice group of riders throughout. My legs got a little tired towards the end but in the end I am very happy with how I rode and being the second lady overall.”

In the 21km race, it was Mboneni Ngcobo (RMB Change A Life Academy) that claimed top honours with Juniors Timothy Nefdt and Leonard Robberts claiming second and third respectively. The women’s race saw young Sprog rider Chloe Bateson take the win, with Sub Junior Sarah Ryan (2nd) and Sub veteran Angela Dragt (3rd) rounding out the podium.

Mayor of uMgungundlovu Municipality, Councillor Yusuf Bhamjee, said it was a bold decision for the Municipality to host the two-day festival of sports, but that the concept behind the Mandela Day Marathon was to embrace more sports.

“We are forging a partnership with all codes of sport. The mountain biking event is the first event other than the marathon to go into its second year and we believe that we can live the legacy by cycling for Madiba in a way to bring all types of sporting codes and people together, because Madiba belonged to all.

“We need to create awareness to people from all the sporting codes that Madiba delivered a significant blow to racism, nationally and internationally. We will continue to use these events to endorse to young and old and the future generations the understanding of what the oppression was, what the struggle for freedom was and how now together we must address other pressing issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality. By doing this we can promote the legacy of Madiba.”

Summary of Results – Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash

42km – Overall Men

1.Brendon Davids (Senior)
2.Darren Lill (Sub Veteran)
3.Tyronne White (Sub Veteran)
4.Jaco Pelser (Senior)
5.Joshua Nelson (Junior)
6.Sthembiso Masango (Senior)
7.Matthew Wilkinson (Senior)
8.Ryan Piercey (Sub Veteran)
9.Stuart Marais (Senior)
10.Leeroy Emslie (Senior)

42km – Overall Women

1.Candice Neethling (Senior)
2.Tiffany Keep (Youth)
3.Hayley Smith (Senior)
4.Jeannie Dreyer (Sub Veteran)
5.Desiree Verwey (Sub Veteran)

21km – Overall Men

1.Mboneni Ngcobo (Senior)
2.Timothy Nefdt (Junior)
3.Leonard Robberts (Junior)
4.Devon Baird (Sub Junior)
5.Gerhard Gous (Veteran)
6.Sam Moore (Sub Junior)
7.Dreyer Botma (Sprog)
8.Timothy Larsen (Sub Junior)
9.Reece Mc Callum (Sub Junior)
10.Tanner Quinn (Youth)

21km – Overall Women

1.Chloe Bateson (Sprog)
2.Sarah Ryan (Sub Junior)
3.Angela Dragt (Sub Veteran)
4.Kerrine Harvey (Sub Veteran)
5.Gilly Robartes (Open)

MTB ‘Zulus’ anticipate celebration of Mandela’s Day

Hailed as a “triumph of the human spirit”, the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash’s slogan slots right in with the triumph of the spirit of KwaZulu-Natal’s RMB Change A Life (CAL) Academy, who are relishing the chance to be part of the celebration of Mandela’s Day at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site on Saturday, 29 August.

Speaking of the significance of a race like the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, RMB CAL Zulus team captain John Ntuli said that it was a very important race for the team. “Mandela was a man of the country and an important part of our history. When the race started last year, the guys were very happy to do it. It is an iconic race actually, and we love to be part of it. It is very important to all of us to be part of the celebration of Mandela’s Day.”

Explaining the significance of the team to the local community of the Valley of 1000 Hills, Ntuli says: “The Academy has changed my life, big time! All the younger kids who see us riding want to join the team and do what we do. They love us and they love the idea of cycling, and the good lifestyle that it brings.”

Ntuli has spent a large part of his life racing, and over the past 15 years he has competed in running races as well as duathlons (a combination of running and cycling). Over the past five years, Ntuli has been a vital cog in the wheel of the RMB CAL Zulus. Now, he gets to coach and train the younger generation while competing at a top level. “It makes me feel good to be able to teach them,” he said.

The RMB CAL Zulus is made up of 10 men over the age of 20. The team members are Sthembiso Masango, Mboneni Ngcobo, Bongumusa Zikhali, Maza Ndontso, Sipho Kupiso, Mazwi Smimasango, Dumisani Tshabalala, Syanda Masango, Scelo Mhlongo and Ntuli.

“We are now on the search for two young women to join the team,” said Ntuli.

With the development of cycling in the province being a strong focus of Cycling KwaZulu-Natal (CKZN), a life changing and stimulating project like the RMB Change A Life Academy contributes to discovering future champions by identifying talent and providing a support structure to develop and nurture that talent.

RMB Change A Life Academy founder, Martin Dreyer, notes that the Mandela Day Marathon festival of events is a great day out for all sporting enthusiasts. “It’s a very big deal on the calendar. The whole weekend sees a lot of athletes participating. Mountain biking is still growing in stature if you compare it to the running marathon. But with 2016 Rio Olympic Games mountain bike track builder Nick Floros being responsible for shaping the routes, mountain bikers will know they are in safe and capable hands! Based on that, we are in for a real treat with the route.”

The lure of the total R120000 prize purse for the mountain bike races alone has rippled through the mountain bike community, not least for the RMB CAL Zulus.

“The opportunity of winning real cash gets anyone excited, especially those who are reliant on cycling as an income source,” said Dreyer. “They are very excited at the opportunity to participate for a portion of the very big prize purse and there are age group prizes too.”

The RMB CAL Zulus feel privileged to be part of an event of this magnitude, and to be racing in the honour and remembrance of our late former President, Nelson Mandela. The title of the race alone, as well as the iconic venue, provides immense inspiration.

“The team raced the first event last year and they will tell you that it is not very long, but it is tough,” said Dreyer, whose riders are well used to the longer marathon distances in mountain bike races. “They had a fantastic time on the course.”

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 26 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Greg Minnaar Cycles, Town Bush Road, Pietermaritzburg from 12:00-17:00 on 28 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:30-08:00 on race day, 29 August.

For information on the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website - http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1599 

 

Dreyer returns to Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash to have some fun

 After a successful first instalment last year, the second annual Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash will be back again this year and has once again attracted the interest of South Africa’s great cyclists, including the 2014 women’s winner Jeannie Dreyer, at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday 29 August 2015.

 Dreyer (USN/Hi-Tec) is set to compete and although another win in the bag would be a bonus, it’s the pure love for the sport that brings her back. “Every race I do is always for enjoyment, I absolutely love riding. So regardless of the event, I just go out there and have a really great time,” she said.

 Jeannie and her husband, Martin, recently returned home from a tough 900km Colorado Trail MTB race in the United States, where she was the first woman across the finish line setting a new record as well. “It was incredible, well when I look back it was,” she laughed. “The scenery and experience was unlike anything I’ve done before, but it was tough.”

 The Dreyers are well known for their mountain biking adventures together, and when asked what the significance of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash means to her, she said: “There are a lot of different types sporting activities on offer at the festival. It creates an environment for as many people as possible to get involved because there’s something for everyone. Having added mountain biking to the event brings another exciting dimension to the weekend.”

 Although a large total prize purse of R120000 is on offer for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, Dreyer is more excited to be on her bike taking in the atmosphere on the day. “It’s such a momentous occasion, and to have the start and finish at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site is so special. It’s a truly iconic venue, and although most people know where and what it is, many people don’t actually take the time to absorb the beauty and history that it offers,” she said.

 With equal prize money up for grabs in the men and women’s races, the event organisers have gone a long way to recognise the efforts and commitment from women, particularly during Women’s month in August.

 Being a mother herself, Dreyer sees the importance of making this event a family affair: “The venue is a great place to hang out in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and it is safe off the highway. The children can picnic on the grass there in the beautiful setting with mum or dad whilst the other parent competes, if the youngsters don’t take part themselves. It’s just a really good day out.”

 The Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash offers route variations, with the full 42km MTB Classic, a 21km intermediate and a 10km fun ride for family and friends.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 26 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Greg Minnaar Cycles, Town Bush Road, Pietermaritzburg from 12:00-17:00 on 28 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:30-08:00 on race day, 29 August.

For information on the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website - http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1599

Celebrating an international icon though sport

The 53rd Anniversary of the capture and arrest of the worldwide Icon and late South African former president Nelson Mandela was marked on Wednesday 5 August 2015. Madiba, as he will always be so fondly remembered, crept into the hearts of every South African particularly with his wonderful endorsement of all sports. In celebration and recognition of this great man, the country’s mountain biking fraternity is getting ready for the second Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, which will take place on at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday 29 August 2015.

Brendon Davids, who races for South Africa’s UCI-registered mountain bike team, Kargo Pro MTB, will be on the start line for his first Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash this year.

Being a young South African sportsperson in a time of democracy, Davids recognises that the opportunities of being able to compete nationally and internationally are greatly owed to Nelson Mandela himself.

“I think to be able to compete on such a day is special to many people. But personally, to honour the man who helped us, as South Africans, to compete on the world stage as well as uniting a nation through sport in very difficult times is definitely something very special.”

While Davids will be joining several other professional riders competing for a part of the magnificent total prize purse of R120000 on offer, the routes and trails also ensure that there is something for everyone, and the importance of family participation in sport is most certainly embraced on the day.

“To remember Nelson Mandela at the site of his capture in the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, how could you not want to make a day out of it? I feel that having more people to interact with on such a special occasion would help all to socialise and unite - what better way to honour Madiba himself?” said Davids.

The main mountain bike race isn’t easy though, and there are sections on the course that are challenging, and through hard work and perseverance, the riders will finish with triumph and pride. This message of triumph through struggles and challenges is a diluted version of that of the life of Nelson Mandela that is resonated throughout the race. As a professional cyclist, Davids shares one of his stories of personal challenge:

“There are many such cases for all athletes across every level of ability and competitiveness. Each race in itself is a “mini story”. One that particularly comes to mind for me is my participation in the World Championships on home soil in Pietermaritzburg in 2013. After being caught behind a crash on the start I was almost in last place mid way through the first lap. One by one I moved up through the field before finding myself battling for 15th in the closing moments of the race. I unfortunately dislocated my shoulder with a few hundred meters to go in a big crash, which saw me finish just outside the top 15. But most importantly, it was testament to the human spirit - how much you can achieve if you truly set your mind to it. It was a special day having friends and family losing their minds next to the track.”

Winner of the 2014 Men’s race, Travis Walker (Team Full Dynamix) shared his feelings about competing in last year’s event.

“With it being the first race of it’s kind, I found that it was very well organised and well supported. It is great that the race is in that area as well – the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has some of the best riding trails. There’s also lots to do there off the bike as well, and the area has something to offer the whole family,” he said.

“To be able to celebrate South Africa’s greatest icon whilst doing what I enjoy is a big plus. The importance of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, I feel, is to keep the legacy of Madiba living, and to educate the younger generations of his achievements through sport.”

Walker will not be competing in this year’s event due to his racing commitments in Italy.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 26 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Greg Minnaar Cycles, Town Bush Road, Pietermaritzburg from 12:00-17:00 on 28 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:30-08:00 on race day, 29 August.

For information on the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website - http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1599

 

Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash a race of great significance

24 July 2015 – The 2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash takes place in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday 29 August, with the start and finish situated at the iconic Nelson Mandela Capture Site, which has become a popular tourist destination since the erection of the famous steel-column sculpture in 2012, made famous by artist Marco Cianfanelli.

The 50 linear vertical steel columns commemorated the 50-year anniversary since our late former president’s capture in August 1962.Each element of the sculpture plays an integral role in telling the story of Nelson Mandela’s struggle, his vision, and his many ideas, which as a whole had the power to bring about democracy and political change for our nation. The pathway on which people walk to view the statue depicts the “long walk to freedom”, and visitors to the site can see a two-dimensional image of Madiba’s portrait from 30m away.

Riders competing in the MTB Dash, like in many other mountain bike races, will face challenges, hills and obstacles along the way. However, the tough parts of the race that will be tackled will be in remembrance of the trials and tribulations, which Madiba had to overcome in order to change our lives for the better.

The individual elements of the Mandela capture site sculpture, which all come together to symbolise one meaning, will be reflected in the efforts of each individual taking part in the race thus unifying all competitors in this exquisite and historic part of the country.

Although aimed at the regular rider, there are enough sections for families and first-timers to enjoy, as well as it being challenging enough for those at the top-end of the sport, thanks to the input from KwaZulu-Natal local and 2016 Rio Olympic MTB course designer, Nick Floros.

The revamped route incorporates the grasslands sections of the inaugural 2014 route, with the new inclusion of the Sappi forests and the popular Howick mountain bike trails. The 42km, 21km and 10km routes offer something for everyone with varied abilities, with enough punch to give the pros a reason to give all they have in contesting for a share of one of the largest overall race prize purse being R120000.

Floros says that big hills will remain and are a vital part of the route in order for the vantage points and descents to be appreciated as well. One of the most talked about sections is the highest point on the course, which overlooks Howick, Karkloof and Midmar Dam. The beauty of the KZN Midlands will be largely appreciated.

The ever-popular mountain bike trail networks in Howick and the Lions River Valley will be extensively utilised, presenting a sublime taste of mountain biking at its best. A huge thanks is extended to Sappi and to all the landowners on whose properties the race routes will traverse.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 26 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Greg Minnaar Cycles, Town Bush Road, Pietermaritzburg from 12:00-17:00 on 28 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:30-08:00 on race day, 29 August.

For information on the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/

For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/

For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website - http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1599

Croeser & Vale clinch victory in final round of SA MTB Cup Series

Cold conditions greeted the riders at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg for the fourth and final round of the Stihl SA MTB Cup Series, which saw tough competition and hard racing amongst all the categories today.

The sun broke through at the beginning of the Elite Men’s seven-lap race at 1pm, five minutes before the Junior Men took off to race their five. The Elite race was a neck-and-neck battle to the end between Full Dynamix Pro Team’s Rourke Croeser and Kargo Pro MTB Team rider, Alan Hatherly.

Croeser surprised the crowds with his entry, as he arrived from Europe to race and then proceeded to take the Elite Men’s victory ahead of Hatherly, who topped the series’ points log. “I arrived on Thursday evening – it was a late decision. KZN MTB managed to help me out to get me here,” said Croeser.

On the main climb on the second lap, Jessop managed to break away from the group and keep a consistent gap of close to 30 seconds ahead of the second place position, which was claimed by Namibian rider Tristan de Lange. “It was tough and full of pain, but I’m so happy to win,” Jessop said.

The Youth Men’s category win was claimed by firecracker, Pieter du Toit (Kargo Pro MTB Team). Du Toit said: “It was a very nice race. I didn’t have the best start but the climbs were really nice, and the technical sections were wonderful. One of the boys unfortunately fell just after the corkscrew section, which is where I managed to get away from the pack. The new pump track was wonderful to ride as well. A very big thanks to Team Kargo for the kit and all of the support.”

Setting the tone for the day, the women’s races delivered fast paced action in very cold conditions at 10am. With Mariske Strauss watching from the sidelines wearing a moon boot, her Novus OMX Pro Team teammate Cherie Vale leapt out of the start gates and comfortably stretched her lead as the six-lap race progressed.

Chasing hard was Bianca Haw (Red Bull/Specialized) and Hayley Smith (Bell) but Junior rider Frankie du Toit (Time Freight eTeam) also found herself in the mix, despite her category starting the race 2 minutes later than the Elite Women. Vale claimed the victory with Haw finishing second, six-and-a-half minutes back with a rampant Smith only 13-seconds back in third.

“I was a bit worried in the beginning, the legs felt a bit tight but I thought if I just push it on the climbs and descents that I could just recover a little,” said Vale. “I took it easy – I rode the rock garden well in the practice but I had an uneasy feeling in the race so I decided to take the B-line and it paid off because I was able to get the speed out of the rock garden with no hesitance. Once I opened the gap I just tried to drive for more time.

“But the support out there was fantastic and it is amazing what Nick (Floros) can do out there with the track, making it so different to what we’re used to. It had a great flow and was well balanced and offers us great help in preparing to go and race overseas.”

Du Toit’s remarkable lap times over four laps show immense promise for this young lady, and her solid victory placed her four minutes ahead of second placed Genevieve van Coller with Sabrina van Wyk collecting third.

“I had a fast start and my aim was to get into the top singletrack first and I just put my head down and I went for it,” said Du Toit. “I managed to keep my lead until the very end, which was great. I caught some of the elite ladies and when I started seeing them, I just pushed harder. I’ve been training hard and I’m very happy to see it paying off.”

Local lass Tiffany Keep (Pure Adventure Wear) took control of the Youth race from the onset, finishing with a five-minute lead over Danielle Strydom with Allison Morton third in the four-lap race.

“It was a very hard race, definitely very intense,” said Keep. “This track was lots of fun and I really enjoyed it. It was very different to the normal courses that we have at Cascades. It was switched around and there was a section through the pump track, which was lots of fun. I really enjoyed it as a whole, and I’m happy with the win.”

The four-lap sub junior boys race showed immense talent from the youngsters with an ultra fierce battle that unfolded. Luke Moir and Daniel van der Walt raced neck-and-neck for the first two laps and opened a sizeable gap from the rest of the field. Moir snapped the elastic band on the third lap and placed a 50-second gap against Van Der Walt by the end of the race. Third place finisher Adriaan Duminy closed the gap and finished a minute behind.

Andrea de Waal rode a solid race in the Sub Junior Girls category with Sabine Thies and Megan Bircher making excellent ground after both recovering well from early crashes to finish second and third respectively.

From the young little Nippers categories right through to the Veteran age groups, the 2015 Stihl SA MTB Cup Series cross-country races closed out today with top-notch racing and great crowd support for our talented athletes.

Sunday will see the downhill competitors battle it out on the championship track to close out the four-part series of events. Racing starts at 10am at Cascades MTB Park and spectators are welcome.

Summary of results: 2015 Stihl SA MTB Cup Series #4


Elite Men
1. Rourke Croeser 01:29:54
2. Alan Hatherly 01:30:06
3. Philip Buys 01:31:44
4. Brendon Davids 01:32:09
5. Gert Heyns 01:32:23
6. Stuart Marais 01:32:39
7. Arno du Toit 01:34:28
8. Matthys Beukes 01:35:08
9. Marc Fourie 01:38:10
10. Jan Withaar 01:38:49

Elite Women
1. Cherie Vale 01:35:05
2. Bianca Haw 01:41:30
3. Hayley Smith 01:41:44

Junior Men
1. Julian Jessop 01:05:55
2. Tristan de Lange 01:06:15
3. Matthew Lombardi 01:07:06

Junior Women
1. Frances du Toit 01:00:45
2. Genevieve van Coller 01:04:46
3. Sabrina van Wyk 01:10:40

Youth Men
1. Pieter Du Toit 00:55:36
2. Chris du Plessis 00:56:37
3. Sharjah Jonsson 00:58:27

Youth Women
1. Tiffany Keep 01:04:29
2. Danielle Strydom 01:09:36
3. Allison Morton 01:11:01

Sub Junior Boys
1. Luke Moir 01:01:10
2. Daniel van der Walt 01:02:02
3. Adriaan Duminy 01:03:02

Sub Junior Girls
1. Andrea de Waal 00:57:46
2. Sabine Thies 00:59:57
3. Megan Bircher 01:00:26

Sprogs Boys
1. Ben du Plessis 00:30:38
2. Luca Ruwiel 00:31:39
3. Jordan Bold 00:33:00

Sprogs Girls
1. Chloe Bateson 00:34:30
2. Chante Olivier 00:35:38
3. Marjone Strydom 00:39:01

Nippers Boys
1. Alec Coleske 00:24:07
2. Marco Strydom 00:25:05
3. Hendre de Villiers 00:25:09

Nippers Girls
1. Hannah Elliott 00:32:23
2. Megan Emslie 00:33:16

Sub Vet Men
1. Dan Fowler 01:26:40
2. Bradley Rowlett 01:29:54
3. Trevor Rowe 01:30:05

Sub Vet Women
1. Nadine Nunes 01:24:12

Veteran Men
1. Warren Price 01:11:03
2. Mark Moir 01:11:52
3. Alan van Coller 01:18:57

Veteran Women
1. Natalie Bergstrom 01:08:17
2. Frances Marsburg -1lap
3. Caroline Dann -1lap

Master Men
1. Jimmy Redman 01:05:12
2. Tony Stark 01:08:15
3. Gregory Hill 01:20:30

To see the full set of resutls, click here: http://www.cyclingsa...ults-1-bn8w.pdf 

 

STIHL SA CUP: 26th – 28th JUNE 2015
Cascades MTB Park, Pietermaritzburg

DATES

XCO:      SATURDAY 27th JUNE 2015

DHI:       SUNDAY 28th JUNE 2015

VENUE
XCO & DH – Cascades MTB Park, Cascades, Pietermaritzburg

PARKING
Parking is available at the Cascades Shopping Centre.

REGISTRATION
XCO
Registration will take place in a marquee at the Cascades MTB Park on Friday 26th June between 9h00 – 16h00. There is no registration on Saturday 27th June. Only number board collection will be  permitted from 06h30 to 07h00. Late entries will be accepted on Friday only at an additional R50.

DHI
Registration will take place in a marquee at the Cascades MTB Park on Friday 26th June between 9h00 – 16h00 and on Saturday 27th June between 9h00 – 12h00. 

OFFICIAL PRACTICE
XCO
Official practice is from 10h00 to 16h00 on Friday 26th June.

DHI
Official practice is from 10h00 to 16h00 on Friday 26th June and 10h00 to 16h00 on Saturday 27th June.

OFFICIAL PROGRAMME
As below

ENTRIES
Online entries for both XCO and DHI are available on www.cyclingsa.com
Pre-entries close on Tuesday 23rd June.

Late entries will be available for both XCO and DHI on Friday 26th June from 09h00 to 16h00. This will carry an additional R50 fee. Late entries are also available for DHI from 09h00 to 12h00 on Saturday 27th June – also at an additional R50 fee.

SPONSORS
The local organising committee is the KwaZulu-Natal MTB Commission (KZN MTB).
Stihl is the official title sponsor to the SA Cup Series.

PRIZE GIVING
XCO – Saturday 27th June
11h00 – Early Events
13h00 – Morning Events
16h00 – 30+ Men & UCI cats

DH – Sunday 28th June
After final run, approximately 16h00.

COMMENTATORS
Shane James is the commentator for both the XCO and the DH.

VENDORS
Vendors currently lined up for the XCO event are as follows:
- Tamleigh’s Catering
- POC Products
- PVM Products

PHOTOGRAPHY
Provided by Gavin Ryan from QuickPix.

TIME-KEEPING
Time keeping will be performed by Great-Time www.great-time.co.za

MEDICAL SERVICES
Medical services will be provided by Event Medical Services (EMS) for both XCO and DHI.

FURTHER INFORMATION
Further Information can be obtained on the website of KZN MTB at www.kznmtb.co.za and also on the related social media of Facebook and Twitter.

 

A Note of the Downhill Course for SA Cup:

The course will be the same track as used for the KZN Provincial Championships, but slightly shorter. The start will take place lower down at the wet weather start. For practice on Friday and Saturday the riders need to take great care at the finish line down in the “bowl” at Cascades as the XCO track crosses over the Downhill and Downhill riders will not be able to jump the last jump after Money Maker as they may collide with the XCO riders on the track.

On Sunday (race day) the practice session and the race will finish at the normal finish line. It is only for practice on Friday and Saturday that the riders will be stopped short, just after Money Maker.

Very dry and dusty conditions still persist and certain sections of the track is becoming very tricky with ruts and holes deepening with all the “traffic” as a huge amount of riders are riding on a daily basis since the past weekend. The track will be closed Wednesday and Thursday for maintenance and inspection by the Chief Commissaire, opening at 10:00 on Friday 26 June 2015 for official practice.

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Odendaal, Fourie crowned KZN Downhill Champs

7 June 2015 – KwaZulu-Natal’s top mountain bikers brought their A-game as Tiaan Odendaal and Kathryn Fourie descended the mountain in the quickest times in the men and women’s races to claim top honours at the 2015 KZN Provincial Downhill Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, which was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg today, 7 June.

Despite the cold front having settled in for the weekend, the sun came out and provided warmer conditions whilst the riders lit up the track as they descended the full 2013 World Championship track for a chance at the provincial titles.

Fastest rider of the day and the recently crowned KZN Enduro Champion, Tiaan Odendaal, was happy with his victory and not even his attire slowed him down on the day. “I lost a bet with my mates, which is why I’m wearing a suit today,” he said. “My race was good, I’m tired, but it was good. The first run was 4 minutes 6 seconds and my friends told me I had to try and get below 4:00 with my next one, and I got 4 minutes exactly, so I’m happy to have knocked 6 seconds off my time.”

Odendaal posted the fastest times in both of his timed runs. “My bike was running ‘hundreds’ thanks to my friends, and a huge thank you to my mom for always supporting me as well. I’ve had some great support this weekend from my friends – its awesome. It feels pretty great to win KZN Champs, and in a suit as well,” he laughed.

Women’s winner, Kathryn Fourie, was all smiles at the end of the day, and full of energy despite two solid days of racing in both the Enduro and Downhill disciplines. “My race went pretty well, there were a few sketchy moments in the first run – I think everyone is always a bit nervous in the beginning. It was quite dusty and loose so I had to be careful out there. I had a good time at the end of it – I didn’t crash, which is always a bonus. My second run was pretty similar; a lot of people were feeling tired because the course is quite long. We normally compete on half of the distance so racing the full track is rather exhausting. I did the Enduro yesterday, which was awesome, but I could feel it in my legs today.”

The first Junior rider home, Jonathan Philogene, posted the second fastest overall time of the day and was honoured to take the win in his category. “Today went pretty well, even in the practice run. I had a few mechanicals, which we thankfully managed to fix. After I posted a good first race run I decided that I’m going to keep it chilled for the second race run and keep it safe so I could race again. The day was great as a whole and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end it.”

Jason Williams claimed the Youth Men’s provincial title despite crashing in his second timed run. “My first run was good, I managed to put in a solid run. I didn’t pedal much so I knew that I could make up a bit more time in the second run. But I lost a few seconds in my second run when I went straight into a tree. I had to hold it together after that and I got to the bottom safely.”

KZN MTB extends great thanks to the local sponsors of the Provincial Downhill and Enduro Series, as well as the weekend’s Championship events. Thank you NMI-DSM, your support is most valued.

Summary of Results – KZN MTB Championships (Downhill) – 7 June 2015

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Overall Men

1.Tiaan Odendaal 04:00.19
2.Jonathan Philogene 04:06.70
3.Timothy Bentley 04:14.47
4.David Hogan 04:14.79
5.Gregg Brown 04:21.35
6.Kelvin Purchase 04:24.41
7.Andre Pretorius 04:24.44
8.Nigel Hicks 04:29.14
9.Dustin Rudman 04:31.12
10.Craig Paul 04:31.37

Overall Women

1.Kathryn Fourie 05:22.17
2.Kim Westbrook 05:43.78
3.Sabine Thies 05:46.19
4.Joanne Hicks 05:57.46
5.Lauren Hoyer 06:40.84

Elite Men

1.Tiaan Odendaal 04:00.19
2.Timothy Bentley 04:14.47
3.David Hogan 04:14.79
4.Gregg Brown 04:21.35

Elite Women

1.Kim Westbrook 05:43.78
2.Lauren Hoyer 06:40.84

Junior Men

1.Jonathan Philogene 04:06.70
2.Struan McMaster 04:39.58
3.Jaryd Austin 05:17.82

Youth Men

1.Jason Williams 04:43.27
2.Sharjah Jonsson 04:44.64
3.Peter Fogden 04:45.41

Sub Junior Boys

1.Kayde Brown 05:47.74
2.Timothy Camp 06:00.23

Sub Junior Girls

1.Sabine Thies 05:46.19

Sprog Boys

1.Kyle Brand 06:39.91

Nipper Boys

1.Keagan Brand 06:59.10
2.Cameron Curtis 09:14.93
3.Caleb Archer 10:56.86

Sub Vet Men

1.Nigel Hicks 04:29.14
2.Craig Paul 04:31.37
3.Mark Millar 04:33.48

Sub Vet Women

1.Kathryn Fourie 05:22.17
2.Joanne Hicks 05:57.46
3.Katherine McIver 07:17.29

Veteran Men

1.Thane Archer 05:11.77
2.Grant Dekker 05:25.24
3.Alastair Brand 05:44.10

Master Men

1.Leon Cronje 05:25.13
2.Peter Hoyer 05:53.85

Odendaal, Westbrook claim KZN Enduro Champs titles

6 June 2015 – Tiaan Odendaal and Kim Westbrook claimed the Senior Men and Women’s titles at the 2015 KZN Provincial Enduro Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, which was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg today.

Conditions were cool and crisp and the lack of rain meant a dry and dusty track, which led to fast race times for the participants. The Enduro race saw riders in various age categories compete in a total of four timed stages, with the fastest total time determining the winner.

The star venue has hosted four World Cups and a World Championship event in the past for the cross-country and downhill disciplines and today’s provincial Enduro event was unleashed on a championship worthy course.

Event organiser and avid rider, Dave Drummond, was pleased with how the event turned out. “I had a blast today, it was so much fun. There were varied trails – we go into soft loose sections and then hard fast sections, and tight and twisty sections and open track. The climb was exhausting but it was worth it.”

Maritzburg College Grade 10 pupil and Youth winner, Sharjah Jonsson, is a keen participant of Enduro, XCO and Downhill races stamping his authority on the events that he competes in.

“MTB is the epitome of my existence,” he laughs. “I enjoy Enduro because it is a mix of the two [XCO and DHI]. I like the type of bike that we’re riding in Enduro. It really is the most fun you can have on a bike. The climbs up to the top were hectic today, but I live 500m from the track so this is my back garden and I ride here often. I’m used to the steep stuff and the rooty sections and there were some brand new trails with some really big ruts in them, which was really cool.”

The 2013 XCO Champ and 2014 Enduro Champ will be competing in the DHI Championship event tomorrow. “I haven’t been able to ride much this week as I’ve had seven exams in five days,” he said.

Sub veteran winner Craig Paul is no stranger to mountain bike racing. “I’m trying different things now. I’ve had my days of racing cross-country and no longer have time to train, so I’m doing some Enduro and Downhill now. I’m enjoying it and doing it for fun. Obviously, coming from a racing background, I’m naturally going to be competitive and I’m always going to go flatbox when I’m on the bike, but it’s a good load of fun with a great bunch of guys who are all like-minded.”

Senior Men’s winner and the young man with the fastest time overall, Tiaan Odendaal, said: “It was was quite cold this morning and hard to get going. I felt good and strong and didn’t crash, so it ended up being a good day on the bike. Today was probably the hardest Enduro that I’ve done, going up and down.”

Odendaal will try and recover this evening in order to be fresh for the KZN Downhill Champs tomorrow, which will utilise the full World Cup track.

Women’s winner, Kim Westbrook, was elated with her surprise victory: “I came in today with low expectations and I came to have a good time. When I got onto the singletrack I found my pedals and tried to stay on my bike and I just had so much fun. I love Enduro, it is such a nice vibe and everyone is so chilled. You cruise up the hill chatting, pushing your bikes, and then you get to go as fast as you can on a clean piece of singletrack.”

Local mountain bike manufacturer, Patrick Morewood, is a name synonymous with mountain biking and the PYGA co-founder claimed the Championship title in the Veteran’s category.

“For me, having a business and a family takes a lot of time,” said Morewood. “Downhill is a time consuming exercise and cross-country is great but requires a lot of training, and the fun factor is not there if you’re not fit. Whereas Enduro, you can have average skills and fitness and still have fun.

“The track today was technically very good with a nice gradient especially on the first two stages, and some good technical stuff with drop-offs. It really had all sorts.”

According to Drummond, a brand new timing system was put to the test today. “KZN MTB has invested in a timing system that uses timing chips on the wrist and riders scan in and scan out when they start and finish each stage. The info is carried on the chip and when you cross the finish line you scan the chip in and all the data comes straight through.”

KZN MTB is using the same timing technology as the Enduro World Series but on a smaller scale. “Riders still have to stop and scan before and after each stage, whereas the World Series uses a system that reads from a distance so you don't have to stop and scan.”

The KZN Provincial Downhill Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 7 June.

Summary of Results – KZN MTB Championships (Enduro) – 6 June 2015

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Overall Men

1.Tiaan Odendaal 15:59
2.Hilton Frost 17:17
3.Craig Paul 17:31
4.Jedson Tooms 18:11
5.Shane Martin 18:13
6.Sharjah Jonsson 18:22
7.Jonathan Philogene 18:36
8.Andre van Aarde 18:36
9.Patrick Morewood 18:53
10.Christopher Pearton 18:55

Overall Women

1.Kim Westbrook 21:16
2.Kathryn Fourie 22:44
3.Sabine Thies 24:11
4.Elja van Urk 24:34
5.Charne Dreyer 24:39

Senior Men

1.Tiaan Odendaal 15:59
2.Hilton Frost 17:17
3.Jedson Tooms 18:11
4.Shane Martin 18:13
5.Andre van Aarde 18:36

Senior Women

1.Kim Westbrook 21:16

Junior Men

1.Jonathan Philogene 18:36
2.Dean Wortmann 20:21
3.Mitchell Meugens 20:42

Youth Men

1.Sharjah Jonsson 18:22
2.Jett Bradshaw 19:50
3.Kieira Duncan 21:31

Sub Junior Boys

1.Kayle Seaward 19:59
2.Connor Finnis 21:51
3.Tristan Quibell 27:39

Sun Junior Girls

1.Sabine Thies 24:11
2.Charne Dreyer 24:39

Sprog Boys

1.Dreyer Botma 27:53

Nipper Boys

1.Keagan Brand 26:32

Sub Vet Men

1.Craig Paul 17:31
2.Mark Millar 18:57
3.Craig Scott 19:47

Sub Vet Women

1.Kathryn Fourie 22:44
2.Elja van Urk 24:34
3.Katherine M’Iver 30:24

Veteran Men

1.Patrick Morewood 18:53
2.Grant Macpherson 19:02
3.Craig Seaward 19:25

Veteran Women

1.Nicky Mcleod 26:47

Master Men

1.Mark Mcleod 22:35
2.Michael Frost 22:43
3.David Arpin 23:22

Grand Master Men

1.Ashley Nesbitt 22:55

 

Exciting Enduro promises championship worthy course

Downhill and Enduro racers have put in their final track preparations and are ready for the 2015 KZN Provincial Enduro and Downhill Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, which takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on 6-7 June. Competitors of all ages will be vying for a chance at the provincial title in their respective age categories on some of the most sublime trails and tracks that the highly acclaimed venue has to offer.

With the fairly new Enduro discipline gaining in popularity, event organiser Dave Drummond has promised a course worthy of a championship event. Two stages of the four-stage Enduro will be made up of trails consisting of steep downhills and challenging technical sections, while the other two stages will be fast and flowing trail.

Drummond would like to remind the riders that there will be no shuttle uplift on Saturday, so participants will need to pedal to the top of the Cascades forest to the start of the first stage. They will then tackle the first of the four timed stages, which are interspersed with “untimed liaison” stages where they transition to the start of the next timed stage.

“The beauty of Enduro racing is that anyone can enter on any bike!” reiterates Drummond. “It’s a competitive event where the number one focus is on fun.”

Veteran competitor, Grant Dekker, is keen to take on both the Enduro and Downhill events, even after a recent knee operation.

“I will be there – I’ll be limping up the hill but I will be there,” said Dekker. “I had to have a knee op because Mankele “owned” me. I still did my seeding run and raced the National Cup race against the advice of the nurses there, and my knee was pretty much the size of a soccer ball.”

Dekker practiced on the Cascades track at the weekend to see if he could even manage the ride. “I did some riding on Saturday and then spent the whole day at the track on Sunday and I’m feeling good.”

When chatting about the Enduro Championship event, Dekker had this to say: “There are mates of mine that are riding who I know I can beat but in my current condition, I’m not sure if I can. There are no excuses in this game but one thing is for certain – you can’t ‘not’ rock up to KZN Champs! It’s the ultimate bragging right.”

Mountain biking’s highly skilled Downhill riders will be in action on Sunday as they take to the track to determine the fastest descender who will be crowned the provincial champion.

KZN Downhill Champs event organiser and course designer, Nigel Hicks, says that the track will be exactly the same as that of the 2013 Elite World Championships. “It’s very dry and very dusty, which is going to make for very fast riding. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said.

The event organisers appeal to the Downhill competitors to register for the race on Saturday so that the start lists and correct seeding orders can be finalised by the timing crew before the start on Sunday. Registration will be open at Cascades until 15:00.

Spectators to the park will be able to see some of KZN’s best riders in action in two separate events – the popular and relatively new Enduro discipline on Saturday with the Downhill on Sunday. Both events start at 11:00 and not 12:00 as previously advertised.

Event details:

Date: 6-7 June 2015
Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Location: Cascades MTB Park
Entries Close: 3 June 2015
Starting Time: 11:00
Registration: Cascades, 08:00-11:00 & Cascades, 07:30-10:30
Late Entries: Yes
Timed By: Elite Timing
ROAG Registration: No
Event Website: http://www.kznmtb.co.za

Online pre-entries are open, and close at midnight tonight. Click here to enter: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1469. Late entries will be accepted at registration with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.

Entrance for spectators is free, and all are welcome to attend to watch some spectacular mountain bike racing.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dellah Paul This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Thrilling KZN XCO Champs finale

Enthusiastic mountain bikers of all ages arrived at Cascades MTB Park and raced to their limits for a stake at the cross-country Championship titles in their respective categories in Pietermaritzburg today.

Conditions were ideal with a cool and crisp start to the morning, warming up to over 30 degrees by noon, which made for some thrilling racing. The riders welcomed the fresh changes to the track by course builder Nick Floros.

Elite Men’s winner, Stuart Marais, embraced the revamped track, which has hosted a few World Cups and a World Championship event in the past. “It was a good race, they had made a couple of changes to what we usually race here, which made for more of an interesting race. But it was a good change and I really enjoyed it,” he said.

Marais still managed to fight his way to the finish despite a nasty tumble as well. “I took ‘Red-Lipped Herald’ a little bit too fast and overshot it a bit and came off quite hard, so I slowed up for the first couple of laps and towards the end I started feeling alright again. I started to put the hammer down and managed to secure the win,” he added.

Second place in the Elite Men’s race went to Leeroy Emslie with Sthembiso Masango (RMB Change a Life Academy) finishing third.

Taking the Junior Men’s title was young star Julian Jessop. “On the first lap I got into the front before the first piece of singletrack and then I stayed in the front. I took the third lap a little bit slower to recover but then on the last lap, blasted back in again and I’m happy to take the KZN title,” he said.

Jessop (racing for Specialized Concept Cyclery) is happy with his current form, and looking forward to next weekend. “I have SA Marathon Champs next weekend, so I’m feeling good with my speed, and I’m all ready to compete to try and retain my title there,” he added.

Jessop’s time gap was 28 seconds ahead of silver medallist Reinhard Zellhuber, while Dean Wortmann (Jowetts Cycles) finished in third place.

Callan Deacon took the under-23 category’s victory, which was raced over seven laps. Deacon’s winning time of 01:43:45 was almost three minutes ahead of second placed Jaco Pelser, with Sipho Khupiso (RMB Change a Life Academy) claiming the bronze medal for third place.

In the Youth Men’s race, Sharjah Jonsson (GM Cycles) made his intentions known as he maintained very consistent lap times to secure a dominant victory in a time of 01:19:16. Second position went to Joshua Clipstone while Jett Bradshaw finished third.

With a very small number of entries in the women’s categories, all the women started together and completed their required number of laps. First across the finish line was junior rider Frankie Du Toit. Tiffany Keep (Youth Women) posted consistent lap times in her race and claimed victory against Courtney Smith by almost eight minutes. Veteran racer and 2013 World Champion, Natalie Bergstrom (Jowetts Cycles), claimed the provincial title in her class.

The young Team Time Freight rider who has captured the hearts of many, Frances “Frankie” du Toit, said: “We started on quite a long flat uphill so it was quite a drag until we got to the first single track. We had to go all-out for a long time before we got there. But it was good: tough start, tough course, but I really enjoyed it.”

Du Toit mentioned that although she didn’t exactly have a favourite part of the track, she enjoyed some sections more than others. “There was a really good pump track, we had “Tree House” as well, which was very nerve-wracking, but if you got it right it was so much fun.”

Hayley Smith claimed the under-23 women’s victory. “I enjoyed my race and felt good today. The organisers changed the whole layout of the track and I really loved the technical sections. I came into the race more relaxed so I think it helped me today.”

Sub junior girls’ winner, Megan Bircher, said: “It [the track] was quite tricky but it was really fun and enjoyable with all the technical sections and uphills. I am happy with my win today!”

The Veteran Men delivered some fine racing in these competitive classes, with Warren Price (Jowetts Cycles) stamping his authority on the Veteran’s competition, Lance Chapman finishing in second place and Tim Keep winning the bronze medal. Bradley Rowlett was dominant in the Sub-Veteran race putting in four minutes ahead of Duane Stander with Jean-Pierre Kroll rounding out the podium. Jimmy Redman put in a solid performance to cruise to victory in the Master category, finishing in a time of 01:06:00. Charles Young claimed second place (01:07:23) and Tony Stark finished third (01:10:03). The Grand Master category saw Frances Marsburg claim a gold medal for her efforts in the women’s race, and Mike Staphorst a gold medal in the men’s race.

The younger categories raced early with Hannah Elliott (Nipper) and Chloe Bateson (Sprogs) claiming the first of the girls’ championship titles, and Liam Theunissen (Nipper) and Nicholas de Bruin (Sprog) winning the Boys’ titles. De Bruin fought hard against Jordan Bold for his victory with almost identical lap times – De Bruin won by 30 seconds in the end.

Travis Stedman led the way in the Sub Junior Boys’ race, bursting out of the start gate and commanding an early lead, which he held until the end. His winning margin was five minutes ahead of silver medallist Cale Lindecke, with Mitchel Potgieter finishing third. “It was really fun. It was nice and technical and there was a lot of climbing. My favourite part was “Tree House” and “Red Face Hill,” said Stedman.

The cross-country discipline requires a certain level of skill and fitness, and local riders at the sharp-end of the sport are expected to be on their best form in order to challenge the top positions in mountain biking’s only Olympic discipline.

The other mountain biking disciplines of Enduro and Downhill will be accommodated at Cascades MTB Park next weekend, on 6 and 7 June respectively. Entries are still open and spectators are welcome to witness some sensational racing.

Summary of Results – KZN MTB Championships (XCO) – 30 May 2015

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Elite Men (6 laps)

1.Stuart Marais 01:43:06
2.Leeroy Emslie 01:44:56
3.Sthembiso Masango 01:45:50

Men U23 (6 laps)

1.Callan Deacon 01:43:45
2.Jaco Pelser 01:46:11
3.Sipho Khupiso 01:52:17

Women U23 (5 laps)

1.Hayley Smith 01:46:51
2.Candice Parker-Dennison 01:58:54

Junior Men (4 laps)

1.Julian Jessop 01:09:29
2.Reinhard Zellhuber 01:09:57
3.Dean Wortmann 01:22:35

Junior Women (3 laps)

1.Frankie du Toit 01:03:42
2.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder 01:12:43

Youth Men (4 laps)

1.Sharjah Jonsson 01:19:16
2.Joshua Clipstone 01:26:27
3.Jett Bradshaw 01:28:22

Youth Women (3 laps)

1.Tiffany Keep 01:07:21
2.Courtney Smith 01:14:47

Sub Junior Boys (3 laps)

1.Travis Stedman 01:06:44
2.Cale Lindecke 01:11:47
3.Mitchel Potgieter 01:12:12

Sub Junior Girls (2 laps)

1.Megan Bircher 00:56:02

Sub Veteran Men (5 laps)

1.Bradley Rowlett 01:33:30
2.Duane Stander 01:37:21
3.Jean-Pierre Kroll 01:46:59

Men Veteran (5 laps)

1.Warren Price 01:31:02
2.Lance Chapman 01:39:18
3.Tim Keep 01:42:52

Women Veteran (5 laps)

1.Natalie Bergstrom 01:31:37

Master Men (3 laps)

1.Jimmy Redman 01:06:00
2.Charles Young 01:07:23
3.Tony Stark 01:10:03

Men Grand Master (3 laps)

1.Mike Staphorst 01:16:26

Women Grand Master (3 laps)

1.Frances Marsburg 01:09:22

Sprog Boys (4 laps)

1.Nicholas de Bruin 00:42:29
2.Jordan Bold 00:43:07
3.Dreyer Botma 00:43:28

Sprog Girls (3 laps)

1.Chloe Bateson 00:36:25
2.Emma Clipstone 00:43:41

Nipper Boys (3 laps)

1.Liam Theunissen 00:35:25
2.Aiden Wright 00:36:28
3.Connor Wright 00:36:59

Nipper Girls (2 laps)

1.Hannah Elliott 00:37:21

 National Champ aims to claim local downhill title

 South African National DHI Champion, Tiaan Odendaal, will be looking to claim the provincial title at the 2015 KZN Provincial Enduro and Downhill Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on 6-7 June.

 Spectators to the park will be able to see some of KZN’s best riders in action in two separate events – the popular and relatively new Enduro discipline on Saturday with the Downhill on Sunday. Both events start at 11:00 and not 12:00 as previously advertised.

 Odendaal will be one of many young and not-so-young men and women aiming to claim the provincial titles on offer on a track that has attracted the world’s best downhill racers in previous years. Highly skilled riders will tackle the seriously technical track, where most sections will be the same as what was used in the World Cup last year.

 The National Champion is feeling ready for battle. “I am feeling pretty comfortable, I mean it’s the same course as the SA Cup and I’m confident about it. Having said that, I am probably going to get a bit more nervous closer to the time.”

 When asked whether or not he would be competing in the Enduro race the day before the downhill, Odendaal said, “I would love to race the Enduro but I’ll just have to see. If the distance between the timed sections is strenuous and the racing is very technical, then I probably won’t. For now my major focus is on Sunday’s downhill race – I don’t want to be too worn out before I race.”

 Regular downhill podium contender, Tim Bentley, will also be competing in the DHI race and hopes to bring some excitement to the track with his flamboyant style and big air. Bentley – sponsored by Fox Head clothing and Greg Minnaar Cycles – feels the same way in terms of racing the National and Provincial races.

 “For sure, a national race is always more stressful although there is still a bit of pressure for a provincial race. The vibe is a lot more relaxed than a national and there is a lot less tension between the riders on race day. But when you are in the start gate ready to go off for your run I think most riders would agree that you always feel nervous and feel the pressure of doing well no matter how big the race is.”

 Downhill participants will have the morning to practice the technical sections on the track with official practice from 08:30-10:30 on Sunday, and racing starting at 11:00.

 Saturday’s Enduro racing is open for anyone to race on any type of mountain bike, and its relaxed and social element have seen this discipline of mountain biking grow with each event on the provincial circuit.

 Dave Drummond, event organiser for the KZN Enduro Champs, says that although the track is technical, there is nothing on the course that cannot be ridden on a XCO bike, even on a hardtail. With the focus being on fun, the Enduro race is sure to see another great turnout of keen riders looking for pure rider enjoyment!

 Event details:

 Date: 6-7 June 2015

Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Location: Cascades MTB Park
Entries Close: 3 June 2015
Starting Time: 11:00
Registration: Cascades, 08:00-11:00 & Cascades, 07:30-10:30
Late Entries: Yes
Timed By: Elite Timing
ROAG Registration: No
Event Website: http://www.kznmtb.co.za

 Online pre-entries are now open, and close on Wednesday 3 June. Click here to enter: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1469. Late entries will be accepted at registration with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.

 Entrance for spectators is free, and all are welcome to attend to watch some spectacular mountain bike racing.

 For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dellah Paul This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Locals prepared for KZN XCO Champs

20 May 2015 – The 2015 KwaZulu-Natal MTB Championships (XCO) will be taking place at Cascades MTB Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Saturday 30 May. Sponsored by KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation, the event will allow top contenders in the KZN regions to compete for the 2015 XCO Championship title.

The world-renowned venue, having hosted four UCI MTB World Cups and two World Championships, is fully geared up and more than prepared to host the annual provincial championship.

Riding in the mix is Elite Men’s 2013 KZN XCO Champ, Stuart Marais. “I am very confident going into KZN Champs,” he said. “I have had a lot of bad luck throughout the year but I am very happy with the progress that I have been making over the year thus far.”

Although falling ill this week, the 27-year-old is determined to come back with a vengeance and is excited to try and reclaim the title this year after having finished in second place in the 2014 KZN Champs.

Kokstad local, Tyron Bird (25), is not too sure how he is feeling about KZN Champs, but is looking forward to it nonetheless. “I don’t know how I feel, to be honest. It’s my first year riding cross-country seriously, so who knows how this is going to go,” he said.

“I’m definitely not in form and haven’t had the most excellent season so far, but I’m still going to try my best,” he added.

Bird, although new to XCO, is eager to race, and excited for the future of the season. “It’s also going to be quite interesting to see how the racing plays out, because some of our top riders are in Europe at the moment,” he said.

When chatting about the Cascades track, Bird had this to say: “I love Cascades. It’s so technical. It’s definitely one of my favourite tracks. I’ve raced there and had very good times, but I’ve also raced there and crashed my brains out, so there are a lot of stories attached to that track.”

Bird has raced in two of the three National Cup races this year, and plans to race in the fourth at the end of June. After that, he then prepares for SA Champs.

Another keen KZN rider is Junior Woman Sabrina van Wyk, who will be fighting hard to earn her KZN Colours. The Pure Adventure Wear Team (PAW) rider, although no stranger to the podium, is still slightly nervous for her race, as she tries to keep her head in the game, but also balance school life and study time for exams.

When speaking about training and preparation, the 17-year-old had this to say: “I’ve been doing some paddling as well, and it has been a huge help in terms of my core strength for XCO. I have also been doing some cross-training and running, so it’s helped strengthen my leg muscles as well.”

Van Wyk enjoys the time that she spends with her team. “It’s always so great to ride with the team because we are pretty much like family. And on rides together, the boys push the girls and vice versa. They’re absolutely amazing,” she said.

“It’s also really cool when the younger age groups in our team come in with 1st, 2nd or 3rd places, so then we push ourselves to try and keep that going throughout the older age groups,” she added.

Van Wyk is eager for her race, despite her nerves around exam pressure. “I’m really excited about KZN Champs. To be honest, I’m a lot more nervous than before because I am in the middle of exams. But my school has been really supportive so it’s helped a lot,” she said.

Aside from Mankele MTB Park, Van Wyk says Cascades is one of her favourite tracks. “Tim (Keep) has been such a role model, he has so much knowledge and I have learned so much from him, especially all the technical knowledge. This is what originally drew me to all of the tech stuff. And for me Cascades isn’t just single track, it isn’t just one thing. It’s a bit of everything. So I really can’t wait,” she concluded.

Online pre-entries are now open, and close on Wednesday 27 May. Click here to enter: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1472. Late entries will be accepted at registration with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.

Entrance for spectators is free, and all are welcome to attend to watch some spectacular mountain bike racing.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dellah Paul This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Exciting Enduro lures MTB enthusiasts to KZN Champs

May 2015 – While downhill racing is often seen as a sport reserved for the brave hearted, the relatively new and exciting concept of Enduro offers everyday MTB riders the opportunity to get a taste of fast flowing tracks and catch some air for those who can. This form of riding, or racing, just blows your mind – whether you are fast or slow there is a place you! So enter now for the KZN Provincial Enduro and Downhill Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, which takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on 6 and 7 June respectively.

Now in its second full season at provincial level, the four-stage local championship Enduro will use approximately 50% of the stages as per the PMB MTB Festival held over Easter weekend. The remaining 50% will be made up of a combination of XCO tracks and lesser ridden trails in the area.

“We’ve slowly been making the tracks a bit more technical as the series has progressed, and this race will be close to one of the more technical tracks of the year,” said event organiser for the Enduro Champs, Dave Drummond.

The point of Enduro racing is to start at the bottom and pedal to the top of the mountain to the start. With no shuttle assistance on the day, the stages will be shorter than Easter weekend.For this reason, trail bikes are suitable for the uphill pedal. Participants will then tackle “stages” as would happen in a car rally, which are timed. More rally terminology is used when riders take an easy pedal in “untimed liaison” stages, which is where the camaraderie and social aspect kicks in.

“The top competitors are all friends and chat amongst the riders between stages,” said Drummond.

The beauty of Enduro racing is that anybody can enter on any bike! The big drawcard is that it is every man’s (and woman’s) mountain biking. Although technical, there is nothing on the course that cannot be ridden on a XCO bike, even a hardtail.

“To be competitive though, and if you’re aiming for a podium place, then a trail bike is the tool for the trade. Enduro riders need to pedal to the top of the next stage.”

When asked what tips he had for those considering Enduro, Drummond said: “If you’re thinking about it, do it. You are almost guaranteed to have fun. The focus is on fun! There is a strong competitive element to it but rider enjoyment is the number one priority!”

Drummond reminds however that it is a fairly long day out, and riders should be self-sufficient. “Each rider should carry their own basic spares and food and water either in a backpack or a few essentials in your pockets if you can last long. The idea behind Enduro is to ride your bike over mountains.”

Sunday will see the racing move back to the traditional downhill and big hitters will take to the track with the fastest descender being crowned the provincial champion.

KZN Downhill Champs event organiser, Nigel Hicks, says that the course will be very much the same as the one used at the PMB MTB Festival. “There will be a few changes up top and we will try and run the full World Cup track.”

As with the Enduro Champs on Saturday, the practice times for the Downhill Champs on Sunday are from 08:00 to 11:00 with the final kicking off at 12:00 for both events.

Event details:

Date: 6-7 June 2015
Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Location: Cascades MTB Park
Entries Close: 3 June 2015
Starting Time: 11:00
Registration: Cascades, 08:00-11:00 & Cascades, 07:30-10:30
Late Entries: Yes
Timed By: Elite Timing
ROAG Registration: No
Event Website: http://www.kznmtb.co.za

Online pre-entries are now open, and close on Wednesday 3 June. Click here to enter: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1469. Late entries will be accepted at registration with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.

Entrance for spectators is free, and all are welcome to attend to watch some spectacular mountain bike racing.

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dellah Paul This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Provincial XCO Champs set to rock Cascades

13 May 2015 – Highly acclaimed World Championship mountain bike venue, Cascades MTB Park, is all set to host the 2015 KwaZulu-Natal MTB Championships on 30 May (XCO), and again on 6-7 June (DHI/Enduro).

Sponsored by KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation, who have provided fantastic support of cycling events in the province, the annual championship event will crown the provincial cross-country champion across all the age categories on Saturday 30 May. Cross-country racing is mountain biking’s only Olympic discipline.

Cascades MTB Park has hosted some top-notch mountain bike events over the years, including the 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014 UCI MTB World Cups and the 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships, as well as the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships.

Trail builder extraordinaire, Nick Floros, the man responsible for designing and building the World Cup and World Championship tracks, is using his creative flow to ensure that the provincial championship track offers some fresh changes.

“Being a championship event, it needs to be a hard route for the riders yet also appeal to the spectators,” said Floros. “There are so many trails over here that it is like a rabbit warren, so the objective is to connect them in a unique way that makes for interesting racing while being spectator friendly.”

Floros will be incorporating a lot of the “old stuff” but linked in a new and refreshing manner, keeping most of the racing action near the bottom end of the park so that it can be viewed from the start/finish area.

Event details

Date: 30 May 2015
Province: KwaZulu Natal
Location: Cascades MTB Park
Entries Close: 27 May 2015
Starting Time: 08:00
Registration: Cascades, 06:30- 10:00
Late Entries: Yes
Timed By: Elite Timing

Hoyer eager to better his own at Provincial Enduro and Downhill Champs

15 June 2016 – The Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, which has played host to many national and international mountain biking events, will again host this year’s KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Men’s Master rider, Peter Hoyer, will be at the Championships in full force, ready to once again share the pure enjoyment of Downhill riding with the racing family.

Hoyer, who used to ride Cross-country races, explained his transition to the ‘dark side’: “I’ve been riding Downhill for close to eight years now. I used to be a keen cross country rider, and felt the need to better my technical skills on a bike. It was at this time that Nigel Hicks (who was dating my daughter Joanne) managed to organise me a second-hand downhill bike. I began to enjoy it more and more, and as my skills improved I bought myself a bike, and began to enter series events.”  

When asked about the major difference between Cross-country and Downhill racing environments, Hoyer said: “In Downhill, every single person is there to have fun – there’s much less competitiveness and much more of a sense of community.”

Hoyer felt that the need to share and help out fellow riders with lines and skills was more prominent in Downhill racing. “If you see a great line, you share it with your friends, and its more a case of helping others better their own technical skills and personal bests. In Cross-country, this isn’t always the case, and is often much more competitive,” he said.

“In Cross-country, it often comes down to strength and fitness on the day. Downhill is adrenaline, its excitement, and its specific. The adrenaline factor is also one of the reasons why Downhill is so exciting,” said Hoyer.

Hoyer mentioned that he enjoys friendly competition, but is truly out there to have a great time, and to better his own riding performance. “I’m not particularly concerned about where I come in a race, I’m more interested in whether or not I can challenge myself and be better and quicker each time,” he said.

Hoyer, who also enjoys Enduro racing, embraced the concept by saying: “It’s a great transition from Cross-country to Downhill. For those Cross-country riders interested in a more gravity-driven race, its definitely safer, friendly, non-threaten type of ride where you can go at your own pace. If there’s a section that scares you, go around it, you’re really only racing against yourself,’ he said.

The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730

The crispy winter morning air was soon forgotten when the riders brought the heat to the 2017 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships at Aloe Wildlife Estate on Saturday 24 June.

Many who had ridden it in practise sessions prior to racing had mentioned the flatness of the course, and that there were very few technical sections. This made for no rest time and excellent sprint finishes to watch for the spectators at the end of each race.

KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series winner Stuart Marais claimed the Elite Men’s title. Marais raced across the line with U23 Men’s winner Julian Jessop (Concept Cyclery). Marais consistent results this year have been a true reflection of the hard work and dedication he has put into to his sport. Brennan Anderson and Change a Life Academy’s Mboneni Nqcobo excited the crowds in their sprint finish for second and third respectively.

Marais said: “It was really cool racing with Julian which made for some excitement for the crowds at the finish. It definitely wasn’t a super technical course, so there weren’t many sections where you could get away from a rider. You just had to put foot and keep at it the whole way through, which is probably the reason why there were so many sprint finishes out here.”

Marais has had nine weekends of solid racing, and said that he will take some time to recover before kicking off his build-up to SA National MTB Champs in July.

Back home for the holidays from Stellenbosch University was Wartburg local Frankie du Toit (Absolute Motion), who claimed the Elite Women’s title on Saturday’s race ahead of Bianca Haw and Skye Davidson. Du Toit mentioned that because the track lacked lots of technical sections, she had no time for a rest, and constantly had to power through the race.

The Sub Junior Boys’ race was devastating for race leader Jordan Bold, whose tyre flipped out in the last corner leaving him with the internal dilemma of either sprinting to the finish with his bike or trying his utmost to ride it over the line, which he crossed in fourth place. Jonathan Watts fought a hard race against Bold and claimed the gold medal, with GO!Durban Cycling Academy’s Mncedisi Mkhize crossing the line in second to take the silver. Daniel van der Watt claimed the bronze medal to round off the podium.

GO!Durban’s Mkhize celebrated his silver medal with his team whose pride could be seen for miles. “Today’s race was nice, but it was so tough. It’s taken me six months to get here, and I am so happy,” he said.

Another dramatic and thrilling race finish was that of the Vets Men’s race, as Ewan Cochran and Warren Price threw their hearts into their legs and powered to the photo finish that showed Price just pipping Cochran to the post. Third place on the day went to Carl Adendorff.

Riders and their families stayed afterwards to braai and reflect on what had been a phenomenal day out in the aloes.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS FROM THE 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (SATURDAY 24 JUNE)

Elite Men
1.Stuart Marais 1:40.44
2.Brennan Anderson 1:45.55
3.Mboneni Ngcobo 1:45.56

Elite Women
1.Frankie du Toit 1:36.33
2.Bianca Haw 1:40.08
3.Skye Davidson 1:50.52 *
4.Kelly Simkiss

U23 Men
1.Julian Jessop 1:40.45
2.Komborero Bere 1:46.16 *
3. Henry Liebenberg 1:48.28
4.Devon Smith 1:49.33

Junior Men
1.Jordan Wisdom 1:20.08
2.Thomas Cheatle 1:22.58
3.Kieran Blunt 1:23.08

Youth Men
1.Travis Stedman 1:00.56
2.Johandre’ Marx 1:04.30
3.Sam Moore 1:05.06

Youth Women
1.Beani Thies 0:51.25
2.Megan Bircher 0:51.29
3.Bridget Theunissen 0:55.30

Vets Men
1.Warren Price 1:15.21
2.Ewan Cochran 1:15.21
3.Carl Adendorff 1:15.45

Vets Women
1.Natalie Bergstrom 1:06.41
2.Landy Puddu 1:09.10
3.Carol Thomas 1:18.18

Sub Vets Men
1.Leeroy Emslie 1:13.37
2.Carl Calverley 1:14.00
3.Frederick Rossouw 1:17.12

Sub Junior Boys
1.Jonathan Watts 0:51.16
2.Mncedisi Mkhize 0:51.25
3.Daniel van der Watt 0:51.26

Sub Junior Girls
1.Chloe Bateson 0:52.43
2.Ansli de Beer 1:00.00

Master Men
1.Philippe Moretonas 1:06.17
2.Willie Pelser 1:11.26
3.Andrew Mackinnon 1:14.13

Master Women
1.Ingrid Flint 1:00.44

Grand Master Men
1.Bruce Hansen 1:14.38

Grand Master Women
1.Frances Marsburg 1:01.37

Nipper Boys
1.Cameron Calitz 0:30.33
2.Matthew Horter 0:31.59
3.Logan Stander 0:32.09

Nipper Girls
1.Hannah Elliott 0:33.22
2.Jodi Mackinnon 0:36.38
3.Derryn Millward

GET IN TOUCH

KZN Mountain Bike Commission
PO Box 153, Merrivale, 3291
T 082 896 6864

F 033 387 6377

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter @kznmtb

Facebook : www.facebook.com/KZNMTB

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