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Monday, August 15, 2022


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.


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:

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:


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:

Entries for the third round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series are open. To enter click here:

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.


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:

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.

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: 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. .


2016 Mandela Day MTB Dash - Route profiles

Please note that these routes are for you information ONLY and may not be ridden prior to the event as they cross private land.






KZN Mountain Bike Commission
PO Box 153, Merrivale, 3291
T 082 896 6864

F 033 387 6377

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