Bad weather puts spoke in wheel of Sani2c

2010-03-05 00:00

POOR weather conditions resulted in the Subaru Sani2c event being rerouted yesterday.

The event, which incorporates two separate races, was set to carve through the rugged mountains from Mackenzie County Club at Ixopo to Jolivet, but rain and mist made the track “unrideable”, according to race organiser Craig Wapnick.

Instead, the route was redirected to the road, where cyclists did not run the risk of getting stuck and “piling up”.

“It’s a real disappointment,” said Wapnick. “But we promised the guys a good ride, and it won’t be one if they get stuck.”

While cyclists riding in the Sani2c Adventure race made their way from Mackenzie to Jolivet, cyclists competing in the Sani2c Race, the more competitive of the two events, rode from Underberg to Mackenzie.

Wapnick and his team were monitoring the track to determine if the race could pass through it today.

The event provides opportunities for clubs and other groups along the route to raise money by providing services.

At Donnybrook, Trish Strachan raised money for Birdlife Sisonke by washing cyclists’ glasses. She even had one jovial ­cyclist join her in a rendition of I Can See Clearly Now.

A camera-shy cyclist protested to The Witness photographer: “I would have washed my face if I knew you were going to take pictures of me!”

Renowned surfer Sean Holmes, who was among the cyclists, described the race as “beautiful”, but said he was tired. “This is only the second mountain bike race I’ve done and I’m not used to the distance.” His team-mate, professional skateboarder Darryl Katz, described the route as “incredible.“

Students from Ixopo Primary School’s bird club helped organisers to hand out drinks, freshly made crumpets and potatoes to cyclists.

Luwaine Wildey (12) said he likes riding bikes too. “I have a mountain bike. I ride it at home,” he said.

Despite the festive mood, racing was competitive and, as expected, last year’s winners, Team MTN Energade, won this leg of the race in two hours, 43 minutes.

MTN Energade’s Kevin Evans from South Africa paired with Austrian Alban Lakata. “I had to get used to the altitude and climate,” said Lakata. “But Kevin is a strong rider and so I kept up,” he said, laughing. Lakata added that he is used to riding in snow rather than mud, but enjoyed the challenge.

Maritzburgers David Low and Carl Calvery of Team Husqvarna came in 12th out of 750 teams. The race continues today, with the first group of cyclists leaving at 6 am.

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