Belton and Bergstrom win Mid-Illovo Husqvarna Classic Roag

2012-05-26 00:00

PATRICK Belton (Team Jeep) continued his winning ways with an emphatic victory at the Mid-Illovo Husqvarna Classic last weekend. Belton, one of SA’s top junior mountain bikers, who claimed the All African Junior MTB title recently in Mauritius, was surprised at his win.

“I’ve been training for the MTB Nationals in Port Elizabeth next weekend. It had been a hard week and my legs were sore,” he explained.

He pipped Carl Calverley (second) and Mid-Illovo farmer Derrin Smith (third) to the post with a winning time of 1 hour, 41 minutes and 10 seconds.

“This is a great event. There is a lot of media interest in the event and a lot of spectator support. The course designers have put a lot of thought into the track and made it very special,” he added.

The women’s race was won by Natalie Bergstrom in 1:59:04, followed by Julia Kate Colvin (2:01:35) and Nedene Cahill (2:03:38) to conclude a classy women’s field.

The youngsters shone in the Gwahumbe Game & Spa 18 km men’s and women’s fun rides with sprog (11–12 years) Cameron Wright winning the former followed by Darren de Bruin and Andrew Edwards. Tiffany Keep was first home in the girls followed by Kayla McCelligott and Sabine Thies.

For race results, log on to www.

roag.co.za and for more information, visit Husqvarna South Africa on ­Facebook.

Four medals for SA at ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships

SOUTH Africa’s Conrad Stoltz stormed through the bike and run to win the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Shelby County, Alabama, last weekend. Craig Evans of the U.S. finished a strong race for silver and Christopher Legh of Australia took home the bronze.

This is Stoltz’s second consecutive ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship win after he took the inaugural title in Spain last year, as well as his sixth consecutive Xterra win on the Shelby County course.

“It is something to achieve, so I am really proud to do this for my country,” said Stoltz.

The sun was at full strength as the men entered the water for the 1,5 km swim. Richard Stannard (GBR) took a sharp lead in the first lap and carried through heading into T2 with a strong field of contenders behind him in a tight second pack.

Sergio Sarmiento (MEX), Leandro Lobo (VEN), Jean-Phillipe Thibodeau (CAN) and Sean Bechtel (CAN) hung on to their positions heading into T2 with Stoltz coming out of the water at just over a minute behind the leader.

After the first bike leg, Stoltz had not only catapulted up the ranks, but was in a close battle with Craig Evans (U.S.) for first place.

Stoltz continued to gain momentum on the bike and drove more of a wedge between him and the ensuing pack, consisting of Evans, Stannard, Branden Rakita (U.S.), Bechtal and Legh.

Heading into the run, Stoltz remained a minute ahead of the pack.

On the first lap of the run, Stoltz remained strong with Evans coming up the rear.

A possible setback arose for Legh as he was called in the penalty box on a helmet violation, while Rakita and Josiah Middaugh (U.S.) moved closer to narrowing the gap to third position. Coming through on the stretch with a 30-second lead, Stoltz powered his way to victory with Evans, in second place, crossing the finish line exuberantly.

KZN’s Bradley Schuit claimed gold in the junior men’s race as he took a commanding lead in the swim and bike legs.

Bradley Weiss of South Africa won the U23 division, while Carla van Huysteen powered home to third place in the women’s elite category.

Mountain biking

THE heat is on for series leaders Belton and Rourke Croeser in the men’s category of this year’s Roag Series. Natalie Bergstrom is the clear-cut winner in the women’s category.

With many of the top riders in Port Elizabeth for the MTB Nationals, this could change at the Compendium MTB Derby taking place at the Shongweni Polo Club tomorrow morning. The Compendium MTB Derby is the third race in the Roag Series.

The course designers mysteriously promise that the 40 km route will be “the same but different”. There will be a couple of very short and clearly marked technical sections to test the skills of the racing snakes, as well as a few climbs to test the legs.

The 20 km is a fast route with some gentle hills, while the 10 km is an easy and relatively flat ride for intermediates.

The Roag Series in KZN consists of 10 of the largest MTB Roag-administered events that take place throughout 2012.

For more info on the series visit www.roag.co.za.

Next weekend sees the Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge taking place in the central Drakensberg from All Out Adventures.

The Alpine Heath 45 km MTB Classic, Montusi Mountain Lodge 20 km and the Cavern Berg Resort 10 km family will take in some breathtaking scenery, while for the runners there is a choice of a seven-kilometre and 15 km trail runs.

For entries and further info log on to www.roag.co.za.

The Lizzard Howick MTB Classic takes place next Sunday.

With some of the best trails in the country, this is one event not to miss.

Choose between the 40 km, 20 km or 10 km events.

Inquiries: www.roag.co.za.

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