Bikes abustle in Cape

2011-03-12 00:00

CAPE Town is the place to be this weekend if you enjoy riding a bicycle. The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour takes place around the Cape Peninsula tomorrow morning, while the SA National Cross-country Championships are taking place at the Dirtopia Trail Centre near Klapmuts today. The elite of SA’s competitive mountain bikers can look forward to some steep uphills and fast downhills.

Midmar Dam welcomed almost 1 000 athletes to the Future Life K-Swiss Midlands Ultra Triathlon last weekend. The event doubled as the SA Long Course Triathlon Championships contested over a 1,9 km swim, 90 km bike ride and 21 km run.

Race honours went to Kent Horner, born and raised in Pietermaritzburg (Cyclelab/KTM) and now a pro triathlete based in Cape Town. He broke the tape to claim the South African Long Course Triathlon Title in 4:13:22.

The surprise of the day came from another Pietermaritzburg triathlete, André Booyens, who held his race plan together and crossed the line in his best-ever overall finish in 4:25:39 to take second overall. Gerhard De Bruin repeated his performance of last year to round out the last podium spot in 4:28:12.

Brad Storm and Glen Gore (Team K-Swiss), Horner and newcomer Andrew O’Flaherty (Team TriFactri) led the swimmers around the flat 1,9 km course with Horner and Storm first out on to the bikes.

Claire Horner led the women out of the dam as the athletes headed out onto a four-loop, hilly and hot bike course. Storm and Horner shadowed each other for the entire 90 km bike leg, with Booyens having the race of his life, in hot pursuit. A wrong turn on the run caused Storm to fall out of contention leaving Horner with a clear run home.Horner proceeded to lead the women on the bike section out front on her own with a chasing pack comprising Helen Buley, Sam Spong, Diane Emery and Natasha Gorrie-Nuttall trying to minimise the damage she was causing behind her.

Horner continued her lead on the final hot and gruelling 21 km run course to cross the line in 4:44:15. Gorrie-Nuttall took second place some five minutes back in 4:48:55 and Emery third in 4:49:36.

The sprint event catered for the short distance triathletes and newcomers.

Henri Schoeman from Team K-Swiss led from start to finish to dominate the race with a finish time of 59:06. Lauren Dance, one of the country’s finest u23 triathletes, won the women’s sprint in 1:11:23.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

KZN MTB and The City of Durban will be hosting the SA MTB Marathon Champs on March 20 at Inanda Dam, midway between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Top riders from across SA and the world will be competing . While SA Marathon Champs titles will be awarded, the event is designed and open to all riders, with 85 km, 45 km and 20 km distances available, making it an event that the whole family is welcome and encouraged to attend.

For event details and entries, log on to www.cyclingsa.com. For accommodation and camping bookings, call Msinsi Resorts at 031 766 9946.

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