Clean sweep for new team

2011-11-05 00:00

THE 2011 FedGroup Berg & Bush took place last weekend in the warmth of KwaZulu-Natal and with a gusty wind that promised to challenge riders on their three-day adventure. Crowding the starting line were roughly 450 energetic teams eager to tackle the mountain biking playground.

The freshly launched Fedgroup/Itec Connect team of Brandon Stewart and Jacques Rossouw took a clean sweep of the overall placings. Second place went to Bryce Munro and Lourens Luus (24/7 Security) followed by Jeremy Thompson and David Leiman (Thule).

Racing among the mixed teams was fierce with the final honours going to Andrew Hill and Brenda Potts (TIB Insurance), placing ninth overall. Iain and Su Don Wauchope (Fedgroup) placed second with John Knox and Samantha Oosthuysen (Karsten Cycles) in third. First home in the women’s teams were Robyn Adendorff and Sarah van Heerden (Muscle & Fitness).

Starting high up on the Free State escarpment, riders made their way through challenging landscapes before dropping down into the farming town of Winterton. The famous speedboat crossing over Spionkop Dam, an ingenious floating bridge traversing the Tugela River and the testing Spioenkop climb were some of the highlights.

The Berg & Bush excitement continues this weekend with the two-day event, which kicks off at Emseni Camp today.

Queen of triathlons Andrea Steyn (Team BSG) won her fourth consecutive race in the 2011 BSG Energade Triseries, and made the Midmar race her 35th win overall in the BSG Energade Triseries since she started taking part. Richard Murray (Team BSG) proved he was in peak condition in the much anticipated showdown with Erhard Wolfaardt as he took gold in the Elite Men’s category.

The event got off to a fantastic start with local hero Henri Schoeman (Team Future Life) leading the Elite Men out of the water by nearly 40 seconds. In the bike leg Murray, Wolfaardt (Team Mr Price) and Abrahm Louw (Team BSG) broke away from the bunch, reeling in Schoeman and then further cementing a healthy lead over the rest of the Elite Men.

With Louw, Murray and Wolfaardt entering T2 together, it all came down to the run, where Murray was able to get ahead of his rivals and take first place. Following in second place was Wolfaardt with Louw coming in third. Schoeman and Glen Gore (Team Future Life) rounded off the Elite Men’s top five.

In the Elite Womens’ race Kate Roberts (Team BSG) was first out of the water with Carlyn Fischer (Team Inov-8) chasing a mere 10 seconds behind her. Defending champion Andrea Steyn (Team BSG) pulled away, creating a significant lead on a windy bike course. Carlyn Fischer, Carla van Huyssteen (both Team Inov-8) and Lauren Dance (Team MAD) entered transition together and battled it out during the running leg for the final podium positions. In the end it was Fischer who came in second, closely followed by her team-mate, Van Huyssteen, in third. Roberts claimed fourth ahead of Dance in fifth.

The next race in the BSG Energade Triseries takes place at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth on November 13. With less than two weeks to go, race organisers are reminding athletes to get their online entries in early as entries are capped for both the kiddies’ and the main series. Details and entries at www.bsgmultisport.co.za

Entries will still be taken on the day for the Challenge Mountain Bike, which forms part of the Triple Challenge tomorrow morning. The 53 km MTB leg starts in Camperdown at 9 am and finishes at Inanda Dam. For the first time this year the route will go through the beautiful Phezula Estate.

In dry conditions the top athletes are expected to take around two-and-a-half hours while the average ride is expected to take three to four hours to complete the route. Registration takes place at the Camperdown Hotel between 7.15 am and 9 am. For details log on to www.triplechallenge.co.za

Look out for the Matat Fees taking place at the Matatiele Country Club next weekend. This year the organisers are not only hosting a motorbike and quad race, but will arrange a night bowls and fly fishing competition, a golf tournament, 4x4 outride, a horse ride, a mountain bike cycle event and a fatstock show. Saturday night’s entertainment will be held at the town hall. For details visit wwwr56bikeadv.co.za or call Sakkie Maartens at 083 626 8826.

Five-time Triple Challenge Champion Dan Hugo will not be on the start line for the 10th edition of the race, which takes place tomorrow between Pietermaritzburg and Inanda Dam.

The Pro Xterra multisporter recently achieved a career best when he took silver at the Xterra World Championships, just 33 seconds behind the winner. Change A Life athlete Erik Zondi, who placed second last year, is also absent from the start list. That leaves a battle for supremacy between Change A Life team-mates Nhlanhla Cele (third last year) and Kwanda Mhlophe (fourth last year). Jean Hackland looks set to take the women’s multisport title.

The men’s Multi-X field contains some of SA’s top names in multisport and is sure to produce an exciting race. Defending champ Justin Porteous will be up against last year’s runner-up, John Ntuli, and third-placed Raoul de Jongh, as well as Andre Booyens, Glen Gore and Gareth Harrington. The women’s field looks equally impressive and includes Carla van Huyssteen, Sarah Gray, Robyn Adendorff and Candice Neethling.

The event comprises a 20 km trail run from Pietermaritzburg to Camperdown followed by a 52 km mountain bike leg into the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Inanda Dam, to finish with either am 18 km paddle on Inanda Dam (Multisport) or a six-kilometre trail run (MultiX). For more information and race details visit www.triplechallenge.co.za

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