Couple win joBerg2c for third time

2013-05-11 00:00

FORMER champion Neil MacDonald, riding with new partner Brandon Stewart, notched up his second overall victory in the nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race, which ended in Scottburgh last Saturday.

The FedGroup-Itec riders completed the 910 km journey from Heidelberg in Gauteng to the South Coast in 34:11:05, taking four stage wins in the process. They finished 11 minutes clear of MacDonald’s former team-mate, Waylon Woolcock, with whom he won the 2011 event, and Lourens Luus of RE:CM (34:22:21).

Erik Kleinhans received a fitting birthday present when he and his Swiss wife, Ariane, finished the trek in 36 hours, 38 minutes and 55 seconds to take the mixed category win for a third year in a row and eighth overall. The on-form RE:CM duo crossed the line first in 3:17:08 to put the seal on an unbroken series of stage wins en route to victory.

British rider Catherine Williamson and partner Jarryd Haley of bizhub-Rocky Mountain finished second in 3:20:37 to take the overall runner-up spot in 37:08:54.

Two-time women’s race champion Ischen Stopforth, riding with former mixed category winner Yolande de Villiers, added another title in 39:12:56.

Max Knox and Samantha Sanders were crowned champions at the fourth leg of the MTN National MTB Series in Clarens last weekend when they won the men and women’s categories. The event formed part of the global UCI (International Cycling Union) World Marathon Series.

Knox (Specialized/EAI Solutions), a Sabie resident and current national mountain bike marathon champion, rode a well-timed race and managed to win the 103 km ultra-marathon route in 4:18:17, creating a 32-second advantage over second-placed South African Nico Bell (Westvaal/Bell Cycles), with third place going to Germany’s Stefan Sahm (Bulls), 1:51 off the pace. Knox, a Maritzburg College Old Boy, opened a small gap on the final climb to secure his victory.

Fellow Lowveld resident Samantha Sanders (Valencia), who is from Hoedspruit, took command of the 74 km women’s race, finishing over two minutes clear of second-placed Christine Jansen van Rensburg in 03:14:51.

Local rider and former SA and All African Champion Patrick Belton recorded his first major win for the season as he took the honours in the 74 km marathon in a time of 2:52:24. Jan Withaar took second place only four seconds back with “Mighty Mouse” Andrew Mclean in third, 10 seconds later.

The first event in the MiWay Big Five Series, the Zini Buffalo Classic, took place last weekend and attracted over 900 participants. Rourke Croeser claimed the honours in a sprint finish, taking a marginal win ahead of Andrew Hill in a time of 2:06:53. Desiree Chantell Vervey (Briedenhan), last year’s series champion, continued to dominate the women’s field taking a clear win in 2:37:07, nearly four minutes clear of Hayley Smith in second (2:41:02) and Isabel Moolman in third (2:46:58).

The next race in the MiWay Big Five Series is the Pick n Pay Elephant Classic in Eshowe on June 23.

The Mascor Greytown MTB Festival takes place this weekend. As one of the oldest and most established events on the KZN MTB calendar, the Greytown classic has evolved to meet the high standards expected at mountain biking events and is well worth the drive (one hour from Pietermaritzburg) to enjoy this picturesque venue. The spacious Beehive venue will again offer excellent camping facilities and ablutions , with a number of food and beverage stalls available for hungry cyclists and their families. Mountain bikers have a choice of a 50 km, a 35 km (1 pm today) and a 25 km, as well as a 10 km, fun ride and a three kilometre kids’ ride on both days.

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