Croeser, Dreyer new Jeep Hill champions

2013-09-21 00:00

MOUNTAIN BIKING

FOR the first time since 2007 both the men’s and women’s titles at the Sunday Tribune Jeep Hill2Hill are owned by local KZN stars after Rourke Croeser and Jeannie Dreyer emerged as champions in the prestigious 97 km mountain bike race last Sunday. While both Dreyer and Croeser collected their first victories in the gruelling race from Hilton to Hillcrest near Durban and both set new records, the manner in which they won could not have been much more different.

Croeser had a 97 km battle with Brandon Stewart and Brendon Davids and only claimed the title and the R15 000 winner’s cheque when he edged out his two rivals with an incredible display of sprinting. In contrast, Dreyer opened a gap on her rivals on the first big climb of the race and spent over 70 km riding solo and holding off a chasing pack to secure her four-minute victory.

Dreyer crossed the line in 4:23:29 with American team member Kendall Ryan second (4:27:30) and Natalie Bergstrom third, four seconds further back.

Croeser, Stewart and Davids were all credited with the identical time of three hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds — 10 minutes and 10 seconds faster than the record set by Burry Stander in the inaugural race held in 2006.

Junior Alan Hatherly led home the charge for victory in the 45 km half-marathon the previous day. SA Junior champ Bianca Haw was a worthy winner of the women’s race.

RESULTS

Men: 1 Rourke Croeser 4:34:42, 2 Brandon Stewart 3:34:42, 3 Brendon Davids 3:42:42, Luke Roberts 3:38:20, Andrew Hill 3:38:45.

Women: 1 Jeannie Dreyer 4:23:29, 2 Kendall Ryan 4:27:30, 3 Natalie Bergstrom 4:27:34, 4 Brenda Potts 4:30:05, 5 Lyn van Breda 4:32:35.

• An event that caters for the entire family, the Dargle Family MTB Festival, is back next Sunday. Highlights of the family-fun event include an awesome new single track, exciting river crossings, R12 000 worth of prizes and tons of kiddies’ activities. The event also boasts mountain biking distances of 40 km, 20 km, five kilometre and 200 metres for the whole family to enjoy. Entries on www.roag.co.za.

• The Kwambo Lion is the final event in the MiWay Big 5 Series and also takes place next Sunday.

For the 50 km riders, the track follows the 25 km for the first 12 km and then heads out into the hills, the highest point being Double Storey. The 10 km track is laid out along the golf course before heading south through forest jeep track. Pre-entries close on Wednesday on www.roag.co.za.

CYCLING

Road cyclists can look forward to the Time Freight Noodsberg Cycle Challenge next Sunday. Two race distances are on offer, 90 km and 27 km. The routes make use of the quiet and scenic roads around Noodsberg, Harburg, Wartburg and Dalton. Entries on www.roag.co.za.

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