Hill 2 Hill was a humdinger

2010-09-25 00:00

THE Hilton 50 Miler takes place from Grace College this morning. The event offers six races during the morning starting with the ‘Bean There’ 21km Trail run at 7.15 am and the Grace 5km Trail run at 7.30 am.The main event – the MTN Ultra MTB Marathon starts at 8 am, followed by the 77km Marathon at 8.10 am and the MiWay Half-Marathon at 8.45 am. The aQuelle 20km Farm ride at 9.30 am and Warmington’s 5km Fun Ride at 9.50 am conclude the program.

Proceeds from the event go to the Ethembeni HIV AIDS Hospice in Mpophomeni (near Howick).

The Jowetts Cycles MTB Classic on the calendar is not happening tomorrow.

The Lake Eland MTB Classic takes place on Sunday, October 10 and promises some amazing new track. Event organisers have been hard at work for the past six months to build a premier course through veld and bush, along the gorge and through valleys, to bring riders the most exciting tracks ever ridden at Lake Eland.

The standard package 45 Classic, 25km Intermediate, 10km fun ride and 5km Kiddies ride will keep everyone satisfied. (More details: www.lakeelandclassic.co.za)

Entries close on October 6 for the annual Time Freight Midmar Notts 80km and 30km Cycle Challenge takes place on Sunday, October 10 from Midmar Dam.

Last weekend’s Sunday Tribune Jeep Hill 2 Hill produced two worthy new champions in Max Knox and Hungarian Eszter Erdelyi, but they achieved their victories in vastly contrasting fashion.

The 100 km race from World’s View in Hilton to Shongweni Polo Club in Hillcrest produced bucketloads of thrills and spills with a fascinating dice for overall victory being the highlight of the day, while three riders with genuine top-10 credentials crashed out in dramatic fashion and all ended in hospital.

The weather was perfect for spectators, but the sunny day caused havoc with the competitors and, combined with the traditionally tough route, resulted in a third of the starters failing to finish.

But three riders who expertly avoided all the pitfalls of this tough race were the young Knox, former national road champion David George and defending champion Brandon Stewart.

They slugged it out together for 85 km with George able to counter anything the two DCM riders could throw at him.

On the final major climb of the route, the tough five-kilometre Sunrise Hill section of the route, George attacked and only Knox could counter as Stewart’s reserves finally gave out and he could only watch as the other two climbed away from him.

George and Knox could not break each other over the remaining steps of the climb. At the top of the final King of the Hills prime they were still together with only 10 km of the 100 km race left.

Key to the result was the final climb up to the tunnel under the N3 highway and the finish. Knox, with the experience of finishing this race three times before, knew that was the place to make his move on George, who was riding the race for the first time. As they hit the bottom of the climb Knox attacked, knowing George would take time to build up momentum on his bigger-wheeled, 29-inch bike.

The result was a seven-second gap as they crossed the line, with Stewart finishing two minutes back in third place.

The women’s race was decided on the first major climb of the day.

Hungarian Erdelyi was in a league of her own as she powered away from her rivals up Friesland Hill 25 km into the race.

Defending champion, Samantha Oosthuysen, and Carla Rowley and Karien van Jaarsveld were unable to match her pace as Erdelyi cruised to an 11-minute victory.

One of the big talking points after the event was the three dramatic incidents involving leaders.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Andrew Hill clipped a bridge railing with his handlebar and was thrown somersaulting down the stairs. His bike was destroyed but he walked — groggily — away. Then Andrew Warr popped a shoulder socket. Amazingly, he forced it back into place and started riding again, but the shoulder dislocated once more and he had to be evacuated.

Ben Melt Swanepoel crashed into a barbed wire fence and ended up deep gashes in his forearm.

The shorter 44 km race from Cato Ridge to Shongweni was dominated by youngsters with juniors James Reid, Brendon Davids and Luke Roberts heading up the men’s field while Candice Neethling, Candice Parker-Dennison and Andrea de Boer were top among the women.

RESULTS

100km Marathon, Men: Max Knox 3:55:54, David George 3:56:01, Brandon Stewart 3:58:19, Marc Bassingthwaighte 4:03:42, Philip Buys 4:13:28. Women: Eszter Erdelyi 4:45:55, Samantha Oosthuysen 4:57:02, Karien van Jaarsveld 5:05:30

44km Classic, Men: James Reid 1:43:18, Brendon Davids 1:47:20, Luke Roberts 1:48:01, Travis Walker 1:49:31, Kyle Dorkin 1:52:37. Women: Candice Neethling 2:14:49, Candice Parker-Dennison 2:29:55, Andrea De Boer 2:32:41

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