Hill, Louw conquer dusi2c as perfect prep for World Champs

2014-06-23 00:00

HAVING negotiated some bitterly cold conditions early in the day, riders once again had clear skies and dry trails for the second day of the 2014 BSi Steel dusi2c yesterday and it was the Team TIB pair of Andrew Hill and Adriaan Louw who inflated their overnight lead by a minute to cross the finish line at Blue Lagoon in Durban ahead of Quattro’s Tyron Bird and Tim Stark and Team Safire’s Trevor Rowe and Warren Price.

Following an interesting duel with Bird and Stark for most of the race, the leaders made a break the chasing teams could not match, this being enough to give them the second stage and the overall crown.

Hill explained his apprehension heading into the final stage and mentioned he knew Louw and he were going to have to work hard.

“We had a handy lead going into the final stage, but anything can happen in mountain biking,” he said. “You have to consolidate and make sure you put something between you and the rest before resting on your laurels.”

The race was getting close toward the end, but a push from the leading pair meant they opened up a big enough advantage to claim victory.

“This year’s route had some welcome changes that added to the mountain biking experience you get at dusi2c.

“Near the end, the group came together, but after Silver Pipes Bridge, it split again and Adriaan and myself accelerated, putting a bit of time into the guys,” said Hill.

Arriving at this year’s event as a greenhorn, Louw had a fresh perspective on the race.

“It really is an amazing event. That is all you can say. It is a mountain biking dream and it is the pinnacle of trail riding,” he said. “The race will only get better over time and I believe next year they are doing a non-stop dusi2c which will become a marathon spectacle.”

Louw and Hill will join the rest of the South African team for the upcoming UCI MTB Marathon World Championships in Pietermaritzburg and Louw believes the dusi2c was great preparation for the event.

“The race is part of our preparation for World Champs next weekend and we didn’t want to race for too long,” he said.

Runners-up Bird and Stark were chasing the race on day two and with a better knowledge of the first day, Bird was happy with how they were able to stay with the leading duo for the majority of the final stage.

“We were a bit on and off them for the entire race,” he said. “I remembered the first stage better than I did the second so it meant that navigation was always going to be a bit of an issue but we managed to keep the leaders in check,” he said.

Bird won the inaugural edition of the dusi2c last year with Hill, but he still satisfied with the runner-up berth.

Stark mentioned the gameplan going into the final day was simple and it was a matter of keeping their position and using opportunities to put pressure on the leaders.

“We were thinking about making a few attacks on the lead guys, but I unfortunately made some stupid mistakes and went up a hill that I shouldn’t have and the helicopter sent me back,” he said.

It was a day for the stronger riders as Rowe and Price moved into the podium positions with a powerful ride that saw them end in a share for the third place with John Ntuli and Ndumiso Dontso.

“We knew we had six minutes to make up after day one and it was a long shot due to the nature of the course, but we knew if we could get into a group then we could move up places and it worked,” Rowe concluded.

The mixed race was won by 2013 African mountain bike cross-country champion Yolande Speedy and her partner Eugene Botha.

The combination led the race through both days and won by a handsome margin of 27 minutes from Gavin and Jean Meyer. Having picked up a mechanical during the second stage, Owen Gandar and Tamika Haw lost their second place, but managed to hold on to the final podium spot.

Overall dusi2c Results

Andrew Hill/Adriaan Louw 4:51:02

Tyron Bird/Tim Stark 4:56:41

Warren Price/Trevor Rowe 5:11:17

John Ntuli/Ndumiso Dontso 05:14:18

Grant Usher/Sean Henderson 5:27:40.

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