Hill still at the top of his game

2012-07-14 00:00

MOUNTAIN BIKING

ANDREW Hill claimed yet another podium and firmly put his name on top of the ROAG Series leader board after the John Dory’s Golovane held at Holla Trails last weekend.

Retaining her title as the overall women’s leader in the Series, Natalie Bergstrom came in at third place just behind Bianca Haw and Nadene Cahill.

Carl Calverley, who came fourth in the men’s race, lost his title as the overall men’s leader to Hill, and will be fighting hard to get back the top spot at the remaining five races left in the series. Calverley is a mere 14 points behind Hill at this crucial stage.

Hill, racing in the TIB Insurance colours, convincingly raced to a five-minute gap win at the fifth staging of the John Dory’s Golovane. Hill dominated from the front of the race where he led a breakaway group away from the chasers from five kilometres in the 50 km event.

The two riders who broke away with Hill were Guylin van den Berg and local favourite Sean Merridew (Mongoose) after last year’s winner Brandon Stewart punctured within the first kilometre of the event.

“I wasn’t sure when Brandon was going to ride back into the group so I put in a big effort early on to stay away for as long as possible,” said Hill.

“I kept looking around and expecting Brandon to be behind me, but that wasn’t the case.”

On the track the overnight rain made for some muddy riding in a couple of spots. The route was similar to last year’s and provided a mixture of open cane and district roads coupled with a tight, technical single track.

A highlight was the indigenous forest single track at 35 km, which had a tight and technical section that provided a welcome break from the fast-paced cane roads that dominate the Holla Trail network.

The ROAG Series, which boasts the biggest overall prize money to the tune of R20 000 for overall men and women, also offers prizes to all age categories. The series consists of 10 MTB ROAG-administered events that take place in KZN throughout 2012. For more info on the series visit www.roag.co.za.

Cascades will be home to the cross-country provincial championships tomorrow morning. Registration will be at Cascades from 7 am onwards and entry fee will be R120 per rider.

The course is about 5,9 km long with about 120 m of climbing per lap. All riders, right down to the Nippers, will ride the same course and no parts of the course will be closed off. But there will be chicken runs where the track is too difficult for the younger riders and parents and riders are advised to make sure they have practised the course before starting the race.

This is the KZN Provincial Championships, the sharp end of the sport, and cyclists on the start line must be fully briefed and know that they are racing for line honours in the highest level of racing in the province.

Nippers, sprogs and sub-juniors will start first at 8 am, followed by the women at 9 am, the masters and grand masters at 9.30 am, sub-vets and veterans at 10 am and youth, junior, U23 and elite men at 11.15 am.

CYCLING

Pietermartizburg hosted an inter-city track event against Durban recently. The evening was bitterly cold, but this did not deter the riders in the eight events that took place. Events started out with the 10-minute warm-up race, which was a must due to the very cold evening, and proceeded to the 1 500 m.

Danial Goodall dominated the races, winning five of the eight events, with Sean Fortman claiming two titles.

Track racing will take place every Friday alternating between the Durban and Pietermaritzburg tracks.

The next meet takes place in Durban on Friday. The Pietermaritzburg cycle track is open to track bikes for training on Tuesday and Thursday and road bikes on Wednesday evenings from 5 pm.

RESULTS – 10min warm-up: W Bryant 9.33, D Goodall 9.35, I Loudon 9.37 1500m, B Group: S Fortman 2.10, M de Villiers 2.11, J Burne 2.12. 1500m A Group: D Goodall 2.22, J Jordaan 2.23, K Walker 2.25. 2 Lap Sprint A: S Fortman 14.14, M de Villiers 14.20, H Prigge 14.40. 2 Lap Sprint B: D Goodall 13.10, W Bryant 13.50, J Jordaan 13.19. Olympic Sprint: D Goodall 13.51, S Fortmann 13.59. 25 Laps: D Goodall, Sean Fortman, K Walker. Elimination: D Goodall, K Walker.

MULTISPORT

The second event in the Varsity College Multisport Series takes place at Shongweni Dam next Sunday.

Participants should note this series is not only for the multisport athletes as it now offers a 15 km and five kilometre Trail Run and the 40 km and 20 km MTB races.

Pre-entries for the second event close at midnight on Thursday. The third event (August 19) is at Albert Falls Dam. More event details are to be found at www.maxcluer.com and entries at www.roag.co.za.

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