MTN pair steal victory

2011-05-28 00:00

MAX Knox and Adrien Niyonshuti’s luck changed course when an error by the overnight leaders handed them overall victory in the Subaru sani2c which finished in Scottburgh last weekend.

After 78 km of furious racing from Highflats in southern KZN, the MTN-DoItNow pair crossed the finish line behind stage three winners Neil MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock (RE:CM) to grab the leaders’ jerseys from Kevin Evans and David George (Nedbank 360Life).

The latter dropped to third in the standings behind RE:CM with Paul Cordes and Charles Keey (MTN-Qhubeka) moving into fourth overall after finishing third on the final day.

Drama unfolded in the closing stages when leaders 360Life missed a route marker and veered off course, effectively signalling the end of their challenge for the stage and overall wins.

Knox said he left 360Life’s appeal in the hands of the judges. “I’m not sure what will happen, but I’ll take it as it comes.”

A disappointed Evans said he and George were going for the stage victory after distancing their rivals on Heart Rate Hill, about 15 km from the finish.

“A taxi was kicking up a lot of dust and we missed the turn-off. We realised we had left the course when there were no more markers, so we turned back.”

Following their stage win, MacDonald said they took advantage of the fact that Knox and Niyonshuti were chasing the overall victory after 360Life’s mishap.

“Obviously they were working hard in the front … They started to fade halfway up the finishing climb and were unable to respond when we attacked.”

Catherine Williamson and Candice Neethling (Team bizhub) won their second stage of the race to take overall victory in the women’s section ahead of early leaders Cherise Taylor and Karien van Jaarsveld (USN). Hanlie Booyens and Michelle Lombardi (Salomon) were third.

Newlyweds Erik and Ariane Kleinhans (Contego) added the mixed title to the one they won at the recent Fairbairn Capital/Old Mutual joBerg2c.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

The Compendium MTB Derby takes place today from Shongweni Polo Club, Hillcrest, from 8.30 am. Registration will be open between 7 am and 9 am, with the 40 km starting at 8.30 am, followed by the 20 km at 8.45 am, the 10 km at 8.55 am and the five kilometre at 9 am. T-shirts to the first 1 000 entries, medals to all finishers.

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