Mr Price GT take Sabie

2007-12-22 00:00

Olympic Games hopefuls Burry Stander and Marc Bassingthwaighte of the Mr Price GT team won the Sabie Experience mountain bike race in style this week.

Stander is easily South Africa’s best hope for a strong finish at the upcoming Olympic Games, while Bassingthwaighte is Namibia’s leading male hopeful for success in Beijing in 2008.

But while the Olympics will see them competing in lap-style cross-country racing, both showed their versatility in claiming two wins and a second place in the three-stage Sabie Experience, one of the country’s highest profile marathon mountain bike events.

Following the cancellation of Stage 3 on Sunday due to rain-related dangerous conditions, Stander and Bassingthwaighte held a 14-minute lead over their nearest rivals, Peter Smith and Craig Paul (Team Jeep), which meant they could have cruised the last stage, a 24-km time trial, and still secured the overall title. However Stander and Bassingthwaighte weren’t ready to embrace the giving spirit just yet and went all out on the final stage, claiming the victory in a fast 52 minutes and 27 seconds, almost a minute faster than second placed pair of David Lehman and Roan Exelby.

Third place on the stage went to Stage 2 winners John Paul Pearton and Francois Theron (Mazda Merida), who narrowly missed grabbing the second place in the overall standings.

As expected, the final stage and overall women’s category victory went to Amy Jane Mundy and Sarah Muhl, who ended up more than 15 minutes quicker in the final standings over Tania Raats and Natalie Unstead with Sarah van Heerden and Robyn Adendorff (Endless Horizons) rounding out the podium.

Stage 4: 24 km time trial Leading results

OVERALL: 1 Burry Stander/Marc Bassingthwaighte 52.27. 2 David Lehman/Roan Exelby 53.25. 3 John Paul Pearton/Francois Theron 52.29

OPEN MEN: 1 Burry Stander/Marc Bassingthwaighte 52.27. 2 David Lehman/Roan Exelby 53.25. 3 John Paul Pearton/Francois Theron 53.29

SUB-VETERAN MEN: 1 Renato Albrecht/Shaun Mackenzie 55.58.

VETERAN MEN: 1 Andrew McLean/Michael Cheesman 57.48

MASTER MEN: 1 Ben Cronje/Cobus Slabbert 01:11.48

OPEN WOMEN: 1 Amy Jane Mundy/Sara Muhl 01:08.53. 2 Hanlie Booyens/Erica Green 01:09.26. 3 Joke Hoffman/Kirsty Searle 01:10.53

Final leading standings after Stage 4

OVERALL: 1 Burry Stander/Marc Bassingthwaighte 07:59.58. 2 Peter Smith/Craig Paul 08:17.17.

3 John Paul Pearton/Francois Theron 08:17.34

OPEN MEN: 1 Burry Stander/Marc Bassingthwaighte 07:59.58. 2 Peter Smith/Craig Paul 08:17.17.

3 John Paul Pearton/Francois Theron 08:17.34

SUB-VETERAN MEN: 1 Renato Albrecht/Shaun Mackenzie 08:26.23

VETERAN MEN: 1 Andrew McLean/Michael Cheesman 09:10.27

MASTER MEN: 1 Ben Cronje/Cobus Slabbert

11:02.03

OPEN WOMEN: 1 Amy Jane Mundy/Sara Muhl 10:15.05. 2 Tania Raats/Natalie Unstead 10:31.39. 3 Sarah van Heerden/Robyn Adendorff 10:43.21.

MIXED: 1 Paul Cordes/Yolande Speedy 09:10.32.

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