Sani2c comes to an end with three races

2013-05-18 00:00

MOUNTAIN BIKING

THE Nedbank Sani2c finishes in Scottburgh today and is a culmination of three separate event starts.

The Sani2c trail started on Tuesday to arrive in Scottburgh on Thursday, then the Sani2c Adventure ran from Wednesday to yesterday and the Sani2c main race, which started in Underberg on Thursday, finishes today.

The Sani2c, which started in 2005, has become the biggest mountain bike stage race in the world with over 4 500 participants. More impressive is the legacy it is creating around community work and benefit to those rural areas through which it passes on it’s 270 km journey between Underberg and Scottburgh.

One of the many highlights for this year’s participants is the new 360 Life bridge near the finish.

The floating bridge, one of several innovative water crossings on the route, sees participants riding their bicycles over the Scottburgh lagoon and a few hundred metres into the Indian Ocean before hitting the finish line on the main beach.

Supporters will need to be at Scottburgh main beach early this morning to catch the winners arriving at the finish.

The Mascor Greytown MTB Festival last weekend was won by Tim Stark, making a noticeable comeback to front end racing after a long layoff due to illness.

Stark worked hard to hold off the likes of Warren Price, who finished just under two minutes behind Stark’s winning time of two hours, 14 minutes and 58 seconds.

Veteran Jeremy Thompson returned to his home ground in Greytown and took third place overall. Price was also the winner of Saturday’s 35 km race, which was largely washed out in the miserable weather.

The women’s race was graced by the presence of SA’s top female multisporter, Carla van Huyssteen, who proceeded to take the honours in a time of two hours, thirty-three minutes. She was chased home by former Hungarian Xterra Champion, Eszter Erdelyi, who was also celebrating her first Mother’s Day. Youth rider Frankie du Toit was placed third.

Rainfall leading up to the event made for muddy tracks and may have deterred some participants from starting the race, but they missed a sunny day and the course was only marred by a few muddy patches.

The 20 km race was won by Clive Damant in 1:07:44 followed by Matthew Nuttall-Smith (1:09:20) and Kelvin Green (1:10:39). Kayla Edwards was the first female home, with Sabine Thies in second and Stephanie Vincent in third.

The Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run takes place from the Mid-Illovo Club tomorrow morning. The Husqvarna Classic covers rough terrain in two picturesque game reserves — the Gwahumbe Game & Spa and iNsingizi Game & Spa.

This year, riders can look forward to more innovations, but the track designers aren’t telling yet.

While stretching the hardcore participants to their limit, the event also offers a more social side with the 18 km Gwahumbe family experience and the 10 km iCycle Insurance Fun Ride.

Runners can venture out on the gruelling 14 km iNsingizi trail run or take it a little easier with the eight-kilometre trail run.

Water tables are sponsored by GU Energy. Registration opens at 5.30 am and late entries will be accepted. Trail runners need to register at 5 am as the transport to the trail run start will leave the club promptly at 5.30 am.

The 40 km ride starts at 9 am, followed by the 18 km at 9.30 am and the iCycle 10 km at 10 am.

The Boston MTB Challenge takes place from the Boston Country Club tomorrow morning. Late entries will be taken at registration between 6.30 am and 8.30 am. Three events — the 50 km Challenge, 25 km fun ride and 10 km fun ride. Medals to all finishers. For further infomation, go to www.roag.co.za.

The Compendium MTB Derby takes place at the Shongweni Polo Club next Sunday.

“Riders will get the chance to enjoy loads of fast and safe single track …” said organisers.

The 20 km race shares the track with the first half of the 40 km, and riders can enjoy some cane riding as well as some fun, flowing single track with a few climbs thrown in to make sure competitors enjoy a bit of a workout as well.

The first 400 entrants in the 20 km or 40 km races will all get a free T-Shirt. Entries close on Wednesday on www.roag.co.za.

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