Stander, in Classic style

2010-05-15 00:00

THE 2010 Mr Price Karkloof Classic Mountain Bike Festival ended on Sunday with the signature event, the Mr Price Karkloof Classic, providing some enthralling racing. Going head to head were South Africa’s top two marathon riders, Burry Stander (Mr Price/Specialized) and reigning national marathon champion Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade).

It was a replay of the 2009 event as the two riders pushed one another to their limits over the tough but enjoyable course. They led a field of 600-odd riders through the stunning and picture-perfect setting of the Karkloof Valley.

The lead changed no fewer than six times during the 75 km race. Ironically, Stander made his move in the same way as he did in the 2009 race, except earlier this time, during the climb through the Sappi plantations up to B24.

Evans had no reply as the U23 World Cup champion powered his way to his second successive marathon title at Karkloof, and second event win of the weekend, following his superb display of power the day before during the RED Sprint event.

Stander explained: “Karkloof is a special event for me, and to win two years in a row is a great feeling. Kevin and I have shared some superb racing during this event, and it was no different today. Kevin pushed me hard today.”

A tired Evans conceded that Stander was the better rider on the day. “I saved myself over the weekend with the aim of taking the title here today, but Burry was just too strong. I gave it everything, but everything turned out to be two minutes too short.”

Completing the podium was talented young Pretoria-based rider Philip Buys (Garmin/Adidas), with local professional Brandon Stewart (DCM-Chrome) claiming fourth place.

Aside from the frenetic racing that took place during the marathon, the event attracted about 4 000 mountain bikers who shared in a near-perfect Mothers’ Day setting in the KZN midlands that included the aQuelle 40 km and 19 km events, as well as the 10 km kids’ fun ride.

RESULTS

75km Elite Male: 1. Burry Stander (Mr Price/Specialized) — 02h56min53sec; 2. Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade) — 02h59min01sec; 3. Philip Buys (Garmin/Adidas) — 03h10min22sec; 4. Brandon Stewart (DCM-Chrome) — 03h10min23sec; 5. Marc Bassingthwaighte (Garmin/Adidas) — 03h12min42sec

MOUNTAIN BIKING

The 14th Annual Greytown MTB Festival is again being hosted on May 22 and 23. The popular full-stage and half-stage events are again on offer. Saturday offers 31 km and 60 km courses with 10 km and three-kilometre fun rides being offered in the morning and afternoon. A big screen will show the Super 14 semi-final match of the day, with food and refreshments on sale.

The Sunday events include a 26 km intermediate ride and the famous 45 km Greytown Classic. The fun events are the 110 km and three-kilometre non-technical courses. Also on offer on Sunday are trail runs on the 10 km and 26 km courses. The Sunday events are part of the KZN Super Classic Series. A limited number of unique Fox-branded, long-sleeve T-shirts will be on sale.

Online entry forms can be found at www.roag.co.za. Pre-entries close at midnight on Wednesday. Entries on the day will attract an extra administration fee. No pre-entry is needed for fun rides.

Camping, B&Bs, catering and event details can be found at www.greytownmtb.co.za.

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