Stander rides ‘best this year’

2011-10-01 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s top pro-mountain biker, the ever-versatile class performer Burry Stander (Specialized USN), who hails from the South Coast, captured his second marathon victory in successive weekends when he won the 105 km MTN 50 Miler Dirt Fest mountain bike event that took place from Hilton College last weekend.

The 24-year-old Stander clocked a winning time of 4:18.34 for the tough course, which included over 3 000 metres of vertical ascent, just six days after capturing the title at the Sunday Tribune Jeep Hill2Hill marathon. Rwandan star Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN Qhubeka) was second with Max Knox (DoItNow Ghost) third. David George (Nedbank 360 Life) and current South African road cycling champion Darren Lill (Team Bonitas) rounded out the top five.

“It was my ninth weekend of racing in a row, so I wasn’t in the mood to go hard from the start … I just sat behind the others in the early stages,” said Stander.

“But as the race went on I felt quite good as the tough course started to take its toll.”

Almost 400 metres of ascent came in the final five kilometres.

Stander said, “It’s probably the best marathon course I’ve ridden this year.”

The women raced the 75 km marathon distance on an equally testing course, and there was a very close finish. Yolande Speedy claimed the title in 4:02.33 with Ischen Stopforth taking second just 10 seconds back. Candice Neethling claimed third. First home in this marathon distance event was Lourens Luus in 03:33.42, with Justice Makhale taking second and Geddan Ruddock third.

The MTN 50 Miler was the penultimate round of the eight-leg MTN National Series. George and Niyonshuti are the two riders in contention for the coveted title, which will be decided at the MTN Crater Cruise next month.

Following the ultra and marathon events the previous day, the MTN Hilton Dirt Fest Half-marathon attracted a bigger field for the more popular 40 km distance.

Junior rider Patrick Belton took his first overall win to claim the honours in a time of 1:52.52 with youth rider Jaco Pelser, racing on home turf, claiming second and Gauteng-based junior Werner van Heerden placing third.

Linda van Wyk won the women’s race in a time of 2:11.12 with Savannah Vosloo second and Joke Hoffman third.

Deno van Heerden outsprinted the field to win the 80 km Stihl/Cyclelab Midmar Notts Cycle race in 1:58.23 last weekend. Track rider Brett Berriman showed good form to lead home the chasing pack and claim second six seconds behind Van Heerden, with Mark Davel, Andrew Reeves and Rowan Tyler all on the same time to claim the remaining top five placings.

Isabel Moolman won the women’s race and second place went to Sue Folkes with Julieanne Hampson third.

The 30 km race was won by U14 rider Sheldon Lahner with the Marquiss twins, Gareth and Darren, placing second and third. Teegan Parker-Dennison was first home in the women’s race with Mirna Fourie second and Micaela Sclanders third.

Multisporters, trail runners and mountain bikers looking for a weekend of fun and exercise should get their entries in for the final event of the Time Freight Multisport Festival, which takes place at Albert Falls Dam next weekend. Full event details and entries at www.maxcluer.com

The St Johns Stihl Bundu Bash takes place at Baynesfield Estate on October 9. For further event details log onto www.roag.co.za.

Tomorrow morning sees the Michaelhouse MTB Festival taking place from Michaelhouse school in Balgowan. This unique family mountain biking festival forms part of the Bonitas Wild Series. The proceeds go to various conservation projects in the province. For information log on to www.michaelhousemtb.co.za

Next Sunday sees the Time Freight Express MTB race at Albert Falls Dam. T-shirts to the first 100 entries received in either the 35 km or 20 km, refreshments on completion of the race and some great prizes up for grabs. For further info log on to www.maxcluer.com Entries at www.roag.co.za.

The KZN leg of the Engen Dynamic Cycle Challenge takes place from the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban tomorrow. Registration and race number collection take place today at the Moses Mabhida Stadium between 10 am and 6 pm. More information at www.edcc.co.za, or e-mail anthony@x-events.co.za or call 084 583 8989.

Cyclists will be using this event in preparation for the big one — the Amashovashova taking place between Pietermaritzburg and Durban on October 16. For more information go to www.shova.co.za or call during office hours at 031 312 8896.

Another good opportunity for road cyclists to get in some quality speed work in racing conditions is at the final event of the KZN Lassen Series at Camperdown next Sunday. For entries and event details log on to www.onlineentries.mrpricesport.co.za.

Photo: s

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