Sweet victory for PMB’s Stewart

2009-09-26 00:00

FOR three years, Pietermaritzburg’s Brandon Stewart came close to taking the honours in the Sunday Tribune Jeep Hill2Hill, but last Sunday saw one of his major goals materialise. Together with team-mate Max Knox, the DCM chrome duo blew the field apart within the first 20km and set Stewart up for a convincing victory in 3 hours 53 minutes 29 seconds.

Ben Melt Swanepoel (Specialized) never got caught up in the frantic rush from the start and rode a measured, even-paced race to power through the field over the second half of the course. From eighth at one point he claimed second just over 4min behind Stewart.

After his efforts over the first 60 km, Knox did well to hang in for third, just over three minutes back and just a few seconds ahead of Marc Bassingthwaighte (Garmin) with team-mate Francois Theron wrapping up the five-man podium.

Stewart, who has made no secret of the fact he desperately wanted to win the Hill2Hill, thanked his family for “putting up with so much to enable me to train for my favourite race in South Africa”.

In the women’s race, Samantha Oosthuysen was never challenged, and after finishing seventh last year in seven hours, cruised to a dominant victory in 4:42:41, for 22nd overall in one of the country’s toughest one-day marathons. Hillcrest rider Robyn Adendorff placed second, 17min back, followed by the feisty Tania Raats and Hungarian Eszter Erdelyi-Cluer in quick succession with Shawna Thunder completing the women’s podium.

Local riders Paul Lancaster (Master Men) and Roy McGladdery (Veteran Men) did well to win their categories.

With over 1 800 entries, the race between Hilton and Hillcrest has become one of the highlights of the mountain biking calendar and most of the country’s top riders turned up to chase the R13 000 first prize. (Full results: www.hill2hill.co.za).

RESULTS

Men Overall: B Stewart 3:53:29; B Swanepoel 3:58:08; M Knox 4:01:14; M Bassingthwaighte 4:01:33; F. Theron 4:02:20; P Smith 4:14:59; C Paul 4:15:51;B Dickson 4:18:08; C Calverley 4:24:38; R Exelby 4:28:26.

Women overall: S Oosthuysen 4:42:41; R Adendorff 4:59:40; T Raats 5:02:44; E Erdelyi 5:04:42; S Thunder 5:09:09

CYCLING

Entries close on Monday for the MTN Amashova National Cycle Classic between Pietermaritzburg and Durban on Sunday, October 18. Ensuring the Classic is a family affair, there is the easier 38km fun ride downhill all the way from Hillcrest to Durban.

The mountain bike challenges have found a new home at Midmar Dam. All mountain bike enthusiasts can meet at the Blackhurst Camp Site on Saturday, October 17, for the 10km, 35km or 70km routes starting at 8am. The Mini Shova takes place in Durban on October 10 at Suncoast Casino. For details, phone 031 312 8896 or visit www.shova.co.za

• An ideal warm-up to the MTN Amashova is the Time Freight Midmar Notts Cycle Challenge next Sunday, October 4. The 80km race takes participants from the start at Midmar Dam up past Nottingham Road to the turn point at Mount West before the mostly downhill return back to Midmar. There is also a 30km fun ride. Riders must register at www.roag.co.za before submitting their entry. The entry fee is R120 (80km), and R60 (30km). Pre-entries close on Wednesday. Entry forms are at all cycling shops.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

The Lake Eland Super Classic takes place at Lake Eland tomorrow morning. For further information, contact Thomas Blom at 072 946 0656.

Mountain bikers who enjoy multi-day stage racing should look out for the Fox Hilton Stage race, which starts from Laddsworth School in Hilton next Thursday and covers four days of some of the best mountain biking in the midlands. Log on to www.hiltonexperiencemtb.co.za for further information.

MULTISPORT

The final event in the Jeep Apparel Multisport Series takes place at Albert Falls Dam tomorrow morning and young Andrew Birkett will be looking for his third successive victory. He will be up against the likes of Trevor Hellens, Justin Porteous, Jean-Paul van der Linde and Craig Carter-Brown.

Among the women, Jean Hackland’s consistent performance over the last three events should see her dominate the final event. Winner of the Nagle Dam event, Michelle Eder, will be back on the start line and with her paddling strength will be the one to watch.

The MultiX event has proven to be highly competitive, and Darren Goddard will go head to head with Gauteng’s Jean-Pierre ten Napel. (Information: www.maxcluer.com).

* The final event in the Compendium Multi-series takes place at Suncoast Casino, Durban tomorrow morning. (Information: B-Active Sports on 031 564 4062 or www.bactive.biz).

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