Tight finishes in Greytown MTB Classic

2010-05-29 00:00

THE N3TC Greytown MTB Classic was held last weekend in perfect conditions.

Andrew Warr (Muscle & Fitness) led a competitive men’s field in the 45 km to win in a time of one hour, 53 minutes and 44 seconds. Travis Walker (DCM chrome) placed second, only two seconds back, with young Ryan Ellis (Team Jeep) a mere four seconds behind the winner to take third place.

Yolandi du Toit (Team Bizhub) completed a successful weekend of racing, winning both the 56 km stage on Saturday and the 45 km Classic on Sunday. Team Jeep’s Jean Hackland was a close second with Brenda Potts (Cyclelab) completing the podium for the overall GC on both days.

The slender 24-year-old from Heidelberg in Gauteng was made to fight hard in the early stages of both days.

“I had to ride very aggressively to stay ahead of Jean on the first day,” said Du Toit, who is known more for her endurance than technical prowess.

Melanie Palframan, recently returned from racing in Europe for a month, placed second in the 45 km Classic ahead of veteran Alison Misselhorn.

Always the most popular distance, the 25 km event was well supported. Stefan van Eck took the overall win four seconds ahead of Bryce Rawlins with Luke MacNab third. Liz Alexander was the first woman home.

Alan Hatherly was once again the champion of the sub-junior race, well clear of Carlo Marzoppi in second and Kyle Walker third. Savannah Schuit was first home among the girls’ sub-juniors, ahead of Emily Chalmers Banks and Mikaela Jonsson.

Saturday’s challenging 56 km ride was won by Shaun Peschl ahead of Jeremy Thomson and Marc Adam. Jean Hackland and Tamryn Taylor placed second and third respectively behind du Toit.

For full results and further details, visit www.greytownmtb.co.za/www.roag.co.za.

SA BMX team named

Sifiso Nhlapo heads up the South Africa team chosen to compete in the 2010 UCI BMX World Championships in late July. The team is anything but a one-man squad. There is a sprinkling of other riders hoping to collect world titles in their age groups.

Skizo, as he is known, proved in 2008 that he had what it takes to compete with the world’s best when he enjoyed a superb season, producing some stellar performances in Europe before grabbing the bronze medal at the World Championships and then seventh in the final at the Olympics — where a crash robbed him of a medal chance.

Backing Nhlapo from the South African team in the Elite category will be Dean Holdstuck, who was less than a second from qualifying after his time trials in Copenhagen, the U.S.-based Gavin Lubbe, who was less than one-tenth of a second from qualifying in the season’s opening World Cup event in Madrid, Kane Herbert and Jordan O’Keefe.

In the Junior Elite class, Teagan O’Keefe is hoping for big things. The petite youngster is training in Switzerland and the tough six-hour-a-day schedule is paying dividends. She could be a dark horse for a gold medal in her category.

SA team for UCI BMXWorld Championships

Elite Men: Sifiso Nhlapo, Dean Holdstock, Gavin Lubbe, Kane Herbert and Jordan O’Keeffe.

Junior Elite: Teagan O’Keeffe and Christopher Austin.

Veterans, 30 years and over: Sharlene McGilvray. Senior 23-29 years: Jonnathan Chislett, Shane Coulthard.

Under 23 (16-23 years): Lloyd Dodd, Kyle Dodd, Wayne Gerber, Nzuzo Mngadi and Godfrey Buzibo.

Junior (10-15 years): Liam Webster, Axel Webster, Kayla Eggar, Dylan Eggar and Bryce Stiebel.

The UCI BMX World Championships takes place at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg from July 29 to August 1.

Minnaar victorious at first World Cup

Pietermaritzburg’s champion downhill racer, Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate/SRAM/RockShox), started off the UCI World Cup downhill season with a big win.

Minnaar put together a brilliant run to win the season opener in Maribor, Slovenia, in the most dismal conditions, on a course he described as “the hardest course I’ve ever ridden because of the mud and rain”.

Minnaar commented: “The win was really unexpected. I was hoping to leave Maribor with a top three to start the season in a solid position. Considering the course conditions, my past results here and a third in qualifying, I would have been stoked with a top three.

“I felt after the qualifier that I could race for the win. We’ve been on the road for two weeks and I’ve been adjusting to the carbon bike, and working with all the guys from Santa Cruz has been great. It’s nice to be getting on a plane home with a win under my belt.”

RESULTS

1st Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 3:23.42; 2nd Gee Atherton 3:23.67; 3rd Brendan Fairclough 3:25.24; 4th Fabien Pedemanaud 3:25.84; 5th Sam Hill 3:28.10.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

While the runners will be pounding the route between Pietermaritzburg and Durban tomorrow, the mountain bikers need to satisfy their endorphins today. If you’re not too late, the Compendium Cyclelab MTB Derby starts from Shongweni Polo Club at 9 am and offers a 40 km, 20 km, 10 km and 5 km. Registration is open between 7 am and 8 am.

The downhillers can enjoy a later start, with the sixth event in the Greg Minnaar Downhill Series taking place at Cascades in Pietermaritzburg from 1.30 pm.

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