Two new records at Attakwas Extreme Challenge

2013-01-26 00:00

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Motivated by the memory of his good friend, the late Burry Stander, Swiss multiple mountain bike racing world champion, Christoph Sauser, came back from two punctures to win the Attakwas Extreme Challenge in Oudtshoorn last Saturday.

Sauser (36ONE-Songo-Specialized) competed as Stander’s teammate for the past four editions of the ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike stage race, the last two of which they won.

On Saturday the Swiss also broke the Attakwas course record, clocking 4:56:29 for the 121 km race, which has an accumulated vertical ascent of 2 900 metres. The previous record was 05:01:50.

A surprise second place went to 21-year-old South African racer, Lourens Luus (Team RE:CM), who also broke the previous record in a time of 04:58:06.

Luus’s Team RE:CM team-mate, Erik Kleinhans secured third place, with the Cannondale Blend Properties pair of Charles Keey and Darren Lill claiming fourth and fifth places respectively.

Sauser reflected on his race: “I was thinking about Burry a lot today. Max’s [Knox] national marathon champion’s jersey is almost the same as Burry’s national XC champion’s jersey; and a few times, when Max was up ahead, it felt like I was chasing Burry.

“It has been a crazy two weeks with Burry’s death and I think today it was, more than ever for me, a good feeling to be alive.”

The women’s race was also won by a Swiss rider. Ariane Kleinhans of Team RE:CM became the first woman to win the race three times after claiming the coveted title in 2011 and 2012. Kleinhans, who is married to men’s race third-place finisher, Erik, and lives in South Africa, clocked a winning time of 05:42:29, which is also a new record.

Finishing second was current British road race champion and former Cape Epic winner, Sharon Laws (Momentum Toyota) with former two-time Attakwas winner, Yolande de Villiers (Toyota Supercycling), rounding out the top three.

The Subaru MTB Classic takes place at Cedara College tomorrow morning. “Subaru PMB have shown their support for the event once again … without great sponsors, events like these cannot take place,” commented event organiser Ingrid Flint.

With three distances to choose from, this is a great event for the whole family. Beginners can do a 10 km MTB fun-ride, while a 25 km single track and a 45 km main race, comprising a fair mix of single track, jeep track, offers stunning views.

There will be food and drinks on sale at the start/finish area.

Late entries will be taken at registration between 6 am to 8 am.

The racing will start from 8 am. Pre-entries close on www.roag.co.za on Wednesday.

MULTISPORT

The first event in the aQuelle Mudman Series is just one week away.

“The series is one of the more popular triathlon events in KwaZulu-Natal and is open to teams and individuals,” said Mike Terry, event organiser. A new running and cycling route will be taking athletes through the beautiful Boskom Mondi forest. All levels of athletes will enjoy this unique race, set in a spectacular environment. A broad range of categories are open that cater for top athletes, weekend sportier and relay teams.

This event consists of a full distance: 750 m swim or 4 km paddle/ 20 km MTB/ 5 km trail run or a half distance: 375m swim or 2 km paddle/ 10 km MTB/ 2,5 km trail run.

“The full and half distance you can complete as an individual or in a team. There will be food stalls, kiddies playground, live entertainment, and much, much more.

“Make it a date at the Hermannsburg Mudman next Saturday [February 2] at the Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg.

“The spillover effect will keep you motivated for weeks afterwards and may even spur you on to enter more races,” said Terry.

For more info visit www.mudman.co.za or phone 071 4831 707.

CYCLING

First up on the road cycling calendar is the Checkers and Waterside Cycle Challenge taking place in Newcastle next Sunday, February 3.

Distances include a 6 km Kiddies off-road fun race, a 20 km off-road fun race and 20 km road race and the 85 km race.

Enter on www.enteronline.co.za.

The Burg Wheelers Battery Centre Road Race takes place at a new venue from the Noodsberg Country Club (near Wartburg) on Sunday, February 24.

This is perfectly timed for cyclists preparing for the Pick n Pay Cape Argus being two weeks before SA’s biggest cycling race. Distances include 90 km, 65 km and 27 km.

Entries and further info on www.roag.co.za.

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