Van Gelder shines again

2010-12-11 00:00

VETERAN triathlete Donovan van Gelder showed his experience when he took the honours at the Compendium Olympic Distance triathlon at Suncoast Casino in Durban last weekend. Van Gelder pulled back two minutes on the swim leaders to take the lead on the 10 km run route. Gerhard de Bruin was 10 seconds back with Glen Gore one minute back starting the run. However, Van Gelder’s running strength showed and he finished the race in 1:57. De Bruin finished second in 1:59, with Gore clinching third place in two hours and 11 seconds. Van Gelder made it three in a row having won the two previous events in the series.

The women’s race was between Durban triathlete Taylor Glover and Gauteng Athlete Corrine Berg. With only 20 seconds between them out of the water, it was down to the bike and run for a winner to be decided. Glover turned up the pace on the second lap of the run to take the victory from Berg while Lauren Douglall claimed third place.

Over 200 triathletes lined up for the Olympic Distance triathlon, taking on a 15 km swim, then a 40 km cycle and then a 10 km run. The athletes had complete road closure along NMR, Snell Parade and Battery Beach Road, ensuring that Safety was paramount. The Duathlon event attracted over 50 top athletes, with Gauteng Bryce Viegas coming back to claim his winners crown.

The Rookie Triathlon saw the younger athletes taking on a 200 m swim, followed by a five kilometre cycle and then a 125 km run, giving then a taste of what’s to come when they grow up. James Wewege won the rookie event, beating second-placed athlete Aaron Bigger and Tyler O’Conner. First women home in the Rookie Triathlon was Nicole Muller. Michaela Schlander and Nerish Metha placed second and third respectively.

Race directors Damian and Lauren Bradley from B-Active Sports said: “We had an overwhelming response to the event and took almost 100 late entries on the day, making this one of the biggest Olympic Distance triathlons in South Africa. We had great support from the athletes and Suncoast Casino and we have had an amazing year of racing. 2011 will bring bigger and better things for the series …”

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Whether being a spectator or participating, the Hewlett Packard Urban Rage MTB Assault Race taking place at uShaka Marine World this weekend is the place to be. Now in it’s third year, the event has become an icon on the calendar and offers thrilling racing to the contenders and great entertainment for spectators.

Athletes from around the country are expected to race and participate in the various categories. With both men’s and women’s defending champs back on the start line, the pressure will be on for the big R50 000 prize purse. Philip Buys (Team Garmin Adidas) has taken the honours two years running but will face tough opposition from runner up Craig Paul (Team Jeep), Luke Roberts, Tyrone White, Ryan Ellis, Brendon Davids and Evan van der Spuy. World Xterra Champion Conrad Stolz will be up from Cape Town and will be sure to spice things up amongst the top contenders. Candice Neethling (DCM chrome) will be out to defend the women’s title while Amy-Jane Mundy, third last year, will be out to show why the HP Urban Rage is one of her favourite events. The top 10 men and top five women will qualify for the Super Cat final which starts at 5.20 pm tomorrow and is sure to be an exciting finale to the weekend’s racing.

Event organisers Max Cluer Sports Marketing have been hard at work creating some mind-blowing obstacles never before seen in SA mountain biking. Names such as radius bridge, skinny bridge, stair ladder, bunny-hop lane, table top, traffic calmer and several water bridges and burms make up the 28 features of the testing two-kilometre circuit. While most competent riders will opt for the “Crazy Cat” obstacles, there are “Scardy Cat” (chicken runs) for the less daring. Rider’s can expect a course similar to last year’s which comprised nearly forty obstacles over the route. There will be some minor logistical changes and a few surprises thrown in, including more water obstacles and technical sections, and a new start area.

An exciting introduction this year is the two-day format to allow participants to make maximum use of the purpose built course. Today’s events include the new Enduro open to individuals and teams of two or four. The Enduro caters for individuals over a two-hour format and teams over a four-hour format and will be the perfect opportunity for competitive riders to get in tune with the course ahead of tomorrow’s racing for the grand Super-Cat title.

Entries will still be taken at registration this morning between 8 am and 9.30 am, with the racing starting at 10 am. The all-new Urban Jump “Expression Session” starts at 3 pm — bikes are provided and there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs. Tomorrow sees the Teams of two (Cool Cats) and Individuals (Alley Cats) competing in a heat format to qualify for the finals. Registration and late entries between 8 am – 9.30 am and the racing starts at 10 am. Further information on www.urbanrage.co.za

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