Walker beats large field

2012-02-04 00:00

MOUNTAIN BIKING

IT was evident that mountain bikers are hungry to race. More than 1 000 riders competed in the Subaru Cedara MTB Classic last weekend. Travis Walker (Team Jeep) led home the field in the 45 km Classic, taking a 10-second win ahead of Brandon Stewart (Fedgroup/Itec Connect), with Luke Roberts (Team RE:CM) in third just two seconds back.

Hungarian Eszter Erdelyi (Ellsworth) was in a class of her own as she took the women’s honours. Team Jeep’s Jackie Church claimed second placed ahead of Nedene Cahill (BMC).

Among the age groups Patrick Belton was the first junior home and fifth overall, Alan Hatherly won the youth category, Wayne Collin was the first veteran and Rob Hamlyn first master. Stewart claimed the sub-vet title in second position overall.

Sub-junior Thomas Jessop started the season on a high, taking the overall win in the 25 km race ahead of veteran Ewan Cochran and Dani Jenson in third. Catherine Pellow-Jarman won the women’s race with Frankie du Toit and Natalie Ferguson in second and third, respectively.

The first event in the KZN Provincial/Greg Minnaar Racing Downhill Series took place at the Cascades course last Sunday. The fastest time of the day, for the elite men and overall winner title, belonged to Tim Bentley with a 1:55.53. Hot on his wheels was Tiaan Odendaal, who took the junior men’s title and placed second overall with a 1:58.05. Third place went to Kelvin Purchase (1:59.89).

Kate Stephenson, a novice to downhill racing but coming from a MotoX background, surprised the field by taking the win in the women’s race. Despite the very hot, dry and dusty conditions, everybody enjoyed the track, which bodes well for the KZN Provincial Championship taking place on the same track on March 10 and 11.

KZN Mountain Biking is hosting the Momentum Health XCO Internationals, comprising three events in four weekends. The first event takes place at the Giba Gorge MTB Park on February 18 and 19, followed by the second event at Karkloof Falls on March 3 and 4, and the final event at the Cascades MTB Park on March 10 and March 11.

With R40 000 in prize money at each event the series will attract riders at the top of the field by providing the perfect platform for elite riders to fine tune their skills and gain some valuable UCI Points in the lead up to the MTB World Cup.

However, each weekend will cater for all levels of riders with the juniors, elites and U23 men and women racing on the Saturday, while racing on Sundays will be open for all other categories. Entries and more information on www.kznmtb.co.za.

ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR 2012 MTB WORLD CUP

THE RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg takes place at the Cascades MTB Park from March 16 to 18. Officials are on track to complete renovations to the world-famous facility well in time to be able to welcome the world’s best downhill and cross-country riders.

The event has major significance for two reasons. It being an Olympic year, the world’s top cross-country riders are eager to get in as much top-level competition as part of their preparations for the 2012 London Games. With the Cascades MTB Park having been confirmed as the venue for the 2013 World Championships, the 2012 World Cup will also be a prized opportunity to compete at the highest level and become familiar with the layouts that will decide the world crowns next year.

The Cascades MTB Park is one of only three international standard venues that can host both the downhill and cross-country disciplines at the same venue, and the experts in charge of both of those courses have bold plans to upgrade the tracks for the World Cup. More information on www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za

MULTISPORT

THE KZN Triathlon Championships were held in Richards Bay last weekend. Claude Eksteen and Lauren Dougall were crowned the respective men’s and women’s KZN champions.

Eksteen trailed initial race leader Henri Schoeman, who led the field through the 1 500 m swim and 40 km bike leg, before being reeled in by Eksteen on the final 10 km run.

Although racing as an age grouper (25-29), Dougall posted the fastest time in the women’s race to become the KZN Women’s Champ. Tayla Glover placed second.

The aQuellé Mudman series gets under way with the first event at Hermannsburg from 2 pm today. The full-distance race is a 750 m open-water swim or four-kilometre paddle, a 20 km cycle and a five-kilometre trail run. The half-distance race is a 375 m open-water swim or two-kilometre paddle, a 10 km cycle and a 2,5 km trail run. Registration will be open between noon and 2 pm.

The Midlands Ultra Triathlon series takes place at Midmar Dam on March 4. With the event now comprising a series of two events, the second event is set for October 7.

Although it is a series, both events will have separate prize money allocations and be run independently.

At each of the events an ultra and sprint race will be staged.

The ultra race will consist of a 1,9 km swim, 90 km cycle and a 21 km run, and the sprint distance race will consist of a 600 m swim, 20 km cycle and a five-kilometre run.

More information and entry forms at www.midlandsultra.com or e-mail ­B-Active Sports at info@midlands­ultra.com.

CYCLING

NEXT up on the KZN road cycling calendar is the Battery Centre Ryan Maullin Memorial Midmar Notts Cycle Race on February 19. For entries, go to www.roag.co.za or for inquiries call Jill Edwardes at Burg Wheelers Cycling Club at 073 514 3436.

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