Wild ride to victory

2009-08-01 00:00

IT is a race like no other. There are very few places in the world where mountain bikers can enjoy nearly 200 km of pristine beaches and warm hospitality. The Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast is one of them and this year the Imana Wild Ride celebrated its 10th anniversary of stage racing in South Africa with 80 two-man teams cycling in paradise.

The seemingly invincible duo of Nick Floros and Peter Smith (Subaru/Jeep) set the records, taking their third straight victory in a new record time of 9h48.12 — over 30 minutes faster than their own previous best time set in 2007. The homework paid off for the younger of the two Smith brothers, Mike, and partner Craig Stone (Team Subaru) on day three when they took a convincing win ahead of Floros and Smith and cracked a record time for day four in 3h16.37 leaving them a mere 1 min 33 sec behind the winners on accumulated time. The class of the Specialised Factory Racing combo of top Xterra athlete Dan Hugo and internationally experienced Irishman Bobby Behan found themselves at a disadvantage without course markers, losing valuable time on the final stage, but holding on firmly to a well-earned third place. Behan commented after the race “this has got to be the best race in the world!” Fourth and fifth ended in a tie with the Xterra Warriors Jean-Paul van der Linde and Andre Booyens finding an equal match in Errol Thole and his son Ewald.

Racing among the mixed teams got down to the wire with stage one winners Sara Muhl and Craig Woods (Jeep/First Ascent) taking the overall win in an accumulated time of 11h57.24, breaking the record set by Jeannie Bomford and Jan Schutte in 2007 of 12h20.02. Su and Iain Don-Wauchope (Mountain Splendour) kept the pressure on throughout the race. Having taken the overall lead at the start of stage three and holding it through to stage four, a broken chain may have cost them the race.

Third place went to a stout effort from top SA triathlete Carla Germishuys doing her first Imana Wild Ride, and experienced veteran Russell White (Troisport/Fullimput).

In what became known as “Day 39”, riders were faced with extreme weather conditions as a massive cold front gripped the country. The rain caught many riders unprepared. Surprisingly, in what is one of the most dangerous days for accidents due to the steep ascents and descents, only one rider, Derek du Plessis, fell badly and injured his shoulder, forcing him to retire.

The Umngazi “Wildest Rider” Award was presented to Johann Wykerd and Tim Keep who cycled from Umngazi to Kei Mouth in a condensed three days, only to turn around the next day and start the race, finishing in 21st position overall.

Full race results and reports are available at www.wildride.co.za

RESULTS — OVERALL:

N Floros & P Smith (Subaru/Jeep) 9h48.12, M Smith & C Stone (Team Subaru) 9h49.45, D Hugo & B Behan (Specialized Factory Racing) 11h03.01, JP van der Linde & A Booyens (Xterra Warriors) / E&E Thole 11h27.21. MIXED: S Muhl & C Woods (Jeep/First Ascent) 11h57.24, I & S Don-Wauchope (Mountain Splendour) 12h03.25, C Germishuys & R White (Triosport/Fullimput) 12h37.11.

 

 

 

DARREN Goddard and Ryan Redman won the first Muddy Buddy event of the Series last weekend, finishing over three minutes ahead of the second placed team.

Adventure racers Goddard and Redman led the first Muddy Buddy event from start to finish, completing the five-kilometre Trail run, 12-km mountain bike and mud pit and obstacle course in a time of 00:57:25.

In the Muddy Kids section, Team Giba won, followed closely by the Handsome Hunks and Jeep Guys teams. The Muddy Kids was won by the Speed Demons team of Keagan Hosken and Jason Burgess.

The next event is on October 4. Go to www.muddybuddy.co.za, or call B-Active Sports on (031) 564 4062.

THE Tour de Krantz takes place next Saturday (August 8) from Harburg (near Wartburg) and makes up the 12th event in the Super Classic Series. For further information contact Melanie Meier at 083 636 1009.

 

THE second event in the Jeep Apparel Multisport Series takes place next Sunday. multi­sport long course (5-km trail run, 20-km mountain bike, 5-km paddle), multisport short course (2,5-km trail run, 10-km MTB, 2,5-km paddle), MultiX Long Course (5-km trail run, 20-km MTB, 2,5-km trail run), multiX short course (2,5-km trail run, 10-km MTB, 1,25-km trail run). Information, entries at www.maxcluer.com

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