Marais takes overall Series win

2017-06-07 06:00
KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series XCO Batch A winners. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

KZNMTB Provincial Cup Series XCO Batch A winners. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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THE third round of the 2017 KZN MTB Provincial Cup Series XCO was hosted at the world-renowned Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg in conjunction with KwaZulu-Natal Sport and Recreation on Saturday.

Stuart Marais claimed the A Batch and overall series victory and the team of the day was without a doubt the RMB Change a Life Academy, with two top ten positions in A Batch and five riders in the top ten of Batch B, including a victory.

After Marais, Henry Liebenberg and Sthembiso Masango - who is part of the SA National team that will be going to compete in the UCI MTB Marathon Championships in Germany this year - claimed second and third place in the batch respectively.

“Provincials are always a lot of fun. For me it was beneficial because we have a national cup here in two weeks so its good to get some racing done at this course before hand. It’s always just so good to race at home,” said Marais.

When chatting about the rest of the 2017 season, Marais said that his major focus would be on the last national cup as well as the SA National MTB Championships. It will be after these events that the team to be selected for the UCI MTB XCO World Championships will be decided.

“It all hangs with that decision and I hope I crack the nod,” he added.

Batch B was won by Change a Life’s Sipho Kupiso, and teammate Ndumiso Dontso came across second, with Gareth Cook in third. The fastest female in B Batch was Tiffany Keep, despite having a nasty crash in the final rock garden section on the course.

“The race today was so much fun, and I really enjoyed the single tracks and rock gardens. I’ve been off the cross-country racing scene for a bit and this is my first time coming back. It was a great track. I’ve been doing a lot of marathon racing, in particular the Absa Cape Epic, and then I decided to come and do this. I had such a great time out here today and am looking forward to KZN Champs,” said Kupiso.

Batch C saw Maritzburg College’s Johandre Marx claiming the first spot on the top of the podium, followed by Jordan Bold, and Kusaselihle Ngidi.

The first woman over the line in Batch C was Beani Thies.

“I entered the race on Wednesday with full-blown flu. I actually didn’t think I would race today. But who can say no to the awesome cross-country tracks at Cascades,” she said.

Thies got to the start line and gave it her all, hoping for at least a top ten position.

When she crossed the line in fifth place overall, she had surprised herself. “Nick Floros (course designer) always gives a surprise here and there and that is what I like. I just love riding at Cascades because I love a technical track,” she said.

— Supplied.

Batch A

1.Stuart Marais 1:10.03

2.Henry Liebenberg 1:12.42

3.Sthembiso Masango 1:14.54

4.Komborero Bere 1:16.34

5.Brennan Anderson 1:17.31

6.Dean Wortmann 1:18.35

7.Mboneni Ngqobo 1:18.49

8.Sean Merredew 1:19.20

9. Travis Stedman 1:19.38

10.Carl Calverley 1:20.27

Batch B

1.Sipho Kupiso 1:22.03

2.Ndomiso Dontso 1:22.49

3.Gareth Cook 1:23.44

4.Scelo Mhlongo 1:25.34

5.Angus Mcleod 1:25.53

6.Mazwe Smimango 1:26.13

7.Bongumusa Zikhali 1:27.04

8.Duane Stander 1:29.45

9.Mitchel Potgieter 1:30.03

10.Richard Wyngaard 1:30.57

Batch C

1.Johandre Marx 1:08.07

2.Jordan Bold 1:08.23

3.Kusaselihle Ngidi 1:11.46

4.Jonathan Watts 1:15.52

5.Sabine Thies 1:16.12

6.Daniel Van der Watt 1:19.33

7.Chloe Bateson 1:19.50

8.Sean Westerdyk 1:20.18

9.Brodan Symons 1:20.21

10.Brian Martens 1:21.50

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