Minnaar gets a run at KZN MTB Series at St Ives

2016-02-25 06:00
Downhill legend Greg Minnaar was in action at St Ives in the first round of the KZN MTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Series, presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, on the weekend. PHOTO: supplied

Downhill legend Greg Minnaar was in action at St Ives in the first round of the KZN MTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Series, presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, on the weekend. PHOTO: supplied

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THE 2016 KZN MTB Provincial Enduro and Downhill Series, presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, started at St Ives last weekend.

Minnaar showed his support for the domestic scene by competing before flying off to Portugal for pre-World Cup testing yesterday.

The downhill legend is working his way back to full fitness after undergoing an operation on a thumb and found himself pushed hard in the enduro and downhill, with junior Christopher Philogene bettering the triple world champion’s time in the downhill to record a surprising win.

The action began with the enduro on Saturday, with a large entry of 120 riders. Although the four timed stages meant a race distance of only eight kilometres, they were contested on beautifully descending trails, but the competitors had to work their way up the hillside four times during the course of the day, riding almost 20 kilometres in hot conditions.

It came down to a battle between Minnaar and Hilton Frost for the victory, with the Santa Cruz Syndicate star taking two stage wins, Frost one, and the pair recording exactly the same time for the third stage. In the end, Minnaar triumphed by four seconds.

“The guys put together some really good trails,” Minnaar he said afterwards “It was a bit sketchy, because I haven’t really seen the track and I’m trying to race it and go as fast as I can, so I had a few moments, but all in all it was really cool and really fast.”

On Sunday, Minnaar was able to fit in only one run before making a dash for his flight, while the rest of the competitors were able to put down two runs. His time of 1:32.95 went unchallenged until Philogene smashed it with a superb run that stopped the clock in 1:29.45. “I found out that I beat Greg, even though I don’t know if he was trying his hardest, but I was stoked,” Philogene said. “St Ives is awesome,” he added. “I’m really looking forward to the next one at Giba Gorge as well — it’s my favourite track.”

Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series, presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park (near Pinetown) on Sunday, March 27.

Senior men

1. Tiaan Odendaal 01:29.45

2. Jonathan Philogene 01:31.85

3. Samuel Bull 01:32.80

Senior Women

1. Kim Westbrook 02:04.80

2. Tammy Sturrock 02:16.82

3. Lauren Hoyer 02:25.70

Junior Men

1. Christopher Philogene 01:29.45

2. Sharjah Jonsson 01:36.99

3. Cullen McMaster 01:37.69

Youth men

1. Jason Williams 01:36.95

2. Shaun Smale 01:44.16

3. Kayle Seaward 15:47

Sub Junior Men

1. Kyle Brand 02:05.92

Sub Junior Women

1. Sabine Thies 02:04.19

Sprog boys

1. Keagan Brand 02:18.20

Sub Veteran Men

1. Craig Paul 01:39.57

2. Cyril Spence 01:40.74

3. Mark Millar 01:43.23

Sub Veteran Women

1. Kathryn Fourie 02:01.51

2. Joanne Hicks 02:11.46

3. Tamryn Taylor 02:22.93

Veteran Men

1. Craig Seawood 01:47.09

2. Grant Dekker 01:50.41

3. Leigh Hand 01:54.59

Master men

1. Peter Hoyer 01:26.97

Nipper Boys

1. Caleb Archer 03:42.00.

- Supplied.

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