Belton reigns in Howick

2013-06-03 00:00

HOWICK — Yesterday’s Sappi Howick MTB Classic saw Team Jeep’s Patrick Belton reign supreme over fellow young star Alan Hatherly (BMC-SA) while Eszter Erdelyi powered her way to victory in the women’s race despite Mother Nature causing havoc for all riders throughout the 40km shootout.

With exceptionally dry conditions and a gale force wind, fears of the event’s possible cancellation due to fire dangers rumbled through the car park in the early morning KZN Midlands chill. Fortunately these were quickly dispelled and the action got under way as planned.

As participants set off on what has become known as one of the most rewarding events in the region, riders a plenty — including the likes of pre-race favourite and defending men’s champion Luke Roberts (BMC-SA) — headed off on a host of impromptu course variations due to the wind wreaking havoc with route markings along the technical and challenging course, leaving both spectators and riders initially unsure of who had actually claimed the title.

Through his local knowledge of the route and sharp eye, it was Karkloof local Belton who crossed the line over eight minutes ahead of his nearest rival to take the overall spoils.

With Frankie du Toit (Pure Adventure Gear) having fallen foul to the same troubles some of her male compatriots had experienced earlier on in the race, pre-race favourite in the women’s challenge Eszter Erdelyi (Bergamont), who put in a faultless effort despite the testing conditions, cruised home to claim a comfortable victory and round off what has been a memorable few weeks on the bike.

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40 km Overall: 1. Patrick Belton 1:27.01

2. Alan Hatherly 1:35.25

3. Warren Price 1:37.35

Women: 1. Eszter Erdelyi 1:58.22

2. Robyn Ryan 2:08.54

3. Nataschka Mowat 2:11.39

20 km men: 1. Andre Grebe 1:27.53

2. Kelvin Green 1:31.11

3. Scott Kendall-Browne 1:31.33

Women: 1. Sabine Thies 1:46.39

2. Charne Dreyer 1:51.42

3. Roxanne Dovey 1:54.08

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