Cross Country: Only 30 seconds between leaders

2012-02-25 00:00


The top names in SA Cross-Country racing were at Giba Gorge last weekend for the first of three events in the Momentum Health XCO Series.

The Elites, U23s and Juniors raced in cool, damp and muddy conditions on Saturday. After seven laps of all-out racing in the Elite men, less than 30 seconds separated the top three men home.

Victory went to the Contego-Giant rider Phillip Buys, followed closely by Rourke Croeser and James Reid.

Yolande Speedy (USN) showed that she’s capable of winning in all weather conditions when she claimed first in the U23 women’s race. She got off to a poor start, but by the first section of singletrack was up to third behind former Junior world championships bronze medallist, Candice Neethling (Team BMC-SA), and Samantha Sanders.

By the start of lap two in the six-lap race, she’d taken the lead. Speedy pulled away from Neethling at the end of the penultimate lap to secure the win. Neethling was second and visiting Scot, Lee Craigie, claimed third.

In the Junior Men Kyle Dorkin (Ellsworth SA) won, ahead of Patrick Belton and Paul Rodenbach. Hayley Smith claimed the Junior Women’s title.

The next event in the Momentum Health XCO Internationals takes place at Karkloof Falls on March 3 and 4 and the final event at the Cascades MTB Park on the March 10 and 11. For entries and further information, go to

World Cup Revamp

The cross-country course for the 2012 RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg is undergoing a major facelift ahead of the international season-opener from March 15 to 18, slashing the circuit in half to make life easier for the teams, and offering double the opportunity for the spectators.

Course designer Nick Floros’s layout proved popular at the 2011 event, but left the team support crews struggling to shuttle between the two feeder zones that were some distance apart.

Instead of the previous five-kilometre, single loop, the new course has two loops, each 2,3 km long with the two feed zones now much closer.

With the changes to the popular Pietermaritzburg track nearing completion, the refreshed appearance of the course is starting to take shape and riders are chomping at the bit to get a glimpse of what they might be in for in less than three weeks time.

Spectators heading to Cascades to view the live action will also benefit from the track amendments, as they will now be able to witness far more action first hand.

The revamp brings with it a breath of fresh air into the Cascades MTB Park and has numerous local mountain bike enthusiasts eager to give it a go for the first time, something Floros himself is keen to do and which he encourages as many of the local cycling fraternity to do as well.

The RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg takes place at the Cascades MTB Park from March 16-18.

More information can be found at


The Epworth Mudman is the next event in the aQuelle Mudman Series at Albert Falls Dam tomorrow morning. Epworth will be pulling out all the stops with an awesome course, comprising of a 750 metre swim or four kilometre paddle, 20km MTB ride and a five kilometre trail run. Registration is open from 7 am with the full distance event starting at 9 am. For further info log onto

The Midlands Ultra Triathlon Series takes place at Midmar Dam on March 4. 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 metre swim, 20 km cycle and a five kilometre run.

For more information on the event and to enter, go to or contact B-Active Sports at


The Battery Centre Ryan Maullin Memorial Midmar Notts Cycle Race, which took place from Midmar Dam last weekend, was brought to an abrupt end when a rider collided head on with a combi travelling in the opposite direction.

This resulted in the traffic authorities taking a decision to call the race off. Fortunately, the rider involved — Trevor Thompson — escaped with only a broken wrist, damaged knee and severe bruising.

There was no race winner and as such no race result. All prize money was handed out as lucky draws.

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