Split-second Downhill Cup Series victory for Jonty Neethling

2013-04-16 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG — Cascades Mountain Bike Park in Pietermaritzburg provided perfect conditions on Sunday for the second round of the Cycling SA-MTB National Downhill Cup Series, leaving the deciding of the final outcome to the performance of the riders with the track in pristine condition.

With a field of 60 riders participating, it provided for a solid day of racing action. The qualifying times of the elite men were just outside of the four-minute mark and the pressure of the race produced a number of times in the top five below four minutes.

Cape Town rider Jonty Neethling qualified outside of the top five and confessed to have taken a cautious approach to the seeding run. He certainly held nothing back in the race final, proving that even after just returning from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him for a few months, he will remain a serious contender for the SA series title.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as fellow Capetonian Stefan Garlicki, who was top seed for the race, was given a clear run after second seed Timothy Bentley went out with a crash, injuring his shoulder. Garlicki, who leaves next month to start his overseas racing campaign, looked in great form, missing out on the top spot by less than a second.

Not to be left out of the action, Tiaan Odendaal snatched third place ahead of fourth-placed Alasdair Fey and fifth-placed Hayden Brown, who all finished within half a second of each other.

Local Nadia Botha won the women’s race by just over 10 seconds from Kathryn Fourie.

Neethling, who had surgery on his shoulder in January because of a trapped vein, said he took it easy in the seeding run.

“I knew there was a big pedal section so I rather wanted to save my legs for the final. I was a bit nervous at the top, but when I made it through the first section, the nerves were gone and I let it loose,” he said.

Summary of Results

Elite Men

1. Jonty Neethling 03:56.34; 2. Stefan Garlicki 03:56.59

3. Tiaan Odendaal 03:59.38; 4. Alasdair Fey 03:59.56

5. Hayden Brown 03:59.81

Junior Men

1. Theo Erlangsen 04:09.26; 2. Andrew Martin 04:10.41

3. J.P. du Plessis 04:13.06

Elite Women

1. Nadia Botha 05:29.38; 2. Katherine Fourie 05:39.69

3. Kate Stephenson 05:51.31

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