Stewart flies flag for PMB in Sani2c race

2010-03-06 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG shone at the Subaru Sani2c yesterday when Hilton’s Brandon Stewart and team-mate were the second to cross the finish line.

Stewart and Max Knox — Team DCM — completed the second, 98 km, leg of the race in three hours and 12 minutes, losing the first position to power team Kevin Evans and Alban Lakata of Team MTN Energade 1.

His description of the track was an emphatic “muddy!” — wet weather turned parts of the single track into mud filled pockets. Because of this, organisers made the decision to re-route the second leg from the Umkomaas Valley to the district road and then the tarred highway.

“The first 20 km on the disctrict road were slippery, muddy and dangerous,” said Stewart. “But it got a lot better and the road was fine. The tar was a nice break from the wet, rainy mud.”

Stewart was satisfied with his team’s performance. “We both had a good race, it’s just that Kevin and Alban were stronger,” he said.

Another Hilton native, David Low and his Hillcrest riding partner, Carl Calverley, were vying for a top spot before Low injured his knee and was unable to continue yesterday.

The duo, Team Hasqvarna, clinched 12th position on day one of the race, and hoped to better their time on day two. Calverley went on to complete the race and finished in the top 20.

Although this was Low’s first race, Calverly said they worked well together. “We helped pull each other through mental dips and kept each other motivated,” he said.

Calverley will ride today, albeit alone. “Husqvarna has been a great sponsor. They cut and cleared the track and the best I can do is race for them,” he said.

Also representing Pietermaritzburg were the boys from Maritzburg College who manned the Dlangala water stop. In their signature red, black and white tracksuits they provided cyclists with refreshments and did not skip a beat, calling each cyclist either “sir” or “ma’am”.

Damon Stamp (13), a grade eight pupil particularly enjoyed the activity being a cyclist himself. “I started a few years ago and I really got into it,” he said, “My dad is doing the Sani this year.”

Cyclists agree Pietermaritzburg is one of the world’s best cycling points.

Stewart has travelled extensively and said he has visited “almost everywhere you can go,” but maintains “there’s no place like Maritzburg.”

“The roads are so conducive to riding,” he said.

Low agreed, “Maritzburg’s mountains are incredible to ride, it’s the hub of cycling.”

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