Team bizhub: Speedster Duo take victory

2011-05-24 00:00

SOUTH Coast mountain bikers starred in the seventh annual three-day Subaru sani2c that concluded in Scottburgh on Saturday.

Candice Neethling of Oribi led the local charge as she and her Team bizhub teammate Catherine Williamson claimed overall victory in the women’s section.

The duo rallied back after Team USN’s Cherise Taylor of Umtentweni and Karien van Jaarsveld won the closely contested 87km first stage on Thursday to win the gruelling 97km second stage and 78km final stage to clinch the title.

“It’s a very prestigious event and to win it at such a young age was an amazing step for me,” said 19-year-old Neethling.

The Under-23 Women’s All African Continental champion and 2010 SA cross country champion is good friends with runner-up Taylor.

“She’s done very well in road racing in particular and there’s a lot that I can learn from her,” said Neethling of Taylor.

Taylor was hampered by flu and subsequently couldn’t maintain the intensity she showed during the first stage.

“Obviously it’s always better to have a win than a second place … I always race to win. I really gave my all but on the second day at the last 40km I collapsed and I couldn’t even turn the pedals anymore, so it was really tough for me and I tried to selvage the situation in the final stage,” said Taylor.

However, the 2011 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour winner and Van Jaarsveld’s hopes of a final stage victory were dashed when the latter suffered two high-speed crashes.

“All in all, I’m quite satisfied with a second place. It’s definitely a race that I want to win in the future so hopefully next year we’ll have better preparation for it,” said Taylor.

She hailed Neethling’s performance and said she expects big things from her in the future.

Taylor also commended the race organisers for the innovative new section of the course which included two river crossings.

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