Marais fights to narrow victory and takes title at Cascades

2018-05-29 06:01
Stuart Marais gets some airtime on his way to winning the final event of the KZN MTB Lap Challenge Series at Cascades on Sunday and so grabbed the overall title.PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Stuart Marais gets some airtime on his way to winning the final event of the KZN MTB Lap Challenge Series at Cascades on Sunday and so grabbed the overall title.PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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STUART Marais powered away from Henry Liebenberg on the final lap of the KZN Mountain Bike Lap Series Challenge at Cascades in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday to claim the race win and snatch the series title overall.

The Howick resident was locked in a no-quarters — asked battle with Liebenberg and they matched each other surge for surge over the first five out of six laps, before Marais finally managed to make the decisive break on a steady incline over the second half of the final lap.

As Marais put the power down on the gently climb, Liebenberg felt a cramp in his legs and had to ease up and allow his older rival to ride off to a 22-second victory, which also settled the overall series title. Marais and Liebenberg had shared the wins in the opening two legs at Shongweni in February and at Aloe Park in March, which meant that they arrived at the final leg on equal points in tied third position on the series log.

Series leader on the start line, Jedson Tooms, finished 10th to claim third on the log while second-placed Travis Stedman was unable to ride on Sunday due to injury.

Komborero Bere finished third on Sunday, three minutes behind Marais and just less than a minute ahead of fourth placed Brennan Anderson, with Mboneni Ngcobo claiming fifth just under a minute further back.

In the B Batch race, Tiffany Keep finished in a superb sixth position overall to end up as the top women on the day and take the series title.

The Thomas More matric pupil was three minutes ahead of Frances Janse van Rensburg, who was seventh overall in the event, with Nadine Nunes third a lap down.

In the C Batch race Chloe Bateson was fourth overall to claim top spot among the women in that race which effectively meant she was fourth in the women’s event for the day. Keep’s win, her second of the series after she won the opening leg at Shongweni in February, ensured that she ended up as the top women overall with 200 points, with Janse van Rensburg second on 186 and Bateson third just two points further behind.


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