Sidey, De Villiers win MTB Classic

2018-07-19 06:00
Declan Sidey (pictured) and Yolande de Villiers triumphed at the sixth edition of the annual JBay Wind Farm Classic in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday, July 14.                 Photo:SUPPLIED

Declan Sidey (pictured) and Yolande de Villiers triumphed at the sixth edition of the annual JBay Wind Farm Classic in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday, July 14. Photo:SUPPLIED

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DECLAN Sidey and Yolande de Villiers triumphed at the sixth edition of the annual JBay Wind Farm Classic in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday, July 14.

The event, which forms part of the JBay Winterfest, offered three distances: a 25km fun ride, 50km marathon and the gruelling 85km ultra marathon.

At the sharp end of the ultra marathon, Declan Sidey from Team Mad Macs out of Stellenbosch was the convincing winner in a time of 03:34:22 - claiming the R11 000 first prize.

“The bunch stayed together for the first 15 kilometres,” says Sidey from Team Mad Macs out of Sellenbosch. “Max Sullivan was feeling ill, so even though our plan was to try finish first and second, he told me to go.” Sullivan finished second in 2017 and was eager to repeat the feat or go one better, this time with his team mate.

According to Sidey, he put in a big attack to see who else had good legs on the day, but no-one was able to stay with him. “In this kind of weather it’s better to be upfront and be able to dictate your own lines,” he says, explaining that the torrential rain made for challenging conditions, but the trails rode superb none-the-less.

“Anyone who finished the race will really feel a sense of accomplishment; it definitely wasn’t easy out there.”

Defending champion Jason Reed from East London claimed the second place in a time of 03:42:42, followed by Jason Peach from East London (03:42:43).

In the women’s race, Yolande de Villiers rode a spectacular race to complete her hat trick, finishing sixth overall in the 85km, in a time of 03:59:51. She also collected the R11 000 first prize for her day in the rain, with Anriëtte Schoeman in second and Shauna Esmeyer rounding out the podium.

“It was hectic out there,” says a visibly exhausted De Villiers after the finish. “It was cold and muddy, but I still had a lot of fun. The new bits of singletrack and bridges were really awesome.”

While the racing snakes were battling it out at the sharp end, a record field for the event braved the torrential downpours to ride the only one-day event of its kind to traverse a wind farm.

“We have been a part of this event for four years now and are really proud of the association,” says Mark Pickering, Managing Director of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who himself took on the weather.

“The race has gone from strength to strength and it was really encouraging to see a record field despite the conditions.”

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