The second race of the Western Cape Spur schools mountain bike league was marked by exciting racing as a total of 455 riders took the fast technical track at Southey Vines in Somerset West, pushing the total number of participants in the series to over 1000 entries.A strong primary schools field saw quite a few first-time riders, while strong racing and fierce competition made for great spectator value in the high schools category. In the sub-junior boys (14 years) Jamie Penfold of Paul Roos Gimnasium finished comfortably first after having led from the start and sustaining fast lap times, crossing the line in 30 minutes and 58 seconds. Daniel van der Walt from Fairmont High School, who finished first at Meerendal, had to settle for second place in a time of 31 minutes and 18 seconds with George Ducharme, also of Paul Roos, in third.A battle in the youth men (15 years) had the crowd on its feet with Michard Meets of Parel Vallei leading the first two rounds and Mulder Oosthuizen of DF Malan sitting tight on his wheel to take over the lead in the third round. However, it was Meets who regained his front slot around the last bend and crossed the finish line first after a tight sprint to take gold only three metres ahead of his rival. “I’m really happy with my racing at the moment and hope to keep the top position on the log as I broke my arm during training last year and missed out on the league finals at Bekker School.”Another close battle for third and fourth saw Ilan Meintjies of Paul Roos battling it out for a podium position just ahead of Ico Coetzee of Parel Vallei.Johan Trotzky of Montana, who was forced to settle for third place in the first youth men (under 16) race of the season due to technical problems, had a magnificent race this weekend. Getting off to a fast start, he held on to the front slot for all five laps to finish first in a time of 36 minutes and 27 seconds. A tight sprint finish had Joshua de Freitas of Parel Vallei get the better of Niel van Tonder of DF Malan, who came in third.In the sub-junior girls (14 years) Carla Hollander of DF Malan held on to her lead position with Michaela Beaton of Durbanville Primary School second and Surine van Tonder of Drostdy Technical School in third.Allison Morton of Westerford High School is still leading the youth women after finishing comfortably, winning her race in a time of 25 minutes and 23 seconds. She was followed by Parel Vallei teammates Carla Steyn (second in a time of 27 minutes and 2 seconds) and Jana Barry (close on her wheels in a time of 27 minutes and 12 seconds).Nophiwe Hala of Kayamandi High School impressed with her win in the junior girls category in a time of 25 minutes and 23 seconds. Courteney Webb of Westerford finished second and Mire Herbst of Durbanville was third. Hala, who trains three times a week with her Songa team mates, has only been cycling for a year. “I really enjoy mountain bike riding and am really glad that I could move up from third place in the first race to first place,” says Hala.As was expected fierce racing and exceptional mountain bike skills wrapped up the day with the junior men giving a magnificent performance from start to finish. A lead group consisting of Manie Lubbe (DF Malan), Matthew Keyser (Parel Vallei), Andrew Sparks (Reddam House), Matthew Lombardi and Robert Hobson (Paul Roos) and Andrew Reaper (Sacs) pulled away from the rest of the field from the start.The four front runners – Lubbe, Keyser, Lombardi and Sparks – took turns in leading the pack for the first couple of rounds, before it became a battle between Lubbe and Lombardi for line honours. Although Lubbe led the final rounds, skill and strong legs saw Lombardi steel it in the end in a time of 44 minutes and 3 seconds – a mere 4 seconds ahead of Lubbe. Keyser took the last podium slot with Sparks in fourth. In a sprint finish for 5th and 6th slot Hobson crossed the line one second ahead of Reaper.The third race of the season will be hosted at Montana High School in Worcester on Saturday 29 August. V Online entry forms can be downloaded at www.spurmtbleague.co.za. For more information on the Spur school mountain bike league, follow @SpurMTBleague on Twitter or visit the SpurSchoolsLeague page on Facebook.