The Commonwealth Games mountain biking events saw some excellent riding by Southern African competitors on Wednesday, in Birmingham.
Riders ventured into Cannock Chase Forest for the Commonwealth Games mountain bike event, racing a new course. Local authorities had spent nearly R20m on a significant upgrade of the Cannock Chase Forest trail network, which showed.
Although some Olympic mountain bike events are hosted on artificial courses, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games venue in Cannock Chase Forest was terrifically authentic. Riders raced on woodland trails and Southern African mountain bikers podiumed in the men's and women's events.
With her vast Cape Epic riding experience, South Africa's Candice Lill showed great form to win a bronze medal in the women's race. England's Evie Richards won gold, with New Zealand's Zoe Cuthbert taking silver.
All the aero for Namibia's riders
The real surprise was in the men's mountain bike event. New Zealand's Sam Gaze won gold, but Namibia had an incredible presentation among the finishers. Despite being only 21-years old, Namibia's Alexander Miller won bronze in the men's mountain bike event.
Miller's teammates Hugo Hahn and Xavier Popo, finished in 13th and 17th positions.
Interestingly, the Namibian mountain bikers rode in aerodynamic jerseys and bibs, designed and produced by Tactic, a cycling apparel specialist based in Girona.