Cape raiders strike at Mandela Day MTB

Matthys Beukes, MTB rider

Beukes, Lill ride to victory

Matthys Beukes and Candice Lill made their travels worthwhile when they claimed victories in the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash on Saturday.

Both Beukes and Lill travelled from the Western Cape to compete in the fifth annual MTB Dash held at the Mandela Capture Site just outside Howick in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands.

Pictured above, a calm looking Matthys Beukes crosses a bridge on his way to victory at the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash. Pictures: Gavin Ryan/Quickpix

Eventual runner up Stuart Marais leads Henry Liebenberg (third) and winner Matthys Beukes during the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash. Pictures: Gavin Ryan/Quickpix

Beukes, from the PYGA EruoSteel team, was a surprise entry, and he had to work particularly hard before relegating Howick’s Stuart Marais to his second runner-up spot in two years. Henry Liebenberg claimed third in a dice for the line with Tyronne White.

Convincing win

In the women’s race, Lill, who was also not expected to be on the start line but combined a visit to her family to take part, was able to ride away from her rivals from the start and was never in danger as she recorded a convincing 10-minute win over Jeannie Dreyer with schoolgirl Tiffany Keep third.

Beukes was very satisfied with his ride as he prepares for the World Marathon Championships in mid-September.

Showcase for future MTB stars

“Yes it was lekker out there today,” said Beukes after crossing the line. “It went well. The legs did not feel too great because I had two long travel days, so I had to work around that a bit. But I sort of eased into it slowly so I could have the legs at the end.

“I only managed to get a bit of a gap on Stuart with about two kilometres to go and then it was just a drag race from there to the end.”

Although the official time difference was only three seconds at the end, Beukes had a bigger gap approaching the line and eased up as he cruised home.

The Mandela name

“Of course riding a race with the Mandela name means something to me. I was inspired to make the effort of driving from George to Cape Town and sleep over for a night there before flying in to Durban and here to do an event I have never raced before.”

Candice Lill

Candice Lill claimed a big win on Saturday at the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash before she jets off to the World Championships.

Lill was in a league of her own and was very happy with her form as she prepares for the Cross Country World Championships in early September.

“I had good fun out there today. The route is pretty hard – very up-down, up-down so it was very punchy, but then at the end you have done all the hard work and can enjoy the single track before the little climbs up to the finish.”

In the 21km race Mboneni Ngcobo rode a lonely race to claim a two-minute win over Bongukuphiwa Ndlovu with Nkululeko Pewa claiming third.

In the women’s 21km there was a battle between the youngsters with sub junior (under 14) Riley Smith beating sprog (under 12) Jodi Mackinnon by a minute, with veteran Judy Gous third.

Results in brief
42km men
1. Matthys Beukes 1:43:24
2. Stuart Marais 1:43:27
3. Henry Liebenberg 1:47:41
4. Tyronne White 1:47:42
5. David Low 1:49:22
6. Sam Moore 1:53:53
7. Cayde Muldoon 1:56:34
8. Travis Stedman 1:56:40
9. Sthembiso Masango 1:57:28
10. Mazwi Smimango 1:58:02

42km women
1. Candice Lill 1:51:48
2. Jeannie Bomford 2:01:10
3. Tiffany Keep 2:02:18
4. Frances Janse Van Rensburg 2:08:02
5. Andrea De Boer 2:12:17

21km men
1. Mboneni Ngcobo 0:44:23
2. Bongukuphiwa Ndlovu 0:46:15
3. Nkululeko Pewa 0:49:26
4. Nicholas Burczak 0:52:08
5. Tsepo Koloko 0:52:36

21km women
1. Riley Smith 1:10:45
2. Jodi Mackinnon 1:11:40
3. Judy Gous 1:14:42
4. Lerato Mokhele 1:19:26
5. Christelle Van Zuydam 1:24:01