KZN MTB News 16 and 17 April 2016

KZN MTB News 16 and 17 April 2016

A series of unexpected turns at St. Ives for XCO 3

16 April 2016 – The third and final round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial Series at St. Ives MTB Park, KZN Midlands on Saturday 16 April proved to be one for the books, as the day had unexpected tricks and turns up its’ sleeve.

The first twist of the day, was when the Nippers and Sprogs races were moved an hour out due to there being a swarm of bees under the bridge on the course they were to ride. Course designer Nick Floros and his team quickly set to the task of safely smoking the bees away from the course. For the safety of the youngsters, however, their race began on a slightly altered course away from any possible danger of lurking insects.

The women’s overall race began soon after that, with all the riders starting together due to the smaller women’s field taking part (many were taking part in events in Europe). The Elite Women’s title was claimed by South Coast local, Candice Parker-Dennison.

The first under-23 and overall man across the line was Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Alan Hatherly. The Elite Men’s competition was won by Stuart Marais, with second and third taken by Jedson Tooms and Tyron Bird respectively.

A surprise rider greeted the Elite Men’s race on the start line, when SA National Elite Women’s XCO Champion, Cherie Redecker, joined the race for a training ride.
I was meant to be in Germany and also at an Italian Cup race, but since I got sick after the African Continental Champs in Lesotho, I decided to rather give those a skip and recover well, and instead of just going over for that, myself and my coach John Wakefield decided that it would be a good idea to train here,” she said.

KZN Mtb XCO Cherie Vale by Paul Botma

KZN Mtb XCO Cherie Vale by Paul Botma

Once again local to KwaZulu-Natal after recently relocating, Redecke decided to spice her training up a bit. “With the KZN Cup having not many of the girls here, he (Wakefield) said that I should see if I could race with the Elite Men. I thought it was a bit ambitious, but it’s really great having to push yourself extra hard. I had to keep going because there were guys behind me and guys in front of me and I didn’t want Alan or Stuart to lap me so it was really good preparation for the World Cup and the support was fantastic and really, really cool,” she added.

The Youth Women’s category was claimed by Courtney Smith, with second placed Megan Bircher crossing the finish line on her feet. “It was a good race,” said Bircher. “The start was great and from there on I was in the front. Unfortunately I rode the course blind so I didn’t know what to expect. When it got to the technical section, Courtney managed to pass me, and from then on I was just trying to chase her and catch up to her. On my last lap I fell in the rock garden and my chain twisted. About 800 metres after that, it snapped. The rest of the course I had to run. It wasn’t my favourite because I’m not the biggest fan of running, especially in this heat, but it happens to everyone,” she said.

Due to a broken collarbone, regular Youth Women’s podium finisher, Tiffany Keep, could not take part, but stood on the sidelines and supported her friends as they rode and ran past.

Another impressive surprise was the large contingent of pupils from Maritzburg College taking part.

Maritzburg College's William Luxford  by Paul Botma

Maritzburg College’s William Luxford by Paul Botma

Maritzburg College’s Gerhard Erasmus said: “We started cycling at the beginning of the year as an official sport. Well it’s been since 2015 but I’ve taken over since the beginning of the year. We’ve arranged transport to boys twice a week for training, and a race or activity every weekend. The boys love cycling, and that’s why they’re out here. There are still a lot of cyclists with lots of potential. Although it doesn’t seem that our boys have risen to the top just yet, I think that all the structures and systems that we have in place: introducing outside coaches and investing in our high performance centre, we’ll see the guys coming out onto the podium very shortly.”

Erasmus mentioned that the numbers of boys taking part were growing. “Mountain biking and cycling are not something that you need to promote, because it’s in boys, it’s what they love to do. They just do it spontaneously, they’re so enthusiastic, and it’s just amazing to see the guys out there getting so much enjoyment and fun as a school sport,” he concluded.

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial XCO Cup Series #3 – 16 April 2016
Elite Men
Stuart Marais 01:25:40; Jedson Tooms 01:33:21; Tyron Bird 01:34:34
Elite Women
Candice Parker-Dennison 01:42:53; Roxanne Vale 01:58:37
Junior Men
Dean Wortmann 01:06:44; Ryan Naude 01:08:33; Cayde Muldoon 01:12:01
U23 Men
Alan Hatherly 01:24:29; Marco Joubert 01:33:54
Youth Men
Cian Leveridge 00:54:43; Joshua Clipstone 00:55:23; Aaron Michell 00:55:52
Youth Women
Courtney Smith 01:01:55; Megan Bircher 01:05:19
Sub Junior Boys
Travis Stedman 00:59:12; Mitchel Potgieter 01:00:48; Matthew Millward 01:04:34
Sub Junior Girls
Sabine Thies 01:00:58; Chloe Bateson 01:01:15; Sarah Ryan 01:11:45
Sub Vets Men
Carl Calverley 01:16:55; Sean Merredew 01:17:59; Bradley Rowlett 01:20:53
Sub Vets Women
Nadine Nunes 01:04:08
Vets Men
Warren Price 01:19:34; Ewan Cochran 01:20:26; Hendrik Bester 01:21:54
Master Men
Charles Young 01:12:47; Brian Magor 01:13:41; Tony Stark 01:17:15
Master Women
Marie du Toit 00:50:24
Grand Master Men
Mike Staphorst 01:25:42
Grand Master Women
Frances Marsburg 00:54:18
Nipper Boys
Aiden Wright 04:25 (Av time); Connor Wright 04:30 (Av time); Luca Zietsman 04:41 (Av time)
Nipper Girls
Hannah Elliot 05:24 (Av time); Derryn Millward 08:27 (Av time)
Sprog Boys
Jonathan Watts 04:13 (Av time); Nicholas de Bruin 04:17 (Av time); Jayden Moolman 04:46 (Av time)
Sprog Girls
Emma Clipstone 05:07 (Av time); Riley Smith 05:19 (Av time)