Howick rider completes 260km MTB race
On Friday, May 11, 83-year-old Arthur Duncan from Howick (pictured above) completed the 260km Adventure in the three-day KAP sani2c mountain bike stage race.
Duncan took up cycling seriously at the age of 65, and has completed this race five times previously, but not since 2010.
“My son-in-law invited me to ride with him. I had never thought of doing another sani2c because of my age, but when the opportunity came, I thought I am going to take on this challenge. It was tough, but I got through it with Stuart who pushed me and motivated me, and it’s been wonderful.”
The KAP sani2c mountain bike stage race started on Tuesday, May 8, when the Trail version departed from Glencairn farm in Himeville. The Adventure started on Wednesday with Duncan in the saddle, and on Thursday the main Race event started, which attracts the top elite mountain bikers in the country.
All riders travel south on the same path through the beautiful southern Drakensberg, down into the Umkomaas Valley, through Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve and to the coast at Scottburgh. With more than 4200 riders taking part, it is the largest mountain bike stage race in the country.
Duncan decided at the age of 65 that he was going to cycle from the sea to the highest peak in Southern Africa, Thabana Ntlenyana in Lesotho. The three-day ride had him hooked, and he has become a multiple national champion in both road cycling and time trial in his age category. He has represented South Africa in road cycling and went to the UCI Road World Championships last year.
Not satisfied with being an accomplished cyclist in his retirement, Duncan took on the Dusi Canoe Marathon when he was 72, and at the age of 77 he completed a second Dusi as the oldest competitor that year.
Nico Bell and Matt Beers raced to top honours in the The Race component of the sani2c among the men, while Amy Mc Dougal and Samantha Sanders won the women’s race. Yolandi du Toit and Ben Melt Swanepoel were first among the mixed teams.