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Hat-trick of victories for young MTB star Van Eeden

Brendan van Eeden celebrates his win in the Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge title at the Karkloof Country Club on Saturday. Picture: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Brendan van Eeden made it a hat-trick of victories when he claimed two more mountain biking wins at the weekend and ended the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum as the new rider to beat in KZN.

In a hectic weekend, the 20-year-old “new kid on the block” added both the Sappi Karkloof Challenge and Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Classic Challenge titles to his list of cycling palmares, boosting an already impressive CV which boasts the Illovo Eston title from late last month.

His recent move from Potchefstroom to Hilton, where he works with Team Absolute Motion coach Johann Wykerd, has clearly paid dividends. After a narrow sprint victory over Stuart Marais (NanoTime) at Eston at the end of last month, Van Eeden left nothing to chance at Karkloof and Drakensberg Gardens this weekend.

Close call

There was some debate over the final Eston result and amateur commissionaires were studying videos to check who crossed the line first, but Van Eeden made sure there was clear daylight between himself and Marais in both this weekend’s races.

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In the 60km event in Karkloof on Saturday, Van Eeden broke away relatively early on the tough climbs and, helped by a puncture to Marais, built a big gap and led home the trio of riders who have dominated local KZN mountain bike races for the past few seasons.

Brendan van Eeden (centre) collected his third win in three races when he beat Stuart Marais (left) and Andrew Hill at the final event of the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum. Picture: Supplied

Marais took second with Tyronne White (DriveTrain Academy), Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance) and Dean van Dyk filling the top five places.

On Sunday, at one of the most picturesque MTB races on the KZN cycling calendar, the 20-year-old may have been dwarfed by the majestic mountains but he overshadowed his rivals again as he claimed a 22-second victory over Marais.

While Marais was clearly disappointed to have another two second-place finishes, he can console himself that he had already wrapped up the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum and can bank on the R25 000 prize money for his wedding fund when he gets married later this month.

Dominant

Hill finished third on Sunday with talented junior Michael Foster crossing the line fourth.

The already crowned winner of the women’s MTB title for the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, Christie Hearder, was again a dominant winner at Drakensberg Gardens with Sanchia Malan and Michele Roods claiming the minor placings.

On Saturday Cherie Redecker returned from her international commitments to win the women’ title at Karkloof.

In the trail running events at Drakensberg Gardens, Linda Zondi returned to action after a lockdown layoff and was a relatively easy winner over Carel Le Roux, who had already wrapped up the 2020 title in the Quattro ROAG Series.

The women’s trail run winner was Sarah Hearn with Linda Shrives and Hayley Mackinnon second and third respectively. – Copy supplied

Results

Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Challenge
MTB Men
1 Brendan Van Eeden 1:50:05
2 Stuart Marais 1:50:27
3 Andrew Hill 1:51:26
4 Michael Foster 1:52:49
5 Matthew Scott 2:05:47
6 Keegan Tullis 2:06:51
7 Daniel Van Der Watt 2:08:45
8 Brad Thompson 2:08:47
9 Nicholas Burczak 2:09:18
10 Marc Adam 2:10:43

MTB Women
1 Christie Hearder 2:23:11
2 Sanchia Malan 2:56:47
3 Michele Roods 3:03:19
4 Bronwyn Evans 3:08:39
5 Claudia Redinger 3:17:08

Trail Run Men
1 Linda Zondi 1:45:07
2 Carel Le Roux 1:53:27
3 Greg Botha 1:57:24
4 Graham Bird 2:12:49
5 Werner Harmse 2:36:07

Trail Run Women
1 Sarah Hearn 2:12:40
2 Linda Shrives 2:23:08
3 Hayley Mackinnon 2:24:56
4 Nokukhanya Memela 2:28:01
5 Angela Hulett 2:33:12

Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge 60km Marathon
1.Brendan van Eeden 2:46:54
2.Stuart Marais 2:56:50
3.Tyronne White 2:58:58
4.Andrew Hill 3:03:55
5.Dean van Dyk 3:07:12
Women
1.Cherie Redecker 3:47:54

More Midlands news here

Comments

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  1. Looks like Stuart has “found” his match in the KZN XCO circles. And congrats to Stu in advance for their wedding. Thank you Meander Chronicle for this pleasant story.

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