Saturday, 31 May 2014 was a very important day in the MTB racing calendar for many of our Cross Country (XCO) riders. Besides the fantastic day of racing, it was the last chance for riders who did not accumulate sufficient points in the first three races to qualify for provincial colours. It was also the opportunity for the qualified riders to stamp their authority on the 2014 season.
The racing took place at the Contermanskloof MTB trails on the H.L. Starke farm. There were predictions of strong winds in the morning which thankfully never transpired. Riders and spectators only had to endure a sharp drop in temperature (at one point it was only 9 degrees!) due to mist, which cleared in time for the Elite race at 12h55.
This event was made possible by a number of generous sponsors; NMC Construction Group, Paarl Media Group, PWC, Mondi, Durbanville Commercial Printers, Cycle Funatic, Gecko Cycles, Dragon Sports and Red Bull. We are also grateful to Rob Starke for making the farm available to us.
Bryan Strauss, better known as “Oom Bryan” to some, laid out a challenging course with about 150 meters ascent from the start to the top of Cheeky Corners. At some points on the climb the incline reached up around the 17% mark which proved to be a challenge for many riders. At the bottom of Cheeky Corners the riders dived into the gum trees and raced down towards the big jump of the day (although many favoured the chicken run).
The morning started out with the Nippers race on a shortened version of the course. Alec Coleske dominated the boys’ category with Hendre de Villers coming in shortly after second. The Nipper girls podium was claimed Anna Marx in first and Olivia Penfold in second.
The Sprog boys and girls raced alongside the Sub-juniors for the first time this year as both categories raced the same full course. Luke Moir (of TeamPaarlMedia) who was racing the in the Sprog category, broke away and convincingly, not only placing first in the Sprogs, but Sub-juniors too – an impressive effort from the young rider.
Renay Groustra won the Elite men’s race, with Nico Pfitzenmaier coming in second to close the days racing. Lolita van Aardt took first place in the ladies with a convincing win over the rest of the field.
The hero of the day goes to Manie Lubbe who completed his race after puncturing twice and also breaking his chain right at the start. Hats off to this young man, we have great hopes for his future in this sport.
Full official results of the all the category races are available here or right here on our website.
The official photographer has posted all the event pics for you which you can view here and purchase if you wish.
We are certain the folks from Big Shot Media got some great footage as we are really looking forward to the fruits of their labour. We will keep posted of when this production will be aired on SuperSport.
(All Photo's courtesy Shane Wilson, unless otherwise specified)