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Tyronne White strikes, Smith reigns in Scottburgh MTB race

Tyronne White stole the show in the men's race in the Scottburgh MTB 42km marathon in the South Coast town on Sunday, while local mountain bike rider Hayley Smith defended her title when she walked away with the spoils in the ladies' race.

With White and another KwaZulu-Natal rider Tyron Bird putting his name into the hat, it was always going to be an interesting match-up and the two managed to keep up the pace at the front of the race with White’s teammate, Joshua Nelson.

The South Coast showdown started in blustery conditions, but this did not deter White and his fellow riders, with the front group being well shielded.

“You couldn’t just attack from the beginning and you had to box clever,” White said.

“It was a little bit windy out there, but it wasn’t as bad as I initially expected because we were fairly protected in a lot of the areas.

“There were three of us riding together, myself, Josh and Tyron [Bird], so it was nice that we all took a turn at the front.”

The race was a close affair with the top three working together to keep themselves clear of the rest of the field and ultimately it came down to a sprint finish to see who would take the overall crown along the beach.

“We started off at a fairly good pace for the first 10 or so kilometres, up until the hotspot, where Tyron Bird put in a hard effort and so it ended with just the three of us.

“From there we had a lot of fun riding together. Unfortunately Tyron punctured, so Josh and I just rode on easily, waiting for him to catch back up, which he did, and from there rode together and just left it down to an end sprint finish,” White said.

The women’s race was not as closely contested with 2013 champion Hayley Smith becoming the first women to retain the title. Smith found the conditions tricky but made the most of her opportunity when she got away.

“It was pretty tough out there with the wind and the soft sand, but I really enjoyed it. The conditions were tough, but they were good for racing.

“There was a group of three of us at the beginning of the race, but I managed to get ahead of them on the first climb and win the Queen of the Mountain, and from there I got away from them for the remainder of the race,” she said.


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